Lets Grow Early Learning Centre - 02/05/2019

1 Evaluation of Lets Grow Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Lets Grow Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Lets Grow Early Learning Centre is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Lets Grow Early Learning Centre is a privately owned, purpose-built education and care service located in Raglan, west of Hamilton. The centre is licensed to provide all-day care for 70 children, including 14 up to the age of two years. At the time of this review there were 86 children enrolled, including 11 who identify as Māori.

The centre's philosophy states that a culture of emerging independence of children, respect, responsibility, ako, whanaungatanga, manaakitanga and kaitiakitanga is valued and encouraged.

Children are grouped in three age-based areas. Construction of a new classroom for the preschool children was completed in November 2018. A feature of the teaching team is the inclusion of several male staff. Eight of the teachers hold a teaching qualification.

The centre owners form part of the leadership team, supported by the assistant manager who is the curriculum leader. The owners have engaged an external consultant who supports professional learning and performance management of the staff.

The Review Findings

Children experience a high-quality curriculum. The centre's philosophy is strongly evident in all aspects of practice. The curriculum prioritises a holistic approach. Children are supported to make decisions about their own learning and selfcare. They are provided with opportunities to learn through uninterrupted play in meaningful contexts. Assessment and planning is responsive to children’s interests and strengths. The localised curriculum includes Māori stories about the surrounding area and aspects of tikanga Māori. Literacy and mathematics are naturally integrated. Children are well supported to develop as capable and confident learners.

Teaching practice is strongly focused on positive outcomes for children. ERO observed high-quality interactions and warm, respectful relationships. Teachers know children well and support them to engage in sustained learning activities. Intentional teaching practices scaffold learning and add increasing complexity to children's play. Positive behaviour strategies contribute to a settled environment. Transitions throughout the centre are well managed and responsive to children’s needs and emotional wellbeing. Children with additional needs are very well supported to ensure they have equitable opportunities to participate in learning. Infants are cared for in a calm and unhurried environment. Teachers skilfully interpret verbal and non-verbal communication and model appropriate language. Children’s sense of belonging and wellbeing is nurtured.

Centre leadership is highly effective. Leaders have clearly defined roles based on strengths and skills. Strong curriculum leadership ensures that the theories underpinning the revised early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, inform teaching and learning in the centre. Decision making is strategic and research-based. Emergent leadership is encouraged and supported. A system of specific, individualised guidance and support is focused on building teacher capacity. Children benefit from knowledgeable leadership and teaching practice.

Robust systems and processes support effective organisational practice. There is a shared understanding of the centre's vision and philosophy, and a commitment to te ao Māori concepts and values. Self-review processes are systematic, well embedded and coherent, and lead to improved outcomes for children. Positive and responsive relationships have been developed with parents and the community, and opportunities for consultation are provided. Positive outcomes for children and their families are at the forefront of decision making.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and ERO agree that the key next steps are to:

  • evaluate methods to increase whānau engagement in order to continue to develop partnerships for learning

  • continue to support the development of teachers’ knowledge and confidence to further integrate te ao Māori into children’s learning opportunities.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lets Grow Early Learning Centre completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

2 May 2019

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Raglan

Ministry of Education profile number

46371

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

70 children, including up to 14 aged under 2

Service roll

86

Gender composition

Boys 44 Girls 42

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other

11
58
17

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2019

Date of this report

2 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2015

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children

Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children

Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children

Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.