Little Feet Childcare Centre Limited - 05/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Little Feet Childcare Centre Limited

How well placed is Little Feet Childcare Centre Limited to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

Background

Little Feet Childcare Centre Limited in Papatoetoe, is one of two centres that is privately owned and operated by the same management group. The centre is licensed to provide education and care for 48 children including 10 children under the age of two years.

The centre roll consists of children from diverse ethnic backgrounds most of whom live locally. The majority of the children are of Indian heritages.

The centre owner/manager oversees the operation and administrative aspects of the two centres. She is supported by the centre supervisor who manages the curriculum, mentors staff and oversees the daily running of the centre. Teachers are all qualified. They reflect the Indian ethnicities of the community.

The centre’s philosophy is enacted in the programme with a strong emphasis on children being socially competent and, where their culture, language and identity are highly valued and promoted. The curriculum is embedded in Te Whariki, the early childhood curriculum and is reflective of the dual cultural heritages of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The 2013 ERO report identified good quality practices with adult-child interactions and noted that children responded positively to adults. These aspects remain a key feature in the centre’s programme.

The Review Findings

Teachers provide an inclusive and culturally responsive programme that promotes children’s interests and strengths. As a result children demonstrate a strong sense of belonging and settle quickly to chosen activities. They are confident and can express themselves well.

Children are active learners, they explore the variety of resources to create their own play. Children initiate conversations with each other and with adults. They are independent and play cooperatively together. Friendships are well established.

The programme promotes learning in fun and creative ways. Teachers plan well for the variety of children’s individual interests and development with the identified goals evident in their learning portfolios. Teachers could now consider ways of evaluating children's progress in relation to their learning goals set in individual portfolios.

Infants and toddlers have a separate room for uninterrupted play. However, all children spend a majority of their time playing together in a mixed aged group setting. They play and learn in a family-like environment. Provision for children up to two years promotes independence and exploration.

Teachers are responsive to children and are attentive to children’s verbal and non-verbal communication. The programme encourages children's literacy and mathematics development. It also celebrates children’s identity, language and culture in ways that value children as unique individuals.

The learning environment is well resourced to promote science, biculturalism, literacy and mathematics. The outdoor playground equipment caters for children's physical play. Teachers could further encourage the use of natural resources in all areas of play to enhance and enrich the programme of creativity and imaginative play.

Teachers are committed to implementing te reo and aspects of tikanga Māori in the daily programme. They are working on building up their resources to reflect more Māori values. The centre leader models and mentors teachers to build their knowledge on some Pacific cultures, songs and languages. Children from the various Pacific heritages are supported to be successful learners.

A feature of the centre is the strong relationship teachers maintain with children and their families. Parents and whānau are warmly welcomed. Parents spoken to were very positive about the direction and intention of the centre's programme. Parents and whānau contribute to children’s learning and the overall programme. A committee for parents and whānau is led by parents and is well supported by centre leaders and teachers. Leaders and teachers could use this opportunity to focus committee meetings on promoting positive outcomes for children and building genuine parent partnership.

The centre has clear processes for implementing a regular performance management system. Teachers are supported to build on their leadership capability. Centre leaders are strengthening the appraisal process to include Tātaiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, which is resulting in positive outcomes for all children.

ERO's 2013 report noted that the centre operated under a sound organisational structure with governance, management and leadership roles clearly defined. This good practice has been maintained. A strategic plan identifying the centre's future direction could be implemented to guide centre developments. Managers could use this strategic plan to review and align with the centre's philosophy and vision.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers and ERO agree that teachers could now strengthen:

  • teaching practices that extend infants and toddlers learning and development

  • assessment practices to ensure that children's progress is more clearly recorded and shows their learning and development over time.

Managers could also strengthen systems, policies and procedures to guide centre improvements and promote positive outcomes for all children. Improvements could include:

  • developing strategic and annual action plans to guide centre progress

  • providing external professional learning to strengthen the centre’s leadership and management capability.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Feet Childcare Centre Limited 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Little Feet Childcare Centre Limited will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

5 May 2016

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

Papatoetoe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45760

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

48 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Boys 29 Girls 26

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

Samoan

Cook Island Māori

Filipino

other

1

3

32

9

3

3

4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2016

Date of this report

5 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2013

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 and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

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.