Little Feet Childcare Centre Ltd - 15/01/2016

1 Evaluation of Little Feet Childcare Centre Ltd

How well placed is Little Feet Childcare Centre Ltd 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 Ltd (previously known as Incredible Angels) in Mangere, is one of two centres that are owned and operated by the same management group. The centre is licensed to provide education and care for 32 children, including five children under the age of two years.

The roll has increased since the new owners took over in December 2014. The centre roll consists mainly of children from the local area who are of Pacific Island and Māori heritages. The purpose-built centre has two separate buildings catering for two different age groups.

The centre owner/manager oversees the operation and administrative aspects of the two centres. At this centre she is supported by an experienced supervisor who is the professional leader. Teaching staff are all registered teachers.

The centre’s philosophy is enacted in the programme with a strong emphasis on children developing social skills and their culture, language and identity are highly valued. The programme is embedded in Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and is reflective of the dual cultural heritages of Aotearoa New Zealand.

This is the centre’s first ERO review under the new management and name.

The Review Findings

Positive relationships between staff, parents and whānau have resulted in children having a strong sense of belonging in the centre. Children settle quickly into the programme choosing activities to explore. These experiences keep them engaged for a sustained period. Routines in the daily programme support children to use their initiative to lead their own learning though play. Children engage in interesting and imaginative conversations with each other and adults.

Teachers use a primary caregiving approach to support infants and toddlers settle into the centre. The learning environment helps to promote play that encourages children to be creative. The outdoor playground is shared between infants and toddlers. It is timely for teachers to review how well the curriculum for this age group responds to individual children’s interests, needs, and developmental abilities.

The programme is holistic, inclusive of all children and provides meaningful learning experiences. Teachers plan and implement a curriculum that reflects Te Whāriki, the centre philosophy, and prioritises Māori language, culture and values. Teachers are committed to further developing their bicultural practices.

Programme documentation shows how children’s interests guide the programme. These are attractively displayed. Children’s portfolios are valued and often added to by families. They clearly show children’s experiences at the centre.

Transition through the centre is monitored closely by teachers, and is based around children’s readiness. Transition to school is focused around children being socially competent, able to recognise their name and personal items, and able to do things for themselves.

Partnerships between parents and teachers are strong to support children’s learning and development. Parents are appreciative about the programme and contribute to their children’s learning programmes. They value the culturally diverse and inclusive programme.

Parents appreciate how teachers are building positive networking relationships with the community. The manager and teachers are proactive in encouraging families to participate in children’s early learning experiences. This has resulted in an increase to the centre roll.

Professional leadership enables the centre to maintain its focus on providing good quality early childhood education and care. Positive working relationships, mentoring and collaboration between management and staff help to create a culture of trust and respect.

Teachers are becoming more reflective when using self-review processes to improve their teaching practices and learning outcomes for children. Recent self review has resulted in children being more engaged in the learning programme.

The managers are actively committed to their governance role. They support the professional leader and teachers well. Managers could now look at ways to use self review to make strategic decisions about the centre’s future direction.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre managers agree that next steps could include teachers:

  • using open-ended questions to extend children’s thinking
  • documenting and following up parent and whānau aspirations
  • reviewing the effectiveness of teaching strategies on children’s learning
  • developingassessment and planning processes to show how children’s individual interests are extended over time.

Managers could strengthen systems, policies and procedures to guide centre improvements by:

  • developing an annual plan that links to a strategic plan and monitor how well annual and long term goals are achieved
  • providing external professional learning to strengthen leadership capability
  • reviewing the staff appraisal policy and implementing a robust appraisal process
  • regularly reviewing policies and documenting practices and procedures.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

In order to improve current practice managers must report to parents and the local community about how they have spent the centre’s Equity Funding to promote positive outcomes for children.[Early Childhood Funding Handbook – Charter 10, Equity Funding Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

15 January 2016

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45940

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

32 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll

32

Gender composition

Boys 16 Girls 16

Ethnic composition

Māori

Samoan

Tongan

Niue

Cook Island Māori

Indian

5

14

7

3

2

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

15 January 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review (as Incredible Angels Early Childcare Learning Centre)

December 2013

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.

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.