Little Gems Preschool - 23/07/2014

1 Evaluation of Little Gems Preschool

How well placed is Little Gems Preschool 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 Gems Preschool, located in Hawera, is one of two centres owned and managed by Kidicorp. It is an all day service catering for children aged approximately three and a half to five years. Many have attended Little Gems Learning Centre located nearby.

A number of changes to staffing have occurred since the June 2011 ERO report. Many are beginning teachers being supported to meet full teacher registration status.

Centre leaders work collaboratively to guide programmes and teaching practice. A shared philosophy underpins respectful interactions and continuity of learning in both centres. Kidicorp provide staff with clear policies and guidelines for the care and education of children.

The Review Findings

A positive tone and inclusive practice prevails in the centre. Teachers are respectful and affirming with children. Constructive interactions support children’s wellbeing and provide a positive platform for active exploration and learning.

Programmes of learning reflect the principles and strands of Te Whāriki. The philosophy is based on developing trust, respect, empathy and compassion in children. This expression is the result of staff, parents, whānau and Ngāti Ruanui aspirations held for children. This unified approach, kotahitanga, is captured in the centre whakatauki, ‘He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tamariki! He tamariki! He tamariki!’.

The child-focused, thoughtfully planned and regularly reviewed environment effectively supports children’s holistic development. Children engage in a varied range of inviting activities and group learning experiences based on their interests. Adults foster all children’s emotional and social competence.

Transitions between Little Gems Learning Centre and the preschool are well considered. They are determined by the child's readiness, and in consultation with families and whānau. Children’s early literacy and mathematical learning is promoted through play-based experiences. As children get older, there is a stronger emphasis on this provision to assist with their transition to school.

The use of Kidicorp's improvement-focused systems builds the capability of leaders and teachers. Sustainable practice focuses on improving outcomes for children. Staff at Little Gems are highly reflective and collaborative practitioners. The service’s self review identifies ongoing priorities to deepen teaching and learning practices.

The 2011 ERO review identified further developing planning and assessment practices as a next step. Professional development and learning is underway to address this. ERO’s evaluation affirms this as a continuing priority to improve outcomes for all children.

Key Next Steps

Self review of the centre philosophy has had positive outcomes for children. It is now timely to review other priority areas of the curriculum. Leaders should strategically plan for and further develop self review to determine the successful practices that:

  • uphold Māori learners’ culture, language and identity more effectively through the curriculum and teaching practice
  • support progressive literacy and mathematical learning for all children.

Developments should inform relevant changes to curriculum expectations, including clear indicators and measurable outcomes for teaching practice and how success will be reviewed.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Gems Preschool 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 Gems Preschool will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

23 July 2014

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

Hawera

Ministry of Education profile number

45336

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, aged over 2

Service roll

36

Gender composition

Boys 19

Girls 17

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

African

12

23

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

23 July 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2011

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.