Little People - 16/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Little People

How well placed is Little People 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 People in Archers Road, Glenfield, is licensed to provide all day education and care for up to 38 children, including 13 children under the age of two years.

The well established service is privately owned and caters for an increasingly culturally diverse community. The centre owner works alongside a manager to oversee the running of the service. Both are experienced, qualified teachers. They lead a team of six teachers, five of whom are qualified early childhood teachers.

The centre philosophy is strongly focused on responding to children as unique individuals. It includes a commitment to developing children's knowledge and understanding of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Establishing partnerships with parents, acknowledged as a child's first teachers, is important to the team. The aim of the service is to implement an inclusive, play-based curriculum underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The 2013 ERO report noted the individualised care for children under two. Relationships were described as respectful and supportive of children's learning. The centre's organisational structure, programme, and bicultural development were noted as strengths. The centre has continued to build on these good practices.

The teacher appraisal process, strategic planning and aspects of the curriculum were identified as areas for further development in the 2013 report. The team has responded very positively to these suggested areas for review and development.

The Review Findings

The centre's philosophy is very evident in practice. Children are busily engaged in an environment that includes numerous opportunities to explore and make discoveries. They play well together in small groups or choose to play alone. Teachers actively promote interactions amongst children to support their developing social competence.

Children and whānau are warmly welcomed into the centre. Children happily part from their caregivers to settle into play or conversation, with friends or teachers. Teachers listen well to children and are skilled at responding to their questions, encouraging problem solving and more complex thinking. Children have fun and enjoy positive, reciprocal relationships with teachers.

Infants and toddlers occupy the upstairs of the building. They spend some of their outdoor play time in a defined area downstairs and also access the outdoor play space of the older children from time to time. Infants and toddlers benefit from warm, responsive caregiving, which supports their need for secure attachments. The calm pace of their programme provides them with space and time to lead their own learning.

Teachers are aware of the level of communication and the language style of each child. Positive relationships between teachers, children and their whānau promote the development of each child's positive sense of self identity.

Bicultural development is a feature of the professional learning of the teaching team. Teachers use te reo Māori in ways that recognise it as a living language indigenous to Aotearoa. Children are accustomed to hearing te reo on a regular basis and respond spontaneously. There is a commitment to strengthening how a te ao Māori perspective is represented in the programme and the centre philosophy.

The indoor environment is light and spacious. Displays provide children with many opportunities to revisit their learning and see themselves as confident learners. Children's creativity is valued and their work prominently and carefully displayed. Physical activity is a strong focus at group times and children regularly walk to a local park. Science, literacy and mathematics are woven throughout the programme in meaningful ways.

Parents and whānau make significant contributions to the programme. Each child's sense of belonging is nurtured through transitions into and through the service. The transition to school process is underpinned by children developing into confident learners. Good working relationships have been established with local schools.

Programme planning is based on the interests of the children alongside community, cultural and whānau events. Records of learning are individual and contain numerous comments from whānau. Teachers' planned responses include parent aspirations and are individual to each child. Teachers help all children to celebrate their differences and to be strongly grounded in their language, culture and identity. The preservation of children's home languages is promoted and valued.

The organisational culture of continuous improvement supports teachers to lead in areas of personal strength or interest. Teachers are reflective practitioners, very open to new learning and feedback. Robust and effective appraisal and self-review processes support the ongoing growth and development of teaching practices and lead to positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

To enhance their current good quality provision for children, leaders and teachers plan to further strengthen their bicultural practices and the alignment of strategic and annual plans, self review and appraisal goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little People 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 People will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

16 June 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

Glenfield, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20521

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

38 children, including up to 13 aged under 2

Service roll

42

Gender composition

Boys 23 Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Chinese

South African

Fijian

Indian

other

20

11

4

2

2

3

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

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

16 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

May 2010

Education Review

March 2007

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.