Little People Preschool Richmond - 06/03/2019

1 Evaluation of Little People Preschool Richmond

How well placed is Little People Preschool Richmond to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Little People Preschool Richmond is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Little People Preschool, Richmond, is a privately owned, full day education and care centre and is licensed for 35 children, with a maximum of 10 children aged under two. Responsibility for the governance of the preschool is held by the owner, with a head teacher leading teaching and learning and overseeing day to day operations of the centre. Over the past two years there has been a number of staff changes. The majority of teachers are qualified and registered early childhood teachers, while others are in training to become teachers.

The recently updated philosophy emphasises strong reciprocal relationships between the home and centre. It reflects the Te Whāriki NZ Early Childhood Curriculum and affirms the importance of bicultural practices. Children’s learning and wellbeing are central within the philosophy and programme which promotes children's independence and self help skills.

ERO's 2016 report identified considerable areas for improvement. These mainly highlighted processes and systems for governance, leadership and the usefulness of assessment and planning for children's learning. Leaders and teachers have been well supported by an external professional development provider, and have addressed a number of the areas identified, particularly assessment and planning for individual children. Improvements have been made to policy review and internal evaluation. Progress in other areas, such as strategic planning and appraisal practice, is in the early stages of development.

The centre has recently joined the Waimea Kāhui Ako/ Community of Learning.

This review was part of a cluster of two early learning service reviews owned by Little People (Nelson) 2009 Limited.

The Review Findings

Children are seen as capable and confident learners and display a strong sense of belonging. They have choices within the programme, and can access both the indoor and outdoor areas throughout the day. Teachers make purposeful links to the community to extend the learning experiences for children, with trips to places such as the library, gymnasium and school playground.

Teachers are actively involved in children's learning. They engage children in conversations that encourage their oral language development and self managing skills. Teachers effectively seek children's ideas and opinions to contribute to the programme.

The continuity of care contributes greatly to the sensitive, responsive and nurturing interactions the teachers have with infants and toddlers. These relationships effectively provide for the social and emotional wellbeing needs of these children. This is actively fostered in the programme by the teachers, and reinforced in the way children positively interact with each other.

Teachers are in the early stages of developing te reo and tikanga Māori understandings and practices. Some bicultural elements are incorporated into the environment and the programme. There is an increased use of te reo Māori by teachers and children. This is helping children to recognise and take pride in their cultural heritage.

Teachers have developed learning priorities and these are visible in the environment, assessment and planning. There is a strong focus on the ways teachers are noticing and documenting individual children's learning. Learning stories clearly show children's learning and their progress. Children and their parents are invited to contribute to the learning goals. This leads to meaningful planning.

The centre has developed a strong foundation for internal evaluation which is contributing to positive outcomes for children. Internal evaluation is appropriately linked to strategic goals and teachers’ professional learning and development. It is building teachers' knowledge and a team culture based on improving outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

While there has been considerable progress, there are a number of initiatives that need to be further developed and fully implemented. These include:

  • stronger links between strategic and annual plans, with clear monitoring and evaluation by governance and management
  • developing leadership capacity to support ongoing improvement, innovation and sustainability
  • further developing culturally responsive practices and better support for Māori children’s success as Māori
  • evaluating the effectiveness of teaching strategies in supporting children’s learning progress
  • evaluating the indoor environment to ensure the needs of all children are fully met.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little People Preschool Richmond 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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance:

  • centre management must ensure that all staff complete a regular cycle of appraisal and that the Education Council's requirements for appraisal are fully met.

(Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7)

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

6 March 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

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

65150

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

35

Gender composition

Boys 18 ; Girls 17

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnicities

9
23
3

Percentage of qualified teachers

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

December 2018

Date of this report

6 March 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

August 2016

Education Review

July 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

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.