Little People Preschool - Wakefield - 06/03/2019

1 Evaluation of Little People Preschool Wakefield

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Little People Preschool Wakefield 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 Wakefield is licensed for 30 children from two years to school age. The centre operates two sessional programmes and full day education and care in purpose built facilities. Responsibility for governance of the preschool is held by the owners, with a head teacher leading teaching and learning and overseeing day to day operations. The majority of staff are qualified and registered early childhood educators, with some staff in training.

The preschool's philosophy recognises the importance of the home, centre and the local community in supporting the learning of all tamariki. It aligns with Te Whāriki, the NZ Early Childhood Curriculum, and reflects bicultural practices. Children’s learning and wellbeing are emphasised within the philosophy.

The ERO 2016 report noted considerable need for improvement in the processes and systems that underpin governance, leadership, assessment and planning for children. The centre has been well supported by external professional learning and development. A number of areas identified, particularly assessment and planning for individual children, have been addressed. Improvements have been made to policy review and internal evaluation. Strategic planning and teacher appraisal practices require further development.

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

The Review Findings

Leaders and teachers have established a culture where children are valued, celebrated and affirmed as learners and individuals. Positive relationships and respectful interactions are successfully extending children’s learning and supporting their critical thinking, ability to problem-solve and develop independence. Teachers take care to listen to children’s ideas and foster mutual trust. Children's dispositions are recognised and developed. Teachers effectively support children's learning in calm, settled and inclusive environments.

Teachers are flexible and responsive in meeting children's needs, interests and strengths. Intentional teaching strategies and the careful placement of resources effectively foster children’s curiosity and contribute to their participation and engagement in the learning programme. Children have a wide range of learning opportunities and take leadership roles. They are empowered to have ownership of, and make choices about, their learning.

Useful processes for assessment, planning and evaluation for individual children have been implemented. Best examples show:

  • collaborative assessment and planning that clearly identify children’s learning priorities and the strategies teachers will use to promote learning

  • parent and child contributions towards setting individual learning goals

  • children’s progress and achievement over time

  • effective provision for children with additional and special needs.

There is a growing use of te reo Māori by children and teachers. Teachers effectively foster respectful tuakana teina relationships among children. They recognise children's cultural leadership skills and interests when promoting bicultural and multicultural understanding and learning.

Transition to school is well considered. With support from preschool teachers, children take the lead in organising this within the centre. Effective engagement with the local community is also supporting transition to school and children’s localised sense of belonging.

Internal evaluation processes are comprehensive and reflect ongoing commitment to improvement across the centre. The use of internal evaluation findings are impacting positively on changes in teaching practice and outcomes for children. Teachers are reflective and are thoughtfully inquiring more deeply into the effectiveness of their teaching practice.

Professional growth has been well supported by professional learning and development. It is specific in building teachers' knowledge and leadership capabilities. Policies and processes which have been systematically and fully implemented, and are also successfully contributing to children’s learning, wellbeing and the smooth running of day to day centre operations. Leadership is effectively promoting staff collaboration to better support positive 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
  • 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.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little People Preschool Wakefield 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

65197

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

41

Gender composition

Boys 23 ; Girls 18

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnicities

3
35
3

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

6 March 2019

Most recent ERO report

Education Review

August 2016

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.