Lollipops Educare Albany - 28/04/2016

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Educare Albany

How well placed is Lollipops Educare Albany 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

Lollipops Educare Albany caters for up to 123 children, including 50 children up to two years of age. Children play and learn in age-grouped areas, each with an adjoining outdoor playground. Children and their families come from diverse cultures and many speak languages other than English. The programme’s purpose is to support and challenge children to become confident, competent learners.

Children attending Lollipops Educare Albany are treated with dignity and respect. The centre’s philosophy is based on providing a nurturing environment where children feel a sense of belonging. It is underpinned by trusting relationships which are highly evident throughout the centre. These relationships help promote a vibrant family atmosphere that supports children’s wellbeing and affirms the centre’s whakatauki “Ngā Tamariki Tuatahi”, Children First.

The centre operates as part of the Lollipops Educare and the Evolve Education Group. The Lollipops Educare organisation provides comprehensive policy frameworks and guidance to support the centre’s efficient and effective operation and development. It also offers managers and teachers multiple opportunities for professional learning and networking with personnel from other Lollipops centres.

The Review Findings

Centre learning environments are attractive, interesting and carefully arranged to prompt children’s play. The centre is very well resourced with an appropriate range of high quality resources for children’s exploration. Children thrive in an environment where they are encouraged to use resources to further their own learning.

Infants and toddlers benefit from responsive and trusting relationships. Teachers deliberately provide an unhurried programme allowing children to grasp experiences and wonder at the resources they investigate. Calm routines, respectful interactions and relaxed play contribute significantly to happy children with a sense of wellbeing and trust in the adults who guide them.

Older children are self-motivated, confident explorers who actively lead their own play. They enthusiastically contribute to conversations and express opinions about how they want their play to develop. Children are friendly and caring toward each other. They often work collaboratively in meaningful play scenarios.

Planning for children’s developmental stages provides appropriate learning activities as children develop their skills, understanding and dispositions over time. Literacy, mathematics, science and nature are all woven through programmes that encourage curiosity and wonderment. Well documented processes for reflecting on and evaluating their work guide teachers to plan further experiences that provoke children’s thinking and extend their learning.

Teachers are continuing to develop their knowledge and children’s awareness of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Some teachers confidently use te reo Māori in their daily interactions as part of the programme. Te reo Māori is displayed throughout the learning environments.

Teachers understand their professional role as early childhood educators. They skilfully engage children in meaningful learning experiences guided by children’s strengths and interests. They ask open questions, listen well to children and are responsive to their shifts in interests and ideas. Teachers and leaders work together as a highly professional and supportive team.

Parents express a very high level of satisfaction with the programme. They value teachers’ knowledge of individual children, particularly children with special needs. Regular conversations enable families and teachers to implement shared approaches to enhancing children’s learning. Parents report that they are well informed about, and increasingly involved in, the centre programme.

Assessment portfolios provide very good information about children’s individual characteristics and involvement in the programme. Teachers analyse learning, particularly in relation to children’s dispositions and learning progress. New web-based portfolios have recently been introduced to better share children’s learning and assessment with parents. Increasingly, parents are accessing this information.

The centre is very well led. Despite being new to the role, the centre director has had a significant influence on curriculum development. She promotes a high trust model of distributed leadership and sharing of expertise within the centre. A positive, energised work culture results from this approach.

Centre leaders focus on review as a means of determining the effectiveness of teaching and managing all aspects of their work. The Educare leadership team provides effective governance and management systems and processes to centre leaders and teams. The team supports centre leaders and teachers to provide high quality education and care. Management strategic and annual planning continues to evolve.

Key Next Steps

In discussion with ERO, centre leaders identified a focus on continuing to:

  • encourage teachers to be more confident in the use of te reo Māori
  • further align teachers’ reflections to programme learning intentions.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lollipops Educare Albany 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 Lollipops Educare Albany will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

28 April 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

Albany, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20242

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

123 children, including up to 50 aged under 2

Service roll

111

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Korean

Indian

other

2%

15%

51%

7%

5%

20%

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

January 2016

Date of this report

28 April 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

March 2012

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.