Lollipops Educare Centres Ltd T/A Lollipops Educare Blighs Road - 19/11/2013

Evaluation of Lollipops Educare Blighs Road

How well placed is Lollipops Educare Blighs Road to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Lollipops Educare Blighs Road is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Lollipops Educare Blighs Road provides full day education and care for children from birth to school age. The centre is one of two centres in Christchurch owned and operated by the Lollipops Educare organisation. A centre director, who is a qualified early childhood teacher, is responsible for the day-to-day functioning and administration of the centre.

The purpose-built centre is divided into four rooms where teachers provide for the different ages of the children attending.

The centre programme is influenced by Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood curriculum, as well as aspect of Reggio Emilia and Pikler approaches.

Most of the teachers are qualified in early childhood education. Two staff are unqualified and four teachers are in training. Some are trained primary school teachers. Since 2012, there has been a number of staff changes mainly due to parental leave.

The Review Findings

Children have easy access to a wide range of equipment to support their learning and interests. Teachers are making improvements to the environment to include more natural resources.

The programme is strongly based on children’s interests. Teachers use a project approach to provide children with regular opportunities to explore their interests in greater depth.

Children’s experiences are extended by teachers making effective use of the local community, such as visits to a nearby park.

Teachers have an appropriately planned yet flexible approach to supporting children as they transition from one classroom to the next. This helps promote children’s sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Teachers are caring and responsive in the way they relate to children. They involve themselves regularly in children’s play. They listen and respond appropriately to children’s questions and ideas. The records that teachers keep about children’s learning show that they know children well and recognise what they are interested in and what they know and can do.

The programme for very young babies supports their wellbeing and belonging. Teachers in this room:

  • are very attentive to the care needs of infants

  • hold and respond to children in gentle and nurturing ways

  • notice and respond to children’s body language

  • talk regularly together about what they notice about children’s learning and development and use these discussions to inform the way they respond to individual babies.

The centre director is aware of staff strengths and uses these to support children’s learning and to strengthen the teaching teams in each room. There is an increased focus on encouraging teachers to reflect on their practice.

The centre director and teachers use a range of ways to provide parents with opportunities to contribute their ideas about centre practices, including programme planning and assessment. Prominent displays of children’s work provide good information to parents about what their child has been doing in the programme.

The Lollipops organisation has provided useful and appropriate information to teachers and parents about how centre programmes support children as they move on to school.

Key Next Steps

ERO has identified that the next steps for the centre director and teachers are to:

  • improve programme planning and assessment so that children’s learning, and how teachers plan to support this learning, is more prominent in documentation, teacher discussions and interactions

  • increase bicultural perspectives in the centre philosophy, daily programme and self review

  • strengthen long-term planning to more clearly identify centre priorities and how and when these will be achieved.

The centre’s self-review practices should be improved by:

  • following and documenting a more effective process of self review

  • making more use of evidence to inform decisions

  • having a stronger focus on reviewing teaching practice to enhance outcomes for children

  • making sure that evaluation of outcomes for priority learners, for example Maori and Pacific children, are a regular part of self review.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lollipops Educare Blighs Road 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.

In order to improve practice, ERO recommends that the centre director and teachers strengthen the way they plan to manage hazards and risks during excursions.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Lollipops Educare Blighs Road will be in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

19 November 2013

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

Papanui, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

70145

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

75 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

98

Gender composition

Boys 59

Girls 39

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnicities

8

76

2

7

5

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

50-79%

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

September 2013

Date of this report

19 November 2013

Most recent ERO reports

 

Education Review

June 2010

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.