Lollipops Educare Parnell - 22/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Educare Parnell

How well placed is Lollipops Educare Parnell 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 Parnell is located in a central Auckland business park. The children who attend are from diverse cultural backgrounds. Staff share this diversity of cultural backgrounds. Many children travel across Auckland to attend the centre as some parent's value the centre’s close proximity to their workplace in the city.

The centre, licensed for up to 60 children, is organised into three areas. The Kiwi room caters for up to 24 infants and toddlers, the Tui room for children aged between two years to three and a half years of age, and the Pukeko room for older children. The two older age groups share an outdoor area.

A centre director works with two team leaders to manage centre operations. The centre has had significant staff changes over the last three years, but now has stable staffing and leadership.

In December 2014 the Evolve Education Group purchased the Lollipops group of centres. This organisation provides professional development and curriculum assistance from Professional Services Curriculum Managers. It also provides administration support, umbrella policies and procedures that guide operations and decision making at the centre.

The curriculum is influenced by aspects of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. External providers are involved in aspects of the programme that relate to ball skills, music and dance.

The 2013 ERO review reported positively on teachers' interactions with children, the curriculum and support for children's wellbeing. The report recognised that self review/internal evaluation was guiding ongoing improvement. Teachers were being assisted to increase their knowledge of tikanga and te reo Māori.

Professional learning and development for teachers is currently focused on strengthening planning and assessment practices to be more responsive to the strengths, interests and needs of the children. Staff are also considering how bicultural practices can be extended and how the outdoor environment could be improved.

The Review Findings

Relationships in the centre are affirming and respectful. Teachers are attentive to the wellbeing of each child. They ensure that the individual routines of young children are followed and communicate daily with their parents.

Children have a strong sense of belonging at the centre. Parents who spoke to ERO during the review expressed confidence in the quality of care that the staff provided. Children's transitions to and from the centre, and between the age groups within the centre are carefully managed to ensure that children and their parents are well prepared for changes.

The staff work in partnership with parents for the benefit of children and make themselves available for discussions when children arrive and leave for the day. They share children's experiences at the centre through their electronic and paper-based portfolios. Teachers encourage parents to share their knowledge of their children so that they can best support their learning and wellbeing.

The teachers, many of whom are relatively new to the profession, are committed to providing quality care and education for the children. They work well together as a team, communicating with each other to identify how best to work with individual children and ensure that their needs are met.

Teachers provide a well resourced environment to support the educational programme. Children are able to make choices about their play for much of the day with the support of teachers. Teachers extend their play through conversations and positive interactions. They could now consider how they might maximise the use of walls displays to support and reflect children's involvement in the learning programme.

The staff have maintained their commitment to including te reo Māori in the programme. They use te reo incidentally and frequently during the day. This practice supports the identity of Māori children and enhances all children's understanding of New Zealand as a bicultural country. They are interested in increasing their knowledge of tikanga Māori. The programme recognises the cultural celebrations of the children who attend the centre.

The centre director provides strong leadership and is developing more collaborative and inclusive approaches to, and collective responsibility for, leadership roles. She has reviewed the centre philosophy with the staff. This has been helpful in ensuring that new teachers are involved in shaping a philosophy that increasingly promotes children's curiosity and learning through discovery and inquiry.

Key Next Steps

The centre director agrees that the key next steps for the centre include:

  • strengthening assessment practices so that the programme is more responsive to children's interests

  • regularly revisiting the implementation of the centre philosophy to monitor the extent to which children are encouraged and supported to be curious learners, explorers and inquirers

  • continuing to use internal evaluation and strategic planning to guide ongoing improvement in all areas of centre operations.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lollipops Educare Parnell 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 practices centre staff could strengthen processes for recording risk management processes when preparing for excursions.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

22 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

Parnell, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25436

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 24 aged under 2

Service roll

75

Gender composition

Girls 41 Boys 34

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Korean

Indian

Samoan

other ethnicities

5

32

15

8

7

2

6

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

April 2016

Date of this report

22 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 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 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.