Lollipops Newton Road - 07/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Newton Road

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Lollipops Newton Road is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Lollipops Newton Road is licensed for 50 children, including up to 20 aged under two years. Children enrolled are from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. Some are from the local area and others attend the centre because of its central city location.

Children are grouped according to age in rooms for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Each age group has separate indoor and outdoor play spaces, but the toddlers and preschool children can move freely between their outdoor areas. A manager and three head teachers work with four other registered teachers and an unqualified assistant. A cook is employed to provide meals for the children.

The service's philosophy promotes the fostering of children's sense of self-worth in a family oriented environment that inspires children to learn through investigation and experimentation. It values children as secure, confident communicators. Te Tiriti o Waitangi is acknowledged as a guide for centre operations.

The 2015 ERO report noted many strengths, including learning partnerships with parents, leadership, and a focus on positive outcomes for all learners. Areas for development related to strategic planning, documenting children's learning, building local connections and strengthening management practices. There has been very good progress in these areas.

The centre is part of the Evolve Education Group’s Upper North Island region. Evolve provides an overarching governance and management framework. The intent of a recent re-branding of Evolve services has been to build a greater sense of unity across the organisation. It has allowed each centre to identify a preferred philosophical approach.

Recent Evolve initiatives are intended to improve staff retention, promote effective internal evaluation and lift the quality of teaching practices. A new general manager and area managers provide professional support for centre leaders and teachers. Further recruitment is underway for managers to lead a focus on continuing quality improvement across the organisation. There continues to be a period of transition for staff as they adapt to changes in Evolve operational practices.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the Evolve Education Group, Upper North Island region.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a calm and supportive environment that promotes their curiosity and exploration. Children settle quickly into their play supported by teachers who use effective strategies to support their learning and wellbeing. These strategies include:

  • providing easy access to a wide range of age appropriate resources and activities
  • engaging children in conversations that extend their curiosity and thinking
  • providing opportunities and guidance for children to develop their skills in self-help, leadership and social competency
  • well-considered transitions for children into, within, and from the centre to school.

The educational programme is unhurried, giving older children time to develop complex and cooperative play. Teachers facilitate this play with thoughtful questioning and helping children access resources while allowing children to lead their learning.

Care practices for children under two years of age are respectful of the child and home routines. There is regular and effective communication with parents. Children's emotional wellbeing and language development are well supported through interactions with their teachers.

A commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and bicultural practices is very evident in the environment and the programme. The staff are keen to continue to build their knowledge in this area. The programme supports children's cultural identity, and parents are encouraged to contribute to the programme by sharing their cultural knowledge and participating in centre events.

Teachers are improving processes for recording and sharing assessment and planning for children's learning. Parents are encouraged to contribute to planning and assessment through the electronic recording system and through conversations with the teachers. Identifying more specific strategies for extending children's learning would strengthen programme planning records.

The centre is very well led. The managers have a clear vision for the centre and a very good understanding of best practice to promote positive outcomes for children. This knowledge is shared with staff. Ongoing improvement of teaching and learning is supported through effective use of the performance appraisal processes and professional learning and development (PLD) opportunities.

Managers and teachers make very good use of internal evaluation to review centre operations and identify areas for improvement. Well-documented strategic planning is used well to guide actions to reach strategic goals. The manager monitors progress towards these goals against appropriate success indicators. 

Key Next Steps

Centre managers have identified relevant next steps, including continuing to:

  • strengthen processes for documenting the assessment of children's individual learning and associated programme planning
  • grow staff leadership capability to support succession planning.

During ERO’s August 2018 cluster, Evolve Education Group Managers agreed that next steps include:

  • increased integration of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the alignment of strategic goals and annual plans with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum
  • monitoring the roles and responsibilities of leaders at organisation and centre levels
  • the effective implementation of appraisal practices.

This current cluster review also identified the need for:

  • a coherent change management strategy, and monitoring the effectiveness of the new structure
  • support for centres through changes of key leaders, including area and centre managers
  • the evaluation of teaching and learning across the organisation, to inform the next steps in PLD and the development of the teaching and learning teams
  • high quality PLD for area managers to help them to evaluate and promote quality provision for children, and to identify priorities for supporting centre managers.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lollipops Newton 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Lollipops Newton Road will be in four years.

Steve Tanner
Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

7 February 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

Eden Terrace, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

46332

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll

54

Gender composition

Girls       28
Boys      26

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Chinese
other ethnic groups

  2
15
12
  7
18

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

November 2018

Date of this report

7 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2015

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.