Lollipops Vickery Street - 18/03/2019

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Vickery Street

How well placed is Lollipops Vickery Street to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Lollipops Vickery Street is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Lollipops Vickery Street is an all-day, education and care centre located in Hamilton. It is licensed for 75 including up to 35 children up to the age of two years. Currently three aged-based rooms are in operation. At the time of this ERO review 46 children were enrolled, including five who identify as Māori, and many from a range of other ethnicities.

Lollipops Vickery Street is owned by the Evolve Education Group who provide governance and management. Over the last six months there has been a significant turnover of managers and teachers within the service. A new area manager and a teaching and learning development manager have been recently appointed. They provide support to the centre manager who has been in her position for five months. The multi-cultural teaching team, including two head teachers, reflect the diversity of the community. The majority of teachers are also new to the centre.

The philosophy of the centre is currently under review, in consultation with parents. Through their draft philosophy, teachers aim to provide opportunities for children to develop skills in managing themselves and expressing their feelings. They place priority on fostering connections between people, places and things in their world, providing choices for children. They aim to integrate literacy experiences and encourage children to develop a sense of wonderment, curiosity and discovery through exploration.

The centre has responded positively to the next steps identified in the last ERO review in 2015.

The Review Findings

Children engage in a range of authentic learning experiences. The curriculum is inclusive for all cultures within the centre community, with festivals and events celebrated and reflected within the physical environment. Tikanga and te āo Māori are visible and affirmed, supporting Maōri learners and all others to appreciate the bicultural curriculum. Teachers should continue on their journey to increase their confidence and skills in using te reo Māori within the daily programme. Literacy and mathematics are naturally integrated in the daily programme. Activities to support brain development have been introduced. ERO observed confident and settled children.

Teachers notice, recognise and respond to children’s interests, strengths and dispositions. This is documented in portfolios and the newly introduced individual development plans for every child. A pēpeha in every portfolio captures cultural identity. The next step for leaders and teachers is to align the newly introduced individual development plans with the existing assessment and planning process and make these available in portfolios and online for parents to readily access and contribute to.

Infants and toddlers have their care needs well met. A primary care giver is allocated for the youngest children to help establish trusting relationships. Teachers are responsive to individual children’s routines and rhythms and know children and their families well. Children with additional learning needs are also well supported, including accessing support from external agencies where required. They are supported to build their knowledge of social competence strategies. Children's independence is effectively fostered. Priority learners are well supported to achieve success.

Positive, respectful and responsive relationships between teachers, children and parents promote positive learning outcomes for children. A strong team culture has been established. Teachers actively engage alongside children in play, using open questions to extend learning. Problem solving and challenge is promoted. Children are given uninterrupted time to develop working theories about their world. Flexible routines support children to make choices and have time to embed their play. Transitions into and within the centre are well supported. To further support transitions for older children, leaders and teachers should continue to develop relationships with local schools. Children can play and learn from each other in an easily accessible, shared playground for toddlers and the eldest children. Children’s sense of belonging and wellbeing is fostered.

Centre leaders are provided with professional support to grow their leadership skills and build the capability of teachers. They meet regularly to share information. Leaders mentor beginning teachers and regular professional development opportunities are available. As a new team, they have placed appropriate emphasis on building relationships with all stakeholders. These offer many opportunities, informally and formally, for parents to engage and contribute ideas to the running of the service. Recent internal evaluation reviews have led to positive change. This system needs time to be embedded. Over the last few months some progress has been made in improving the physical environment and resources. This remains an area to continue to prioritise and strategically plan and budget for.

Management is strongly focussed on quality improvements. They provide equitable learning opportunities for all children, minimising barrier for participation. To further support quality education a strategic approach to implementing the revised New Zealand curriculum Te Whāriki, is required. There is a need for managers to review how individual centres goals are reflected within the Evolve national strategic plan. Managers and leaders now need to place priority on embedding systems and processes, including the existing teacher appraisal system.

Key Next Steps

An important next step for Evolve Education Group is to retain leadership and teachers to ensure the sustainability and growth of the centre and minimise the impact of staff turnover on children and their families.

Managers and leaders need to:

  • strategically plan to continue to improve the quality of resources and the physical environment

  • more closely align the strategic and annual plans in order to strengthen internal evaluation, including teacher appraisal

  • align the new individual development plans for children, with the current assessment and planning process and make these more readily accessible for parents.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lollipops Vickery Street 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

18 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

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

45519

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

75 children, including up to 35 aged under 2

Service roll

48

Gender composition

Boys 26 Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Other

5
31
6
6

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2019

Date of this report

18 March 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

July 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

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.