Mananui Playcentre - 20/02/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Mananui Playcentre is a parent-led cooperative, situated in Whakatane. It operates under the umbrella of the Eastern Bay of Plenty Playcentre Association and caters for children from birth to school age. The service operates during the morning on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Dedicated and experienced centre members are providing high quality leadership that is focused on educational outcomes for children and families. Members are enthusiastic about playcentre training and continue to gain playcentre qualifications. New members are warmly welcomed into an inclusive and accepting culture.

Interactions between and among adults and children are respectful and responsive. Parents use a range of appropriate strategies to positively manage children’s behaviour. The service benefits from strong team work, a cooperative culture, and members’ good understanding of playcentre philosophy and values.

The programme is planned in response to children’s interests and includes many opportunities for children to develop early literacy and mathematical skills. Particular strengths of the programme are the way children’s oral language skills are fostered, and the natural integration of te reo Māori in meaningful contexts. Experienced members need to continue to build the knowledge and confidence of newer members so that high-quality assessment practice becomes consistent for all children.

The centre is well resourced with a wide range of equipment available to children for prolonged periods each session. Teachers plan the learning environment to ensure children can make independent choices about their learning in supportive settings. Parents are in the process of planning a redevelopment of the outdoor environment to provide more inviting and challenging areas for children to explore.

Appropriate systems and practices are in place to keep children safe while at the centre.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of  Mananui Playcentre was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children at Mananui Playcentre.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

Mananui Playcentre has established core beliefs about working with children and families based on:

  • believing that a mixed-age range best represents the whānau experience;
  • promoting parent education;
  • empowering parents as first and best educators of their children;
  • valuing child-initiated play and self choice;
  • the inclusion of all families in a non judgemental supportive environment;
  • a commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and biculturalism;
  • valuing play and fun as meaningful learning; and
  • consensus decision making amongst members.

This report evaluates the extent to which these beliefs are evident in practice, and other factors that influence the quality of the care and education provided.

Areas of strength

Assessment: More experienced members are providing good models and frameworks for assessment that document:

  • a range of perspectives about children’s strengths, interests and learning;
  • opportunities and possibilities for extending interests; and
  • learning behaviours and attitudes shown by children.

These high-quality models are contributing to parents’ knowledge about children’s development and enabling them to plan responsive learning experiences.

Interactions and relationships: Respectful, responsive and positive interactions and relationships are a feature of the centre. ERO observed caring and sensitive interactions between adults and children. Experienced members model high-quality learning conversations in response to children’s interests and ideas. Effective team work among adults and positive strategies for guiding children’s behaviour are contributing to children’s well-being and their developing social skills. Children and families demonstrate a strong sense of belonging in this inclusive and family-like setting.

Leadership: Longstanding, knowledgeable and experienced centre members are providing high quality leadership that is focused on educational outcomes for children and families. These leaders promote emergent leadership and support newer members to be actively involved in decision making, parent education and day-to-day centre operations. The large number of parents undertaking playcentre training is building the capability of the centre to provide quality education for children. Children benefit by learning with and alongside their parents and other increasingly confident and skilled centre members.

Programme: Parents successfully provide a programme that engages children in self-initiated play and exploration. They value the importance of empowering children to learn at their own pace and level of understanding. There are many meaningful opportunities for children to experience early literacy, science and mathematical learning. Particular strengths of the programme are the way children’s oral language skills are fostered and the natural integration of te reo Māori. Children are able to make decisions about their play, and as a result they are developing perceptions of themselves as capable and competent learners.

Agreed priorities for review and development

Centre members have identified, and ERO agrees, with the following areas for review and development:

  • upgrading and redevelopment of the outdoor area to provide a more interactive, responsive and challenging learning environment;
  • continuing to enhance the centre’s bicultural dimension;
  • continuing to build the knowledge and confidence of newer members so that high-quality assessment practice is consistent for all children; and
  • timely centre evaluations to more specifically inform ongoing strategic development.

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Inclusion of children with moderate to severe special needs

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • transitions ensure the continuing well-being, learning, and development of children with moderate to severe special needs;
  • children with moderate to severe special needs supported to be confident and capable learners; and
  • the service is inclusive of children with moderate to severe special needs.

Although there are no children with moderate to severe special needs currently enrolled in this service, centre members demonstrate a highly inclusive and responsive approach to the needs of all children and their families. The service is well placed to enrol a child with moderate to severe special needs.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, centre members of Playcentre completed an ERO Centre Management Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

5. Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations1998

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Roll number

26

Gender composition

Girls 17

Boys 9

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 13

NZ Māori 9

Other European 2

Asian 1

Review team on site

November 2011

Date of this report

20 February 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review November 2008

Education Review May 2005

Accountability Review December 2001

To the Parents and Community of Mananui Playcentre

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Mananui Playcentre.

Mananui Playcentre is a parent-led cooperative, situated in Whakatane. It operates under the umbrella of the Eastern Bay of Plenty Playcentre Association and caters for children from birth to school age. The service operates during the morning on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Dedicated and experienced centre members are providing high quality leadership that is focused on educational outcomes for children and families. Members are enthusiastic about playcentre training and continue to gain playcentre qualifications. New members are warmly welcomed into an inclusive and accepting culture.

Interactions between and among adults and children are respectful and responsive. Parents use a range of appropriate strategies to positively manage children’s behaviour. The service benefits from strong team work, a cooperative culture, and members’ good understanding of playcentre philosophy and values.

The programme is planned in response to children’s interests and includes many opportunities for children to develop early literacy and mathematical skills. Particular strengths of the programme are the way children’s oral language skills are fostered, and the natural integration of te reo Māori in meaningful contexts. Experienced members need to continue to build the knowledge and confidence of newer members so that high-quality assessment practice becomes consistent for all children.

The centre is well resourced with a wide range of equipment available to children for prolonged periods each session. Teachers plan the learning environment to ensure children can make independent choices about their learning in supportive settings. Parents are in the process of planning a redevelopment of the outdoor environment to provide more inviting and challenging areas for children to explore.

Appropriate systems and practices are in place to keep children safe while at the centre.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz. 

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)