Meadowbank Community Pre-School - 04/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Meadowbank Community Pre-School

How well placed is Meadowbank Community Pre-School to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Meadowbank Community Pre-School needs support to develop the quality of the programme and establish internal evaluation for ongoing improvement across all aspects of centre operations.

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

Background

Meadowbank Community Pre-school is licensed to provide for up to 18 children over 2 years. The centre is a small, not for profit early learning service that has operated for many years in a community centre complex. The pre-school is open for school hours during term times. Other agencies and groups use the complex's rooms and facilities.

The pre-school has sole use of its indoor and outdoor learning spaces while the enrolled children are present. The pre-school spaces are also used by school children attending the Out of School Care and Recreation (OSCAR) service. Teachers and children also access the nearby community gardens and playground at times.

The pre-school and community centre managers work closely together on operations within the complex. Their ability to plan for and further develop the pre-school is affected by uncertainty surrounding the future of the community centre.

The 2014 ERO report noted the confidence of children and the respectful relationships they had with teachers. These strengths continue to be evident in the centre. The 2014 report also identified several areas for improvement including the environment and resources, teaching practice, management systems and teacher appraisal processes. While some changes have been made, work remains to be done in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are settled in the centre. They cooperate with each other, take turns and share resources while playing in groups. Children participate well in activities that teachers provide for them. Teachers help children to access resources of their choice.

Teachers interact positively with children, respond to their interests, and encourage them to participate in the programme. Teachers' programme evaluation could now focus more specifically on the effectiveness of their practice, particularly their role in, and planning for, facilitating children's learning in the context of their individual interests.

Staff have undertaken training in relation to Te Whāriki 2017. Ongoing review of the extent of its implementation could help to establish shared understandings among teachers about high quality practice, including the use of te reo and tikanga Māori. Opportunities for visiting and networking with centres where these practices are a strength, could also be helpful in the review process.

Some management structures and systems are in place. However, it is now timely to develop effective systems for all aspects of centre management, including teachers' appraisals. This development could help to clarify and refine management planning, policies and record keeping. Managers should undertake a critical evaluation of the extent to which the centre is meeting all legal and best-practice requirements.

While there is an awareness of some areas that require development, the centre has not yet been able to use internal evaluation effectively to address these needs and support ongoing improvement.

Key Next Steps

In order to improve the quality of programmes for children, managers and teachers need to:

  • develop shared understandings of high quality early childhood centre practices, including teachers' role in planning and facilitating learning and environments that promote exploration
  • develop planning and assessment processes that support more complex play, and promote critical thinking through individual children's interests
  • establish high expectations of teachers' use of te reo and tikanga Māori.

Managers should also:

  • improve management structures and systems so that the centre meets all legal requirements
  • update appraisal processes to ensure registered teachers' practising certificates are appropriately endorsed and other staff are supported to develop their teaching practice
  • establish effective internal evaluation to support ongoing improvement across all centre operations.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Meadowbank Community Pre-School 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

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to teachers' performance management and provision for health and safety. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • assessment and management of risk when children leave the premises on an outing or excursion
  • regular performance appraisal for all staff
  • regular internal evaluation and systems for ensuring that policies that meet current legal requirements.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS17, GMA6,7.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Meadowbank Community Pre-School will be within two years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

4 October 2017 

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

Meadowbank, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20221

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

18 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

21

Gender composition

Boys      13
Girls         8

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
other

  1
13
  4
  3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%
Based on funding rates

50-79%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

4 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2014

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

November 2007

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.