Mokopuna O Moerewa Early Childhood Centre - 25/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Mokopuna O Moerewa Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Mokopuna O Moerewa Early Childhood Centre 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

Mokopuna O Moerewa is located in Moerewa, Northland and caters for tamariki from two to five years of age. The centre welcomes children from a range of cultural backgrounds. Nga pouako (teachers) provide a spacious learning environment with a strong focus on natural resources and native plants. Most teachers are experienced and qualified and have worked together in the centre for many years. Children benefit from a committed staff who have a range of skills and strengths.

The centre is one of five early childhood services, including two in Auckland, managed by He Puna Marama Trust. It provides a kaupapa Māori framework with a strong focus on te reo Māori me ona tikanga o Ngati Hine. The framework includes the key values of tuakana/teina, whanaungatanga and kotahitanga. Tamariki enjoy and benefit from learning in a rich bilingual environment.

The Trust actively promotes access to early childhood learning within Moerewa. It provides an extra 10 free hours of education and care in addition to the Ministry of Education’s 20 hour funding provision. The Trust continues to provide good governance and management support for the centre, with the aid of a capable Education Services Manager.

The 2012 ERO report recognised the inclusive and respectful practices within the centre. The report recommended that the centre continue reviewing teaching practices and learning programmes. Progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are confident and content in the centre environment. They settle easily into different areas of play in their own time and at their own pace. Older and younger children play well together. The calm, child-focused environment supports children to create meaningful relationships that are trusting and respectful.

Teachers respond with aroha to children and are gentle, nurturing and affectionate with them. Teachers listen respectfully and carefully to children’s ideas and concerns. They also value the importance of whanaungatanga and promote children’s social and emotional competence well.

Children appreciate the opportunity to explore, develop curiosity and enjoy their learning. They have good access to resources and all areas of play. Children's self-management is encouraged. Teachers follow children’s lead in their learning by supporting and extending their individual and emerging interests. They promote children’s oral language well, encouraging children to express themselves and to lead. Children with special needs are well catered for and have good access to play and learning.

Teachers provide a programme based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The programme has strong links to Ngati Hine's rich oral and cultural history. Children have good opportunities to participate in whakatau, kapahaka and ngā pakiwaitara and to share these with the Moerewa community. Children benefit from good transition practices into local primary schools, particularly the local kura kaupapa.

Teachers communicate effectively and regularly with whānau, and engage them as partners in their children’s learning. Whānau appreciate the range of ways that the centre welcomes and includes them, particularly in excursions. Whānau are supportive of the centre's philosophy and make a good contributions that enhance the learning environment.

The pouwhakāko (head teacher) provides opportunities for teachers to develop professional leadership. Teachers collaborate well and reflect on and improve their teaching practices. They ensure that the learning environment reflects the centre’s philosophy.

Managers are well informed and receive regular reports on the centre's programme and operations. The management team and teachers work collaboratively to promote centre-wide improvements and sustainable practices. This considered approach includes mentoring and growing teachers' strengths, and providing opportunities for them to lead in a range of ways.

Key Next Steps

The managers, centre leaders and ERO agree that the centre would benefit from teachers:

  • promoting opportunities for children to develop conversational te reo Maori

  • increasing children's opportunities for more challenging and creative play

  • focussing on children's learning dispositions in centre planning and assessment.

Additional next steps are to:

  • rationalise teachers’ appraisal process to align with the Practising Teachers’ Criteria and include a focus on specific teaching strategies to challenge children’s learning

  • strengthen strategic planning and self-review processes by including indicators of effective practice and evaluation of how well outcomes are met

  • ensure regular policy review meets current legislative requirements including the Vulnerable Children's Act 2014.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mokopuna O Moerewa Early Childhood Centre 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 Mokopuna O Moerewa Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

25 May 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

Moerewa, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

10424

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

39

Gender composition

Boys 20 Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Tongan

Niue

Cook Island Māori

other

29

2

1

1

2

4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2016

Date of this report

25 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2013

Education Review

December 2009

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.