Mt Roskill Early Childhood Centre - 11/04/2016

1 Evaluation of Mt Roskill Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Mt Roskill 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

Mt Roskill Early Childhood Centre is a well-established service that is governed by a trust board and operates on behalf of Mt Roskill Grammar School. The centre provides full day education and care for up to 50 children, including 15 under two years old. It maintains close relationships with the three adjacent Mt Roskill campus schools. Staff reflect the cultural diversity of centre families and the local community.

A centre manager oversees the daily operation of the service and reports each term to the trust board. She delegates curriculum leadership to senior teachers in the both the area shared by infants and toddlers and the area for older children. Teachers have established a smooth transition process between these two areas. They are engaged in professional development together, helping to ensure they have shared knowledge and understandings about the centre's teaching and learning approaches and self- review practices.

The 2013 ERO report identified many positive features in centre practices, including the caring relationships evident with parents and children. Centre leaders agreed teachers needed to further develop child-directed learning, planned teaching responses and recognition of children's languages and cultures. Good progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are happy and settled in the centre. They enjoy positive relationships with teachers and their peers and show a sense of belonging in an environment that promotes their wellbeing. Children confidently make choices about their play and often work cooperatively with their friends. They benefit from increasing opportunities to explore their interests in depth and expectations that they will help each other to learn. Children are valued as individuals and are well supported to explore creative and imaginative play.

Primary caregiving is a strong feature of the programme for infants and toddlers. Babies particularly benefit from the opportunity to bond with one or two adults and this good practice is being extended throughout the service. These close relationships and individual routines for care result in a calm, unhurried environment that enables babies to relax and engage in meaningful play. Teachers know about effective provision for infants and toddlers and constantly reflect on children's development. This knowledge contributes to the high quality interactions and learning experiences babies enjoy.

Teachers consistently support children to engage with resources. They encourage genuine conversations with children, often asking questions to help them explore their own ideas. Teachers actively promote tuakana/teina relationships between children, inviting ‘experts’ to teach others. Teachers regularly include cultural activities in the programme. They could now enhance the visibility of children's cultures in the environment. Teachers are also continuing to increase their use of children's home languages and strengthening their confidence in te reo and tikanga Māori.

Teachers have for some time been developing programme management strategies. They have developed effective practices to record significant ongoing learning interests and clearly document their teaching strategies to progress children's ideas. Teachers’ next step is to further develop their responses to children’s individual interests and capabilities. It may be useful for teachers to take leadership roles in a curriculum area to enhance opportunities to extend the complexity of children's learning.

The outdoor area for infants and toddlers requires further attention. The management team has made a positive start to this development with the recent installations of shade sails and a sandpit, and planning in progress for renovations to the children's bathroom. The bark areas now need replenishing and general maintenance of the building and some furniture is needed.

The service is well managed. The centre manager develops strategic and management plans in consultation with the trust. She receives effective support and mentoring from the Mt Roskill Grammar School principal and from an external early childhood consultant/appraiser. The staff and parents are appropriately consulted and have meaningful input into policy decisions and centre development. The centre has significantly improved self-review practices. Through their professional development teachers have gained a good understanding of internal evaluation that is ongoing and focused on improved outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that the key next steps for centre development should include: 

  • developing an extensive review and action plan to upgrade the centre indoor and outdoor environments
  • providing teachers with curriculum leadership roles to further develop their ownership of teaching and learning
  • ongoing development of teachers’ planning and evaluation with a focus on responding to children's individual interests
  • implementing the newly developed teacher appraisal process. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mt Roskill 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.

In order to improve current practices the trust should amend policies to incorporate requirements of the Vulnerable Children's Act 2014.

Actions for compliance

To meet health and safety requirements the service now needs to ensure that safe-fall material under outdoor equipment is maintained to a satisfactory standard to prevent injury to children. Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 PF 13.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Mt Roskill Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

11 April 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

Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20375

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

50

Gender composition

Boys 28 Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Samoan
others

3
25
9
6
7

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

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

January 2016

Date of this report

11 April 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

March 2013

Education Review

November 2009

Education Review

October 2006

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.