Murrays Bay Childcare Centre - 07/03/2014

1 Evaluation of Murrays Bay Childcare Centre

How well placed is Murrays Bay Childcare 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

Murrays Bay Childcare Centre is a privately owned and managed ECE service located on Auckland’s North Shore. The well established centre has been operated by the same service provider and many long-serving teachers for over thirty years. The centre is licensed for up to 40 children over two years of age. Parents express very positive feedback about the care and education their children receive.

The centre occupies a large converted house in a residential suburb. The indoor area has been modernised and extended to provide a spacious and well organised environment. Facilities are maintained to a high standard. The extensive outdoor area is enhanced with gardens and trees. Successive ERO reports have commented on the very attractive and creative environment enjoyed by children and adults.

The work of teachers is valued and is well supported through planned professional development. Good teaching practices noted in previous ERO reviews have been sustained. The centre manager provides informed leadership and, together with the staff, explores ways to maintain high quality services and make ongoing improvements.

The Review Findings

High quality early childhood practices characterise the programme. These features are clearly evident and have been consistently identified in previous ERO reports.

Positive outcomes for children

Children benefit from the unhurried pace of the programme. They can access a wide variety of well selected resources that support their learning and foster their imagination. Interruptions are limited, allowing children to engage deeply and persist with play for extended periods.

The mixed aged programme enables children to develop their social and cooperative skills. They form friendships with other children and trusting relationships with teachers. The calm and settled tone throughout the centre supports children's learning and development.

Challenging learning programme

The ECE curriculum, Te Whariki, underpins the learning programme. Teachers know children well and are skilled in settling children and encouraging their play. They recognise and respond to children’s interests. As a result children develop a sense of belonging and ownership that supports their learning and development.

Teachers plan appropriate activities that engage children and extend their understanding. Well designed project work for older children challenges their thinking and promotes problem solving. Literacy and numeracy learning is included appropriately into the contexts of these long-term projects.

Coherent philosophy

The centre’s philosophy and curriculum are closely aligned and very child centred. The holistic development of each child is central to programme planning and evaluation. Centre managers agree that a regular review of the philosophy would complement centre self review.

Concepts about learning through play are well understood by teachers and shared with parents. Children make decisions about their play and teachers respectfully support these decisions. They become capable and competent learners with skills that support their transition to school.

Staff development and leadership

Teachers are valued and well supported. They enjoy a professional working environment with well organised teaching resources and facilities. Professional development is purposeful and planned in response to centre-wide strategic goals and to teachers’ individual goals. Teachers contribute to meetings and participate in evaluating centre progress.

The manager provides good direction and leadership. Management systems and expectations are clearly set out and reviewed. Membership of professional organisations and attendance at ECE conferences enable staff to keep up to date with new directions in ECE and any changes in regulations.

Inclusive practices and family engagement

Parents are consulted regularly, particularly about any changes in policy and practice. Parents and extended family members are invited to share information about children and participate in centre activities and events. Parents are now receiving information about their child’s learning by email. This is likely to help them to make more regular contributions to their children’s portfolio records.

All children are valued and respected as individuals. Teachers acknowledge and celebrate children’s diverse cultural backgrounds. They are inclusive of children with special learning needs. The use of te reo and tikanga Māori is valued and encouraged by centre leaders. Teachers continue to explore ways to strengthen their bicultural practices and share their skills.

Self review and reflective practice

Self review for improvement is an ongoing process. Teachers’ reflective journals, daily evaluations and monthly staff meetings provide evidence of increased use of evaluation. The annual staff weekend retreat also gives teachers the opportunity to evaluate centre progress and consider future directions.

Teachers and managers use self review to identify areas for further development in centre operations. Strategic directions are explored through research, discussion and consultation. Changes in practice are implemented thoughtfully with an emphasis on enhancing outcomes for children.

Recently introduced criteria for teacher appraisal is stimulating discussion about good ECE practice. Teachers keep records of reflections on their own practice and set individual goals. They receive valuable comments from the centre manager. They could also consider sharing some of these goals and seeking feedback from one another.

Key Next Steps

Goals agreed to by staff for 2014 are appropriately identified and likely to further promote positive outcomes for children. ERO affirms the centre’s plans to explore and develop:

  • digital technologies that could enhance children’s learning within the programme
  • indicators of good practice to further embed the new teacher appraisal procedures
  • more manageable ways of documenting children’s individual progress and development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Murrays Bay Childcare 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 Murrays Bay Childcare Centre will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

7 March 2014

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

Murrays Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20112

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

65

Gender composition

Boys 34

Girls 31

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

Pacific

other European

1

58

2

1

3

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 2014

Date of this report

7 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2011

 

Education Review

March 2008

 

Education Review

April 2005

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.