My Treehut - 15/02/2017

1 Evaluation of My Treehut

How well placed is My Treehut 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

My Treehut is located in Taupō. It is a full-day child care centre licensed for 40 children over two years of age. Currently there are 54 children on the roll. The centre is privately owned and operated.

The service philosophy aims to maintain high-quality relationships and to provide a stimulating learning programme for toddlers and young children. The focus on 'growing young minds' acknowledges that children are naturally inquisitive, creative, inventive, and love problem solving. The service is focused on providing resources and opportunities within a homelike environment for children to investigate and explore.

This is the second ERO review of My Treehut. The service responded effectively to the area for development in the 2013 ERO report relating to self review. Since that time, a strong self review priority for the centre staff has been has been to strengthen and inspire a culture of respect, and more recently focus on growing mindful and creative communicators. Teachers continue to participate in a range of opportunities to grow their professional practice.

The Review Findings

Children are engaged, motivated learners. Their play is well supported by a flexible programme that encourages responsible choices. They enjoy creative and constructive activities, and benefit from sensory activities and experiences. The expansive outdoor area provides many opportunities for children to explore in an environment that offers a wide range of activities and is equipped with, open-ended, natural resources in a tree-covered setting. Children are developing as competent, confident learners who are able to work individually or as members of a small group.

Teachers have developed positive, sensitive and caring relationships with children. They engage in intentional teaching as they co-construct learning experiences with them. Children are increasingly able to express themselves as they develop their competence in oral language. Teachers willingly participate in sustained conversations with children, often using open-ended questions to challenge them to deepen their thinking. Teachers' responses to children's interests and enquiries support them to experience success.

Teachers respond positively to children who have additional learning needs. They work in close consultation with their parents and whānau, developing strategies and approaches that enable them to participate fully in the programme. Interactions with children promote their social skills and independence, empowering them to take increasing responsibility for themselves and others.

Teachers are committed to developing bicultural practices in the curriculum. This is increasing the visibility of a Māori dimension throughout the centre. Some teachers use te reo Māori both incidentally and through the use of waiata and Māori legends. Teachers' participation in Te Whatu Pokeka workshops is developing their knowledge and understanding of bicultural practices. The next step for teachers is to continue to grow this understanding and to use te reo Māori more frequently in their interactions with children.

Parents' aspirations for their children inform ongoing planning decisions, about children's growth and development. Children's learning is shared in individual portfolios and on-line assessments. Parents can comment on their children's experiences and appreciate opportunities to communicate with teachers about their learning. Strong partnerships between parents and the centre support children's sense of wellbeing and belonging, and enable their learning to be recognised and valued.

Children and their families are well supported to make sound decisions about transition to school through information provided by the service and discussions with teachers. The four year old programme is designed to support the transition process, with an emphasis on developing leadership and additional learning through regular excursions.

The knowledgeable centre owner and teachers have undertaken systematic, well-planned and evaluative self review that is strengthening outcomes for children, and areas for ongoing centre improvement and development. Purposeful research, inquiry and reflection has enabled them to develop a coherent framework for raising outcomes for children.

Teachers are highly committed to strengthening their professional practice, and developing their skills in leadership and mentorship. They are well supported through the appraisal process and teaching as inquiry to grow their knowledge and capability. A supportive learning culture has been established where teachers can support each other and grow their professional practice.

Next Step

As part of ongoing review and evaluation, management agree that it would be timely to review positive guidance strategies alongside parents and whānau.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of My Treehut 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 My Treehut will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

15 February 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

Taupō

Ministry of Education profile number

45803

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

49

Gender composition

Boys 29 Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

2

39

8

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

15 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

November 2013

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.