New Shoots Children's Centre - Tauranga - 21/08/2015

1 Evaluation of New Shoots Children's Centre Tauranga

How well placed is New Shoots Children's Centre Tauranga 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

New Shoots Children’s Centre Tauranga is a new full-day centre located in a busy commercial and residential area across the road from Tauranga Hospital. The centre is part of a complex that aims to support the Tauranga Hospital and the people who use it. It is purpose built to provide extensive, modern, innovative spaces and facilities for children and teachers.

The centre, owned by two qualified early education teachers, opened in February 2014 and is licensed for 124 children, including a maximum of 40 aged under-two years. The current roll of 140 includes eight Māori and 36 children from a range of diverse ethnic backgrounds. The philosophy of the centre is based on ‘integrity, respect and community’. Teachers aim to provide a secure and happy environment characterised by warm and caring relationships and a high quality physical environment.

A permanent education manager oversees the day-to-day operation of the service and teachers are supported by a professional practice manager who also works in other New Shoots centres in Hamilton and Auckland. The centre is staffed by 18 qualified early childhood teachers and two experienced unqualified teachers.

The centre is designed to provide separate indoor play spaces for children of different ages and stages of development. While young children have designated areas for outdoor play, older children can play together in a large thoughtfully designed area.

A feature of the service is the Community Hub that opened in 2015 and is currently focused on developing community partnership initiatives. The current community initiative has involved forming a partnership with the local Pacific Island Community Trust to provide a play hub for a group of Pacific mothers their and children. This initiative is staffed by a qualified and experienced early childhood teacher and located in a very well-resourced play area.

The Review Findings

New Shoots Tauranga is providing high quality education and care for children and families attending the service.

Relationships between children and teachers are sensitive, affirming and respectful. Teachers skilfully notice opportunities to engage children in conversations that promote meaningful learning and wellbeing. During interactions observed by ERO, teachers demonstrated a wide range of highly effective strategies through active involvement in a combination of teacher-led and child-initiated activities. Teachers demonstrate a responsive approach to noticing what children are doing and plan activities based on children’s emerging interests and ideas. This child-initiated approach is complemented by instances of intentional teaching and joint involvement alongside children in sustained learning experiences.

Assessment and planning processes clearly reflect children’s interests. A record of each child’s learning and development is collected through both spontaneous and routine observations. These documented observations and photographs are recorded in learning journals that are available for parents and displayed about the centre. A move to electronic learning journals is enabling parents to share in children’s successes and progress at home and alongside all family members. ERO and centre leaders agree that a useful next step for teachers is to continue to develop processes that contribute to assessment and planning for learning.

Relationships between teachers and children aged under-two years are characterised by sensitive, nurturing and unhurried conversations. Teachers in the under-two areas are highly responsive to children’s verbal and non-verbal cues, and ensure that the programme provides for the developmental needs of toddlers and very young children.

The curriculum is very well designed to promote positive outcomes for children. It is based on the philosophy and principles of Te Whāriki (the early childhood curriculum) and considers many aspects of research about current best practice. Children have many opportunities to explore their ideas about early literacy and mathematics. The environment is set up so that children can access the equipment required to become confident and competent readers, writers and mathematicians. Children also have access to equipment and resources to support their creativity and physical development. Activities and play spaces are carefully set up by teachers to invite children’s curiosity and involvement in sustained play, in groups, with peers and independently.

Although teachers work hard to promote a meaningful Māori dimension in the programme, a useful next step for the centre is to adopt a more planned and strategic approach to promoting te reo and tikanga Māori in the centre.

Teachers have developed a highly effective working culture within a relatively short time. They work very well as a team and share a commitment to promoting positive outcomes for children. The leadership structure provides opportunities for teachers to experience leadership roles within the centre.

Centre owners are providing strong and clear strategic direction for the service. The philosophy is clearly defined and well understood by teachers and leaders. Systems for self review are effective, robust and are contributing to continual improvement of the quality of education and care. The centre owners are highly visible in the centre and accessible for teachers and parents. The owners set high expectations for teacher performance grounded in a sound understanding and knowledge about effective early childhood practice. They are strongly supportive of teachers’ ongoing professional learning and are continuing to support new leaders in their roles.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre owners agree that useful next steps for the centre are to continue to develop:

  • teachers’ capability and understanding of programme assessment and planning

  • teachers’ and leaders’ understanding and practice that promotes the essence of the Māori world for all children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of New Shoots Children's Centre Tauranga 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 New Shoots Children's Centre Tauranga will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

21 August 2015

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

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

46364

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

124 children, including up to 40 aged under 2

Service roll

140

Gender composition

Girls 73 Boys 67

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other European

Other Asian

Samoan

Asian

Indian

Middle Eastern

Cook Island Māori

Niue

South East Asian

Tongan

9

90

12

8

8

6

2

2

1

1

1

1

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

July 2015

Date of this report

21 August 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

 

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.