New Zealand Nanny Service Number Four - 19/05/2006

1 About the Service

Location

Christchurch, Canterbury and Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

30081

Type

Home-Based Care

Roll Number

99

Gender composition

Girls       50
Boys       49

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Päkehā     99

Review team onsite 

February – March 2006

Date of this report 

19 May 2006

Previous ERO reports 

No previous reports

2 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

New Zealand Nanny Service Number Four, 30081, is one of six networks established under the management of the New Zealand Nanny Support Service Limited (NZNSS).  This organisation, while based in Tauranga, operates nationwide.  The network supports families in Christchurch and Canterbury, and in Nelson and nearby districts. 

The network is staffed by coordinators who are responsible, through the coordinator manager, to the general manager.  The organisation aims to work in partnership with families and nannies in the delivery of care and education by providing nannies with high quality professional support within home-based settings. 

This review evaluates the quality of education and care provided by a sample of nannies in the network and the quality of its service management.  ERO observed the programme in action in 14% of the family homes and examined relevant documentation.  Nannies, coordinators, parents, the coordinator manager and representatives of the service management were interviewed.  Two areas of national interest that relate to meeting qualification requirements and to the self-review processes were also reviewed.  This report identifies areas of good performance and areas for improvement for the service provided by NZNSS Number Four. 

Relationships between nannies and children are trusting, warm and responsive.  Nannies observed working know the children well, take note of their interests and seek to support their learning and development.  They use positive guidance strategies to manage children’s behaviour and develop their social competence.  Children’s language development is fostered through conversations and discussions that help children to explore and make sense of the world around them.  Books, writing and numeracy experiences are incorporated, often in naturally occurring contexts relevant to children. 

Children are benefiting from environments that are familiar, comfortable and provide continuity with family life.  Nannies are able to incorporate elements of a planned education programme alongside everyday routines and activities, thus allowing children to experience high quality learning opportunities.  Children are able to socialise with others and develop links with the wider community through attendance at playgroups and early childhood centres and by participating in outings arranged by the NZNSS coordinator. 

Coordinators maintain purposeful and supportive relationships with children, parents and nannies.  They place strong emphasis on enhancing nannies’ ability to notice, recognise and respond to children’s learning.  Nannies respond positively to the encouragement given by coordinators to maintain useful individual learning journals that record children’s participation in activities and experiences.  Coordinators’ reports to parents provide information about the education and care programme.  In addition to making the nannies’ teaching and learning visible, they comment on children’s progress. 

NZNSS provides good quality support to nannies and families.  Recognition is given to the importance of gaining the confidence and support of families to encourage their participative teamwork with their nanny and the coordinator.  Effective communication and sound relationships throughout the organisation enhance the coordinators’ ability to make a positive contribution to the quality of care and education.

The director, general manager, coordinator manager and finance manager work as a cohesive team. Together they have developed service systems and undertaken forward planning to advance the aims of the NZNSS.  All staff members share an understanding of the purpose of the service and its direction for the future.  Coordinators are well supported in their roles and are respected as professionals.  Sound and effective professional leadership enhances the coordinators’ ability to support nannies in the delivery of suitable care and educational programmes.

A well-researched and structured approach to employment matters supports families and nannies effectively.

Self review is becoming a valued tool at this service and a range of effective formal and informal self-review procedures has been developed to inform decision making.  Developing a more systematic, collaborative and consultative approach to self review, involving all stakeholders, should provide a broader base on which to base judgements about future action. 

Management and coordinators have recently developed and implemented a system for identifying hazards and documenting procedures for ensuring that all homes meet the requirements of the Education (Home-Based Care) Order 1992.  Further work is needed for addressing instances of persistent non-compliance.

The Education (Home-Based Care) Order 1992 applies to the education and care of children under six, either in their own home or the home of the person providing the service.  The NZNSS experiences particular difficulties in applying some of the requirements of the code to the child’s own family premises while respecting the families’ values, lifestyle choices and perception of risk to their own children.

The service needs to continue to monitor its compliance with all aspects of the Education (Home-Based Care) Order 1992 and charter requirements for funded services to ensure all legal obligations are met, particularly those relating to health and safety obligations. 

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children.  Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

3 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of New Zealand Nanny Support Service Limited, Number Four (30081) was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO.  ERO also used documentation provided by New Zealand Nanny Support Service Limited, Number Four (30081) to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff.  This discussion focused on existing information held by the service (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atNew Zealand Nanny Support Service Limited, Number Four (30081).

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. 
For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

In addition, ERO decided to evaluate:

  • the quality of management. 

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below. 

The Quality of Education

Background

NZNSS Number Four operates in Christchurch, Canterbury and Nelson, and employs three coordinators.  Families currently use this service to support their nanny to care for their child, or children, in the family home.  Review officers visited, with a coordinator, approximately 14% of homes where nannies are working.  They observed aspects of the support offered to families and the interactions between nannies, coordinators and children.

Areas of good performance

Environment for learning:  Children visited are experiencing high quality learning environments in their family home.  They have access to a generous range of resources and play equipment.  The coordinators make effective use of their resource libraries to support children’s interests and emergent learning.  Children engage in activities that cover all essential learning areas.  They play and explore actively outdoors and in a variety of indoor activities involving meaningful learning.  Children are benefiting from environments that are familiar, stimulating and that provide continuity with family life.

Use of community environments:  Most children participate regularly in playgroups organised by the network, and/or attend other early childhood education services.  Excursions and visits to community facilities enable children to receive a variety of rich learning experiences and opportunities to socialise with other children and their nannies. 

Relationships and interactions:  Relationships between nannies and children are trusting, warm and reciprocal.  Nannies know the children well, are responsive to their interests and nurture and support their learning and development.  Under the guidance of the coordinators, they use positive guidance strategies to manage children’s behaviour and encourage social competence.  Nannies engage children in discussion and empower them to investigate the world around them.  Children are experiencing safe emotional environments where their wellbeing is a priority and they are becoming confident and competent learners.

Communication, literacy and numeracy:  Children are supported and challenged to develop their ability to communicate and to explore literacy and mathematical concepts.  Nannies engage children in learning conversations and discussions to extend their knowledge and understanding.  They regularly share books and stories and provide opportunities to use writing and drawing tools.  Every day experiences are capitalised on to develop ideas of number and mathematics in meaningful contexts.  Children are learning effective skills that enable them to establish a sound foundation for future learning.

Learning journals:  Nannies develop individual learning journals that record children’s involvement in activities and experiences to make the learning visible.  Narrative observations are complemented by photographs and children’s work samples.  Nannies are developing their understanding of the learning story approach to assessment.  Coordinators encourage and support them to notice, recognise and respond effectively to children’s emerging interests and strengths.  Children and parents value the learning journals and the opportunities they give to revisit and reflect on significant learning.

Coordinator’s approach:  Coordinators have worked hard to build trusting and purposeful relationships with children, parents and nannies.  They empower nannies to continue to grow in their role and refine their ability to recognise the needs of children and their families.  They place emphasis on gaining the confidence and support of families to encourage a partnership in the education of the children.  They regularly contact parents to relay information about nannies’ work with children and comment on children’s progress.  Effective communication and sound relationships enable the coordinators to make a positive contribution to the quality of care and education.

Area for improvement

Home safety checks:  While the NZNSS’s more rigorous approach to compliance with the Education (Home-based) Care Order, 1992 is resulting in new care arrangements meeting the requirements of the order, some care arrangements completed prior to 2006 have persistent non-compliance issues.  Management’s revised procedures are in the early stages of implementation and coordinators need continuing support as they fulfil their responsibilities under the non-compliance policy. 

The Quality of Management

Background

The NZNSS Number Four is one of six networks established under the umbrella of the NZNSS, which operates nationwide.  The service management team consists of a director, general manager, coordinator manager and finance manager who have together with the coordinators, developed a vision for the service.  ERO interviewed the management team, but since that time there has been a change of coordinator manager.  Aspects of the implementation of management policy and practice were included during interviews with the coordinators and visits made to nannies in network four. 

Areas of good performance

Governance:  In its mission statement management has developed a clear vision for the operation of the service that guides coordinators and administration staff in their day-to-day work.  The director, general manager, coordinator manager and finance manager work as a cohesive team and have together developed service systems and undertaken forward planning to advance the aims of the NZNSS.  All staff members share an understanding of the purpose of the service and its direction for the future.

Employment support:  The management team has developed a range of useful resources and administrative systems for families and nannies.  Advice to families guides parents in the appointment of suitable nannies and the implementation of sound employment practices.  The employment relationship is assisted by the availability of a payroll service and written policies and procedures that establish common expectations for nannies and families.  This well-researched and structured approach to employment matters effectively supports families and nannies.

Coordinator support:  Management provides generous and effective support for the coordinator.  A regular schedule of meetings enables coordinators to share ideas and participate in decision-making.  The provision of company cars and cell phones enhances their employment conditions and facilitates ease of communication with nannies and families.  Financial support for further training enables them to keep up-to-date in their practice and improve their qualifications.  Written guidelines maintain the quality and consistency of their practice.  Coordinators are well supported in their roles and are treated as respected professionals.

Area for improvement

Quality assurance:  While a range of additional quality assurance processes has recently been established, coordinators are not yet confident about enforcing some legislative requirements.  In some cases where care has been established for some time, families are yet to respond to identified areas of non-compliance.  Management cannot be assured that in these homes all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure the physical safety of children.

4 Areas of National Interest

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports.  This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

ERO collected information about New Zealand Nanny Support Service Limited, Number Four (30081).  These findings are included in this report to ensure that information about New Zealand Nanny Support Service Limited, Number Four (30081) is transparent and widely available.

Current Areas of National Interest

ERO is currently collecting information for national reports on:

  • progress in meeting qualification requirements and goals; and
  • progress with self review.

Progress in Meeting Qualification Requirements and Goals 

Background

The requirements and goals for early childhood teacher qualifications and teacher registration were introduced to improve quality in early childhood education.  ERO is currently investigating and reporting on:

  • the qualifications and registration status of ‘persons responsible’ in early childhood services and network coordinators in home-based care networks; and
  • the impact of the changes to qualifications and teacher registration on the quality of education and care provided. 

Areas of good performance

Meeting qualification requirements:  NZNSS Network Number Four meets the qualification and registration requirements for coordinators of a home-based network.  The coordinators hold a recognised early childhood teaching qualification and have full, or for one coordinator provisional, teacher registration.  They are well prepared to provide appropriate guidance to nannies on the education and care of children. 

Sustaining quality services:  The coordinator manager and general manager have knowledge and experience in early childhood care and education and have a commitment to providing a care and education service that meets the needs of families.  Their professional knowledge supports the coordinator to work towards this aim. 

Progress with Self Review

Background

Self review is a process through which early childhood education services evaluate the effectiveness of what they do, with the aim of improving the quality of their practice and ultimately the outcomes for children. 

ERO is currently investigating self review in early childhood services by seeking specific information about:

  • the nature, extent and effectiveness of self review in the service;
  • the potential or actual contribution of self review to improved outcomes for children; and
  • the implications for improved early childhood service delivery.  

The Ministry of Education is currently preparing guidelines for self review in early childhood.  When these guidelines are promulgated, early childhood services will have further support for their self-review activities.  

Areas of good performance

Range of procedures:  A range of effective self-review procedures is used by this service.  These include regular coordinator and management meetings, coordinator’s letters to parents, questionnaires, face-to-face discussions, health and safety auditing and oral feedback to nannies.  Self review is becoming a valued and effective tool at this service.

Coordinator monitoring:  The coordinator regularly monitors standards in homes.  Regular observations of children, discussion with nannies and phone enquiries to parents, facilitate reflection on a range of issues.  This approach to monitoring and reporting is enhancing the quality of the service provided by nannies.

Areas for improvement

Policy review:  While the service has developed a range of policies and procedures to guide staff practice, parents and nannies have minimal input into policy review and some policies are no longer reflected in practice. Through adopting a more systematic collaborative approach to the review of policies, the service should have a broader range of information on which to base its decision-making.

Enhancing self-review:  While the service uses a variety of self review approaches to inform decision making, there is a need to develop a more planned, systematic and documented approach to enable focussed reflection on service operations and to inform and strengthen long term planning. 

5 Management Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Before the review, the management and staff of New Zealand Nanny Support Service Limited, Number Four (30081) completed an ERO Home-Based CareManagement Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist.  In these documents they have attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

In order to improve current practice the management should:

  • develop service expectations for safeguards against earthquake damage and the care of children in an earthquake; and
  • review the behaviour management policy and guidelines to provide examples of positive practice for coordinators, nannies and parents to follow.  

During the course of the review ERO identified areas of non-compliance.  In order to address these the service management must: 

5.1 ensure that home-based care is not being offered in any premises that do not comply with all of the provisions of clause three of the Education (Home-Based Care) Order 1992;
[Education (Home-Based Care) Order 1992, Part 2 (1)]
5.2 ensure that the premises have a written plan for the evacuation and care of children in emergencies; and
[Education (Home-Based Care) Order 1992, Part 3 (28)]
5.3 ensure that there are adequate safeguards against earthquake damage, and for dealing with the consequences of an earthquake. 
[Education (Home-Based Care) Order 1992, Part 3 (15)] 

6 Recommendations

ERO and the service arranger agreed that management should:

6.1 complete the review of the non-compliance policy, in conjunction with coordinators, to ensure that all parties have clear instructions and can confidently follow procedures when hazards to the safety of children receiving home-cased care are not corrected, minimised or made inaccessible;

6.2 management seeks appropriate professional support to review and further develop self-review procedures so that a more systematic approach can be implemented. 

7 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children.  Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

Ian Hill
Area Manager

for Chief Review Officer

19 May 2006

To the Parents and Community of New Zealand Nanny Support Service Limited, Number Four (30081)

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on New Zealand Nanny Support Service Limited, Number Four (30081).

New Zealand Nanny Service Number Four, 30081, is one of six networks established under the management of the New Zealand Nanny Support Service Limited (NZNSS).  This organisation, while based in Tauranga, operates nationwide.  The network supports families in Christchurch and Canterbury, and in Nelson and nearby districts. 

The network is staffed by coordinators who are responsible, through the coordinator manager, to the general manager.  The organisation aims to work in partnership with families and nannies in the delivery of care and education by providing nannies with high quality professional support within home-based settings. 

This review evaluates the quality of education and care provided by a sample of nannies in the network and the quality of its service management.  ERO observed the programme in action in 14% of the family homes and examined relevant documentation.  Nannies, coordinators, parents, the coordinator manager and representatives of the service management were interviewed.  Two areas of national interest that relate to meeting qualification requirements and to the self-review processes were also reviewed.  This report identifies areas of good performance and areas for improvement for the service provided by NZNSS Number Four. 

Relationships between nannies and children are trusting, warm and responsive.  Nannies observed working know the children well, take note of their interests and seek to support their learning and development.  They use positive guidance strategies to manage children’s behaviour and develop their social competence.  Children’s language development is fostered through conversations and discussions that help children to explore and make sense of the world around them.  Books, writing and numeracy experiences are incorporated, often in naturally occurring contexts relevant to children. 

Children are benefiting from environments that are familiar, comfortable and provide continuity with family life.  Nannies are able to incorporate elements of a planned education programme alongside everyday routines and activities, thus allowing children to experience high quality learning opportunities.  Children are able to socialise with others and develop links with the wider community through attendance at playgroups and early childhood centres and by participating in outings arranged by the NZNSS coordinator. 

Coordinators maintain purposeful and supportive relationships with children, parents and nannies.  They place strong emphasis on enhancing nannies’ ability to notice, recognise and respond to children’s learning.  Nannies respond positively to the encouragement given by coordinators to maintain useful individual learning journals that record children’s participation in activities and experiences.  Coordinators’ reports to parents provide information about the education and care programme.  In addition to making the nannies’ teaching and learning visible, they comment on children’s progress. 

NZNSS provides good quality support to nannies and families.  Recognition is given to the importance of gaining the confidence and support of families to encourage their participative teamwork with their nanny and the coordinator.  Effective communication and sound relationships throughout the organisation enhance the coordinators’ ability to make a positive contribution to the quality of care and education.

The director, general manager, coordinator manager and finance manager work as a cohesive team. Together they have developed service systems and undertaken forward planning to advance the aims of the NZNSS.  All staff members share an understanding of the purpose of the service and its direction for the future.  Coordinators are well supported in their roles and are respected as professionals.  Sound and effective professional leadership enhances the coordinators’ ability to support nannies in the delivery of suitable care and educational programmes.

A well-researched and structured approach to employment matters supports families and nannies effectively.

Self review is becoming a valued tool at this service and a range of effective formal and informal self-review procedures has been developed to inform decision making.  Developing a more systematic, collaborative and consultative approach to self review, involving all stakeholders, should provide a broader base on which to base judgements about future action. 

Management and coordinators have recently developed and implemented a system for identifying hazards and documenting procedures for ensuring that all homes meet the requirements of the Education (Home-Based Care) Order 1992.  Further work is needed for addressing instances of persistent non-compliance.

The Education (Home-Based Care) Order 1992 applies to the education and care of children under six, either in their own home or the home of the person providing the service.  The NZNSS experiences particular difficulties in applying some of the requirements of the code to the child’s own family premises while respecting the families’ values, lifestyle choices and perception of risk to their own children.

The service needs to continue to monitor its compliance with all aspects of the Education (Home-Based Care) Order 1992 and charter requirements for funded services to ensure all legal obligations are met, particularly those relating to health and safety obligations. 

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children.  Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood service we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take.  You should talk to the management if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the service or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Ian Hill
Area Manager

for Chief Review Officer

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews.  The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood services; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the National.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each service’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a service, may be included in the review.  ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • Areas of Specific National Interest – information about how National policies are working in early childhood services.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this service has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues.  The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this home-based care service.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement.  A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a service is performing poorly in relation to that issue.  There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this home-based care service.