Newbees Preschool - 13/03/2015

1. Evaluation of Lanark House Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Lanark House 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

Lanark House in Kerikeri, Northland, provides good quality education and care for children from three years to school age. The centre has long standing and positive relationships with parents and whānau. It offers a welcoming environment and caters well for its diverse community. Children with special education needs and their families are welcomed and well supported.

The centre is one of two early childhood centres owned and managed by the same management group. The second of the centres is Sylvan House, which is in walking distance of Lanark House and caters for children under two years of age. Children are thoughtfully transitioned between the two centres.

Lanark House is staffed by well qualified and registered teachers, as well as a number of teachers who are working towards gaining qualifications in early childhood education. The centre manager oversees both the Sylvan and Lanark centres.

Since the 2011 ERO review, the centre has continued to develop. It has a history of positive ERO reports and has addressed all areas for development and review identified at the time of the previous review. The centre environment has continued to develop, particularly in the outdoors area which now includes a secret garden, vegetable gardens, a chicken pen and an improved sandpit for children’s play. Leadership changes have also taken place since the passing of the previous centre manager. The new centre manager and supervisor work collaboratively with staff, and continue to honour and sustain the commitment of the previous manager to promoting a bicultural curriculum and success for Māori children and whānau.

The Review Findings

Children are very settled in the learning environment. Teachers know children well and are responsive to their individual learning needs and strengths. Children experience warm, caring interactions with their teachers. They are supported to make good friendships with their peers.

The centre provides spacious indoor and outdoor environments, and has good quality resources and equipment. Children have independent access to all areas of play and are free to choose activities based on their interests and preferences. Teachers work alongside children supporting them in their play and helping to develop their oral language.

Bicultural practices continue to be a significant feature of the centre’s curriculum. Teachers value and use te reo Māori me ngā tikanga authentically with children and each other throughout the day. Parents and whānau make positive contributions to the centre’s curriculum design. Centre leaders and teachers are continuing to explore different ways to capture whānau voice and to promote their input in centre planning and development.

Learning programmes are based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers design areas of play which invite children’s interest and curiosity. Increasingly, teachers are bringing natural resources into the environment. They work collaboratively to plan thematic programmes based on children’s common interest and parent’s ideas.

Teachers use their varied strengths, talents and skills to provide a good quality programme for children. The programme promotes children’s early learning in reading, writing, mathematics and science through play. Leaders identify that teachers could now be more consistent in using teaching strategies and information from children’s portfolio assessments to further extend children’s learning.

The centre is well led by capable, reflective and improvement focused staff. As centre leaders, they are becoming increasingly confident in their use and understanding of self review as a tool for promoting continuous improvement. They value teachers’ strengths and provide useful professional learning opportunities for staff. Good systems guide centre operations and help foster the well being of children and adults.

The centre owner is committed to promoting positive outcomes for children. He values his staff and visits the centre regularly.

Key Next Steps

The owner, centre leaders and ERO agree that important next steps for the centre include:

  • developing a long-term strategic plan in consultation with staff and whānau to guide the future direction of the centre
  • better aligning teacher appraisal outcomes and professional development programmes to the centre’s strategic and annual plans and budgeting priorities
  • establishing a more formalised approach for management meetings, and providing regular reports to the owner against strategic goals
  • accessing an external consultant to provide centre leaders with leadership training, external appraisal, and opportunities for professional development in leadership.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lanark House 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Lanark House Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

13 March 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

Kerikeri, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

10009

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

45 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

33

Gender composition

Boys 24

Girls 9

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other

22

8

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:5

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2014

Date of this report

13 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

October 2011

 

Education Review

April 2008

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.