Newton Street Childcare Ltd - 24/07/2015

1 Evaluation of Newton Street Childcare

How well placed is Newton Street Childcare 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

Newton Street Childcare (previously known as Global Kids) is located in the industrial area of Mount Maunganui. The centre is licensed to provide all-day education and care for 48 children, including 8 up to two years of age. Currently, there are 27 children enrolled and 19 of these children are of Māori descent.

ERO’s most recent review of the centre was in March 2014. At that time, significant areas of centre operation were found to be of concern and needing urgent improvement. These related to self review and strategic planning, performance management, including appraisal, and professional learning and development.

During 2014, there was significant support from the Ministry of Education (MoE). This was designed to assist the previous owner/manager to affect change. In October 2014, the centre was sold to the current owners who have taken prompt action to bring about required changes within a short timeframe. Ongoing development has occurred to address the areas outlined above.

The new owners are providing informed leadership. One owner is a qualified and experienced early childhood educator and is leading teaching and learning. There has been a significant change to staffing. The centre now employs three qualified, full time teachers, and one who is unqualified but experienced. Stability of staffing has been restored, teachers are being well led, and are supported to build on and improve their practice. Considerable work has already been undertaken to improve the environment and resourcing. The centre is clean, well presented and resourced, and provides a welcoming place for children and their families.

The Review Findings

The new owners bring experience and knowledge to the centre. They are providing well informed management and leadership, contributing to positive learning outcomes for centre children.

Strategic planning and self review: A strategic plan that sets direction and prioritises areas for development has been developed. Management’s vision for the centre is clearly expressed and sound financial provision is made for identified priorities. Teachers have been consulted about this development plan, and have ownership and understanding of the centre future direction. High priority has been placed on developing an environment that is well resourced and inviting for children, along with building reciprocal relationships with parents and whānau and the centre’s profile in the community. Management is committed to better communication and is introducing different ways, including the use of information and communication technologies, to improve the two-way flow of information between the centre and homes.

An inclusive and carefully structured model for self review has been introduced by the centre’s professional leader/owner. She is working collaboratively with teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of the centre’s curriculum and their teaching practice. Careful consideration is given to ‘transition to school’ practices, resulting in informed changes to the centre programme. Teachers now place greater priority on the development of early literacy and mathematical concepts in the context of meaningful play throughout the day. The leader is building positive relationships with schools in the community, and providing useful information to parents to facilitate a positive and happy transition process for five year olds.

Leadership of teaching and learning: Teachers, children and parents are benefitting from the professional approach of the centre’s professional leader. The collaborative and considered style of the leader is enabling teachers to develop confidence as educators and they express a greater sense of enjoyment and pride in their work with the children.

Professional learning and development for teachers is well underway. The centre philosophy has been a major focus for review and teachers are expressing ownership. However, the leader recognises the need for further review to include recently employed staff, and to deepen teachers’ understanding and knowledge of the key concepts/ideas within this philosophy statement.

Through early reflections and review, the professional leader has quickly identified aspects of teaching practice that need immediate work. She works alongside teachers in the programme, models the expected practice, and supports and encourages them to build on and improve their practice. Assessment and planning practices have been central to her work with teachers and there has been a strong focus on strengthening children’s emergent interests and the learning that is observable in play.

A strategic priority is to build the capability of teachers over time. The recently introduced self review process is already leading to good decision making about relevant professional learning and development for teachers. Management recognises the importance of aligning this training with appraisal goals and the centre’s agreed priority areas for development.

Key Next Steps

The following areas should continue to be priorities for ongoing centre development:

  • Professional learning and development: Continue to build teachers’ understanding and knowledge about best practice, in relation to the centre philosophy for learning and teaching.
  • Assessment, planning and evaluation: Teachers would benefit from a programme of ongoing, whole-staff professional learning from an external facilitator. This should enable them to develop a shared understanding of assessment, leading to consistent practice across the centre and improved learning outcomes for babies, toddlers and young children.
  • Curriculum review and development: Continue to work collaboratively with teachers to reflect on and inquire into the effectiveness of the curriculum. The centre should consider ways of involving parents in this process, and give particular attention to biculturalism to ensure that children have many opportunities to develop an appreciation of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage.
  • Performance management: Develop and embed an appraisal process for teachers that is sufficiently robust, and which is aligned with professional development and centre strategic priorities.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Newton Street Childcare 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 Newton Street Childcare will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

24 July 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

Mt Maunganui

Ministry of Education profile number

45291

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

48 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll

27

Gender composition

Boys 14

Girls 13

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

19

8

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

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

24 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2014

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.