Norfolk Street Educare - 23/03/2015

1 Evaluation of Norfolk Street Educare

How well placed is Norfolk Street Educare 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

Norfolk Street Educare is situated close to the centre of Whangarei. Operating under a single licence out of two adjacent buildings, the centre provides all day education and care for 56 children up to five years of age, including 25 children up to the age of two. The centre is part of the Educare Early Learning Centres group of early childhood services. It operates under the management systems that support all Educare centres.

The centre’s philosophy promotes opportunities for children to 'learn, laugh and play' through respectful relationships and honest, open communication with parents and whānau. Parents value the family feel of the centre and the emphasis given to creating a natural environment for children’s play.

As a result of staff changes since the 2012 ERO review there has been a move to a shared leadership structure, with a team leader and supervisor forming the centre management team. The teaching team is well qualified and experienced. Governance and management support is provided by Educare owners and senior management.

This review was one of three reviews of Educare Early Learning Centres. Educare owners and senior managers took an active role in each review.

The Review Findings

Children are happy and confidently engage in the programme. They have well-established, genuine friendships with teachers and their peers. Children’s wellbeing and sense of belonging are nurtured through positive interactions, respectful relationships and good care routines.

Children are encouraged to be independent explorers and make discoveries from a very good range of accessible resources. They move freely between the indoor and outdoor environments, engage in activities that interest them and collaborate in their play.

Responsive caregiving supports infants’ and toddlers’ need for secure attachments. Teachers maintain a calm, nurturing environment in which babies and younger children have space and time to explore their surroundings.

Older children have good access to a range of equipment that supports their play choices. Children have opportunities to play independently or with their peers for sustained periods of time. Teachers work alongside children and support them in their play. The well-resourced outdoor areas provide good opportunities for physical and imaginative play.

Teachers know children well, respond to parents’ aspirations and use this knowledge to promote opportunities for authentic learning. The programme allows children to initiate their own learning through play and follow their own interests. They develop early literacy and mathematics concepts through their play. Transitions into and through the centre are sensitively managed.

Teachers are committed to providing a programme that reflects New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage and supports Māori children to succeed as Māori. Teachers and children use te reo Māori consistently throughout the day.

The centre is well led. The centre co-leaders and teachers work effectively as a team. Centre leaders and Educare senior management acknowledge the importance of continuing to build leadership capability. The centre’s strategic plan guides centre direction and aligns with Educare’s new strategic plan. Self review is well established and focussed on improving outcomes for children.

The Educare leadership team provide effective governance and management systems and processes to centre leaders and teams. They support centre leaders and teachers to provide high quality education and care. Distributed leadership and sharing of expertise across centres is promoted. The owners provide very well for the professional development of staff. The general manager capably supports each Educare centre to improve outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Managers and staff recognise that it is now timely to:

  • review and refine planning, assessment and evaluation practices to enhance outcomes for children
  • continue to develop and monitor long term goals to ensure they align with the centre’s strategic direction.

At the organisational level, the leadership team could enhance Educare’s direction by reviewing teachers’ leadership pathways within Educare.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Norfolk Street Educare 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 Norfolk Street Educare will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

23 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

Regent, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

45340

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

56 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

77

Gender composition

Boys 39

Girls 38

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

Cook Island

other European

20

51

2

1

3

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

February 2015

Date of this report

23 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2012

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.