Northcote Point Community Creche - 13/07/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Northcote Point Community Crèche provides good quality learning opportunities for children of families on Auckland’s North Shore. Children who attend the centre are usually already walking and most are not yet old enough to attend kindergarten. Sessions are held each morning and there is an afternoon session each week for children over three year of age.

Children spend much of their time exploring the environment and interacting with equipment. Teachers develop the programme around a theme that is inclusive of the interests of some of the children. They provide additional resources and activities that link to this theme.

Parents are very involved in the centre and provide useful support. They volunteer to attend some sessions as helpers. In addition they often spend time interacting with the children and support them in their play. A committee of elected parents ably govern and help to manage the crèche.

The physical environment, an historic building and small outdoor area, is not well suited to the needs of the crèche. The management committee and staff continue to improve facilities. Teachers should further review the layout of the centre to maximise play opportunities.

Teachers reflect on the programme and their teaching. Improvements made to performance management practices should support this ongoing review. The head teacher accesses relevant professional development to support teachers in meeting their performance goals. She could now investigate the self-review guidelines available from the Ministry of Education to strengthen the centre’s self-review practices.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Northcote Point Community Crèche was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre 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 centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atNorthcote Point Community Crèche.

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
  • the interactions between children and adults.

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

The Quality of Education

Background

Northcote Point Community Crèche continues to provide early childhood education with a strong focus on meeting the needs of the community. While continuing with five morning sessions, it has reduced the afternoon sessions from two per week to one because of limited demand. Most children attend two sessions per week.

Teachers are interacting with a large number of children and their families. Teachers maintain portfolios and write learning stories. These are a record of the child’s time at the centre and show the links between their learning and Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum.

Areas of strength

Relationships

Relationships at the centre are positive and affirming. Children confidently approach teachers and other adults. They mix well together and share resources. Parents and teachers work effectively to ensure all tasks related to each session are completed.

Age-appropriate learning

Teachers know children and their families well. They are aware of the stages of development and learning of the age group who attend. Children have time and space to explore their environment at their own pace. Teachers help children access resources and monitor their play to support them to take risks in a safe environment.

Partnership with parents

Parents spend time at the centre with their children, sometimes as rostered helpers, and sometimes to enjoy time with their child within the crèche environment. At times teachers provide support and advice for parents in relation to their children’s learning and development.

Opportunities for children

The centre programme provides support for children’s development and to extend their learning. Children develop social competence and independence as they explore resources and participate in activities. They experience additional opportunities to develop early literacy and numeracy skills and to experiment with creativity.

Improvements to the environment

The management committee has made progress to improve the centre environment. A new kitchen has been installed, storage has been improved and weather protection has been added to extend the times when the sand pit can be used.

Reflective culture

A reflective culture guides on-going improvement at the crèche. Teachers regularly review the learning programme and environment. The management committee provide opportunities for parents to make suggestions and provide constructive feedback on the service provided by the crèche.

Te reo and tikanga Māori

Teachers are committed to including te reo and tikanga Māori into the programme. Mat time activities include waiata, poi and Māori phrases. Teachers are participating in ongoing professional development in this aspect of the curriculum.

Performance management systems

Performance systems have been reviewed and a more robust and improvement focused model has been adopted. Teachers have set personal professional goals, and centre-wide goals have been identified and progress against these goals is reviewed. The centre managers access professional development for staff that is relevant to these goals.

Areas for development and review

Strengthening self review

The staff and managers should continue to develop their capacity to undertake useful self review. They could use Ministry of Education and ERO resources to guide future self reviews.

Supporting children’s language development

Children’s language development would benefit from greater use of open-ended questioning where adults provide time, and a greater expectation, that the child will respond verbally.

Reviewing routines

Teachers should explore further options for morning tea and mat time to ensure that these routines support children’s learning.

Sharing best practice with parents/whānau

The centre has the notion of “parents and first teachers” firmly embedded in its philosophy and parent involvement is integral to the programme. Teachers could share with parents/whānau best practices for interacting with children. This might include visual prompts around the centre to communicate good early childhood teaching practices with parent helpers.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Northcote Point Community Crèche completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

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

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that 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
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

 

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Type

Sessional Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

26 children, including up to 8 aged under 2 years

Roll number

86

Gender composition

Girls 45 Boys 41

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 73, Māori 6, Chinese 3, Indian 1, Japanese 1, Korean 1, Spanish 1

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

13 July 2012

Previous three ERO reports

 

Education Review, February 2009 Education Review, March 2006 Accountability Review, November 2002

Parents and Community of Northcote Point Community Crèche

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Northcote Point Community Crèche.

Northcote Point Community Crèche provides good quality learning opportunities for children of families on Auckland’s North Shore. Children who attend the centre are usually already walking and most are not yet old enough to attend kindergarten. Sessions are held each morning and there is an afternoon session each week for children over three year of age.

Children spend much of their time exploring the environment and interacting with equipment. Teachers develop the programme around a theme that is inclusive of the interests of some of the children. They provide additional resources and activities that link to this theme.

Parents are very involved in the centre and provide useful support. They volunteer to attend some sessions as helpers. In addition they often spend time interacting with the children and support them in their play. A committee of elected parents ably govern and help to manage the crèche.

The physical environment, an historic building and small outdoor area, is not well suited to the needs of the crèche. The management committee and staff continue to improve facilities. Teachers should further review the layout of the centre to maximise play opportunities.

Teachers reflect on the programme and their teaching. Improvements made to performance management practices should support this ongoing review. The head teacher accesses relevant professional development to support teachers in meeting their performance goals. She could now investigate the self-review guidelines available from the Ministry of Education to strengthen the centre’s self-review practices.