Nurture by Nature Early Childhood Centre - 07/03/2016

1 Evaluation of Nurture by Nature Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Nurture by Nature 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

Nurture by Nature Early Childhood Centre is in a rural setting on the outskirts of Kerikeri. The centre provides full day care for 50 children, including 15 children under two years of age, in three interconnected play spaces. Kowhai room is for the youngest children, Pohutukawa room for children from approximately 3 years, and Kauri room is for the oldest group. Kowhai and Pohutukawa children share an outdoor area.

The centre philosophy is founded on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Centre environments reflect a commitment to natural materials and care for the environment. A flexible use of space across the centre and teachers’ response to children’s preferences support the positive relationships and strong sense of family across the service.

The long serving, well qualified team of teachers and staff continue to support each other well through a period of readjustment and change. The centre manager has focused on becoming familiar with the management role. She has worked purposefully to maintain the kaupapa of the service during a difficult period.

The centre has a positive ERO reporting history and staff continue to work hard to maintain past achievements and build on their good practices.

The Review Findings

Children are enthusiastic and engaged in the programme that is driven by their play interests. They actively select materials, initiate activities and are well supported to be inventive and creative. Their growing social competence is evident as they play and solve problems together. Each child has a key teacher who supports their individualised care. Teachers nurture children’s wellbeing.

Matauranga Māori delivery is keeping this intrinsic part of the centre curriculum to the fore. Using the strengths of staff, whānau and the community, the delivery of programmes that reflect te ao Māori is a significant feature of the centre. The manager and teachers have plans to extend this good practice into their provision for children and whānau from Pacific nations.

Continuity of practice and programmes across the three rooms is very evident. Routines are familiar to children. Teachers also consider progressive learning and development, and each room builds on the good foundations of the previous in areas such as self-help, literacy and mathematics. Teachers’ very good interactions and questioning support children’s developing language and communication skills. Parents and children have input into decisions about the flexible transition process between rooms.

Teachers compile attractive portfolios for each child that are treasured by children and families. Planning of a core curriculum is underway. It includes the seasonal celebrations and events that connect the centre, whānau and the community, and serves as a lead-in for learning.

Positive and reciprocal relationships are core to the centre’s curriculum. Richness is added to the curriculum as management and teachers continue to build on their partnerships with whānau and links to the local community. Digital devices and computers are increasingly being used to open up communication with parents and whānau about learning.

Good support and mentoring systems help to build teacher capability and develop recognised strengths. All teachers are currently involved in professional learning that aims to explore authentic distributed leadership. Desired outcomes for staff, whānau and children have been determined. Teachers are also working on establishing an inquiry-teaching approach and are accessing professional learning in this area.

Self review is a valued and improvement focus. It helps the service evaluate what they do and to plan for future possibilities. Well established processes and frameworks help guide review and encourage a good depth of thinking. Strategic, regular and emergent review are all evident. Work to rationalise and update centre polices is well underway.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that the key next steps for centre development are to:

  • review programme planning and assessment documentation to ensure that connections in children’s learning are evident over time
  • increase the use of digital technologies to share learning with families
  • continue work on aligning the staff appraisal process to the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Nurture by Nature 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 Nurture by Nature Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

7 March 2016

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

20004

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

65

Gender composition

Girls 41 Boys 24

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Cook Island Māori

other Pacific

other

27

28

2

1

1

6

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

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2016

Date of this report

7 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2013

 

Education Review

March 2010

 

Education Review

March 2007

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.