Nurtured at Home - Auckland 7 - 08/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Nurtured at Home - Auckland 7

How well placed is Nurtured at Home - Auckland 7 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

Nurtured at Home is a privately owned company that provides homebased care for children within seven networks across the wider Auckland region. The Auckland service opened in 2014, and has since extended to networks in the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne and Wellington.

The owner is a qualified early childhood teacher. She provides comprehensive governance and leadership support for the service. A training and development manager provides professional learning for the visiting teaching team and educators. The Nurtured at Home Auckland service employs eight fully registered teachers and a qualified manager who provides leadership and management support.

The Auckland 7 network caters for mostly Chinese communities and is led by a Chinese Mandarin-speaking visiting teacher. Teachers and educators use a variety of approaches to connect and communicate with parents.

Each visiting teacher supports 12 educators in their network. Teachers visit educators at least two or three times a month. They provide educators with resources, and guide them in the care and education of infants, toddlers and older children. Teachers provide educators with written and oral reviews of their practice.

Nurtured at Home - Auckland 7 is funded as a Standard Funding service. Educators' homes are spread throughout Auckland and mostly consist of family members providing care for children. The network is licensed for 80 children, including 40 up to the age of two. Currently 38 children are on this network's roll.

This review was part of a cluster of two home-based network reviews in the Nurtured at Home (Auckland) Limited organisation. This is the first ERO review for the Nurtured at Home - Auckland 7 service.

The Review Findings

Visiting teachers forge positive and respectful relationships with educators, children, parents and the extended families they serve. They establish trust with educators and support them to use teaching strategies and approaches that promote positive outcomes for children. These play ideas and activities include the use of natural materials and homemade educational resources.

Visiting teachers provide opportunities for educators and children to connect with each other through discovery days. These events provide different learning experiences for children and useful educational ideas for educators. Some discovery events are held during weekends to encourage parents to attend with their children, to meet visiting teachers and other parents.

Educators prioritise the use of children's first or home language. Educational practices respond to the cultures of children and their families. Often educators share the same cultural background as the children in their care. Visiting teachers know their educators and children well.

Educators are well supported to include bicultural practices. These practices are becoming more evident in the network's operations. Culturally responsive teaching and learning approaches are integrated in the organisation's professional learning. The visiting teacher for this network has provided significant additional support for educators by translating parts of Te Whāriki and other important documents into Mandarin.

Visiting teachers have good professional knowledge and understanding of early childhood educational theory and practice. They support educators to develop their skills in recording children's progress over time. Some educators notice, recognise and respond well to children's interests and strengths. Profile books highlight the connections between children's play and learning. These assessment narratives provide good information for parents and educators about what and how children learn.

Visiting teachers maintain clear and useful records of their professional conversations with educators. They evaluate how well educators interact with children, and support children's health and wellbeing. They engage educators in discussions about children's learning and support them to reflect on, and improve their practice. Visiting teachers could now more explicitly identify discussion points about educators' practice and the next steps for their professional growth. Educators have ready access to visiting teachers and to the management team.

The service's philosophy and guiding principles are evident in management and teaching practices. Managers work collaboratively with each other, and with the visiting teacher team. They recognise strengths in visiting teachers' and educators' practice, and empower others in leadership roles. Professional learning for visiting teachers is very well considered and is responsive to the needs of visiting teachers and educators in the home-based care context. The service maintains a well-stocked toy library and educational resources. This facility along with equipment such as prams and cots, is available for educators.

Managers maintain good systems and processes to promote ongoing improvement and accountability. They keep up-to-date with legislative requirements. Recent restructuring of management team responsibilities has further improved the systems and practices across the organisation. This improvement includes an up-to-date and well implemented policy framework.

Managers and visiting teachers have a good understanding of internal evaluation as a tool for improvement. The teacher appraisal system supports teachers to reflect on, and improve their practice. Managers ensure that strategic planning, service goals, appraisal and professional learning are well aligned. They make strategic appointments to cater for the cultural requirements of the children and families that the network serves.

Managers express their commitment to bicultural practice and processes that affirm Māori as tangata whenua. Culturally responsive teaching and learning approaches are included as part of the organisation's professional learning.

Key Next Steps

ERO agree that key next steps for the service include continuing to:

  • strengthen internal evaluation in order to focus on outcomes for children

  • deepen bicultural practices across the service to provide children and their families a greater understanding of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Nurtured at Home - Auckland 7 completed an ERO Home-based Education and Care 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 Nurtured at Home - Auckland 7 will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

8 June 2018

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 Home-based Education and Care Service

Location

Penrose, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

46958

Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 40 aged under 2

Service roll

38

Standard or Quality Funded

Standard

Gender composition

Girls 21 Boys 17

Ethnic composition

Chinese
Indian
Southeast Asian

36
1
1

Number of qualified coordinators in the network

1

Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2

1:2

Over 2

1:4

Review team on site

April 2018

Date of this report

8 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports for this network

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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

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.