Ohaupo Childcare - 12/05/2015

1. Evaluation of Ohaupo Childcare

How well placed is Ohaupo 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

Ohaupo Childcare is a privately-owned centre, located in a rural area south of Hamilton City. The purpose-built centre provides education and care for up to 65 children in three age-based rooms: Fantails (up to 2 years), Tuis (2 to 3.5 years) and Pukeko s (3 to 6 years). Children over two share a spacious outdoor environment, and younger children have a separate outdoor area. The owner has recently introduced separate rooms and teams for toddlers (Tuis) and older children (Pukekos) to allow teachers to focus more on the learning needs of these age groups.

The owner/service provider is responsible for the overall direction of the centre, including marketing, financial and personnel management and property development. At the time of this ERO review, the appointment of a new manager/curriculum leader was pending. The centre employs 10 fulltime teaching staff, including six qualified teachers.

Teachers have participated in relevant professional development and have made significant progress on areas for development identified in the centre’s March 2012 ERO report. These areas included providing a bicultural programme and environment, and increasing children’s independent access to displays, individual portfolios and a wider variety of activities.

The centre aims to empower children to be confident learners who believe in their capabilities, and to 'provide an environment that encourages meaningful encounters with rich potential to engage, communicate and form relationships'.

The Review Findings

Centre programmes support children to become, competent learners and confident communicators. Children are familiar with centre routines, and participate and share in group settings. Children are encouraged to make choices and demonstrate many self-help and care skills. Older children in each room demonstrate empathy, care and affection for younger children. Children play well with and alongside their peers. Babies and young toddlers actively explore their environment and initiate learning.

Children up to two years old receive high quality education and care in a calm and nurturing environment. The Fantail teaching team works closely with families to implement individual care routines. Teachers are very responsive to non-verbal cues and early language of babies and young toddlers. They skilfully build toddlers’ vocabulary in English and Māori and foster independence. Te reo and tikanga Māori, reading and singing in the Fantail programme, and care routines are effectively integrated.

Rich and varied programmes are well-designed to support children’s learning and development. Programmes include a balance of child-initiated play and teacher-led activities. Teachers in all rooms nurture a love of reading. Children also have good opportunities to experiment with writing, and to learn about the natural world, local community and environment. Transitions in and out of the centre, and between rooms, are carefully managed to meet whānau and children’s needs.

Indoor learning environments are welcoming, attractively presented and generally well-resourced. The spacious Fantail room invites ongoing exploration of a wide variety of textures and natural resources. Babies and young toddlers make good use of large indoor spaces to practice their developing physical skills. Independent access to a wider variety of equipment and resources in the Tui and Pukeko areas would allow children to decide when and how to explore their ideas and interests.

Teachers know children and their families well, and plan cooperatively to explore emerging interests. Individual children’s portfolios provide comprehensive records of their learning and development. Parents and teachers make very effective use of digital portfolios to share information about individual children’s learning and development.

Team leaders demonstrate a high level of commitment to mentoring and empowering teachers to build on their strengths. They are reflective and willing to consider new ideas.

The experienced centre director clearly articulates the centre’s vision to provide high quality education and care with strong links to the local community. Once the new centre manager has been appointed it would be timely to review the centre’s philosophy and define curriculum leadership responsibilities.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that key next steps are to:

  • strengthen self review, strategic and annual planning, and the links between these processes
  • implement ongoing curriculum review to evaluate how well the centre’s view of the child, and philosophy, are reflected in planning and other teaching practices, interactions, programmes and learning environments
  • review personnel policies and appraisal procedures
  • review the centre’s privacy policy, practices, guidelines and procedures
  • review practices to support meaningful literacy, mathematics and science learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

12 May 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

Ohaupo, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

45343

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

65 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

65

Gender composition

Boys 41

Girls 24

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Indian

6

58

1

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

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

12 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 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.