Poipoi Home Child Care Limited - 12/03/2015

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Poipoi Home Child Care Limited is one of four home-based education and care networks operating as part of Poipoi Home Child Care Limited. The service provides for children up to six years of age in Far North communities including Omapere, Kaitaia, Paparore, Cable Bay and south to Kaeo.

This is the first ERO review of the four Poipoi networks. The service has experienced significant growth since it was established in 2009.

This report identifies some areas of good performance. Children's wellbeing and belonging are well supported and they benefit from caring relationships with educators. Good communication practices are resulting in trusting relationships between whānau and the service. The service's philosophy is well enacted and a kaupapa Māori approach to service management is evident.

However, ERO's evaluation also identified a significant number of development areas needed to improve service management and the quality of education and care provided for children. Addressing these and the areas of non-compliance detailed in this report must be a priority for the service owner.

Future Action

ERO intends to return to the service within 12 months to evaluate the progress made in response to the recommendations in this report.

2. The Focus of the Review

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.

The Quality of Education

Background

Educators work in their own homes to provide education and care for up to four children at any one time. Most of the children enrolled in this network have Māori heritage and whakapapa to the five iwi of Muriwhenua. Children and educators speak both Māori and English during the day. A team of four visiting teachers, who are qualified and registered early childhood teachers, visits homes and supports educators to plan and provide educational programmes for children. The owner is responsible for the overall governance of the service.

A central part of the service’s philosophy is “to cherish and protect what is special about each child”. A commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and a respect for Te Ao Māori underpin the service’s approach to home-based education and care. The owner and visiting teachers work closely with social agencies to support and advocate for children and whānau. Educators are encouraged to participate in Playcentre adult education courses and other learning opportunities.

Review Findings

Children experience home settings where te reo me ōna tikanga Māori are valued. Their wellbeing and belonging are supported by a strong sense of aroha and whanaungatanga. Children benefit from caring relationships with educators who know them well. They are encouraged to explore the natural world and make choices as they play. The small group size supports infants and toddlers to settle into the home setting. Children with special and high needs are warmly welcomed and included.

Good communication with whānau is a priority for the service. The owner and visiting teachers have developed trusting relationships with whānau, tamariki and educators. They recognise that many families value face-to-face conversations as a way to share information and their aspirations for their children’s learning.

Educators are responsive to children’s interests. They have a range of skills and experiences that guide their work with children. Educators are encouraged to participate in training to build their knowledge of how young children learn. Where educators have higher qualifications and training levels, children’s interests are extended and their learning over time is well supported.

Visiting teachers work well together to enact the service’s philosophy. They collaborate and share ideas that will promote children’s learning. Visiting teachers develop inclusive relationships with children and educators. They are enthusiastic about making the improvements identified in this report.

The overall management of the service is clearly linked to a kaupapa Māori approach. A range of policies and operational procedures guide service delivery. A purposeful self-review process has been established. The owner has proactively addressed funding issues that have arisen from some children attending two services at the same time. In addition, she recognises that she could more clearly document concerns and complaints, and subsequent actions taken.

Key next steps

The service owner agrees that key next steps to improve the quality of management include:

  • developing and implementing systems to assure the owner that hazard management and health and safety in homes are being monitored
  • developing and evaluating long term and annual goals to guide ongoing improvement
  • increasing whānau and educator participation in self review
  • seeking professional development for visiting teachers to support them in their leadership and adult education roles
  • linking appraisal processes for qualified teachers to the Registered Teacher Criteria.

The service owner also agrees that key next steps for visiting teachers include:

  • supporting educators to plan for individual children’s learning, rather than simply planning activities
  • guiding educators to document how programmes celebrate the language, culture and identity of tamariki Māori
  • monitoring the extent to which children’s individual records show their participation in home-based programmes, as well as community events
  • documenting their conversations with whānau and using this information to help them plan for children’s learning.

Visiting teachers should ensure they regularly document how they coach to improve educator practice. They should also record their contribution to the assessment, planning and evaluation of children’s learning, at least monthly.

3. Management Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Before the review, the management and staff of Poipoi Home Child Care Limited completed an ERO Home-Based Education and Care Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum standard
  • premises and facilities standard
  • health and safety practices standard
  • governance management and administration standard.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they 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.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

ERO identified areas of non-compliance to be addressed. The service owner must ensure that:

  • systems for monitoring hazards, health and safety procedures and other legal requirements in homes are maintained

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, Regulation 46 (1a)

  • programmes provided for children are informed by well-documented planning, assessment and evaluation

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C2

  • non-registered staff and other adults aged over 17 in homes, are police vetted every three years

Education Amendment Act, 2010, 319FB

  • fewer than five children are provided for in a home at any one time

Education Act, 1989, s309

  • hygienic hand-washing facilities are available for children

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, PF16

  • the use of equity funding is reported to parents

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA2.

4. Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education provide support to the service owner and visiting teachers to ensure that:

  • management and quality assurance systems support the effective operation of the service
  • visiting teachers record how they guide improved educator practices and contribute to curriculum provision in homes.

5. Future Action

ERO intends to return to the service within 12 months to evaluate the progress made in response to the recommendations in this report.

Dale Bailey Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern Select Region

12 March 2015

About the Service

Location

Kaitaia, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

45273

Service type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Service roll

46

Gender composition

Boys 24 Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

44

2

Review team on site

December 2014

Date of this report

12 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

First ERO review of the service