PORSE Hamilton East Q1 - 01/06/2011

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

PORSE Hamilton Q1 (55423) is a quality funded network that provides home-based care and education children and their families in Hamilton East. It caters for 117 children of whom 20% identify as Māori. The network operates alongside two other networks under the same franchise management. The national office of PORSE provides comprehensive documentation and operational guidelines.

Educator and programme tutor interactions with children are affectionate, caring and respectful. Educators provide good to high quality support for the development of English and Māori language, social skills, and mathematical concepts. They also place a strong emphasis on early literacy learning. Children are confident communicators and demonstrate a strong sense of belonging in their home-based care environments. They regularly interact with other children and participate in PORSE music and movement sessions, playschools, excursions and social gatherings.

PORSE personnel provide a wide range of programmes and workshops on aspects of early childhood education for educators, families and the wider community. Educators are expected to participate in training, and programme tutors closely monitor educator progress and celebrate their achievements.

Affirming and mutually respectful relationships are very evident between the licensee/franchisee, tutors, educators and parents. Families are kept well informed of events and activities and their children’s participation in them.

The licensee/franchisee continues to provide clear direction and strong professional leadership for programme tutors and other staff. The next step is for tutors to more consistently share good practice guidelines with educators on programme planning, assessment and some aspects of the curriculum. This should help strengthen the educational leadership role of tutors and assist educators to further improve the quality of education for children.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again within three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of PORSE Hamilton Q1 was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by PORSE Hamilton Q1 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 service (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atPORSE Hamilton Q1.

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; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

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

The Quality of Education

Background

PORSE Hamilton Q1 is a quality-funded network that provides home-based education and care for children and families in Hamilton East. Educators, with Level 3 training or higher qualifications in early childhood education and care, are regularly visited by qualified tutor teachers. Home-based options include educators working in their own or children’s homes, and nannies. Reviewers visited ten percent of the educators in this network, and the services’ nature playschool. They observed interactions among children, educators and programme tutors, and also evaluated the quality of learning environments, programmes and planning and assessment documentation.

Areas of strength

Professional leadership: The licensee/franchise holder continues to provide strong professional leadership for tutors and staff. She articulates a clear vision and sense of direction for the network, and provides effective coordination between the network and the national organisation. The licensee acts as a regional manager and her leadership style is motivational, supportive and inclusive. As a result, staff work collaboratively as a team. Staff are encouraged to take leadership roles and develope a learning community through shared professional development, readings and monthly coaching meetings.

Vision, principles, philosophy and values: PORSE national office provides high quality documentation that sets out the philosophy, vision and values of the organisation. These principles are consistently shared and accepted by staff, educators and families. They are also reflected in national guidelines and expectations for all aspects of network programmes and practices, including marketing, recruitment, induction and staff and educator training.

Training and support: A feature of PORSE is the quantity, high quality and accessibility of local, regional and national support training programmes for staff, educators and to some extent families. There is a consistent expectation that educators will participate in training courses and experiences as part of their career development. Educators receive ongoing support for their training from programme tutors, who also coordinate the recognition and celebration of educator achievement and progress. Tutors model good practice in early childhood education, especially during playschools and collective activities. Programme ideas and achievements are shared through informative newsletters and magazines.

Relationships: Affirming and mutually respectful relationships are a particular strength of the service. These relationships are evident between management, staff, tutors, educators, families, children and several community groups. Factors that facilitate development of positive relationships include:

  • educators interacting on an ongoing basis with a small group of children;
  • daily conversations between educators and parents about children;
  • tutors’ affirming and supportive interactions with educators and client families through regular home visits, visit notes and telephone contact; and
  • social events for staff, educators and/or families to recognise and celebrate success and progress.

Programme-in-action: Educators provide good to high quality education and care in spacious and well resourced learning environments. Their interactions with children of all ages are respectful, caring and affectionate. Child management strategies are effective. Educators provide good to high quality support for development of children’s oral language, mathematical concepts and social skills, and read frequently to children. Some educators are very skilled at using questions to foster independent thinking and imaginative play.

Outcomes for children: Children demonstrate a strong sense of belonging and are very settled in their home-based care environments. They are developing a sound basis for future learning about literacy and mathematical concepts. Children have regular opportunities to interact with other children though shared activities, such as library visits, playschools, nature playschools, movement and music sessions, visits to places of interest in the community and family fun days.

Self review: Self-review processes across the organisation inform educator and staff performance appraisal and ongoing decision making. Families provide feedback to educators through annual appraisals of their children’s education and care programmes. The appraisal system is based on staff empowerment models and includes self review and monitoring of progress against agreed monthly and yearly goals.

Areas for development and review

Building on good practices: PORSE Hamilton Q1 could consider developing shared good practice criteria, and using these to more effectively evaluate and improve educator practice. Special consideration could be given to using criteria that:

  • support educators to document simple but effective programme planning and assessment practices based on noticing, recognising and responding to children’s emerging interests;
  • assist educators and most tutors to more effectively document for parents, children’s learning and interests, possibilities for extension, and progress over time;
  • increase parent input in children’s journals;
  • help educators provide more meaningful and developmentally appropriate support for literacy;
  • strengthen tutor monitoring of safety issues, and introduce daily health and safety compliance assurance checks to complement the more formal systems signed off by educators each term.

Sharing of criteria for good practice should help strengthen the educational leadership role of programme tutors and assist educators to further improve the quality of home-based education and care.

3 National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Partnerships with whānau of Māori children in early childhood services

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • this service understands and values the identity, language and culture of Māori children and their whānau, particularly when the child and whānau transition to the service;
  • managers and educators have built relationships with whānau of Māori children;
  • this service works in partnership with whānau of Māori children.

Background

This network caters for 117 children, including 20% who identify as Māori. The 2006 ERO report acknowledged the programme manager’s and tutors’ commitment to strengthen biculturalism in educational programmes and organisational practices. The organisation and individuals have since undertaken several actions to increase staff and educator knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori.

Areas of strength

Building relationships: At every level of the organisation there is strong emphasis on building positive, respectful and supportive relationships with educators and families, including Māori. This commitment is reflected in the recent appointment of a Māori professional ECE educator as a programme tutor. She brings a strong knowledge and confidence in te reo and tikanga Māori. As a result, tutors more proactively approach Māori families and community organisations to inform them about the opportunities for home-based education and care that reflect whānau values and aspirations. Links with local school cultural groups have been strengthened which has increased opportunities for whānau, educators and children to attend associated events.

Training and workshops: The Māori programme tutor contributes strongly to staff training on Māori language and culture. This has helped to increase awareness of bi-cultural practice and staff confidence and competence in using te reo Māori. Some good to high quality modelling of Māori language and culture was observed in educator homes and Nature Playschool contexts. Activities, informative newsletters and resources also support the celebration of Matariki and Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

Meeting whānau aspirations: Whānau appreciate the increased opportunities to place their children with educators who are whānau members or who provide Māori immersion, bilingual or bicultural programmes. These educators often participate with the children in Māori community and whānau events and maintain children’s contact with whānau kuia and kaumatua. Some children’s journals reflect the use of Māori language and children’s involvement in whānau experiences.

Areas for development and review

Strategic plan and tangata whenua policy: The strategic plan and tangata whenua policy are core documents that guide aspects of bicultural practice in the PORSE organisation. A next step for PORSE is to review how strongly these documents reflect organisational commitments to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the principles of Ka Hikitia: Managing for Success -Māori Education Strategy 2008-2012

Areas for consideration could include:

  • strategic planning to improve educational outcomes for Māori children generally and in terms of te reo and tikanga Māori;
  • collective consultation with Māori whānau, staff, educators and tangata whenua about their educational aspirations for Māori and other children, strengthening partnerships to achieve these aspirations, and reviewing the extent to which the aspirations are achieved; and
  • performance management practices that reflect appropriate expectations for bicultural practice for staff and educators.

4 Management Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Before the review, the management and staff of PORSE Hamilton Q1 completed an ERO Home-Based CareManagement Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

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

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; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

In order to improve current practice the managers should continue to review organisational quality assurance practices in regard to home health and safety compliance checks, as identified in the previous ERO report.

5 Recommendations

ERO agrees with the licensee/franchisee and the programme tutor team that they should:

5.1 continue to inform the community and parents of the educative role of home-based care;5.2 review and share good practice guidelines to further strengthen the quality of education and care experienced by children; and 5.3 review planning, policies and practices related to education of Māori children and biculturalism, in consultation with the Māori whānau and tangata whenua.

6 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again within three years.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

About the Service

Licence type

Home-Based Care

Chartered under

Education (Home-based Care) Order 1992

Number licensed for

Roll number

80 children, including up to 80 aged under two years

117

Gender composition

Boys 61, Girls 56

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 72

New Zealand Māori 23

Other European 8

Other 8

Indian 8

Chinese 1

Cook Island Māori 1

Other Asian 1

Pacific 1

Review team onsite

February 2011

Date of this report

01 June 2011

Previous ERO reports

Education Review August 2006

To the Parents and Community of PORSE Hamilton Q1

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on PORSE Hamilton Q1.

PORSE Hamilton Q1 (55423) is a quality funded network that provides home-based care and education children and their families in Hamilton East. It caters for 117 children of whom 20% identify as Māori. The network operates alongside two other networks under the same franchise management. The national office of PORSE provides comprehensive documentation and operational guidelines.

Educator and programme tutor interactions with children are affectionate, caring and respectful. Educators provide good to high quality support for the development of English and Māori language, social skills, and mathematical concepts. They also place a strong emphasis on early literacy learning. Children are confident communicators and demonstrate a strong sense of belonging in their home-based care environments. They regularly interact with other children and participate in PORSE music and movement sessions, playschools, excursions and social gatherings.

PORSE personnel provide a wide range of programmes and workshops on aspects of early childhood education for educators, families and the wider community. Educators are expected to participate in training, and programme tutors closely monitor educator progress and celebrate their achievements.

Affirming and mutually respectful relationships are very evident between the licensee/franchisee, tutors, educators and parents. Families are kept well informed of events and activities and their children’s participation in them.

The licensee/franchisee continues to provide clear direction and strong professional leadership for programme tutors and other staff. The next step is for tutors to more consistently share good practice guidelines with educators on programme planning, assessment and some aspects of the curriculum. This should help strengthen the educational leadership role of tutors and assist educators to further improve the quality of education for children.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again within three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood service we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the service or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

General Information About Reviews

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood services; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each service’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a service, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • National Evaluation Topics – This strand contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this service has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this service.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a service is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this service.