Porse Hamilton S3 - 01/06/2011

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

PORSE Hamilton S3 (30253) is a network that provides home-based education and care for children and their families in Hamilton East. It caters for 95 children, including 7 who identify as Māori and a significant number of children from refugee or migrant families. The network operates alongside two other networks under the same franchise management. The national office of PORSE also provides comprehensive documentation and operational guidelines.

Educators provide good to high quality education and care. Their interactions with children are positive, caring and respectful. Most educators provide high quality support for the development of children’s social skills, language and mathematical concepts, and are skilled at fostering children’s independence, creativity and thinking. They are also responsive to children’s emerging interests and individual needs. Children regularly interact with other children, and most participate in PORSE playschools, movement and music sessions, 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. Programme tutors closely monitor educator progress and celebrate their achievements.

Affirming and mutually respectful relationships are evident between the licensee, tutors, educators and parents. Families are kept well informed of relevant events and activities and their children’s participation in them. Some educators also document children’s progress and development for whānau.

The licensee/franchisee continues to provide clear direction and strong professional leadership for programme tutors and other staff. Her leadership style is motivational, supportive and inclusive. As a result, staff work collaboratively and a learning community is developing through shared professional development, readings and individual coaching sessions.

Self-review processes inform educator and staff appraisal and organisational decision making. The next step for the service is to more consistently share good practice guidelines for programme planning, assessment and some aspects of learning programmes. This should help strengthen the leadership role of tutors and assist educators to further improve the quality of educational provision.

Future Action

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

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of PORSE Hamilton S3 was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre 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 centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atPORSE Hamilton S3.

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 S3 is a standard home-based care network that caters for children and families in Hamilton East. Educators 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 evaluated the quality of learning environments, programmes and planning and assessment documentation.

Areas of good performance

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 develop 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, the wider community, 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.

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. Practices that support positive relationships include:

  • home-based education and care settings that promote the formation of strong emotional attachments between children and educators;
  • 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. Their interactions with children are positive, caring and respectful, and child management strategies are generally effective. Most educators observed by ERO provide high quality support for development of children’s social skills, language and mathematical concepts. They are responsive to children’s interests and needs and skilfully foster children’s independence, thinking and exploration of creative arts. Some educators use observations in children’s journals effectively to inform parents about their children’s progress, development and emerging interests. They also document what children say and involve them in planning processes. Learning environments are spacious, and adequate to very well resourced.

Outcomes for children: Children are very settled in their home-based care environments. There is evidence of children making progress in their learning, and some children are becoming more independent problem solvers and thinkers. Children are also developing a sound basis for future learning about literacy and mathematical concepts. They have good opportunities to interact with other children, and most participate in general and nature playschools, movement and music sessions, visits to places of interest in the community, and family fun days provided by PORSE.

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 staff appraisal system is based on 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 S3 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 to:

  • support educators to document simple but effective programme planning and assessment practices based on noticing, recognising and responding to children’s emerging interests;
  • assisting educators and most tutors to more effectively document for parents, children’s learning and interests, possibilities for extension, and progress over time;
  • increasing inclusion of what children and parents say in children’s journals;
  • helping some educators provide more meaningful and developmentally appropriate support for literacy learning; and
  • strengthening monitoring of safety issues, and introducing 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 95 children, of which 7 identify as Māori. The 2006 ERO report acknowledged the programme manager’s and tutors’ commitment to improve educational outcomes for children by strengthening biculturalism in programmes and 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, respective 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 and 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. Evidence for this strengthening of practice includes some effective modelling of Māori language and culture 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 that they have to place their children with educators who are whānau members, or who provide programmes that are culturally appropriate for Māori children. These educators often participate with the children in Māori community and whānau events and provide regular contact with whānau kuia and kaumatua.

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;
  • reviewing the extent to which these aspirations are achieved; and
  • performance management practices that reflect appropriate expectations for bicultural practice for staff and educators.

4 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of PORSE Hamilton S3 completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have 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 looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that 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 educator health and safety home 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:

  • continue to inform the community and parents of the educative role of home-based care;
  • review and share good practice guidelines to further strengthen the quality of education and care experienced by children; and
  • review planning, policies and practices related to education of Māori children and biculturalism, in consultation with 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 is likely to review the service again within three years.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

About the Centre

Type

Home-Based Care

Chartered under

Education (Home-based Care) Order 1992

Number chartered for

80 children, including up to 80 aged under 2

Roll number

95 children, including 38 under 2

Gender composition

Boys 54 Girls 41

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 43

Other 35

New Zealand Māori 7

Other European 5

Chinese 2

Samoan 1

Indian 1

Other Asian 1

Review team on site

February 2011

Date of this report

01 June 2011

Previous ERO reports

Education Review August 2006

01 June 2011

To the Parents and Community of PORSE Hamilton S3

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on PORSE Hamilton S3.

PORSE Hamilton S3 (30253) is a network that provides home-based education and care for children and their families in Hamilton East. It caters for 95 children, including 7 who identify as Māori and a significant number of children from refugee or migrant families. The network operates alongside two other networks under the same franchise management. The national office of PORSE also provides comprehensive documentation and operational guidelines.

Educators provide good to high quality education and care. Their interactions with children are positive, caring and respectful. Most educators provide high quality support for the development of children’s social skills, language and mathematical concepts, and are skilled at fostering children’s independence, creativity and thinking. They are also responsive to children’s emerging interests and individual needs. Children regularly interact with other children, and most participate in PORSE playschools, movement and music sessions, 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. Programme tutors closely monitor educator progress and celebrate their achievements.

Affirming and mutually respectful relationships are evident between the licensee, tutors, educators and parents. Families are kept well informed of relevant events and activities and their children’s participation in them. Some educators also document children’s progress and development for whānau.

The licensee/franchisee continues to provide clear direction and strong professional leadership for programme tutors and other staff. Her leadership style is motivational, supportive and inclusive. As a result, staff work collaboratively and a learning community is developing through shared professional development, readings and individual coaching sessions.

Self-review processes inform educator and staff appraisal and organisational decision making. The next step for the service is to more consistently share good practice guidelines for programme planning, assessment and some aspects of learning programmes. This should help strengthen the leadership role of tutors and assist educators to further improve the quality of educational provision.

Future Action

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

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person 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 centre or see the ERO website, http://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 centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’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 centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.

National Evaluation Topics – This strand contributes 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 centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre 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 centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre 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 centre.