PORSE Takanini S1 - 01/06/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

PORSE (Play, Observe, Relate, Support, Extend, Evaluate) is an in-home early childhood organisation with its National Service Office located in Hawkes Bay. Area offices are located throughout New Zealand. Within the area offices, PORSE personnel, including coaches and programme tutors, work with parents, nannies and home educators to provide early childhood education and care for infants, toddlers and young children. Children are cared for in their own homes or in small groups in the home of their educator.

The PORSE mission is “to have all people in New Zealand schooled in nurturing and educating children in their care.” Families are valued partners in children’s education and care.

The PORSE Manukau S1 network operates from Manukau. Programme tutors, who are registered teachers and have primary responsibility for children’s learning, provide support, encouragement and informative resources for educators. PORSE offers many opportunities for educators to support each other and to participate in professional development courses.

Educators are encouraged to make use of community facilities to extend children’s learning experiences. Educators visited by ERO provide good support for children’s social and emotional wellbeing. Daily conversations keep parents well informed about their children’s activities. Programme tutors could provide educators with more explicit feedback to help them to enrich outcomes for children. PORSE coaches and programme tutors agree that a priority is to develop robust self-review processes and strategic and annual plans that focus on children’s learning.

Parents are generally happy with the services offered by PORSE. It would be worthwhile for PORSE to further develop programme tutors’ knowledge and skills so that they could foster the use of bicultural practices across the network and strengthen partnerships with whānau Māori.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again within three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of PORSE Manukau S1 was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by PORSE Manukau S1 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 Manukau S1.

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

This review of the Manukau PORSE office is informed by organisational and local documentation, a small sample of visits to homes selected by PORSE, interviews with educators and PORSE staff, written feedback from parents, and observations of programmes for children.

In Manuakau Area Office a team approach means all staff have direct contact with families and educators to support enrolment, induction and office administration, including programme tutors, PORSE consultants and the client services administrator.

Areas of good performance

Family environments. Educators provide a high level of care and support for children within their family home or in the child’s home. These settings provide a calm and peaceful atmosphere in which children are settled and happy. There is a close match between children, their families and educators and strong relationships are forged between educators and children. These positive relationships are extended to families and contribute to children’s strong sense of belonging.

Teaching practice. There is a wide range of educator capability. The most effective educators:

  • nurture and foster a calm, settled home environment;
  • use positive guidance to support children to learn alongside and with each other;
  • establish positive, reciprocal relationships with parents and programme tutors that help them to meet children’s identified needs and interests;
  • make good use of opportunities to connect, collaborate and share ideas and strategies with other educators;
  • know their children well and can identify their strengths and developing interests; and
  • use reflective practice to set goals to extend children’s learning.

It would be helpful for programme tutors to provide more direct modelling and support to help all educators to improve their teaching practice.

Programme. Children’s journals include interesting learning stories that detail their interests, learning, and engagement in the programme. Parent/whānau input into their child’s learning journals is encouraged and responded to. A few educators support children’s learning through the culturally responsive practice of speaking and writing in the child’s home language. Learning journals provide very good records of children’s milestones and achievements and their progress over time.

Educator networks. Positive reciprocal relationships between home educators, parents and whānau are well established. Educators are encouraged to use existing community facilities, resources and interest groups to extend children’s experiences and stimulate new learning. The effective use of educator networks enhances programmes for children and provides opportunities for interactions with other children and educators.

Educator support. Sound management systems support educators to provide good care and education for children. Entry level and ongoing training builds educators’ knowledge of child development. Programme tutors and coaches/mentors model good teaching practice and provide educators with regular affirming feedback. Professional development supports educators in their planned career pathways.

Prioritising wellbeing. Effective systems ensure close monitoring of health and safety in educators’ homes. Regular informal discussions between programme tutors and educators, observations of children, and physical checks help to assure programme tutors that children are safe and well cared for.

Areas for development and review

Strategic planning and self review. There is a need for the team in this office to establish and develop strategic and annual plans that are relevant to the development of this network. Local goals that focus on meeting the needs of individuals and groups of educators and programme tutors are likely to improve learning outcomes for children. It would be useful if these goals were informed by robust self review and then prioritised. It would also be useful to start with a self review of assessment, planning and evaluation practices.

Programme planning. Educators would benefit from clear guidelines for planning programmes to meet the needs and interests of all children. The guidelines could include planned processes to support children’s transition to school and could be used to inform strategic planning and ongoing self review.

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

Eight children of Māori descent are enrolled in PORSE Manukau S1. The PORSE Māori as Tangata Whenua policy promotes connections with Māori communities and professional development for staff on the application of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It aims to increase Māori participation and to ensure that the bicultural nature of New Zealand is reflected in training programmes.

Areas of strength

Relationships with families. Close, trusting relationships are evident between educators, children and their whānau. Daily interactions with whānau help educators to respond to whānau needs and aspirations, and to discuss shared strategies for working with children. Daily journal entries keep whānau informed about their children’s activities.

Areas for development and review

Bicultural practice. The PORSE Māori as Tangata Whenua policyis not reflected in practice in ways that support bicultural practices. It would be worthwhile for PORSE Manukau S1 to review their application of the PORSE policy against Ka Hikitia, the Ministry of Education’s Māori education strategy, and other relevant PORSE documentation. Attention to these documents would help give a more global picture of the needs of the network and would help to develop a more strategic approach to building staff knowledge and skills in fostering bicultural practices and developing partnerships with whānau Māori.

4. Management Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Before the review, the management and staff of PORSE Manukau S1 completed an ERO Home-Based CareManagement 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:

  • 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.

Required improvements in relation to health and safety were discussed with the PORSE coach and programme tutors. In order to improve current practice, the managers agree to:

  • ensure that police vetting of home educators is completed before children are placed in their care;
  • analyse accidents to identify any trends and patterns and develop actions to minimise the occurrence of accidents across the service;
  • ensure that educators are familiar with policies related to child health and safety, such as behaviour management and child protection policies and complaints policies and procedures; and
  • develop action plans to manage hazards in the environment.

5. Recommendations

ERO, PORSE coaches and programme tutors agreed that PORSE staff should:

  • use information from self-review processes to develop strategic and annual plans that place priority on improving learning outcomes for children; and
  • review policies, documentation and practices against Ka Hikitia, and against ERO’s evaluation reports and indicators of good practice, to promote educational success for Māori children.

6. Future Action

ERO will review the service again within three years.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

1 June 2011

About the Service

Licence type

Home-Based Care

Chartered under

Education (Home-based Care) Order 1992

Roll number

58

Gender composition

Girls 33

Boys 25

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 30,

Māori 8,

Pacific 6,

Indian 4,

Middle Eastern 2,

other 8

Review team onsite

March 2011

Date of this report

1 June 2011

Previous ERO reports

Education Review, August 2006

 

To the Parents and Community of PORSE Manukau S1

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report onPORSE (Play, Observe, Relate, Support, Extend, Evaluate) is an in-home early childhood organisation with its National Service Office located in Hawkes Bay. Area offices are located throughout New Zealand. Within the area offices, PORSE personnel, including coaches and programme tutors, work with parents, nannies and home educators to provide early childhood education and care for infants, toddlers and young children. Children are cared for in their own homes or in small groups in the home of their educator.

The PORSE mission is “to have all people in New Zealand schooled in nurturing and educating children in their care.” Families are valued partners in children’s education and care.

The PORSE Manukau S1 network operates from Manukau. Programme tutors, who are registered teachers and have primary responsibility for children’s learning, provide support, encouragement and informative resources for educators. PORSE offers many opportunities for educators to support each other and to participate in professional development courses.

Educators are encouraged to make use of community facilities to extend children’s learning experiences. Educators visited by ERO provide good support for children’s social and emotional wellbeing. Daily conversations keep parents well informed about their children’s activities. Programme tutors could provide educators with more explicit feedback to help them to enrich outcomes for children. PORSE coaches and programme tutors agree that a priority is to develop robust self-review processes and strategic and annual plans that focus on children’s learning.

Parents are generally happy with the services offered by PORSE. It would be worthwhile for PORSE to further develop programme tutors’ knowledge and skills so that they could foster the use of bicultural practices across the network and strengthen partnerships with whānau Māori.

Future Action

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