Pukekos Educare - 02/08/2011

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Pukeko Educare is a well established privately owned education and care service located in the township of Paeroa. It is licensed to cater for 33 children under 6 years of age, including up to 8 under the age of two.

The centre has a good ERO review history and it continues to provide its community with a family-orientated quality early childhood facility.

Trusting and mutually respectful relationships characterise the centre culture. Children and families have a strong sense of belonging to the centre and children’s well-being is successfully nurtured in a safe and secure climate.

Teachers are skilled in using a wide variety of positive conversations that encourage children’s social development, as well as implementing effective strategies that support children’s learning and extend their thinking and knowledge.

The centre’s philosophy is strongly evident in practice. There are many opportunities for children to engage in an interesting and stimulating programme and learning environment, where they can develop as capable and confident learners.

A notable feature of the centre is the strong partnership established with centre families. Teachers know children and their families well and make strong links with their lives outside the centre in relevant and meaningful ways.

The centre director continues to provide high quality professional and collaborative leadership with the support of her leadership team. Management and teachers have a reflective culture and use robust and reliable self-review practices focused on ongoing improvement and providing quality education and care.

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 in three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Pukekos Educare 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 atPukekos Educare.

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

Since the last ERO review, Pukekos Educare has taken part in professional development to further develop teaching interactions that engage children in higher order thinking. The centre has a philosophy that values staff teamwork, fosters respectful relationships with all stakeholders, and supports children to develop their self esteem and social skills. This is achieved through developing positive partnerships with families and providing a stimulating environment that empowers children to learn.

Areas of strength

Learning relationships and interactions: Trusting and mutually respectful relationships characterise the centre culture. Children confidently seek teacher support and comfort when required. Teachers acknowledge children’s feelings and positively respond to their unique personalities and temperaments. Children demonstrate respect for one another and older children take increased responsibility for younger children’s well-being. Teachers use a wide variety of social conversations and strategies to extend children’s thinking and learning. They are highly responsive to children’s interests and respond to teachable moments during children’s play. Teachers encourage children to reflect, predict and consider others ideas and points of view. Positive guidance strategies support children to develop their social competencies and positive conflict resolution skills. A strong sense of belonging and well-being is successfully fostered.

Programme: Children experience stimulating and interesting learning opportunities in a caring family friendly atmosphere. Features of the programme include:

  • meaningful experiences and routines that cater for children’s diverse care needs, interests, ages and abilities;

  • use of the natural environment, resources and materials to support learning;

  • the successful integration of experiences that support the development of oral language, literacy and mathematical concepts and learning;

  • teachers encouraging children’s self-care and independent learning attributes;

  • extensive opportunities for children to develop their imagination and creative expression;

  • community links and family consultation;

  • experiences that engage children in sustained cooperative play;

  • use of the local community and contact with local schools;

  • the inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori practices throughout the learning programme; and

  • e-portfolios shared with children and families and an integral aspect of teaching and learning.

The centre’s philosophy is strongly evident in practice, and children are developing as capable and confident learners.

Partnership with families: A notable feature of the centre is the strong partnership established with centre families. Staff place value on making families welcome and getting to know them and their child. Families are consulted and their views are sought in relation to children’s education and centre operations. Regular social events provide opportunities for families to network with staff and one another. Teachers know children and their families well and make strong links with their lives outside of the centre in respectful and reciprocal ways.

Collaborative leadership and team work: The licensee continues to provide high quality professional and collaborative leadership. She is well supported by an experienced curriculum leader and team leader. Teachers are actively involved in decision making and contribute to the shared vision and future developments of the quality of education and care. Teachers have access to relevant and current professional development in early childhood education and have established a culture of ongoing reflective practice focused on positive outcomes for children and their families.

Self review: Self review underpins all aspects of centre life. Management and teachers have a reflective culture and use robust and reliable self-review practices focused on providing quality education and care. Planned and spontaneous reviews consider the perspectives of families, teachers and children. Management uses valid self-review information to evaluate the effectiveness of centre operations and to improve service performance.

Area for development and review

Learning environment: Through its robust self-review processes the centre has identified its own area for future development. ERO and centre management agree that the next step is to implement the centre’s strategic plan to further develop the learning environment.

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; and
  • this service works in partnership with whānau of Māori children.

Currently there are 8 children enrolled at the centre who identify as being Māori

Background

The centre’s philosophy embraces the values of respect and acceptance of one another, where families experience an environment in which their contributions are valued and partnership is fostered.

Area of strength

Management and teachers value and understand the importance of having positive relationships with families to support children’s holistic development. Whānau are actively encouraged to share their values and aspirations for their child’s care and education. There are many formal and informal social situations in which teachers interact with families and discuss children’s progress and development. Tikanga and te reo Māori are integrated into centre routines, programmes and resources. Together families and teachers have created an inclusive family atmosphere where they work in partnership to provide the best outcomes for children to succeed in learning.

4 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Pukekos Educare completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have 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.

5 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 in three years.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

About the Centre

Type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

33 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Roll number

46 children, including 2 aged under 2

Gender composition

Boys 24

Girls 22

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 36

New Zealand Māori 8

Australian 1

Tongan 1

Review team on site

June 2011

Date of this report

2 August 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review August 2008

Education Review October 2005

Accountability Review June 2002