Rainbow Bears Preschool - 20/03/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Rainbow Bears Preschool is developing its capacity to promote positive outcomes for children. Managers are committed to ongoing improvement and are continuing to develop the quality of teaching and learning practices.

Context

Rainbow Bears Preschool is a privately owned centre that caters for children from birth to five years of age. The centre provides a child-focused and family-oriented service. The cultural diversity of the local community is reflected in the children, whānau and staff at the centre. The owner has operated the centre for sixteen years and provides good leadership for a dedicated and collaborative team. Well-considered professional development is helping managers and teachers to improve centre practices. The centre has a history of positive ERO reports and staff have made improvements in the areas noted for development in the 2009 ERO report.

The Review Findings

Many of the children enrolled in the centre are Māori or Pacific. Teachers are currently reviewing the centre’s philosophy to develop a greater focus on bicultural aspects of the curriculum, and on effective teaching and learning practices to support Māori children. This ongoing development has been supported by useful external professional training. Teachers are now beginning a similar review of effective teaching and learning for Pacific children.

Processes for long and short-term strategic planning have been established. The centre owner has reviewed systems, policies and procedures and collated these into a comprehensive and useful operations manual. Staff are continuing to refine their well structured processes.

The centre is well resourced. Effective layout of the learning environment allows children to access equipment and to make choices independently. Teachers are continuing to develop a more natural outdoor learning environment and to provide natural learning resources indoors.

There has been a significant focus on the development of the centre’s curriculum during the past year. Teachers have improved ways in which they document children’s learning and identify learning intentions and outcomes for children. There is a strong focus on including and celebrating children’s culture, language and identity, and teachers are making use of parents’ input to inform programming decisions. These strategies have resulted in increased involvement of whānau in centre programmes. Early literacy and numeracy concepts are included appropriately in children’s play. Teachers could now review the use of more structured literacy and numeracy teaching times and their appropriateness in early childhood education. Teachers interact positively with children and sustain conversations that encourage children to make choices and offer opinions. Teachers emphasise and support the development of children’s vocabulary.

ERO and the centre owner agree that in order to improve practice:

  • the focus on language development could now be extended to enable children to participate in more complex discussions with teachers and their peers
  • teachers could continue to develop their questioning skills to extend children’s knowledge and develop their thinking skills
  • programme planning could focus more on identifying children’s individual interests and ways in which these are extended over time.

The centre owner is implementing strategies to build staff capability. She is involving staff in the development of the strategic and annual plans, and uses these plans in collaborative decision-making processes. The revised operations manual is increasing staff awareness of Ministry of Education expectations and requirements. The owner is beginning to devolve leadership by delegating defined responsibilities to other staff.

The owner is proactive in accessing professional learning opportunities for staff. She has made good use of external support and professional learning opportunities during 2012 to develop specific aspects of teaching practice and curriculum. Teacher appraisal processes have been reviewed and some improvements made. Teachers work as a cohesive team and are responsive to professional development opportunities and strategies to improve their practice.

ERO and the centre owner agree that in order to continue building professional capability the centre managers should:

  • seek professional development to further extend appraisal processes and to support staff taking on additional levels of responsibility and leadership
  • continue to develop indicators of high quality practice to guide further development of teachers’ skills.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rainbow Bears Pre-School completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

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

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)
  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)
  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)
  • 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

20 March 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20027

Licence type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 10 aged under 2 years

Service roll

76

Gender composition

Girls 45

Boys 31

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Fijian

Chinese

Filipino

African

Tongan

Indian

Other Asian

Other Pacific

Other European

22

12

8

7

6

4

2

2

1

5

5

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Exceeds minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:7

Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2012

Date of this report

20 March 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2009

February 2007

February 2004

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

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 the service.