Rainbow Stratford - 18/12/2014

1 Evaluation of Rainbow Stratford

How well placed is Rainbow Stratford to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Rainbow Stratford is one of seven early childhood centres in Taranaki owned and operated by Kidicorp (the organisation). It provides an all day service for a maximum of 35 children aged from birth to five years, including 10 up to two. Approximately one third of children are Māori. Children learn in a mixed age setting. Families come from both town and rural areas.

The centre manager is responsible for the daily operation and leads teaching and learning. She is supported by the team leader. Other staff include three kaiako (teachers), a cook and an administrator. All teaching staff are qualified. One is a fully registered teacher and four are provisionally registered. Staff were recently appointed to their roles and they are working to build as a new team. Mentoring of the new leaders and development of all teachers is overseen by a professional services manager from the organisation.

All food is provided by the centre. The centre has a Healthy Heart Award.

The centre is currently reviewing its philosophy with the newly-formed teaching team and in consultation with whānau and the wider community. The philosophy currently emphasises respect, reciprocal relationships, independence, unhurried time and routines.

The outdoor area has been completely refurbished.

The Review Findings

Rainbow Stratford is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Teachers are welcoming, affirming and supportive. A focus on child wellbeing and safety is evident.

Children are listened to and their contributions are valued. They are supported to take the lead in following their interest, to explore and experiment. Teachers model positive behaviours and assist children to negotiate where issues or conflicts arise. Tuakana teina relationships are evident.

Teachers interact easily with children and warm relationships form. Teachers are new as a team and still developing their teaching practice. As professional development continues, teachers should extend learning, and introduce increasing challenge, especially for older children.

Young children are allocated a primary carer to assist the settling period. The mixed age environment allows children aged up to two years to learn from watching and interacting with older children. It is timely for the centre to review how teachers differentiate their practice to successfully cater to the needs of all children.

Teachers have recently reviewed and further developed their planning and assessment practices. Planning strategies are based on observed child and group interests and are linked to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, as guiding documents. The daily journal and wall displays are used well to share current themes with whānau. Teachers capture children’s comments well. The evaluation step of this process needs to be strengthened to better measure the impact of planning strategies on children’s learning.

Attractive portfolios containing learning stories are accessible for children to revisit and share with family or whānau. Learning stories capture children’s participation in the programme and their development over time. As teacher capability grows, the stories should offer deeper evaluation of each child's learning. Improved frequency and quality of learning stories is an area teachers have identified for review and development. A centre strategic goal is to seek more parent input into children’s portfolios and the curriculum. With these objectives in mind, the centre has introduced eportfolios. Increased contribution from the families already signed up is encouraging.

A bicultural curriculum is developing. Staff show commitment to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. They are keen to further reflect the aspirations of parents in centre practice. Aspects of te ao Māori are increasingly present. Te reo Māori is heard in daily routines and seen in some documentation. Some cultural references are evident in children’s portfolios. Leaders have identified the need to support staff to continue to build cultural capability. ERO's external evaluation supports this development.

Forging stronger relationships with whānau Māori has led to children exploring their pepeha and making connections with the community. Links to local marae have been initiated.

Good transition practices are evident which assist children and families moving on to school. Successful transitions are supported by effective partnerships between the service, local schools and parents.

The environment is spacious and well organised. There are dedicated, uncluttered areas for play inside and an attractive, inviting and flexible outdoor space. An emphasis on providing natural materials as resources is evident. A dedicated kai table reduces interruption to play and encourages sociability. The whole play environment is accessible to all age groups.

Leaders effectively promote the centre vision and goals. They are focused on building a shared understanding of good quality teaching and learning. This is supported by the current thorough review of the centre philosophy. Leadership development is well supported by the professional and business service managers.

Staff have a comprehensive range of administration support, professional development opportunities, and systems, processes and templates to guide practice and operation. The new team makes good use of these. Self review and teacher appraisal follow sound processes and use of these frameworks is developing.

Key Next Steps

The foundations for a cohesive teaching team are in place. Managers and leaders should now focus on developing evaluative capacity across the staff. This applies to:

  • staff understanding and use of the organisation’s evaluative framework
  • the evaluation of each child's learning
  • use of teachers’ own reflective practice to strengthen teaching and learning

Managers and leaders should continue to build cultural capability and increasing awareness of cultural references in the environment and children’s learning stories.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rainbow Stratford 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Rainbow Stratford will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

18 December 2014

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Stratford

Ministry of Education profile number

50527

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including 10 aged up to 2

Service roll

57

Gender composition

Male 36, Female 21

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

18

37

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

18 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2012

 

Supplementary Review

October 2009

 

Education Review

June 2008

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • 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 arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.