Ready Steady Babies - 14/06/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Ready Steady Babies provide good-quality care and education for children from birth to three years of age. The centre occupies one wing of a modern, purpose-built preschool. Within the same complex is Ready Steady Play Early Learning Centre, which operates on a different licence and caters for older children. ERO reviewed both of these centres at the same time. The four separate rooms effectively cater for the specific learning and development needs of children. Educators work well together to provide smooth transitions between areas. They share information and support the well-being and sense of belonging of children, parents and whānau.

This review was conducted during the time when the centre was managing the effect of the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes. The service has provided a high level of support to educators, children and families to manage the impact of the earthquakes.

A feature of this centre is its primary focus on fostering a relationship-based practice and positive relationships as a basis for learning. Educators are currently reviewing the philosophy to better reflect this approach with babies and toddlers. Educators model care and respect for one another and for children, parents and whānau. During the review, ERO observed babies and toddlers who demonstrated trusting and secure attachments to educators.

Other strengths of this centre include:

  • the child-centred programme where children’s interests and learning are well supported
  • educators working with children in ways that are inclusive, respectful and caring
  • children enjoying the company of others and developing friendships
  • the attractive, well-organised and resourced learning areas that encourage children’s curiosity and exploration
  • the opportunities for children to learn about the natural world and sustainable practices.

Educators integrate te reo and tikanga Māori throughout the programme in ways that help children to become aware of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The licensee/supervisor and educators have developed a reflective culture and have high expectations for teaching practices and children’s learning. The licensee/supervisor has identified, and ERO agrees, that the next step to support ongoing improvement is to strengthen self-review practices.

Future Action

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 Ready Steady Babies 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 atReady Steady Babies.

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
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

The centre’s philosophy and shared vision have a primary focus on relationships as the basis for learning and on the provision of resourcing that inspires a sense of wonder. Educators model care and respect for one another and for children. They place priority on fostering a relationship-based practice that supports a strong sense of well-being and belonging for children, parents and whānau. The licensee/supervisor and educators are currently reviewing the philosophy so that it more strongly reflects these practices with babies and toddlers.

Areas of strength

During the review, ERO observed educators responding to the individual interests and needs of babies and toddlers through unhurried, calm and positive interactions. Educators worked with children in ways that were inclusive, respectful and caring. They were consistently involved in children’s play and encouraged children’s independence, and self-help skills. Educators are responsive to children’s non verbal cues and work with children in ways that develop their awareness and understanding of language and communication skills. Children played well with and alongside others, enjoying one another’s company and developing friendships.

Children benefit from teachers’ consistent expectations and guidance. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for themselves and the environment, and to care for others.

Educators integrate tikanga and te reo Māori into the programme in ways that are meaningful to children and respectful of the Māori culture.

Educators and parents share information to make purposeful links between home and the centre that support children’s learning and well-being. Attractive and purposeful wall displays and profile books keep parents well informed about children’s learning, their interests and participation in the programme. Parents have many opportunities to contribute and to suggest areas for their child’s future learning.

Educators make effective use of the four separate areas, across the two centre licences, to group children in ways that meet their specific learning and development needs. Well-organised, attractive learning areas provide a wide range of good quality resources and learning experiences that encourage children’s curiosity and investigation.

The centre philosophy influences a strong focus on the use of natural materials and the integration of bicultural perspectives. Outside spaces are flexible to allow for younger children to play with older children and for siblings to spend time together. Children benefit from many opportunities to be involved in physical challenges and to learn about the natural world and sustainable practices.

The programme is effective in supporting children to make their own choices, explore their ideas and remain involved for long periods of time. Children have easy access to a wide range of good quality learning experiences that promote learning. Educators place a strong focus on providing enjoyable musical experiences for children that encourage physical movement and social learning. Educators make effective use of the local community to enhance the learning programme.

Consistency of programme planning and the sharing of useful information across the two centres support children’s transition into the centre and between rooms.

The licensee/supervisor demonstrates effective leadership and management skills. She has developed management practices that are inclusive and effective in using the strengths of the staff to benefit children, parents and whānau. Appraisal and professional development are well linked, helping to support educators to grow their professional practice. The licensee/supervisor and educators are building a reflective culture that is strongly focused on improvement.

Areas for development and review

The licensee/supervisor has identified the need to further develop self-review practices. She has developed a self-review process that should bring together the reflective practices of educators and effectively guide formal self review in the centre. The next steps are to:

  • fully analyse the outcomes of each review, identify the next steps that should be taken to improve practice, and monitor the impact on teaching practices and learning outcomes for children
  • develop a review plan that gives priority to future areas for review.

3. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Ready Steady Babies completed an ERO Centre Management Assurance 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
  • 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
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4. Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

About the Centre

Type

All day, Education and Care Services

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 24 aged under two

Roll number

29

Gender composition

Girls 14;

Boys 15

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 22;

Māori 4;

Asian 2,

Other European 1

Review team on site

April 2012

Date of this report

14 June 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review September 2008

Education Review June 2005

Education Review October 2001

 

14 June 2012

To the Parents and Community of Ready Steady Babies

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Ready Steady Babies.

Ready Steady Babies provide good-quality care and education for children from birth to three years of age. The centre occupies one wing of a modern, purpose-built preschool. Within the same complex is Ready Steady Play Early Learning Centre, which operates on a different licence and caters for older children. ERO reviewed both of these centres at the same time. The four separate rooms effectively cater for the specific learning and development needs of children. Educators work well together to provide smooth transitions between areas. They share information and support the well-being and sense of belonging of children, parents and whānau.

This review was conducted during the time when the centre was managing the effect of the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes. The service has provided a high level of support to educators, children and families to manage the impact of the earthquakes.

A feature of this centre is its primary focus on fostering a relationship-based practice and positive relationships as a basis for learning. Educators are currently reviewing the philosophy to better reflect this approach with babies and toddlers. Educators model care and respect for one another and for children, parents and whānau. During the review, ERO observed babies and toddlers who demonstrated trusting and secure attachments to educators.

Other strengths of this centre include:

  • the child-centred programme where children’s interests and learning are well supported
  • educators working with children in ways that are inclusive, respectful and caring
  • children enjoying the company of others and developing friendships
  • the attractive, well-organised and resourced learning areas that encourage children’s curiosity and exploration
  • the opportunities for children to learn about the natural world and sustainable practices.

Educators integrate te reo and tikanga Māori throughout the programme in ways that help children to become aware of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The licensee/supervisor and educators have developed a reflective culture and have high expectations for teaching practices and children’s learning. The licensee/supervisor has identified, and ERO agrees, that the next step to support ongoing improvement is to strengthen self-review practices.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in 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.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern 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.
  • 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.