Rewanui Early Learning Centre - 12/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Rewanui Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Rewanui Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Rewanui Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Rewanui Early Learning Centre (formerly Eastland Educare) is licensed to provide all day education and care for 33 children, including eight up to the age of two. Of the 43 children currently enrolled, approximately half are Māori.

The centre's recently reviewed philosophy describes a commitment to child-led play, building strong relationships and making connections to the environment.

A change of centre ownership occurred in November 2017. It is now part of the Mockingbird group of privately owned services. At this time there was a change of name and management.

The owner has responsibility for governance and strategic direction. A manager oversees the ongoing operation of the four Mockingbird centres. She provides support for two team leaders who have day-to-day responsibility for Rewanui Early Learning Centre.

The March 2017 ERO report, identified that further improvements were needed in relation to: assessment, planning and evaluation of children's learning; the programme for infants and toddlers; appraisal; induction and mentoring; monitoring of centre operation; and internal evaluation. Significant progress has been made in all these areas.

The Review Findings

The recent review of the philosophy has resulted in a shared understanding of valued learning within the service. Children are highly engaged in a bicultural curriculum that allows them to choose, initiate and lead their own learning. They use a wide range of open-ended resources that promote experimentation, exploration and co-operative and imaginative play. Children are confident and demonstrate a sense of belonging.

Relationships between children are positive and inclusive. Tuakana teina learning is evident throughout the service. Teachers are respectful of children and follow their lead. They have identified that recognising opportunities for intentional teaching to extend children's learning is an area for further improvement. ERO's external evaluation affirms this development. 

Infants and toddlers are well supported. They are given choices by teachers who respond promptly to their cues and needs. There are frequent opportunities to explore the wider centre and learn alongside their older peers. Teachers have strengthened their knowledge and understanding of high quality practice for these children. It is timely to define what this looks like in practice, in relation to the centre philosophy, to ensure sustainable and consistent approaches to education and care.

Teachers are committed to developing teaching strategies that promote educational success for Māori children. They have identified appropriate ways to strengthen culturally responsive practices for these children, and should continue to implement these across the team.

Staff are responsive to the needs of children requiring additional support. They work in collaboration with parents, whānau and external agencies to promote their participation and learning.

Recently developed planning for individual children effectively identifies intended learning outcomes and teaching strategies that advance these. Goals are based on parent aspirations and teachers' understanding of children's interests and strengths.

Assessment records how children's learning is progressing over time. These increasingly reflect the centre's valued learning and children's plans-in-action. A key next step is for teachers to ensure that children's cultures, languages and identities are promoted through assessment.

A useful process for staff appraisal is now in place. Teachers' professional growth and development is supported through inquiry, sharing of practice and regular professional learning opportunities. These are well aligned to centre priorities and standards for the teaching profession. A clearly documented induction and mentoring procedure supports the successful induction of new and provisionally registered teachers.

Reviewed and updated policies and procedures provide a suitable framework for operation and compliance. An annual plan effectively guides the ongoing work of the service and is regularly monitored. Expectations, roles and responsibilities across the centre are clearly described.

Leaders have developed a good understanding of internal evaluation. This is well used to inform decisions for change and improvement, and to understand the impact of changes on outcomes for children. A next step is for leaders to strengthen the centre-wide understanding of internal evaluation to sustain improvements.

The owner is progressing systems and processes to promote good practice across all of their services. Developing a clear and carefully considered strategic plan outlining direction and actions for the organisation, defined by outcomes for children, should support this.

Key Next Steps

ERO and leaders agree that key next are steps are to continue to develop:

  • intentional teaching
  • definitions of high quality education and care of infants and toddlers, aligned to the philosophy
  • teaching strategies that promote educational success for Māori children
  • assessment, planning and evaluation
  • a strategic plan to guide the direction of the service.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rewanui Early Learning Centre 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 Rewanui Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services
Central Region

12 February 2019 

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

Gisborne

Ministry of Education profile number

55363

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

33 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll

43

Gender composition

Boys 26, Girls 17

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

20
20
  3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

12 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2017

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

February 2011

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.