Richmond Early Learning Centre - 09/09/2013

1 Evaluation of Richmond Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Richmond Early Learning Centre 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

Richmond Early Learning Centre is located in Richmond, Nelson. It is one of eight Artemis Early Learning centres and offers full day sessions for infants, toddlers and young children up to five years of age. The two centres were merged under one licence in 2012, allowing four age level groups to operate in separate areas.

Since the 2010 ERO review there has been stability in staffing. More than 80% of teachers are fully qualified and registered. Areas identified for development and review during the previous ERO review have been actioned.

The Review Findings

The centre vision, values and philosophy are highly evident in practice. Relationships with families are strong and teachers encourage parent input and participation to strengthen the partnership. Teaching teams strongly value primary care-giving where each child is paired with a specific teacher.

Positive, affirming and respectful interactions are evident across all rooms. Children appear happy and are well engaged in play of their choice. In the infants' room warm gentle relationships are a feature. Children are confident and trusting and comfortable to approach other adults. In the toddlers and older children’s rooms cooperative role play is a feature. Children show an increasing awareness and respect for the rights of others.

A wide range of well resourced and planned activity areas effectively promote exploration, challenge and physical development through active play. Attractive room displays foster belonging for children and whānau and contribute to parent knowledge of early childhood learning and the curriculum. Photographs of children involved in play encourage children to revisit and discuss previous experiences.

Teachers use a range of effective teaching strategies. They are respectful and responsive to children’s physical and emotional needs and engage children in conversations that extend early literacy and mathematical knowledge. Questioning is used effectively to challenge children’s thinking and pose problems. Teachers build on children’s ideas and suggestions and work alongside them.

The curriculum is clearly based on the emerging strengths and interests of children. Recent practice is closely aligned to a notice, recognise and respond model of observation and assessment, especially in the older two rooms. Profiles contain a good record of each child’s involvement in centre activities. While there are good models of learning stories, there is some variability in implementation.

Transition of children between the rooms has been enhanced by the merging of two licenses into one. Movement is now based on a child’s readiness to move into an older age group. Positive relationships developed with local schools ease children’s move to school.

Strong Māori perspectives are evident in the room displays and in resources and equipment. Some te reo Māori is integrated into sessions along with waiata and karakia. All show respect for tikanga Māori. Teachers are continuing to build their knowledge and confidence in this area. On enrolment, teachers discuss parent aspirations for their children. It is timely to specifically find out what Māori families want for their children, as Māori.

The cultures of children attending the centre are clearly reflected in the environment, resources and past centre activities. Parents have been involved in the programme by sharing aspects of their cultures. Teachers are responsive to children with specific learning needs seeking advice and knowledge from external sources.

Centre governance provides valuable advice and guidance to the management team. An improvement-focused leadership team of five oversee local operations. They use a collegial and collaborative approach to leadership. Roles and responsibilities are well understood. Newly qualified teachers are supported to achieve full registration as assessed against the Registered Teacher Criteria.

A robust strategic planning process clearly identifies centre priorities for development. Progress towards goals is regularly monitored.

A sound self review framework provides strong guidelines for documenting review. Questions to focus the process are currently quite open ended. Centre management recognise that the next step is to evaluate the outcomes of review.

Teacher appraisal affirms good practice and includes observations, personal and centre wide goal setting. Teachers self reflect on the achievement of goals and on their own practice.

Key Next Steps

ERO and team members agree that there is a need to continue to strengthen:

  • consistency of assessment practice, especially in the identification of next steps and following a child’s progress and learning over time
  • provisions that support success for Māori children as Māori, including the bicultural programme
  • the evaluative aspects of self review
  • the appraisal process by aligning personal reflections, goals and professional development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

9 September 2013

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

Richmond

Ministry of Education profile number

65236

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

75 children, including 25 aged up to 2

Service roll

91

Gender composition

Boys 50,

Girls 41

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Other

6

81

2

2

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

July 2013

Date of this report

9 September 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

This is the first review of the centre since the licenses were merged.

 

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.