Rising Stars Preschool - 19/03/2014

1 Evaluation of Rising Stars Preschool

How well placed is Rising Stars Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Rising Stars Preschool is a newly established centre. The centre would benefit from external support to further develop and document governance and management processes to support high quality teaching practices.

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

Background

Rising Stars is a newly established owner operated childcare centre licensed for 50 children over the age of two years. Most children attending the centre are boys.

Alongside the education and care provision, children participate in a sports coaching programme. This programme is designed to expose the children to a range of sporting skills, as well as helping them to develop confidence and a sense of positive wellbeing.

All teachers are qualified and the coaches are successful, local sports people.

This is the first ERO education review.

The Review Findings

The centre philosophy has a focus on learning through sport, with a commitment to building children’s physical and social skills. This aspect is evident in practice. The sporting programme runs in parallel to the education and care programme, which is based on the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The sporting concept should be better integrated throughout the curriculum.

The programme is stimulating. Children are active learners, not only in the sports area, but also in the wide range of opportunities available for them. The spacious physical environment facilitates group and individual play. The many excursions and guest visitors provide opportunities for children to become familiar with the wider environment and to further develop their competency.

Children participate enthusiastically in a child-centred, play-based programme. Literacy, numeracy and science are part of the programme, as well as social and physical development. Teachers work alongside the children and use a range of effective teaching strategies to support them in their play and learning and engage in meaningful conversations.

This is a family friendly centre. Parents participate in the programme and are well communicated with. Children have a strong sense of belonging and routines are well used to support the development of social skills and independence.

Although managers and teachers are developing their understanding of using review and evaluation, self review is still in the early stages of implementation. Improving review should provide additional information to judge the effectiveness of centre operations and practice to inform future decisionmaking.

Teachers plan and assess children’s learning. However, there is no agreed procedure for documenting planning, assessment and evaluation. Teachers should review current practice in order to establish robust procedures.

The children’s portfolios are well presented and popular with parents. They show children’s interests, engagement and developing friendships. Children enjoy revisiting them and are keen to talk about the activities documented. Portfolios could be further strengthened through:

  • a deeper analysis of specific learning evident for the children
  • more clearly identifying, planning and enacting next steps
  • revisiting and reflecting parents' aspirations for their children through the portfolios.

Although there is no policy related to how the centre commits to the Treaty of Waitangi, there are a some bicultural elements evident, such as prompts, artefacts, waiata, appropriate tikanga practices and some te reo Māori spoken. However, managers have not yet considered what success for Māori as Māori means in this centre. The next step is to consult with whānau to develop and integrate an agreed approach.

Procedures for children transitioning to school have not yet been developed. Parents take responsibility for this and would benefit from more proactive support by the centre.

Key Next Steps

As a newly established centre, the key next steps are to further develop and document centre procedures to guide and inform teachers and parents.

The owners are committed to improving centre practices and agree that the next stage of development should focus on consulting with parents to review:

  • the policy framework and policies for appraisal, police vetting, immunisation and how the centre meets its commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • how the sporting element is further integrated into the centre philosophy and curriculum
  • the centre’s approach to planning, assessment and evaluation, including portfolios
  • how success for Māori will be promoted in this centre
  • procedures for transitioning children to school.

Strengthening self-review practices should help improve the quality of education and care for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rising Stars Preschool 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to governance and management. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • the owner must ensure that there is regular appraisal for all teaching staff [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008: GMA7]
  • the owner must document and ensure every person who is appointed to a position who is not a registered teacher and who works at the ECE service during normal service opening hours, is police vetted. [s69 Education Amendment Act 2010] [Ministry of Education Circular 210/09]

A few items in the centre are not secured and have the potential to injure children or staff in the event of an earthquake. In order to address this, owners must ensure the preschool has adequate provision for protection against the consequences of an earthquake.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Rising Stars Preschool will be within two years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

19 March 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

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

45895

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

53

Gender composition

Boys 46, Girls 7

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

3

44

6

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2014

Date of this report

19 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

 

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.