Sunny Days - 12/12/2014

1 Evaluation of Sunny Days

How well placed is Sunny Days 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

Sunny Days is an early childhood centre located in Napier. It is governed by and operates under the umbrella of the Napier Family Centre, a not-for-profit community-based organisation. Other services of the Napier Family Centre include a home-based education and care service, parent education, family and youth support, budget service, psychological and counselling services. These services are available for Sunny Days whānau at any time if required.

Since ERO’s 2012 report a new centre manager has been appointed. There has also been a change in the licence to include provision for children up to the age of two years. The centre is licensed for 62 children, including 14 up to two years of age.

Children come from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds. Fifty percent identify as Māori and 10% as Pacific.

Sunny Days is a purpose-built centre with three separate indoor learning spaces and two outdoor spaces designed specifically for the needs of different age groups.

The Review Findings

Children are nurtured in an environment that strongly reflects the philosophy. Parents, whānau and children are warmly welcomed. Responsive and respectful relationships are formed with each family to support children’s sense of belonging. Teachers support children to develop responsibility for their own wellbeing and promote peer interactions to reinforce children’s social skills development.

The well-resourced indoor and outdoor environment includes natural and purposeful resources which promote children’s independence and provide challenging experiences. Routines are well established and support learning.

The curriculum is underpinned by Te Whāriki. It is designed to respond to the strengths, interests and needs of infants, toddlers and young children. It takes into account the culture, language and identity of all children and acknowledges home and centre links and parent and whānau aspirations. Regular excursions into the community and planned centre events provide an added dimension to the curriculum.

Teachers use a range of strategies to effectively engage children in challenging and sustained play. They use questioning techniques to extend children’s language and thinking. They notice, recognise and respond to children’s emerging interests and allow children to lead their learning. Mathematics and science are integrated within the programme and enhanced through activities and the use of resources. They promote challenge and the development of early mathematical concepts and skills.

Children with diverse and special education needs are well catered for through positive relationships between centre, staff, parents, whānau and outside agencies.

Teachers have established an effective, shared process for programme planning and assessment of children’s learning. Centre staff recognise that they need to continue developing culturally responsive practices to meet the diverse needs of their community. Portfolios provide an attractive record of children’s involvement and learning progression. Centre staff have identified the need to strengthen the evaluation of programme planning.

Parent and whānau input to the curriculum is sought and valued. Current self review is focused on reviewing partnerships with whānau and their contribution to the centre’s curriculum.

Transitions into the centre, within the centre and onto school are well considered and responsive to the needs of individual children. Centre staff work in collaboration with parents and whānau and local schools to support children.

Children under two years of age learn in the Pukeko room, a new, purpose-built building and outdoor area. The key teachers support the infants’ and toddlers’ need for strong and secure attachments. A calm, unhurried pace allows children to have the space and time to lead their learning. The Pukeko room philosophy is evident in practice. Teachers recognise and use learning opportunities within routines, where independence and self-help skills are fostered.

Teachers work collaboratively to provide a programme which supports bicultural perspectives. Te reo Māori is used regularly and children learn aspects of tikanga Māori throughout the daily programme, including the use of resources, practices, experiences and special events. The centre acknowledges the need for teachers to continue strengthening knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori to support Māori children’s learning.

Pacific perspectives are included in the programme. Children learn aspects of Pacific culture through celebration, experiences and use of resources. Centre leaders acknowledge the need to continue developing and deepening their relationships with Pacific families to support their children’s learning.

The centre manager is responsible for the daily management of the centre, supported by the assistant manager and head teachers. The board recognises the need to better align the links between strategic direction, centre operations, roles and responsibilities. This should provide further support for the centre manager to lead change and improvement. Appraisal processes have been recently revised to be more directly linked to centre philosophy, goals and individual needs of teachers.

The centre process for planned and spontaneous self review leads to change and improvement. It is research and evidence-based, involves multiple voices and uses indicators for success. The centre has planned professional development to help refine and strengthen these practices.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers are committed to ongoing improvement. Identified areas for development are to continue to strengthen:

  • alignment between board direction and centre practices to support change and ongoing development
  • evaluation of programme planning
  • culturally responsive practices to meet the diverse needs of the community.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Sunny Days 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 Sunny Days will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

12 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

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

55048

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

62 children, including up to 14 aged under 2

Service roll

83

Gender composition

Girls 42

Boys 41

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Middle Eastern

Samoan

Cook Island

43

22

10

4

4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

50-79%

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

October 2014

Date of this report

12 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2012

 

Education Review

April 2009

 

Education Review

October 2005

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.