Talented Tots Early Childhood Centre - 21/03/2016

1 Evaluation of Talented Tots Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Talented Tots Early Childhood 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

Talented Tots Early Childhood Centre is situated in West Coast Road, Glen Eden, Auckland and provides education and care for children from three months of age to five years who come from a diverse range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. There are seven children of Māori descent and four from Pasifika cultures enrolled. The centre is licensed for 40 children, including 12 up to the age of two years.

This centre is one of four in Auckland owned and operated by CTA Enterprise Ltd, a private family-owned company. The centre owner, also the service provider, governs the centre and provides overall financial management. A group manager is employed to provide professional leadership, and support and guidance for the centre leader in all aspects of centre operation.

Since the 2012 ERO review, there has been significant organisational and personnel change in the centre. Most of this development has taken place quite recently. Management has revised the leadership structure within the centre and appointed a centre leader who has oversight of the whole centre. She took up this position in September 2015. More recently, the age-based rooms have been reorganised to cater for children from three months to three years (Fantail Room) and children from three to five years (Pukeko Room). In addition, there have been significant upgrades and modification of the centre environment, which has improved learning and care spaces for children and teachers.

The group manager, in her role as professional leader has strengthened self-review processes. The centre leader is beginning to implement this model with her teachers and the programme philosophy has been recently reviewed by the teaching team. This philosophy aims to provide a child-centred programme where children learn through play. There is a strong focus on developing and maintaining respectful and caring relationships, and teachers are increasingly focussed on establishing reciprocal partnerships for learning with parents and whānau.

In 2015, management employed an external consultant to provide professional learning and development for teachers about assessment, planning and evaluation. Teachers are enthusiastic about this professional learning journey, which is impacting positively on their practice. This important work is in the early stages. Teachers' confidence in, and understanding of, best practice in these areas is developing and will be an ongoing area for development.

The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO and was one of three CTA Enterprise Ltd. centres reviewed.

The Review Findings

Children, toddlers and babies are quickly settled into play on arrival. They explore and learn in a well-planned and an interesting environment. There is a wide range of high quality equipment and materials for children to choose from. They use these for creative and imaginative purposes in their learning and play. They are developing early concepts of literacy and mathematics. Teachers are continuing to strengthen biculturalism in the curriculum through relevant contexts for learning and incidental use of te reo Māori. There is now a need for teachers to make routines for the younger children more flexible and responsive, and to improve the flow of sustained and uninterrupted play.

Teachers know families well and establish respectful, reciprocal relationships with parents and whānau. Parents and teachers regularly share important information about the care and wellbeing of children. Parents are invited to share information with teachers about the abilities, needs and interests of their children. Teachers develop and document individual children's Pathway Plans (IPPS) from this information. They regularly meet as a team to discuss children's interactions and development, and to plan programmes to meet identified needs and interests. They record and share children's learning and development with families through individual portfolios. Parents and children enjoy accessing their portfolios to share and revisit happy events, successes and learning experiences.

Teachers support parents and children to transition smoothly into school as they near school age. A reciprocal relationship with a nearby school has been developed, enabling children to become familiar with new people and routines.

The group manager has developed a respectful working partnership with the centre leader. A recent shift in strategic planning practice has resulted in centre leaders prioritising areas for development with their teams. This approach is leading to a strong sense of ownership and a clear vision for centre improvement amongst staff. Management recognises the importance of providing ongoing professional development for leaders in the area of strategic planning and self review.

The centre leader is establishing clear expectations for a newly formed team of teachers. She is focussed on building a collaborative team culture and staff appreciate her consultative style. Together with teachers, she is engaging in professional learning about teaching and assessment, with coaching and mentoring from an external consultant. This whole-centre ongoing approach is having a positive influence on teachers' work and they are beginning to reflect more closely on their practice. There is now a much stronger emphasis on noticing, recognising and responding to individual children, leading to improved learning outcomes for them.

The centre leader and teachers are benefiting from external and internal coaching and mentoring to improve their practice.

Key Next Steps

ERO team, managers and the centre leader agreed that the following priority areas for continuing development are to:

  • review and refine the performance management systems, including the appraisal process for leaders and teachers. Particular emphasis should be placed on developing and documenting a procedural framework that is clearly linked to practising teacher criteria
  • enhance and consolidate teacher capability through inquiry, as part of the centre self-review process. These teacher-led inquiries should be informed by current theory and research in best assessment and teaching practice, and be aligned with the appraisal process
  • review the programme philosophy with teachers to ensure a shared understanding of the key underlying concepts and how these link to current theory and research.

In addition, management should continue to work with an external provider to develop a strategic and systematic self-review system and processes that focus on all aspects of the service's operations. Particular attention should be given to:

  • regular review of specific areas of the curriculum
  • teacher cultural competencies and the use of te reo Māori
  • provision for children with special needs and abilities, including English Language Learners and gifted and talented children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Talented Tots Early Childhood 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 Talented Tots Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

21 March 2016

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

Glen Eden, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25329

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

44

Gender composition

Boys 24 Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Samoan

South East Asian

Cook Island

Latin American

Other European

7

17

6

3

3

2

1

1

4

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

January 2016

Date of this report

21 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2012

 

Education Review

April 2009

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.