Taupo Childrens Corner - 10/08/2017

1 Evaluation of Taupo Childrens Corner

How well placed is Taupo Childrens Corner 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

Taupo Childrens Corner (Duncan Street), provides full-day education and care for children from birth to school age. The centre is one of two centres owned and governed by the Mark Passmore Family Trust (MPFT).

The service has three separate buildings divided into three age specific learning spaces, Gecko (0 to 2 years), Pukeko (3 to 4 years) and Tuatara Preschool (4 years to school age). It is licensed for 73 children, including a maximum 16 children under the age of two. The current roll of 89, includes 24 Māori children.

The MPFT retains responsibility for financial, property and employment matters, strategic planning and for meeting legislative requirements. The licensee and centre manager are responsible for policy and procedure development, quality assurance and overall governance, on behalf of the trust. This includes daily operations and professional leadership. While there have been significant changes to staff since the 2014 ERO review, the centre has retained a high proportion of qualified teachers.

The centre philosophy is based on a holistic approach to the children’s learning and development.

The MPFT and centre leaders have responded positively to the recommendations in the previous ERO report, relating to strategic planning, teacher appraisal and programme planning.

The Review Findings

Children enjoy positive relationships with their teachers. They are settled and engaged in learning, which is planned in response to their interests. Children are empowered to develop social competency and self-management skills. The outside learning space provides a variety of appropriate risk-taking and physically challenging opportunities. Children are encouraged to be confident and competent lifelong learners.

Children up to the age of two years benefit from nurturing interactions with teachers. The separate home-like space allows very young children to explore their environment in a safe and well-supported way. Natural resources are used effectively to support children's play and exploration. Young children are engaged in a rich learning programme that supports their developing communication and language skills.

Children experience an effective combination of teacher-led and self-directed learning. Teachers extend learning through a range of activities that focus on children’s interests and strengths. Aspects of literacy and mathematics are woven throughout activities and experiences that are authentic and meaningful. The local community provides meaningful contexts for learning through trips and excursions that link back to children's interests. Teachers encourage and role model respectful interactions with children, parents and the wider community. An unhurried approach to learning and a wide range of appropriate resources support children’s ideas and discoveries.

Children's learning and development is assessed using individual and group learning stories, which include multiple teacher perspectives and references to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The centre curriculum responds effectively to the interests, strengths and abilities of all children.

Learning partnerships with parents are well developed. Extensive information about each child and their family is gathered at the time of enrolment. This information is well used to guide experiences that focus on positive outcomes for children. Parents and whānau value the individual assessment portfolios that reflect each child's participation in the programme.

A high level of commitment to promoting bicultural practice is evident, and supported by two teachers who are fluent speakers of te reo Māori. Teachers use some te reo Māori with children and include aspects of tikanga through karakia, waiata, symbols and displays. The bicultural policy includes a clear commitment to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and supporting Māori children to achieve success as Māori.

Leaders successfully promote strong relationships and high levels of trust amongst teachers, children and parents. These relationships contribute to collaborative teaching practice and a distributive, shared approach to centre leadership. The supervisor has established an effective approach to teacher appraisal that clearly reflects Education Council requirements. Professional learning and development priorities are aligned with teachers' appraisal goals, and are individualised to focus on improving teacher practice. Self-review is well-developed and contributes to improved teacher practice and outcomes for children. Aspects of the centre manager's performance management require strengthening.

The centre benefits from a clear sense of purpose and direction. The strategic plan identifies appropriate priorities and goals that focus on enhancing outcomes for children and their families. The annual plan is supported by a policy framework that ensures operational management is efficient and well monitored. It is now important for MPFT to implement an external performance management system for the centre manager. 

Key Next Steps

To improve practice leaders and ERO agree that teachers should:

  • develop an agreed curriculum philosophy statement to guide teaching and learning in each of the three age-specific rooms

  • use the current self-review model to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme and aspects of curriculum delivery, for the purpose of identifying areas that need further development

  • ensure all children have ongoing access to age appropriate resources

  • improve safety in the Tuatara Room by installing a gate to control children’s access to the kitchen area

  • access external expertise to strengthen the appraisal of the centre manager.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Taupo Childrens Corner 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 Taupo Childrens Corner will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

10 August 2017 

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

Taupō

Ministry of Education profile number

45021

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

73 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll

89

Gender composition

Boys 49 Girls 40

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Indian
Fijian
Southeast Asian
Other

24
52
3
2
1
1
6

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

June 2017

Date of this report

10 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

March 2011

Education Review

July 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.