The Miller Nest Early Learning Centre - 10/05/2019

1 Evaluation of The Miller Nest Early Learning Centre

How well placed is The Miller Nest Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The Miller Nest Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

The Miller Nest Early Learning Centre in Mangere Bridge, Auckland, is licensed for 35 children, including up to 10 under two years of age. The centre operates in a renovated residential property. The learning environment is open plan and has a separate area for infants and toddlers. The centre serves the local multicultural community.

New owner operators took over the centre, formerly Bizzy Kids Childcare, in 2017. The owner is a qualified early childhood teacher and full member of the teaching team. She takes responsibility for the day-to-day centre management and leadership. She is supported by a recently appointed head teacher.

The centre's philosophy emphasises the values of love and respect. It also promotes positive relationships, children's identity, and authentic learning. The vision is to "work in partnership with families to promote successful outcomes for all children".

The strengths of the centre identified in the 2015 report have been maintained. There is ongoing progress in relation to the next steps, which included developing a curriculum leadership role and improving planning, assessment and evaluation.

The Review Findings

Teachers welcome children into the centre and successfully nurture children's sense of belonging. Children settle at their own pace as teachers engage in conversations with parents about children's wellbeing and development. The attractive, calm and inclusive environment also supports children's sense of belonging and their learning.

Teachers' responsive caregiving supports infants' and toddlers' need for strong and secure attachments. There is a calm, slow pace for younger children which gives them the space and time to explore and discover their environment and lead their learning. Children in the preschool work cooperatively, see themselves as competent learners, and are supported to solve problems.

Leaders and teachers are developing good connections, including partnership with local kaumātua, to help them strengthen bicultural practices. Te ao Māori is reflected in the learning programme and environment.

Children's diverse cultures are valued and affirmed. There is a growing use of children's home languages. Diversity is celebrated with families through language weeks and festivals. Teachers' and leaders' practices reflect the rights of all children to responsive, inclusive early childhood education.

Teachers are collegial. They share information about children and support each other in their work. They are consistent in their guidance and support for children to develop social competence. Leaders' plans to undertake professional learning about Te Whāriki, the revised early childhood curriculum, is likely to increase consistency of teaching practice across the teaching teams.

Leaders and teachers are strengthening their use of internal evaluation to guide changes in practices and improved outcomes for children. Good examples are the ongoing reviews of the environment, children's assessment portfolios, and transitions through and beyond the centre. Leaders and teachers are strengthening parent, whānau and community contributions to children's learning and the evaluation of centre operations.

Current reviews of curriculum planning, evaluation and assessment processes, aim to focus on improving planning for individual children. It is timely for leaders to work with staff to establish a framework of learning priorities for the centre. These priorities would usefully inform assessment and planning so that children's learning progress would be more clearly evident over time.

The centre owner/manager has a clear vision for centre development and is committed to providing a quality service for the local community. She has developed cohesive strategic and annual plans, policies and processes. These are well aligned to the centre's philosophy. It is now time to embed these new systems to sustain and build on the good practices and ongoing centre operations.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps to build on current good practice are to:

  • embed new governance and management processes to support the service's sustainability

  • delegate some curriculum and operational leadership responsibilities to build teacher capability

  • explore ways to increase parent and whānau contributions to centre operations and internal evaluation

  • strengthen the links between teachers' appraisal and inquiry, and teacher certification processes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Miller Nest 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

10 May 2019

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

Mangere Bridge, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45355

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

35

Gender composition

Girls 26 Boys 9

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Pacific groups
Indian
other Asian

5
8
8
8
6

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

10 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review as Bizzy Kids Childcare

March 2015

Education Review

May 2012

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.