The Rainbow Corner Early Learning Centre - 07/05/2018

1 Evaluation of The Rainbow Corner Early Learning Centre

How well placed is The Rainbow Corner Early Learning 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

The Rainbow Corner Early Learning Centre was established in 2015. It is one of a group of two centre-based services and two home-based education and care networks owned by the same service provider.

The centre provides for up to 77 children, including 15 up to two years of age. It has separate learning areas for infants, toddlers and preschool children. Children come from a diverse social and multicultural community, with the majority being of Māori or Pacific heritage.

Service directors work as part of a management committee that operates the centre. Clearly defined governance and management roles guide the service's philosophy, vision and strategic direction. The centre manager/owner takes an active role in the management of this and one other centre.

Staff at the centre include six registered teachers, staff in training, and a cook. Staff come with a diverse range of cultural strengths and teaching experiences. A culturally responsive curriculum and the goal of 'working together to prepare children for a wonderful life' are key aspects of the service's philosophy.

The Review Findings

Teachers implement a programme that is responsive to children's interests, reflects the centre’s philosophy and is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Environmental sustainability is woven into the curriculum as part of the focus on 'reduce, recycle and reuse'.

Teachers provide good opportunities for children to develop their physical skills and they foster children's creativity and imagination. The environment is well resourced and carefully organised. Staff are increasing their use of natural resources. Literacy, mathematics and science concepts are also encouraged though play and planned activities.

Effective, inclusive and culturally responsive teaching practices acknowledge and build on children's strengths. Children with additional learning needs are well supported. Children's diverse cultural backgrounds are affirmed and valued. Many teachers are multilingual and able to talk with children in their home languages. They encourage children to use and maintain their first language and increase their English language. Te reo and tikanga Māori are included in meaningful ways throughout the day. There is a culture of mutual trust and respect for children and their whānau.

Children are confident, capable and caring learners. They actively engage in play and enjoy the company of their teachers and peers. Children have fun, and demonstrate a strong sense of belonging. They show an acceptance of difference and are supportive of each other. They have leadership opportunities, and some lead group games. Children explore, make discoveries and have good opportunities to make choices about their play. Excursions and centre events add to children's learning experiences.

Teachers understand the special capabilities of infants and toddlers. They provide a nurturing environment where very young children benefit from individualised and respectful care. Teachers provide well for toddlers’ need for secure attachments and independence. They ensure they have space and time to try new things and revisit them again at an unhurried pace. Teachers work with whānau to support positive transitions for children, into and through the centre, and on to school.

Teachers value and actively support children's learning through play. Documentation shows children engaged in learning. Assessment portfolios are rich records of individual children’s learning over time. Parent/whānau feedback is encouraged and welcomed as is their involvement in the programme.

Centre leaders have high expectations of themselves and of the staff. Relationships between the managers and teachers are collaborative and collegial. Good employment processes are in place, including the induction of new staff. Policies and procedures clearly define teacher responsibilities and centre expectations. Robust health and safety systems are in place to ensure legal requirements are met and promote children's physical and emotional wellbeing.

Effective management and leadership underpin centre operations. Centre leaders' strong commitment to equity and social justice is evident in the way they work towards improving educational and social outcomes for children. Child-focused service operations are guided by a clear vision and mission, and strategic plans that are linked to sound accountability practices. The service is driven by a belief in the importance of working collaboratively, and supporting the educational leadership of all teaching staff.

Service leaders have a clear focus on continuous improvement in all areas of centre operations. The philosophy and vision are well understood and evident across all service practices and policies, and articulated clearly to the whānau. Purposeful internal evaluation is supporting service leaders to review established practices, and target areas to develop further. Service leaders are focused on strengthening internal evaluation through all levels of operation.

Key Next Steps

The service leaders agree that key next steps are to:

  • strengthen and embed robust internal evaluation practices and documentation
  • strengthen practices that extend children's deep thinking and independent learning
  • continue to review the curriculum, including how documentation could better reflect teachers' depth of thinking and philosophy.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Rainbow Corner 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of The Rainbow Corner Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

7 May 2018

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 East

Ministry of Education profile number

46626

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

77 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

75

Gender composition

Girls 39 Boys 36

Ethnic composition

Māori
Samoan
Tongan
Indian
Fijian
South East Asian
Middle Eastern
Niuean
Cook Islands Māori

18
11
11
9
9
6
4
4
3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

7 May 2018

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.