UrbanKids Early Learning Centre - 15/06/2016

1 Evaluation of UrbanKids Early Learning Centre

How well placed is UrbanKids 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

UrbanKids Early Learning Centre is a privately owned, all-day education and care centre located in Brookfield, Tauranga. It is licensed for 90 children including 33 up to two years of age. Children learn in two areas, a tuakana room for children between two years and school age, and a teina room for babies and young toddlers. The current role of 82 children includes a high proportion who are Māori and whakapapa to a number of hapu, iwi and waka. The centre also includes children and families from the Pacific and other ethnicities.

The centre values the influence of relationships and inclusive learning in building confident, respectful young children of the 21st century.

The centre manager was appointed in 2015. The service provider representative, is also a qualified early childhood teacher. A high proportion of teachers hold relevant qualifications. Management provides opportunities for teachers to continuously develop their capability in teaching and leading.

The centre made significant improvement to meet the requirements of the previous ERO report. Good quality early childhood care and education was provided for children and their families.

The Review Findings

UrbanKids Early Learning Centre provides high quality education and care for children. Management enacts a strong vision that guides the ongoing growth and development of the service. This vision is shared by parents, whānau and teachers. It is highly visible in centre practice and supports a holistic approach to learning, where tamariki develop their confidence, creativity and independence. The strategic plan sets goals for implementing the centres vision. These goals are regularly reviewed and used to monitor progress and support the centre to remain focused on continued imporvement.

The experienced and knowledgeable centre manager has worked very successfully to develop a collaborative culture and a highly affirmative environment for teaching and learning. She has used effective systematic self-review processes that have identified areas for improvement and contributed to teachers' improved knowledge of current best practice. She supports team leaders to expand their confidence and self-belief as teachers and advocates for children.

Leaders value parents and whānau contributions to their children's learning. They offer valuable parent information programmes about the curriculum and its relationship to children's ongoing learning. Parents' ideas and opinions are sought through their input to self review and involvement in aspects of the programme. Children, parents and whānau have a strong sense of belonging based on relationships of trust and respect.

Teachers know children well and follow their interests to plan programmes that enable children to participate and enjoy learning and play. The programme reflects Te Whāriki the early childhood curriculum, and incorporates te ao Māori in a variety of meaningful contexts. Māori language is used confidently by children and teachers and is evident in learning stories. Māori children are well supported to achieve success in their learning.

Children up to two years are learning in a calm and respectful environment that is very responsive to their individual needs and preferences. Familiar teachers build nurturing relationships with babies and young toddlers and their whānau.

Children experience positive, sensitive and responsive relationships with teachers. Their oral language is actively fostered by teachers who listen carefully and respond to their communications. Teachers talk with children about the decisions that affect them, extend their understanding and encourage them to solve problems. Children work independently, take responsibility and willingly develop friendship with their peers.

Children enjoy exploring, and investigating the attractive, well-organised environment both indoors and outdoors. They have opportunities to visit the local and wider environment gaining new experiences and understandings.

Extensive learning opportunities are provided through music, literacy, numeracy, science and art. Children's physical development is supported through active play and additional programmes such as dance and gymnastics. Responsive meal time routines enable children to make responsible choices about their food and enjoy positive social experiences.

Teachers' assessment of children's learning makes individual successes and progress visible to share with children, parents and whānau. Portfolios are available in hard copy and online e-portfolios. The centre invite and receive useful and responsive contributions from parents and whānau.

Transitions into, within and beyond the centre are well supported. Processes for settling new children are responsive and sensitively tailored as children enter new environments. UrbanKids Early Learning Centre attends termly meetings with the primary and ECE centres associated with the Otumoetai Community of Schools (CoL). Teachers share ideas and information about their service alongside local schools and other early childhood centres.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the centre leaders agree that the next steps are to continue growing teachers' capacity as confident and capable teachers and leaders.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of UrbanKids 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 UrbanKids Early Learning Centre will be in four years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

15 June 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

Brookfield, Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

45407

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

90 children, including up to 33 aged under 2

Service roll

82

Gender composition

Girls 48 Boys 34

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Fijian

Chinese

Cook Island Māori

Other

22

55

2

1

1

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

15 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

July 2013

Education Review

July 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 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.