Victoria Early Learning Centre - 25/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Victoria Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Victoria Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Victoria 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

Victoria Early Learning Centre is a community-based early childhood centre located in central Gisborne. It is governed by a committee of parents.

The centre caters for children aged from birth up to school age and is licensed for 52 children, including 12 up to two years of age. Currently there are 52 children on the roll, including 23 who identify as Māori.

The centre philosophy highlights the provision of a stimulating environment that fosters children's sense of security, social interaction and values the dual heritage of Aotearoa.

Changes in personnel include the appointment of a centre manager, newly appointed leadership team and changes in the governing committee. Three teaching teams provide specific care for infants (the kea room), toddlers (pukeko room) and young children (the kiwi room). The addition of a lead kaiako has been added to this structure.

The March 2016 ERO report identified areas of practice requiring further development. These included: updating policies and procedures to reflect current practice, improving teacher's appraisal and self review. Progress in these areas remains an ongoing priority.

The Review Findings

Children experience positive outcomes in a safe and stimulating learning environment. Cooperative and encouraging interactions stimulate learning and curiosity. Kaiako know children and their whānau well. Literacy and numeracy is promoted through the learning opportunities provided. The philosophy is clearly evident in the teaching practice.

A well designed outdoor environment provides opportunities for children to enjoy the outdoors. Access to open spaces extend their motor-skills development. Resources are easily accessible by children which develops their strengths and supports and sustains their interest. Children's independence and confidence is fostered through the familiar and regular routines provided.

Children under two years of age experience a calm and nurturing space. A culturally responsive and unhurried care routine is developed for each child. Kaiako provide sensory-rich resources for infants to explore. Toddlers are encouraged to develop skills at their own pace and play alongside others.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is valued and evident in the learning environment. A range of mixed age group activities include kapa haka and korero. Four year old children recite pepeha and include activities that show respect for children's cultural connections. Leaders have identified a need to grow the collective capacity of kaiako to sustain good practice and extend the centre's bi-cultural curriculum.

Sound policies and procedures for working with children who have additional learning needs and their whānau guide practice. The approach to transitioning into the centre is well considered and Kaiako work closely with the whānau to enable this process be successful.

Strengthening the transition to school process should include actively seeking feedback on the usefulness of information provided to schools. This should assist in informing any ongoing improvements to practice. In addition, including the parent and whānau aspirations in the child's transition plan should strengthen this process.

Children’s learning portfolios show teachers noticing children's interests and recognising the learning occurring. Leaders agree that kaiako being more intentional in identifying the strategies to better respond to children's learning is an area for development. Parent aspirations are updated each term and opportunities for feedback on learning are available to both children and whānau. Strengthening the collection of parent input into the learning process is a next step.

The centre strategic plan provides direction and action that articulate the work ahead. Leaders have recently introduced an annual professional learning plan. Leaders agree this full and robust approach to building kaiako capacity about the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki and the bicultural curriculum should better inform planning and teacher practice.

The appraisal process aligns with the Teaching Council requirements. A key next step is to ensure the full implementation of this.

Leaders and teachers are improvement focused. They regularly reflect on aspects of their practice to guide improvement. ERO and leaders agree that a key next step is to develop a deeper understanding of an internal evaluation process.

The management committee, leaders and teachers have a shared, strong commitment to the centre's vision. With a planned review of the centre philosophy, systems and processes are in place that promote sustainability. Managers are building on their good understanding of their roles and responsibilities and are well informed about curriculum and centre operations.

Key Next Steps

ERO and leaders agree that the next steps are to strengthen:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • the bicultural curriculum

  • appraisal processes

  • internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Victoria 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.

In order to improve practice the service provider:

  • must ensure that the appraisal process is systematically implemented for all staff.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

25 February 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

Gisborne

Ministry of Education profile number

55008

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

52 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

56

Gender composition

30 Girls, 26 Boys

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other Ethnic groups

23
28
5

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2019

Date of this report

25 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2016

Education Review

February 2013

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.