Victoria University of Wellington Fairlie Terrace Early Childhood Service - 20/03/2015

1 Evaluation of Victoria University of Wellington Fairlie Terrace Early Childhood Service

How well placed is Victoria University of Wellington Fairlie Terrace Early Childhood Service 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

Victoria University of Wellington Early Childhood Service Fairlie Terrace is an all day, teacher-led service near the University.

Education and care is provided for 77 children under 5 years of age, including 37 up to two, in three adjacent buildings. In 2013 the three centres were merged under one licence. This has resulted in increased collaboration between staff and focused leaders on developing shared systems and practices across all three centres.

Since the 2010 ERO review, the service has undergone significant change. A new manager was appointed at the start of 2013. Staffing changes have included the commencement of two new head teachers.

The University provides governance. Strategic and annual plans contain relevant goals to guide the service’s priorities from 2015.

Considerable work has been undertaken to enhance the functionality of buildings and improve the aesthetics of the environments. Work is ongoing and guided by a strategic asset management plan that covers the early childhood service. An architect is assisting with the development of a long-term plan. The layout of the nursery, upgrades in the toddler centre and consideration of disabled access across all three centres require immediate attention.

The Review Findings

Review of the centre philosophy is well considered and timely as teachers reaffirm their role in promoting educational aspirations for children, parents and whānau. Leaders and teachers are developing their shared understanding for the provision of teaching and learning and facilitating continuity of education across the three learning programmes.

Curriculum practice is suitably aligned to the strands and principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Children make choices about their activities. These choices are informed by their interests and preferences throughout the day. Programme design provides a wide range of resources and experiences that are challenging, stimulating and enjoyable for children.

Infants receive high levels of responsive care. They develop close attachments with adults. Toddlers and young children ask questions to support their exploration, and are well supported to make sense of their wonderings.

Children’s emotional and social wellbeing is well supported. They play cooperatively and develop strong, meaningful relationships with their peers and adults.

Professional discussion between leaders and teachers is purposefully promoting a collective understanding of desired practices for meeting the individual learning needs of children. Teachers effectively facilitate conversations with children to comprehensively notice, recognise and respond to their needs and interests.

Appraisal and the teacher registration process have been strengthened. Leaders and teachers set collaborative goals. Feedback to teachers is considered and focused on their ongoing development. Supporting teachers’ ability to gather evidence against expectations and to reflect on how well their practice is aligned to promoting outcomes for children, should be beneficial.

Parents, whānau and aiga are welcomed and their contribution is valued. Strategies for engagement between teachers and parents are effective. They involve parents in partnership to promote successful outcomes for children.

Children’s transition between the centre's three buildings is flexible and based on the needs of individuals, parents and whānau. Children are familiar with teachers and their transitional environment. A recent review of how children are supported as they transition to school produced useful information to assist further development.

The service manager provides effective guidance and direction to promote ongoing improvement of the service. Changes to processes and expectations have impacted positively on achieving desired practice. Leadership is strategically supported, using internal and external expertise. Head teachers provide clear and purposeful guidance to support the collaborative development of staff.

Self review leads to improvements in the centre's processes and practice. Clear alignment of strategic and annual planning goals guides direction. Staff undertake self review collaboratively. Review findings influence teaching and learning outcomes. Continuing to develop evidence-based review and evaluation practice across the teaching team should continue to support positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Leaders recognise the need to further develop teacher practice to fully respond to the complex nature of individual children’s learning. ERO agrees. Continuing to strengthen the connections between planning, curriculum delivery and assessment should further support teachers' responsiveness to children.

Teachers require ongoing development to comprehensively include te reo and te ao Māori as a meaningful daily experience for children. Some teachers demonstrate proficiency. Staff are commencing involvement in a research project in conjunction with the University in 2015. This is likely to facilitate ongoing teacher and curriculum development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Victoria University of Wellington Fairlie Terrace Early Childhood Service 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.

ERO identified two areas of non-compliance. The service provider should ensure that:

  • the bathroom area in the toddlers centre is designed for children to provide them with a sense of privacyLicensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008,PF22

  • suitable provision of facilities for washing sick or soiled children is addressed in the toddlers' centre.Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008,PF26

To improve practice the service manager is undertaking review of policies and procedures to reflect current practice.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Victoria University of Wellington Fairlie Terrace Early Childhood Service will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

20 March 2015

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

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60253

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

77 children, including up to 37 aged under 2

Service roll

90

Gender composition

Girls 53, Boys 37

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnic groups

15

47

11

9

8

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

January 2015

Date of this report

20 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

This is the first review under the new licence

 

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.