Wellington Early Intervention Centre - 30/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Wellington Early Intervention Centre

How well placed is Wellington Early Intervention 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

Wellington Early Intervention Trust (WEIT) is an early intervention centre-based service. It is contracted by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health to provide therapy and teaching programmes for preschool children with special education needs in the greater Wellington region. The board of trustees employs a service coordinator and an administration officer to assist with the day-to-day operations.

Children with special needs attend the centre once a week with a family member. They benefit from a range of professional therapy, assessment and interventions in small group and individual sessions. The service employs a team of therapists, teachers and education support workers. Children receive early intervention teaching, speech-language therapy, music therapy and physiotherapy.

The WEIT team liaises closely with early childhood services and oversees the work of the education support worker.

In response to the retirement of the long serving service coordinator, a new coordinator has been appointed to start term 3 2016. An induction programme for this appointment is planned to support a seamless transition.

The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO. The areas of good performance identified in the June 2013 report have been sustained.

The Review Findings

The trusts' philosophy is clearly evident throughout the service.

Staff know children, parents and whānau well. Warm, mutually respectful relations are evident. Children are familiar with routines and settle quickly. A wide range of teaching strategies and resources is used to engage children and support their participation in learning.

Individual development plans are prepared in collaboration with parents, whānau, teacher, therapists and the early childhood service children attend. Children's interests and strengths are acknowledged and next learning goals established. Children's progress is closely monitored and celebrated through regular and respectful sharing of information.

Individual programmes prioritise children's developmental needs and effectively integrate literacy, mathematics, communication and physical activity. Independence and social competencies are fostered. Teachers model te reo Māori and integrate it authentically throughout the programme. Children are provided with choice and have fun as part of the learning process.

Skilled education support workers work alongside teachers in collaboration with parents and whānau and the WEIT team. This enables the child to be fully included and safely attend their early childhood service.

Transitions into the centre and on to school are well planned and responsive to the individual needs of children and their families. A comprehensive transition to school procedure guides practices and clearly identifies roles and responsibilities.

The service coordinator strongly advocates for high quality services for children and their families. She effectively manages the centre and coordinates the many external agencies that contribute to the running of the service.

Teachers and therapists are highly skilled and reflective. A transdisciplinary approach supports collaborative ways of working. As part of the appraisal process they observe and critique each other's practice. Formalising and documenting a framework and procedures to ensure a shared understanding of roles and responsibilities and alignment to the Practicing Teachers Criteria should strengthen the appraisal process.

The board of trustees should ensure that the service coordinator is appraised annually and this process includes regular input from an appropriate professional.

A committed group of past and present parents make up the board and they bring a wide range of skills and experience to their roles. They are strongly committed to the trusts philosophy. Trustees are well informed by the service coordinator about the centre's operations which enables them to make informed decisions. They have identified the need to review the policy and procedures manual and to develop an induction pack to support governance succession planning.

The WEIT team is improvement focused. The current model of internal evaluation is based on the Ministry of Education's Specialist Service Standards and includes regular feedback from a range of stakeholders. Developing a framework to document the process should support the centre to better evaluate the impact of teaching, children's learning and systems to improve outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Trustees, staff and ERO agree on the following next step to:

  • formalise and document a framework for internal evaluation and appraisal.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Wellington Early Intervention 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.

To improve human resource management practices trustees should:

  • ensure the appraisal of the service coordinator is completed annually.
    [Licensing criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Wellington Early Intervention Centre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

30 May 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

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

55372

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

5 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll

33

Gender composition

Boys 19, Girls 14

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

4

24

2

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:1

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:1

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

30 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

September 2008

Education Review

September 2005

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.