WELTEC Early Learning Ctr - Te Whare Ako - 17/03/2015

1 Evaluation of WELTEC Early Learning Ctr – Te Whare Ako

How well placed is WELTEC Early Learning Ctr – Te Whare Ako to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

There are significant issues with curriculum, governance and management that need to be urgently resolved to improve learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

WELTEC Early Learning Ctr - Te Whare Ako is an early childhood education and care service catering for children of the staff and students of Wellington Institute of Technology (WELTEC) and the wider community. The centre manager reports to WELTEC's director of human resources, who in turn reports to the chief executive.

Education and care are provided for up to 42 children aged under five years. Separate indoor and outdoor areas are resourced for the children aged up to two and over two years. Each area has a head teacher. The centre manager has oversight of the day-to-day management of centre operations, including curriculum.

The May 2005 ERO report identified issues with the quality of teaching, planning and staff appraisal. Since that time, four reviews have identified minimal improvement. The February 2012 ERO report recommended that strategic and annual planning, teacher appraisal, and self review be strengthened to support the teaching team’s understanding of high quality programmes, especially for the older children.

This ERO report again finds that progress has been limited.

The Review Findings

Children are happy and actively involved in play. Relationships between teachers and children are warm and affirming. The quality of the teaching should be strengthened to better promote children’s understanding, thinking and extension of their interests.

In the infant and toddler area, relationships between children and staff are nurturing and respectful. Teachers encourage children to play, investigate, create and explore.

Teachers do not have a shared understanding of high quality assessment practices. Narratives are used to highlight children's participation. At times their learning and progress are illustrated. Teachers should be supported to build their capabilities in this area.

Teachers should review the transition to school programme in relation to the intent of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and to ensure it responds to the strengths and interests of children.

Aspects of tikanga Māori are evident in practice and some adults use te reo Māori with children. Leaders should monitor the effectiveness of the approach used to support staff to build their confidence and competence in the use of te reo Māori. Once biculturalism is practised consistently, this can then be used as a foundation to better understand success for Māori as Māori and success for Pacific children.

Teaching practices are highly variable. Leaders should develop sustainable systems to improve the quality of learning for children. The teacher appraisal process is not consistently structured or implemented. A more systematic and rigorous approach should be developed that aligns to strategic goals and professional learning needs. A suitable advice and guidance programme for provisionally registered teachers needs to be developed.

Self review is in the early stages of development. Leaders should develop their understanding of self review and its purpose as a tool for evaluation that improves practice and outcomes for children.

The centre manager requires support to understand her leadership role and undertake management responsibilities. Policies and written procedures are not consistently evident practice. It is timely for leaders to review all guiding documents to reflect a greater emphasis on improving outcomes for children.

The service provider does not demonstrate a clear understanding of the requirements to effectively govern and lead an education and care service. Significant issues with the effectiveness of governance and management are resulting in inconsistencies in the quality of teaching, learning, assessment, planning and evaluation across the centre. Urgent attention should be given to:

  • developing shared expectations of high quality practice across the service that support review and development linked to outcomes for children
  • provision of targeted support for the centre manager to develop leadership and management skills
  • WELTEC to support the implementation of effective governance practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of WELTEC Early Learning Ctr – Te Whare Ako 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO found significant areas of non-compliance in the service related to:

  • curriculum
  • management of risk for excursions
  • the appraisal process
  • leadership
  • governance.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008: C2, C4, HS17, GMA7] [Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. R47, 1(a)]

The service provider must ensure that police re-vetting of all employees occurs every three years and that a record is kept to show that this has occurred. Since the onsite phase of this review, the policy has been updated and all non-teaching staff who have contact with children have been police vetted.

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of WELTEC Early Learning Ctr – Te Whare Ako. ERO will not undertake a further education review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of WELTEC Early Learning Ctr – Te Whare Ako will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

17 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

Petone, Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

60369

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll

36

Gender composition

20 Girls, 16 Boys

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

10

20

5

1

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

December 2014

Date of this report

17 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Supplementary Review

February 2012

 

Supplementary Review

June 2010

 

Supplementary Review

June 2009

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.