Whitireia Community Polytechnic Ch-Care - 12/02/2014

1 Evaluation of Whitireia Community Polytechnic Childcare

How well placed is Whitireia Community Polytechnic Childcare 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

Whitireia Community Polytechnic Childcare provides full-day care and education for infants to fiveyear-olds. The service is licensed for 30 children, including up to ten who are under two. Most of the children attending have parents who are either staff or students at Whitireia Polytechnic, which oversees the management of the centre.

Diversity is embraced. More than half of the children are Māori or Pacific. A sense of belonging and partnership with children and parents is evident. Teachers are calm and nurturing. The learning programme is very responsive to the children and is characterised by high quality resources and a focus on the natural environment.

The September 2010 ERO report identified the centre should further strengthen knowledge of self review, refine children’s portfolios and extend literacy and numeracy experiences within play. The findings of this 2013 report indicate significant development in each of these areas.

The Review Findings

A positive tone promotes constructive interactions and supports the learning of all children. The curriculum sets direction for learning in line with the vision, principles and values of the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. Children’s daily experiences guide and support them towards being lifelong learners.

Teachers have positive and responsive relationships with children built on high levels of trust and mutual respect. They encourage and challenge. Problem-solving and experimentation are promoted. Individuality and self expression are valued. Peer interactions promote learning. Children are confident, independent and seen as capable. Their strengths and developing learning in a range of contexts are recognised and documented.

The value and importance of children learning through play is recognised. Children enjoy high levels of interest in learning experiences that are relevant and real. The physical environment offers challenges and appeal that invite children to explore and become fully involved in a wide variety of activities.

The centre acknowledges and respects the range of ethnic groups represented. Teachers use a range of teaching strategies and practices to respond to the cultural backgrounds of all children.

The programme provides for Māori learners and promotes bicultural understanding effectively. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are appropriately integrated. Valuing te ao Māori enhances children’s understanding of the uniqueness of New Zealand.

Teachers value Māori and Pacific children’s identities as a key to early childhood learning success. They seek ways to maintain children’s connection to their identities and languages. Partnership with whānau and families contributes to cultural skills and expertise being an integral part of the programme.

A range of literacy experiences enable children to develop print awareness and alphabet knowledge. Children’s mathematical learning is enhanced through meaningful and interesting opportunities to use mathematics in everyday life.

The needs of children up to two are well considered and given priority. Responsive and consistent care-giving supports infants’ and toddlers’ need for strong and secure attachments. Teachers respond sensitively to each child’s changing needs and preferences. The environment successfully provides for the physical and emotional wellbeing, intellectual stimulation and social support of very young children.

Teachers accept responsibility for the education and care of children with special needs, ensuring that they participate fully in all aspects of the programme alongside their peers. All children are encouraged and supported to develop an appreciation for difference and individuality.

The centre is very supportive of parents successfully transitioning their children to school. The curriculum for four-year-olds focuses on building independence and confidence to try and solve problems. Children’s portfolios include high quality summaries of their learning, including in literacy and numeracy.

Teachers value and acknowledge parent and whānau aspirations for their children. Communication with families is purposeful and effective. Regular information sharing supports partnerships to cater effectively for children’s physical, emotional and learning needs.

Self review investigates the effectiveness of decision making in improving children’s involvement and learning. A logical and practical process to guide self review is in place.

The experienced and knowledgeable head teacher is supportive of staff and ensures developments reflect research-based best practice. A collaborative approach encourages teachers to take responsibility. Expected practices are well known and consistently enacted.

Key Next Steps

To enhance existing good quality practices, ERO and centre management agree that useful areas for review and further development are to:

  • document as centre policy, current practices associated with transition to school
  • make self review more evaluative to help teachers inquire more deeply into the impact of teaching and learning practices
  • continue to develop the appraisal process to include self reflection on the Registered Teacher Criteria and identified actions to support improvement goals
  • continue to develop strategic thinking and planning to identify priorities for teaching and learning and how these will be developed over an extended period.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Whitireia Community Polytechnic Childcare 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 Whitireia Community Polytechnic Childcare will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

12 February 2014

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

Porirua

Ministry of Education profile number

60200

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

21

Gender composition

Girls 13, Boys 8

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

13

6

2

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

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

12 February 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

September 2010

 

Education Review

May 2007

 

Education Review

November 2004

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.