Wise Owl Early Learning Centre - 14/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Wise Owl Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Wise Owl Early Learning 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

Wise Owl Early Learning Centre is a privately owned education and care service located in Pukekohe. The centre is licensed for 42 children including up to 15 under two years of age. The roll is 33, including six children who identify as Māori.

The owner purchased the centre in January 2018 and is also the centre manager with a teaching role. She brings significant previous experience to the day-to-day running of the centre and has sought additional outside expertise to help establish sound governance practices. A new philosophy has been developed and strategic and annual plans designed. There has been significant roll growth since the change of ownership.

The centre philosophy states that the number one priority is to have trusting relationships with families. Teachers agree to engage children in meaningful experiences and to teach resilience alongside good values. They aim to inspire and encourage children to be proud of who they are and where they come from.

Since the 2015 ERO review all of the teachers are new to the centre. Teachers have developed personalised approaches to assessment for individual children. Teachers have accessed professional development from the centre owner and continue to develop self-review processes. The centre has continued to refine programme planning to extend the inclusion of bi-cultural practice.

The Review Findings

Wise Owl Early Learning Centre’s philosophy and vision effectively promotes learning outcomes for children. The values and beliefs promote the wellbeing, health, safety, and learning of children. The newly arrived owner/centre manager has introduced systems and procedures to provide clear direction for continued centre development. Internal evaluation is valued, effectively undertaken and leads to improved outcomes for children.

The centre manager is promoting a collaborative and well-considered approach for centre-wide improvement. She provides professional leadership for staff and has a clear vision and high expectations for the education and care of children. Collaboration with teachers, parents and whānau is contributing to a shared understanding, and consistent practices across the centre. The centre manager has established a culture in which children are first and foremost valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning.

The responsive curriculum is promoting positive learning outcomes for all children. Teachers integrate aspects of literacy, mathematics and science into the daily programmes and a range of resources support this integration. Environmental sustainability is part of the daily programme. Assessment is well used to identify individual progress and achievement. Teachers have an understanding of each child as a unique learner and effectively support children’s sense of belonging.

Teaching and learning practices effectively promote positive outcomes for all children. Teachers encourage children’s curiosity and thinking by using open-ended questions and promote meaningful conversations. ERO observed teachers' positive, sensitive and responsive relationships with children. Teachers are beginning to integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into daily programmes. The environment promotes choice, is calm and children can learn at their own pace. Processes are in place to meet the needs of any child requiring additional support. Children are engaged in sustained and uninterrupted play and learning.

Provision for babies and toddlers is well considered and nurturing. Teachers are sensitive to children’s preferences and requirements. They interact with these young children in a calm, unhurried way giving them time and space to lead their learning.

Parents spoken to by ERO were well informed about their children's progress and learning and expressed high levels of confidence in teachers to provide an environment where each child is respected and valued as an individual.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre management agree that the key next steps are to:

  • continue to develop systems and processes for effective centre governance and management

  • review the centre philosophy in relation to the revised Te Whāriki

  • strengthen the use and understanding of te reo and tikanga Māori within the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Wise Owl 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

14 June 2018

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

Pukekohe

Ministry of Education profile number

25358

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

33

Gender composition

Girls 19 Boys 14

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Other

6
14
3
10

Percentage of qualified teachers

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

May 2018

Date of this report

14 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

April 2012

Education Review

April 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.