Young & Amazing - 09/05/2019

1 Evaluation of Young & Amazing

How well placed is Young & Amazing to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Young & Amazing is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Young & Amazing is licensed to provide full-day education and care for up to 95 children, including 35 aged under two years. Infants and toddlers have separate indoor and outdoor play spaces. Older children are grouped according to age, in two separate rooms with access to a shared outdoor play space. The roll includes small numbers of Māori children, and children from a wide range of diverse cultures.

The centre is owned by an experienced early childhood teacher. She leads a team of nine qualified teachers, including a head teacher in each room. A consistent group of teachers, some in training and some unqualified, are employed in each room as full-time teachers or relievers, and to cover teachers' breaks. An externally appointed curriculum mentor and leader works alongside the teaching team.

The philosophy of the centre is strongly focused on providing enriching environments to support children's learning. The bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand is valued. Teachers commit to working together with families to support children to be confident in their culture, language and identity. Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, is acknowledged as a guiding document.

The 2015 ERO report acknowledged teachers' respectful and caring interactions with children. It also noted the well-presented learning environments, and the way the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand and children's cultural identities were celebrated. These positive aspects of practice have been maintained. Areas for development included assessment, planning and evaluation, self review and the alignment of teachers' appraisal goals with the centre's strategic vision. There have been improvements in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children enjoy positive and respectful relationships with adults. Children settle to play quickly and appear relaxed in the centre environment. Their easy access to learning resources encourages them to investigate and explore their surroundings.

Consistent staffing supports the wellbeing of all children. Children confidently approach teachers to share their ideas and discoveries, or for comfort. Teachers know the communication styles of infants and toddlers very well. They work at the level of these younger children and follow their home routines. Effective teaching strategies support children to develop social competence. Older children play well together, sustain their play and demonstrate they can manage social situations.

Children's cultures are acknowledged and celebrated. Teachers proactively and regularly integrate te reo Māori into centre routines. Leaders and teachers show a commitment to strengthening their bicultural practices through ongoing professional development.

Teachers work collaboratively to ensure positive outcomes for children. They make considered decisions about the layout and content of the learning environments. Many become partners in children's play and provide resources that encourage children's more complex thinking. Teachers model creative language and new vocabulary well.

Programme planning documents individual children's interests. Teachers deliberately plan experiences to support children's learning. They could now focus on recording each child's individual learning more clearly in assessment portfolios.

Parents and whānau share information about their cultures and their aspirations for their children's learning. This information could be used to support the continued development of partnerships with whānau that focus on children's learning.

The service is well managed with a strong focus on the wellbeing of children and their whānau. A consultant has worked with the centre owner and teachers for a sustained period of time, carefully guiding teacher practice. It is timely now to consider further leadership opportunities for head teachers to continue to build their knowledge and skills in this area.

An effective process for internal evaluation has been established. Relevant topics are investigated by the four teaching teams. There are some good examples of the process in action. These could be shared across the team to support consistent good quality practices. Ongoing documentation of progress towards meeting strategic goals would more accurately guide the centre's future direction. A framework of policies and procedures guides centre practices and a review cycle has been established.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that next steps for ongoing improvement include:

  • continuing to develop programme planning and assessment processes to ensure a rich curriculum is documented for each child, in partnership with parents and whānau

  • developing and implementing a process of programme evaluation based on the impact of teaching practice on children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Young & Amazing 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

9 May 2019

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

Onehunga, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

46256

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

95 children, including up to 35 aged under 2

Service roll

104

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
other ethnic groups

4%
75%
21%

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

March 2019

Date of this report

9 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2015

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.