He Pou Tātaki – How ERO reviews home-based education and care services

Summary

This framework explains how we review home-based education and care services that are having an Education Review. This framework includes:

  • resources for home-based services being reviewed
  • indicators that home-based services can use in their internal reviews.

We worked with the sector to develop this framework and evaluation indicators.

 

We use evaluation indicators to review home-based services

The indicators we use reflect the unique characteristics of home-based education and care. They form the core of our education review methodology.

 

More detail about Education Reviews of home‑based services

Read how we review and find resources for home‑based education and care services that are having an Education Review.

 

Reviews of home-based services are changing

We are changing how we review home-based education and care services. Instead of an Education Review using this framework, some services will have an Akanuku | Assurance Review, or from late 2021 an Akarangi | Quality Evaluation, using our new review framework and approaches.

Read more about Akanuku | Assurance Reviews.

Read more about Akarangi | Quality Evaluations.

 

Foreword

The Education Review Office (ERO) independently reviews and reports on the quality of education in schools and early childhood services. The focus of ERO’s reviews in early childhood services is on the capacity of the service to promote positive learning outcomes, with the purpose of contributing to improved wellbeing and learning for all children.

He Pou Tātaki: How ERO reviews home-based education and care services provides resources for ERO and home-based services to use during reviews. The resources reflect ERO’s commitment to the provision of high quality early childhood education for all children in Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s framework for review, Ngā Pou Here, highlights the factors that affect the capacity of a home-based service to promote positive learning outcomes for all children and sustain a process of ongoing improvement.

ERO’s indicators have been updated to reflect current research, theory and practice in early childhood education. In addition, the indicators in this document reflect the unique characteristics of home-based education and care and are integral to the review methodology.

This methodology is the result of collaborative work between ERO staff and those who are active in the education sector – highlighting ERO’s goal of maintaining a positive and productive relationship with early childhood services and the broader education community.

Review procedures are available for centre-based early childhood services, kōhanga reo, private kura and schools, and Te Aho Matua kura kaupapa Māori. All documents are on ERO’s website (www.ero.govt.nz) or can be requested from an ERO office.

Iona Holsted

December 2015

 

Part 1: Introduction

This document gives information about the process that the Education Review Office (ERO) uses for reviews of home-based education and care services.

ERO’s review methodology is centred on positive learning outcomes for children and is underpinned by sound evaluation theory and current educational theory.

The methodology:

  • focuses on the capacity of the early childhood service to sustain and improve outcomes for children
  • is flexible, and responsive to each service’s context and stage of development
  • builds upon services’ internal evaluation processes and information
  • retains an accountability function and contributes to service improvements
  • incorporates processes for collecting information about government priorities
  • is responsive to Government goals for the early childhood sector.

Through its evaluation practice, ERO aims to build the capacity of the early childhood sector to review, evaluate and improve its own practice.

 

About ERO

The Education Review Office (ERO) is an independent external evaluation agency. ERO provides assurance to the Government about the quality and effectiveness of schools and early childhood services.

Children and young people are central to ERO’s approach. This is reflected in ERO’s whakataukī and is the foundation for ERO’s purpose statement.

Whakataukī:

Ko te Tamaiti te Pūtake o te Kaupapa.

The Child – the Heart of the Matter.

Purpose:

Our evaluation insights are a catalyst for change so that every child achieves success as a lifelong learner.

ERO’s evaluations prompt change and improvement in individual schools and early childhood services. They take into account the important contextual and cultural dimensions that shape each service.

ERO’s system-wide evaluations also influence national debate and support the Government in the development and implementation of education policy and practice.

 

ERO and Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Te Tiriti o Waitangi informs the development and implementation of all policies and procedures in ERO, including its education evaluation approaches. ERO promotes educational success for Māori, as Māori and the realisation of Māori potential.

Ka Hikitia, the Government’s Māori Education Strategy, clearly articulates this aspiration for the education sector.

 

Conduct during education reviews

Review officers use ERO’s Manual of Standard Procedures and follow the Code of Ethical Conduct for Review Officers.

The procedures allow for flexible and responsive evaluation that reflects the circumstances of individual services. ERO’s Code expects and requires standards of fairness, impartiality, responsibility and trustworthiness. These standards reflect those in the State Services Commission’s Standards of Integrity and Conduct.

 

Part 2: Outcomes for children in early childhood education

Introduction

All licensed early childhood services are required to meet regulated standards, employ qualified teachers or meet other qualification requirements, and implement a bicultural curriculum. While unified at a policy level, the early childhood education sector in Aotearoa New Zealand is diverse.

This diversity includes:

  • different cultural perspectives
  • structural differences (sessions or full day programmes)
  • organisational differences (kindergartens or education and care services)
  • different environments (home-based or centre-based programmes)
  • a range of philosophical emphases (Pacific early childhood services, Playcentre, Montessori, or Rudolf Steiner programmes)
  • the different resources available in urban and rural settings
  • the ways in which local communities participate
  • the age range of children in programmes.

ERO’s reviews of early childhood services respond to the diversity in the sector and variations in services’ performance in promoting positive learning outcomes for children.

 

Regulatory environment

The Education Act 1989 was amended in 2008 to create a revised legal framework for the operation of early childhood services. This is known as the ‘2008 regulatory system’. All early childhood services needed to be licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 20081 by 30 November 2014.

The key document that forms part of the regulatory framework for home-based education and care services is the Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Services 20082 which includes the Early Childhood Education Curriculum Framework.3

Home-based services must meet the licensing criteria as well as the other regulatory requirements contained in the regulations to gain and maintain a licence to operate.

ERO’s review process includes how the home-based service meets the regulated standards. However, ERO focuses on the quality of care and education that the service provides.

The curriculum framework is prescribed by the Minister of Education. The Early Childhood Education Curriculum Framework is made up of the English and te reo Māori versions of the principles and strands from the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki:

He Whāriki Mātauranga mōngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa (Te Whāriki).4 All licensed home- based services are required to provide a curriculum that meets the principles and strands of Te Whāriki.

 

Early childhood services and Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Te Tiriti o Waitangi is a foundation document of Aotearoa New Zealand and guides education with regards to participation, power and partnership for Māori, as tangata whenua, and non-Māori as signatories to the Treaty. The Treaty provides a driving force for the revitalisation of Māori language and culture.

Home-based services are required to provide a curriculum that acknowledges and reflects the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua. The curriculum must also help children to develop their knowledge and understanding of the cultural heritages of both parties to Te Titiri o Waitangi.

The principle of partnership in the Treaty needs to be reflected in the practices of the early childhood service. Working in partnership with Māori requires inclusive and collaborative practices between the home-based education and care service and whānau of tamariki

Māori for the learning and wellbeing of Māori children.

 

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

This convention5 is a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. It places an obligation on governments not just to protect children’s rights but to actively promote them. It also requires governments to allow children to have a voice in decisions that affect them. New Zealand ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 6 April 1993.

Early childhood leaders and practitioners should give consideration to children’s rights in their services’ policies and practices for the provision, protection and participation of children and their families in high quality early childhood services.

 

Outcomes for children in early childhood education

Te Whāriki sets out the principles, strands and goals for curriculum in early childhood services. It seeks for children ‘to grow as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, and secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.’6

Te Whāriki is based on socio-cultural perspectives. This means that there is an expectation that the curriculum in each home-based service will respond to the social and cultural values and beliefs of its community of children, families, educators and teachers. Each home-based service, in consultation with its community, determines its own curriculum priorities and emphases, and the learning it values.

According to Te Whāriki, the outcomes of a curriculum are knowledge, skills and attitudes that combine together to form a child’s working theory and help children to develop dispositions that encourage learning. Positive outcomes for children include high level competencies as well as more specific knowledge, skills, attitudes and dispositions for learning.

The valued outcomes of early childhood education vary from one family to another depending on cultural, educational and religious beliefs, as well as views on early learning. There is a broadly shared expectation, however, that early education will contribute to the growth of a secure, confident child who can communicate, learn and work with others.

An early childhood service that nurtures and promotes an individual child’s growing competence to communicate, participate and learn about the world, is likely to support such progression.

Outcomes for children are not always easy to determine. Nevertheless, the focus on how well children learn is central to all ERO reviews. ERO’s methodology, evaluation indicators and professional practice refer to research on how different factors and features of early childhood practice contribute to positive learning outcomes for children.

Service leaders should give consideration to equity (what is fair and just) and excellence in their service provision to support achieving equitable outcomes for children. They should identify the children in their service who require additional support to help achieve equitable outcomes.

The extent to which the service provides for each child is likely to be a measure of the commitment the service has to equitable outcomes for all children.

ERO’s methodology requires home-based education and care services to reflect on what their intended outcomes for children are, and what they know about how well children are achieving those outcomes.

 

Responding to diversity

Diversity encompasses many characteristics including ethnicity, socio-economic background, home-language, gender, special needs, disability, and giftedness.7

To understand and respond to these learners, home-based education and care service leaders need to have a deep understanding of the identity and experiences of these children. Their practices and systems should be responsive to children’s diverse needs and changing circumstances.

 

Māori children

Ka Hikitia, the Government’s Māori Education Strategy, proposes that better outcomes for Māori learners are likely when the language, culture and identity of Māori children is acknowledged and a productive partnership is forged by the sharing of power between Māori learners, whānau, iwi and educators.

Penetito8 states that there is no such thing as the Māori identity, there are only Māori identities. In addition, Māori children live in and between at least two worlds. While they may position themselves differently in these worlds they are Māori, by virtue of descent and whakapapa.9

The wellbeing and learning of Māori children is located in their culture, language and identity. A child’s culture, language and identity are places where concepts of mana, wairua and mauri exist. Mana is the power and potential the Māori child brings with them.10 Wairua is a concept linked to the child’s spirit and emotional stability. Mauri is observable. It is the life force and energy of the child which enables energy to be expended; the mind to think and have some control over how the body behaves. It enables the child to be vibrant, expressive and impressive.11

 

Children of Pacific heritage

The Pasifika Education Plan,12 the Government’s strategic direction for improving Pasifika education, focuses on increasing participation in quality early learning and building a strong foundation for lifelong education.

To improve outcomes for children with a Pacific heritage it is important to understand that Pacific children are not a homogeneous group. Pacific children come from diverse groups with different cultures and languages. While some Pacific children are born in New Zealand, others may be new arrivals to the country. Families hold differing belief systems about the place of culture, faith, family and education, among others.

Understanding the diversity of Pacific children is integral to understanding each child as an individual. Educators cannot simply create broad strategies or approaches to improve outcomes for Pacific children who attend early childhood services (both Pacific services and mainstream). Educators need to use their knowledge and understanding of Pacific children, their families and communities to design a meaningful curriculum and relevant experiences so that each Pacific child experiences success.

 

Part 3: Complementary approach to evaluation in early childhood service reviews

As New Zealand’s external education evaluation agency, ERO complements the internal evaluation activities of early childhood services.

ERO’s external evaluation process is both proportional and responsive to the service’s internal evaluation. It responds to the early childhood service’s overall capacity and capability to evaluate its own performance. ERO’s external evaluation also has a role to play in building the evaluation capacity of the service by strengthening internal evaluation according to each service’s context.

Diagram 1: Complementary evaluation

An evaluation approach that balances external ERO review with service internal evaluation according to each service’s circumstances.

Diagram showing how the review approach balances ERO’s external evaluation role with the service’s internal evaluation.

This diagram shows three boxes with a diagonal arrow on an upward trajectory from bottom left to top right across all three boxes. The area below the arrow represents the early childhood service’s internal evaluation. The area above the arrow represents ERO’s external evaluation. Together, they show how the review approach balances ERO’s external evaluation role with the service’s internal evaluation. The first and third boxes are smaller sizes with the middle box being the largest. The first box is Services with very limited internal evaluation, where ERO will have a bigger evaluation role. The second box is Services operating well with established processes for internal evaluation, which will be balanced with ERO’s role. The third box is Services sustaining high quality provision and continuous improvement through effective internal evaluation, where ERO’s external evaluation role can be smaller.

 

The complementary nature of external and internal evaluation

External evaluation can:

  • stimulate internal evaluation
  • expand the scope of internal evaluation
  • validate the results of internal evaluation
  • provide an additional perspective
  • include a capacity building role as part of the evaluation.

Internal evaluation can:

  • deepen the scope of external evaluation
  • give a context to the external evaluation
  • provide important insights
  • improve the interpretation of external evaluation findings
  • increase the use of external evaluation findings.

 

Building evaluation capability

ERO uses its external evaluation process to increase the capability within home-based education and care services to undertake internal evaluation as a routine activity for both accountability and improvement purposes. The intention is for evaluation to become embedded in the day-to-day practice of managers and educators.

ERO builds the evaluation capability of the early childhood service through:

  • making its own external review processes transparent
  • modelling evaluation practice
  • encouraging participation in ERO’s evaluation process
  • having discussions about the service’s internal evaluation processes
  • involving nominated service personnel in evaluation design, analysis and synthesis processes
  • providing tools (e.g. examples of evaluation questions and indicators) that services can use in their internal evaluation
  • discussing resources that services can use to help them with internal evaluation.

 

Internal evaluation in early childhood services

The term internal evaluation is often used synonymously with other terms such as self evaluation, self review, evaluation, assessment, monitoring and appraisal. In early childhood services in Aotearoa New Zealand internal evaluation has its roots in terms such as programme review, internal review and quality review.

ERO defines internal evaluation as the use of robust processes to systematically inquire into and evaluate the effectiveness of policies, programmes and practices. Internal evaluation findings are used to inform decision-making, improve the quality of practice and promote positive outcomes for all children.

Definitions of evaluation vary according to the underpinning theory or theories that they are based on. All evaluation involves reaching judgements or producing knowledge about what is being evaluated. The purpose of each evaluation differs: it can be for accountability purposes, to help with decision making, to contribute to improved effectiveness, to increase understanding or to advance a principle such as equity. This is referred to as evaluation use.

 

Regulatory requirements for internal evaluation

Early childhood services are required to undertake internal evaluation as part of their licensing requirements. The criteria to assess the governance, management and administration standard specifies that an ongoing process of internal evaluation helps the service maintain and improve the quality of its education and care.13

The licensing criteria require early childhood services to document:

  • a process for reviewing and evaluating their operation
  • a schedule showing timelines for planned review of different areas of operation
  • recorded outcomes from the review process.

Internal evaluation is an integral part of professional practice in the governance, management and administration of a home-based service.

 

Guidance and support to help services with internal evaluation

The Ministry of Education resources such as Quality in Action: Te Mahi Whai Hua14 and The Quality Journey: He Haerenga Whai Hua: Improving  quality  in  early  childhood services15 help early childhood services understand the concept of internal evaluation.

The Ministry has also published guidelines for internal evaluation in early childhood services: Ngā Arohaehae Whai Hua.16 These guidelines set out a process for services to use to undertake internal evaluation. This process is one that requires a systematic process of preparation, data gathering, analysis and decision-making. It implies an evaluative approach.

 

Highly effective internal evaluation

In 2008 ERO undertook a national evaluation17 that focused on how well internal evaluation was understood, supported and implemented in early childhood services. ERO found that where internal evaluation was highly effective:

  • improvement and accountability were understood to be the main purposes of internal evaluation
  • management and educators shared the same understandings about internal evaluation) it was embedded in practice and integral to the service’s operation
  • reviews had a clear focus
  • it was strongly focused on improvement and with well-established procedures to guide practice
  • reviews were both planned and spontaneous planned reviews included scheduled policy reviews and more in-depth reviews of targeted areas of practice
  • spontaneous reviews were responsive to emerging issues.

The factors that emerged as common to all services where internal evaluation was well understood and implemented included:

  • strong leadership to promote internal evaluation
  • professional development to support internal evaluation
  • stable and collaborative staff
  • sound, sustainable systems for internal evaluation
  • the use of relevant resources and support systems.

 

Types of internal evaluation

Internal evaluation processes let an early childhood service know how well it is promoting positive learning outcomes for children. As a result of information from internal evaluation, the service is able to identify the contributing factors and priorities to enhance children’s wellbeing and learning.

There are different ways of describing the various types of internal evaluation. The Ministry of Education’s guidelines refer to a framework of planned and spontaneous review. The following diagram expands on that framework for internal evaluation by including strategic internal evaluation. Strategic internal evaluation is the process by which the home-based service evaluates how well it is achieving its vision, goals or philosophy.

 

Diagram 2: Types of internal evaluation

This diagram shows the three types of evaluation: Strategic, Regular and Emergent.

The three types of evaluation sit within Koru shaped circles, the koru growing larger and stronger as they move outwards from the centre. The smallest koru at the centre is Emergent evaluation. The next and larger koru is Regular evaluation. The outside, largest and strongest circle is Strategic evaluation.

Strategic internal evaluation is long term, and focused on key goals related to the early childhood service’s vision, goals or philosophy.

Regular (or planned) internal evaluations are about ‘business as usual’. They are smaller, focused and ongoing, feeding regular information into the strategic internal evaluation.

Emergent (or spontaneous) internal evaluations are in response to unplanned events or issues as they arise. They are one-off spontaneous reviews but should fit with overall goals and link to other reviews.

All internal evaluation involves gathering information which is used as evidence to support judgements and make decisions about service direction and priorities.

 

Diagram 3: Internal evaluation continuum

This diagram is an Internal Evaluation Continuum. It shows a continuum of capacity in terms of understanding and practice for internal evaluation.

At the left of the diagram itself is an explanation that internal evaluation is a developmental activity that is best understood as operating on a continuum of understanding and practice. The features or characteristics of each of the identified stages (shown in the diagram) are a guide to determining the level at which the early childhood service understands and undertakes internal evaluation.

The diagram shows the three stages of development of understanding and practice for internal evaluation. There are three boxes, one for each stage, from left to right. Above and across them is an arrow moving left to right in an upward trajectory.

The first box is Early stage internal evaluation. The characteristics of this are listed as:

  • largely compliance and audit focused
  • mostly about policy review (as a paper exercise)
  • understanding of internal evaluation developing but not shared at all levels of the service (purpose and processes)
  • processes and outcomes not documented
  • mostly undertaken by individuals rather than a collaborative activity
  • limited to those whose perspectives are sought
  • limited gathering of evidence
  • limited analysis of information
  • action not taken as a result of internal evaluation.

The second box is Developing internal evaluation. The characteristics of this are listed as:

  • shared understanding of internal evaluation developing
  • evidence of internal evaluation but not strongly aligned to strategic planning, goals, vision, philosophy
  • focus on resources and environment
  • evidence of a process (documented)
  • starting to focus on evaluation of teaching and learning practice and children’s learning
  • becoming established with a clear purpose and procedures to guide internal evaluation
  • a planned approach evident – use of a review plan or schedule to guide internal evaluation
  • examples of spontaneous or emergent and planned evaluations.

Internal evaluation that meets regulatory requirements sits between the first and second stages: Early and Developing.

The third box is Highly effective well-developed internal evaluation. The characteristics of this are listed as:

  • well-established processes for internal evaluation
  • purpose of internal evaluation is clear
  • systematic, planned and deliberate inquiry
  • documentation developed to show evidence of process and outcomes
  • multiple perspectives sought – children and whānau contribute to internal evaluation
  • indicators or criteria are used
  • use of multiple sources of information
  • well-analysed information
  • strong focus on teaching and learning and outcomes for all children
  • internal evaluation includes a focus on all aspects of the service’s operation over time
  • internal evaluation is linked to the service’s vision and philosophy and informs strategic direction
  • internal evaluation outcomes are used for decision-making and improvement
  • internal evaluation involves working with evidence to achieve ongoing improvement.

Below this third box is stated: ERO's evaluation indicators provide more detailed information about highly effective internal evaluation.

 

Part 4: ERO’s framework for review – Ngā Pou Here

Introduction

Ngā Pou Here is a metaphor used to frame the early childhood education review methodology.

Ngā Pou Here is about the factors that affect the capacity of early childhood services to promote positive learning outcomes for children. Tamariki/children are at the centre of ERO’s focus.

 

Diagram 4: Ngā Pou Here

This diagram shows Tamariki at the centre and the four Pous around it.

This diagram is circular with the four Pou which are Mātauranga, Tikanga Whakaako, Pou Ārahi and Pou Whakahaere forming four corners within the circle. At the middle is a circle for Tamariki, placing the child at the centre. Sitting outside that middle circle is Haere Kōtui. Arching above this at the top of the whole circle is Arotake. The elements of the whole circle are shown as linked or connected by the design.

The use of Māori terminology and concepts in Ngā Pou Here is one strategy ERO uses to realise its commitment to equitable outcomes for Māori.

Review officers and early childhood services can use the Māori terminology and increase their understanding of the Māori world view as expressed in Ngā Pou Here.

The use of Ngā Pou Here will help services and ERO to foreground success for Māori children in each evaluation.

In this section the terminology and meaning of each Pou is briefly explored from the perspective of te ao Māori. Part 5 has more information about Ngā Pou Here as an evaluation framework and ERO’s evaluation indicators in PART 6 further explain each Pou.

 

Diagram 5:

This diagram shows the Pou, the significance of the words in te reo Māori, and how the principles of partnership (Haere Kōtui) and internal evaluation (Arotake) connect and support the Pou.

This diagram shows the Pou, the significance of the words in te reo Māori and their connections to Te Ao Māori, and how the principles of partnership (Haere Kōtui) and evaluation (Arotake) connect and support the Pou.

This diagram shows the four Pou. They are standing on a circular base which is for Tamariki, and places the child at the centre surrounded by the Pou. Haere Kōtui is at the surrounding edge of the base and Arotake overarches the entire diagram. For each of the four Pou the elements of the name are broken down to explain its meaning and connection to Te Ao Māori. Mātauranga is: Mātau – knowledgeable; Taura – binding or tie together; Ranga - weave together. Pou Whakahaere is: Pou - signifigant structure; Whaka - to cause to happen; Whakahaere - organise manage direct. Pou Ārahi is: Pou - significant structure, Ārahi - guidance and direction. Tikanga Whakaako is: Tika - the right way; Anga - framework or shelter, Aka – continuity or consistency, Ako - learning and teaching, pedagogy. Arotake above is explained as: Aro – focus, look, attend; Take – matter, factor, emphasis, issue. Haere Kōtui below is explained as: Haere – go, become, get along, move; Kōtui – interlaced, bind. The elements of the whole circle are shown as linked or connected by the design. Below the whole diagram is stated: Positive learning outcomes for all children.

Ngā Pou Here

Pou are carved posts placed strategically on the land or in specific places to acknowledge and represent the relationship between tangata whenua, their ancestors and their environment or taiao. Pou are significant markers that identify boundaries, guardianship and protection. In short, they mark the traditional and contemporary associations significant to Māori and their contribution to New Zealand’s cultural heritage and identity. This diagram shows the interconnectedness of the Pou and their connection to outcomes for children. The four Pou embody inclusion, equity and balance. None of the Pou can stand on their own; they impact on and influence one another.

 

Pou Whakahaere

Pou Whakahaere acknowledges the skills and knowledge that a group of people bring to a particular context. Pou Whakahaere is entrusted to work on behalf of others to ensure that the vision and aspirations of the collective are realised. Their significant marker is that of management and governance.

Pou Whakahaere is a marker for:

  • the service establishing its vision, philosophy and strategic direction
  • the service having an up-to-date policy framework that guides practice
  • management of resources, including people, money and property
  • capacity building to enable the service to sustain quality and improve outcomes for children.

 

Pou Ārahi

Pou Ārahi refer to the people who ‘ārahi’ or provide guidance, supervision and direction to others. Pou Ārahi enact the guidelines and procedures put in place by Pou Whakahaere. This requires a high level of skill in culturally and socially appropriate leadership.

Pou Ārahi is a marker for:

  • the enactment of the service’s philosophy
  • realising the service’s vision and strategic direction
  • establishing an organisational culture that supports ongoing improvement
  • building and supporting professional practice.

 

Mātauranga

Mātauranga is a body of knowledge that is framed in certain ways. In curriculum development it is important to ask whose knowledge is valued and how this achieves positive outcomes for all children. The inclusion of mātauranga Māori enables all children to understand the significance of Māori as tangata whenua through the use of te reo Māori;

Māori symbols; learning experiences that focus on the environment (taiao) through the lens of atua Māori (guardians of the forest, sky, earth, wind, rain, storms, earthquakes and volcanoes); pūtaiao (science); and hangarau (technology). Mātauranga Māori communicates something fundamental about the Māori world, something distinctive and valuable.

It encompasses both ancient and modern forms of knowing and enlightenment.

The inclusion of Mātauranga Māori across the curriculum enhances the mana and wairua of Māori children. This validates their ways of knowing, being and doing. At the same time it provides all children with knowledge and information that extends their learning and understanding of the world they live in.

Mātauranga is a marker for:

  • teachers’ professional knowledge and their curriculum and subject content knowledge
  • teachers’ knowledge of children as learners and of their learning
  • teachers’ knowledge of culture and context and how this contributes to decisions about curriculum
  • teachers’ knowledge of whānau and the wider community assessment and planning processes.

 

Tikanga Whakaako

Tikanga whakaako, also known as Māori pedagogy, is a term used to describe teaching and learning that is appropriate for Māori children within an education context. The concept of ako is deeply embedded in tikanga whakaako. Ako acknowledges teaching and learning as reciprocal processes whereby teachers are learners and learners are teachers.

Tikanga whakaako also recognises that the learner, educator and whānau cannot be separated. Embracing the concept of tikanga whakaako enables educators to build caring and purposeful learning relationships where everyone feels that their contribution is valued and their potential is recognised. Critical to Māori pedagogy (tikanga whakaako) is the notion of which or whose knowledge (mātauranga) is privileged.18

Tikanga whakaako is a marker for:

  • relationships and interactions between teachers and children
  • effective teaching practice
  • Te Tiriti-based practice and bicultural curriculum
  • inclusive practices
  • learning environments
  • transitions into and within services, and to school.

 

Haere Kōtui

Haere Kōtui captures the essence and importance of partnership. The phrase emphasises the sense of coming together to work with and alongside each other. Haere Kōtui weaves and binds the essential strands of individual commitment and contribution with collective focus and responsibility for the achievement of desired outcomes. A well-woven whāriki brings together all those who are important to the task.

Embedded within the action of Haere Kōtui is whanaungatanga, which in contemporary contexts has been described as the ways in which a group of people, coming together for a common cause or kaupapa, interact and behave with one another.19

Whanaungatanga is based on genuine respect, appreciation and support afforded to others. It recognises the centrality of whānau and relationships to Māori children in  early childhood settings. Whanaungatanga creates a support system drawing on loyalties, obligations and commitment to a common purpose.20 21

Partnership is especially important for Māori children because of the central role of whānau in building children’s sense of identity; through whānau children develop their understanding of the world and their place in te ao Māori.

 

Arotake

Arotake encompasses the terms assess, evaluate and review. In ERO’s work, arotake refers to the process of conducting evaluation. Both internal and external evaluative inquiry help early childhood services to know how well they are supporting Māori children to realise their potential.

There are many different forms of Māori identity and there are many ways of consulting and engaging with Māori. The processes used during arotake need to appropriately observe Māori tikanga and kawa. So should the way ERO communicates the findings. Effective and culturally appropriate evaluation activities are those that foster meaningful and honest engagement with Māori.

 

Part 5: ERO’s education reviews in early childhood education services

The structure for ERO’s evaluation

This section provides a brief description of the elements that make up the review structure.

These are:

  1. ERO’s overall evaluation question
  2. Ngā Pou Here – the review framework
  3. Capacity and sustainability
  4. National evaluation topics
  5. Compliance

 

1. ERO’s overall evaluation question

ERO’s review will answer the overall evaluation question:

How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for all children?

In answering this question, ERO’s structure for reviewing and reporting helps early childhood services to see what they are doing well, where they need to develop and what they should do next to improve outcomes for children.

During each review ERO will explore how the home-based education and care services’ systems, processes and practices respond to equity and diversity in relation to:

  • recognising and responding to children’s languages, cultures and identities particularly in partnership with parents, families and whānau.

ERO will review how well they recognise and provide for children’s particular learning needs in relation to:

  • inclusive practices that enable each child to participate and engage in the programme, and further develop their competence as a learner
  • provision for the learning and wellbeing of infants and toddlers, where applicable.

 

Diagram 6: Ngā Pou Here – Review Framework

This diagram shows what each Pou represents in the review process. It also shows the connecting elements, Haere Kōtui and Arotake, which should be evident in each Pou.

This diagram shows the connections between Ngā Pou Here, the evaluation indicators and ERO’s overall judgements and criteria for review return times in Education Reviews.

The diagram shows the four Pou. They are standing on a circular base which is for Tamariki and places the child at the centre surrounded by the Pou. Haere Kōtui is at the surrounding edge of the base and Arotake overarches the entire diagram. With each of the four Pou are aspects of what the early childhood service does that the review will consider. These are related to the evaluation indicators. With Mātauranga are: responsive curriculum; understanding children and families; assessment and planning; and professional knowledge. With Pou Whakahaere are: vision; strategic direction; policy framework; management of resources; and sustainable improvement. With Pou Ārahi are: building capability; leadership; realising the vision; organisational culture; and professional practice. With Tikanga Whakaako are: relationships; teaching and learning; Te Tiriti-based practice; transitions; and environments. Arotake above is explained as: internal evaluation for improvement (evident in each pou). Haere Kōtui below is explained as: working in partnership with families and whānau (evident in each pou). The elements of the whole circle are shown as linked or connected by the design. Below the whole diagram is stated: Positive learning outcomes for all children.

 

2. Ngā Pou Here – the review framework

Ngā Pou Here is ERO’s framework for the evaluation of processes and practices in an early childhood service. The overall aim of using Ngā Pou Here is for ERO to evaluate the service’s capacity to promote positive learning outcomes for all children and to sustain a process of ongoing improvement.

Ngā Pou Here explores four key areas:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive learning outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive learning outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive learning outcomes for children
  • Tikanga Whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning are responsive to diversity and support positive learning outcomes for children.

Within each Pou ERO considers the extent to which the service is enacting Haere Kōtui (working in partnership) and using Arotake (evaluative approaches). As connecting elements, Haere Kōtui and Arotake are envisaged as weaving through and connecting each Pou.

ERO’s evaluation indicators in Part 6 clarify the basis on which ERO evaluates early childhood services’ performance within Ngā Pou Here, and also provide a tool to assist early childhood services with internal evaluation.

Reviewers use Ngā Pou Here to design and undertake the review according to each early childhood service’s context, while ensuring that the focus remains on the service’s capacity to promote the wellbeing and learning of all children.

 

3. Capacity and sustainability

The structure of Ngā Pou Here supports ERO to determine the capacity a service has to sustain and continue to improve the quality of provision for all children.

For services that are not performing well, Ngā Pou Here will help review officers to identify and prioritise the key areas for development. For services that demonstrate a high level of performance, the review can focus on the service’s own information about how well it promotes positive learning outcomes for all children.

ERO’s review process takes into account each early childhood service’s context, performance and capacity. The review framework remains sufficiently flexible for review officers to design reviews that are responsive to context.

 

4. National Evaluation Topics

The national evaluation topics (NETs) are an important part of ERO’s review process. Through the NETs, ERO investigates key aspects of early childhood services’ performance in relation to the Government’s education priorities. Topics for investigation change regularly and are decided in consultation with the Minister, the Ministry of Education and other government agencies.

ERO uses a range of ways to gather information for its national reports, depending on the scope and focus of the information needed. Currently ERO uses one or a combination of the following evaluative approaches:

  • specific in-depth questions asked by review officers during reviews
  • analysis of confirmed ERO reports on early childhood services
  • questionnaires sent directly by ERO to early childhood services
  • specific studies undertaken by ERO in early childhood services outside of the scheduled Education Review.

Information from individual early childhood service reviews is gathered, aggregated and analysed. System-wide evaluation judgements are developed from this analysis and published in education evaluation reports which are on ERO’s website and often printed as booklets.

Early childhood services will be notified of the current NET before their scheduled ERO review. Information about current NETs is also provided on ERO’s website.

 

5. Compliance

Home-based education and care services operate under a comprehensive set of regulations (reflecting the importance of safety and wellbeing for young children) and there is a public expectation that ERO will continue to check on compliance with these regulations.

ERO supports services’ management of compliance functions and places emphasis on services’ own reporting on compliance. ERO has developed the Guidelines for Home-based Education  and  Care  Assurance  Statement  and  Self-Audit  Checklists so that services can provide assurance that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

During the course of all reviews, ERO checks performance in respect of compliance as attested in the assurance statement.

Compliance is not a major focus of reviews unless it appears to ERO that there are significant levels of risk to children’s safety and wellbeing. If the checking process indicates significant problems, ERO will investigate further or make a recommendation to the Ministry of Education to reassess the service’s compliance with licensing requirements.

 

Part 6: ERO’s evaluation indicators for education reviews in home-based education and care services

Introduction

Indicators are statements that indicate whether a goal has been achieved. In this document, ERO’s evaluation indicators are about the factors in a home-based service that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. The indicators provide a framework that allow for judgements to be made about what is being practised and the difference between what is enacted and high quality practice.

ERO’s evaluation indicators for home-based services:

  • help to determine if high quality is being achieved
  • are indicative of quality – they do not represent quality practice on their own
  • are statements that can be verified through data collection and analysis.

They are not requirements and home-based services are not expected to demonstrate that they have achieved all practices outlined in the indicators.

The primary purpose of ERO’s evaluation indicators is to promote improvement.

 

Indicator development

ERO’s evaluation indicators for education reviews in home-based education and care services are based on current national and international evaluation and research, findings from ERO’s national evaluations, and many years of reviewing experience within ERO.

ERO conducted a wide ranging literature search related to early childhood education over the past ten years. The search encompassed diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives. Priority was given to New Zealand research in order to provide localised perspectives on best practice in early childhood education.

Research ranged in size, scope and focus. Studies that had been subject to peer review or accepted for publication, and reports of major studies were given priority. Research ranged from action-research and small-scale research projects through to larger projects and longitudinal studies. Where a lack of research was found the scope of the search was expanded or deepened. In some instances opinion pieces, articles or other material were used if they communicated ideas or aspects of best practice not well explored in research.

 

The indicators as a resource

The evaluation indicators are a resource to inform the judgements that ERO reviewers make about different aspects of performance in early childhood services. They are also intended to clarify the basis on which ERO evaluates early childhood performance, and to assist in the development of early childhood services’ internal evaluation.

Cross-checking across several indicators strengthens the evidence base for answering evaluative questions.

For ERO, the evaluation indicators:

  • support the implementation of Ngā Pou Here, the review framework
  • keep the reviews focused on the factors that contribute to successful outcomes
  • keep the importance of success for Māori children to the fore
  • assist ERO reviewers to consider what is significant when making judgements about how well placed the service is to promote positive learning outcomes for all children
  • promote consistency by providing guidance for reviewers
  • provide a basis for discussion with service personnel about what they know about the quality of education and associated outcomes for children who attend their service.

For early childhood services, the evaluation indicators:

  • make the review process transparent
  • help them to understand the basis on which ERO makes its judgements
  • focus them on factors that contribute to positive outcomes for children
  • support their focus on diverse groups of children and their families
  • provide a tool to assist them with their own internal evaluation
  • help to build their evaluation capacity by modelling evaluative questions and evidence-based judgments.

 

How the indicators are organised

The indicators are organised within each of the four Pou of Ngā Pou Here.

At the beginning of each set of Pou there are indicators for partnership with parents (Haere Kōtui) and sustainability through internal evaluation (Arotake). These elements weave through and connect each Pou. As a result there is some overlap across the different sections.

The evaluation indicators for each Pou are preceded by questions to guide evaluation and review of that Pou.

 

The evaluation questions and prompts

Priority questions

  • These questions are designed to find out what the service knows through its internal evaluation about its priority learners. They are also focused on the effectiveness of partnerships and internal evaluation in relation to each Pou.

Supporting evaluation questions

  • These are the key evaluative questions that highlight the main aspects of each Pou.

Investigative prompts

  • These prompts further unpack the priority questions and the supporting evaluation questions. They are examples rather than a definitive list.

The indicators

Connecting elements
  • These refer to indicators related to Haere Kōtui (partnerships with parents and whānau) and Arotake (sustainability through internal evaluation). Because Haere Kōtui and Arotake are woven across each Pou there is a connecting elements indicator section for each Pou.
Contributing elements
  • This is a way of grouping the indicators according to particular aspects of practice or common themes for particular indicators.

 

Using the indicators as part of internal evaluation

  • The indicators can be used: 
    • to foster greater depth of understanding about an element or area for development
    • as a tool for exploring an aspect of high quality practice
    • as a measure to evaluate whether high quality is being achieved.
  • The investigative questions are a good starting point to reflect on an aspect of practice.
  • By answering one of ERO’s priority questions a home-based education and care service will be asking itself a challenging question that is likely to generate in-depth review and evaluation.

 

Evaluation framework for Pou Whakahaere

How effectively do the service’s philosophy, vision, goals and systems promote positive learning outcomes for all children?

 

Priority questions

What does the service provider know about the effectiveness of its philosophy, vision, goals and systems in:

  • supporting Māori children to achieve success as Māori?
  • supporting Pacific children to achieve success?
  • supporting all children as individuals?
  • responding to the interests, strengths and capabilities of diverse groups of children who attend the service and supporting them to achieve success?

How effectively do umbrella organisations, service providers, coordinators/visiting teachers of the service promote partnerships with parents and whānau?

How effectively does internal evaluation guide decision-making and lead to improvements in the provision of high quality education and care?

 

Supporting evaluation questions

To what extent does this service:

  • value and implement Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles through its policies and practices?
  • include parent and whānau aspirations and expectations for their children’s learning in the vision and associated goals and plans?
  • have a philosophy that reflects the values and beliefs of service providers, coordinators/visiting teachers, educators, parents, whānau and community? This is regularly reviewed to reflect changing circumstances. (such as; change of ownership, personnel or other circumstances that have an impact on the services home-based community).
  • plan (long and short term) and implement strategies that focus on improvement and children’s learning?
  • have policies that guide practice?
  • effectively manage finances, resourcing, health and safety?
  • appoint employees with relevant knowledge and expertise?
  • provide for ongoing coordinator/visiting teacher and educator development?
  • involve coordinators/visiting teachers, educators, parents and whānau in internal evaluation?
  • use robust processes in internal evaluation?
  • use internal evaluation to guide decision-making and improve quality?

 

Examples of prompts for investigation
  • In what ways do plans, policies and practices demonstrate evidence of a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles?
  • What processes are used to consult with parents, whānau, iwi, hapū and the wider community?
  • Are the processes used to communicate with whānau Māori appropriate, for example kanohi ki te kanohi?
  • How does the service provider find out what aspirations and expectations parents and whānau have for their children?
  • How is this information used?
  • What informs this service provider’s long and short term planning? Does it include a strong focus on coordinator/ visiting teachers, educators and children’s learning?
  • How has the statement of philosophy been developed? Has it been reviewed? Is it reviewed when personnel change? Who was involved? Whose values and beliefs does it reflect?
  • How does the service ensure alignment between policy and practice?
  • In what ways does internal evaluation link to the service’s vision and associated goals?
  • What internal evaluation is undertaken of service providers’, coordinators’/visiting teachers’ and educators’ practices?
  • What internal evaluation is planned? What internal evaluation is undertaken in a spontaneous way?
  • What processes are used to carry out internal evaluation?
  • How are the outcomes of internal evaluation used by those responsible for governing and managing this service?
  • What is the impact of internal evaluation for this service? What difference does it make for all children and their families?

 

Indicators for Pou Whakahaere

 

Connecting Elements

 

Element: Pou Whakahaere and partnerships with parents, family and whanau

Example of indicator:

The philosophy, vision and associated goals and plans are influenced by the aspirations parents, families and whānau have for their children.

  • The service provider acknowledges Māori as tangata whenua and is committed to Tiriti-based partnerships.
  • The importance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is strengthened through partnerships, policies and practices.
  • The service provider demonstrates a strong commitment to consulting parents and whānau of Māori children and involving them in decision-making.
  • The service provider demonstrates a strong commitment to consulting the family of children who have Pacific heritage and involving them in decision-making.
  • Responsive connections are developed with the parents, family and whānau of children who have diverse educational or care needs (diverse needs include children who have English as an additional language; whose families’ are migrants or refugees; who have special education needs or special abilities; or are from
  • low-income families).

Coordinators/visiting teachers, parents, whānau and educators are consulted and have opportunities to contribute to internal evaluation.

 

Element: Pou Whakahaere and sustainability through internal evaluation

Example of indicator:

There is compelling evidence that internal evaluation is embedded in practice and leads to improved outcomes for children, which are sustained.

  • The dual purposes of internal evaluation for accountability and improvement are well understood by service providers and coordinators/visiting teachers.
  • Robust processes are used to systematically inquire into and evaluate the effectiveness of policies, programmes and practices.
  • Expectations/guidelines/procedures are documented to effectively guide internal evaluation.
  • Internal evaluation: 
    • is ongoing and responsive to identified priorities
    • includes all aspects of the operation of the service over time
    • focuses on the effectiveness of processes and practices
    • is focused on promoting quality
    • includes a focus on progress towards the vision, goals and outcomes.
  • Internal evaluation informs: 
    • decision-making at a governance level
    • professional learning and development (PLD) programmes
    • priorities, plans, policies and actions.

The impact of change made as a result of internal evaluation is well monitored over time.

 

Contributing elements

 

Element: Vision

Example of indicator:

A clear vision sets direction for the service.

This vision:

  • seeks to realise the potential of Māori children and their whānau
  • includes reference to the bicultural nature of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • is responsive to the aspirations and expectations that parents and whānau and the community have for their children
  • guides long and short term planning
  • reflects a commitment to high quality early childhood education for all children
  • outlines the services’ outcomes for children
  • expresses how educators are supported in their role to implement a quality curriculum in a safe and caring environment.

 

Element: Philosophy

Example of indicator:

The service provider, coordinators/visiting teachers and educators can articulate/ demonstrate how the philosophy is enacted in practice.

The service’s philosophy:

  • is developed collaboratively by the (where applicable the umbrella organisation) service provider and coordinators/visiting teachers and educators
  • should be supported by current research and best practice evidence
  • is clearly documented and shared with all who are involved in the home-based service and the wider community
  • is regularly and collaboratively reviewed by service providers, coordinators/visiting teachers, parents and educators
  • expresses shared values and beliefs which promote the wellbeing, health, safety, learning and development of children
  • reflects a commitment to the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

 

Element: Strategic direction

Example of indicator:

The service provider has evidence to demonstrate the achievement of its vision and goals.

  • Planning (long and short term) clearly identifies the service provider’s priorities and associated goals towards achieving its vision.
  • The service provider’s priorities and goals are documented and strongly linked to positive learning outcomes for children.
  • Goals are supported by appropriate actions and resources to enable them to be achieved.

Progress towards identified goals is systematically monitored and documented.

 

Element: Policy framework and guidance

Example of indicator:

The service provider’s policies and associated procedures:

  • acknowledge Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Māori as tangata whenua
  • take into account the rights of the child22
  • set out clear expectations and guidance for coordinators/visiting teachers and educators to implement a Te Tiriti-based/bicultural curriculum
  • guide inclusive practice at all levels of the service
  • usefully underpin high quality practice in all aspects of the service
  • are based on principles of advocacy, equity and social justice
  • reflect the rights of all children to a quality, inclusive early childhood education.

 

Element: Performance management

Example of indicator:

The service provider has up-to-date policies and procedures that support the recruitment, induction, appraisal and professional learning and development (PLD) of managers, coordinators/visiting teachers and educators.

  • Performance management successfully contributes to: 
    • the service achieving its vision and goals
    • professional learning of service providers, coordinators/visiting teachers and educators.

 

Element: Financial management

Example of indicator:

Spending is monitored through regular reporting.

  • An annual budget is well aligned to the service provider’s goals and priorities.
  • The budget reflects the priorities the service provider has for: 
    • promoting positive outcomes for children
    • meeting health and safety requirements
    • providing professional learning and development for coordinators/visiting teachers and educators.

 

Element: Health and safety management

Example of indicator:

The service provider has effective systems to identify, monitor and report physical and emotional health and safety for all involved in the service.

  • Coordinators/visiting teachers monitor health and safety in homes and can verify that educators maintain homes to meet the required health and safety standard.
  • Practices that uphold good health and wellbeing for children are promoted.
  • Practices for recognising and responding to child abuse and neglect are understood by all those involved in the service.

Note: The Education (Home-based Education and Care) Regulations 2008 set the minimum requirements for health and safety.

 

Element: Capacity building

Example of indicator:

Those responsible for governing and managing the service have a good understanding of, and capability to carry out their roles and responsibilities. There is a strong focus on continual improvement.

  • Service providers are committed to, and have the capability to recruit, manage and develop competent coordinators/visiting teachers and educators.
  • Personnel are well supported through induction and ongoing training. Processes to evaluate the effectiveness of these practices are implemented.
  • Service providers support ongoing PLD for coordinators/visiting teachers and educators according to their specific needs to improve practice.
  • Service providers, coordinators/visiting teachers undertake PLD and training to ensure they have current knowledge and the necessary skills when working with adults. This includes: 
    • supporting and coaching educators to provide high quality early childhood education and care through the understanding of and use of effective teaching strategies
    • leading bicultural development and Tiriti-based practices
    • promoting equity and social justice for children and their families through the rights of the child, and cross-cultural development and understanding.

 

Evaluation Framework for Pou Ārahi

How effectively do service providers, coordinators/visiting teachers as leaders build capability within the service to promote positive learning outcomes for all children?

 

Priority questions
  • What does the service provider know about the effectiveness of practices in relation to:
    • supporting Māori children to achieve success as Māori?
    • supporting Pacific children to achieve success?
    • supporting all children as individuals?
    • responding to the interests, strengths and capabilities of diverse groups of children who attend the service and supporting them to achieve success?  
  • How effectively do coordinators/visiting teachers and educators work in partnership with parents and whānau to achieve positive outcomes for all children?
  • How effective is the educational (pedagogical and curriculum) leadership of the service?
  • To what extent does the service provider (where applicable the umbrella organisation) promote and implement effective internal evaluation as a means to improve the quality of education and care for all children?

 

Supporting evaluation questions

How effectively does the service provider, with the coordinators/visiting teachers:

  • promote the vision and its associated goals?
  • promote quality learning and teaching?
  • build and support professional practice?
  • develop relationships and collaborative ways of working with all those involved in the home-based service’s community?
  • provide opportunities for leadership at all levels (teachers, educators, parents, whānau, and children)?

 

Examples of prompts for investigation

How is leadership defined and enacted in this service?

  • Who gets to lead and in relation to what?
  • How well do the service provider, coordinators/visiting teachers as leaders, understand the service’s philosophy, vision and goals?
  • How do these leaders promote the service’s philosophy?
  • How is the philosophy reflected in policies and practice?
  • What do these leaders do to promote strong partnerships with whānau Māori?
  • How do these leaders work in a responsive way with families of diverse groups of children, in particular those with special and diverse needs?
  • What role do the service provider/coordinators/visiting teachers, as the educational leaders, have in internal evaluation?
  • How does professional learning and development (PLD) contribute to the implementation of bicultural and Te Tiriti-based practice?
  • How does the service provider support coordinators/visiting teachers to develop their professional teaching practice for infants, toddlers and young children, and children with diverse needs? How is this knowledge shared with educators?
  • What PLD are service providers, coordinators/visiting teachers and educators involved in?
  • What PLD is planned for coordinators/visiting teachers and educators? Why? What determines this planning?
  • What PLD has the service provider, coordinators/visiting teachers and educators undertaken recently? What impact has this had on improving outcomes for children and for growing educator practice?
  • How does the service provider encourage and support coordinators/visiting teachers and educators to increase their cultural competencies?

 

Indicators for Pou Ārahi

 

Connecting elements

 

Element: Pou Ārahi and partnerships with parents and whanau

Example of indicator:

Service providers, coordinators/visiting teachers and educators base relationships on respect, trust and reciprocity.

  • Service providers and coordinators/visiting teachers respectfully validate te ao Māori, and create opportunities for whānau Māori to voice their views. As leaders they support and coach educators to: 
    • value parent and whānau aspirations and expectations, and work collaboratively and responsively to achieve these
    • effectively communicate with all families including those that are bi-or multilingual
    • encourage and invite parents and whānau to take an active role in their children’s learning
    • be responsive to parents’ and whānau aspirations, issues, concerns and questions
    • strongly advocate for high quality education and care for infants, toddlers and young children and their whānau.

 

Element: Pou Ārahi and sustainability through internal evaluation

Example of indicator:

The service provider and coordinators/visiting teachers are focused on improving the quality of education and care through ongoing systematic internal evaluation.

  • The service provider implements effective quality assurance processes to meet the: 
    • Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Services 2008 and the prescribed Early Childhood Curriculum Framework, the English and the te reo Māori versions of the principles and strands from Te Whāriki; and
    • other regulatory requirements contained in the regulations.
  • Internal evaluation is valued, championed and effectively led.
  • Internal evaluation includes the gathering and analysis of useful information from a range of sources.
  • The service provider supports coordinators/visiting teachers to critically reflect on their practice.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers support and coach educators to reflect on and improve their practice.
  • Service providers, coordinators/visiting teachers and educators use data and information (evidence) to reflect on and improve practice.
  • Good use is made of resources and research to support internal evaluation.
  • The service provider, coordinators/visiting teachers and educators access professional learning and development to increase their individual and collective capability in internal evaluation.
  • The service provider ensures that all those involved in the service have opportunities to be involved in internal evaluation.
  • Reviews are documented and the service provider ensures that outcomes of reviews are shared with all those involved in the home-based community.

 

Contributing elements

 

Element: Realising the vision and philosophy

Example of indicator:

The service provider, coordinators/visiting teachers and educators show a strong commitment to the philosophy, vision and goals of the service and give priority to equitable outcomes for all children.

  • The service provider promotes a shared understanding of the service’s philosophy, vision and goals among coordinators/visiting teachers and educators.
  • A high level of commitment to bicultural practice is evident.
  • The service provider and coordinators/visiting teachers ensure the service’s vision and goals reflect the holistic way children learn and grow.23

 

Element: Establishing and developing the organisational culture of the service

Example of indicator:

Service providers, coordinators/visiting teachers and educators establish a culture in which children and their families/whānau are first and foremost valued, celebrated and affirmed.

  • A high level of relational trust is evident among all who are involved in the service. This environment is conducive to debate, negotiation, problem solving and critical reflection.
  • Collaborative ways of working are fostered with everyone involved in the service.

 

Element: Building and supporting professional practice

Example of indicator:

Service providers and coordinators/visiting teachers have a strong commitment to teaching and learning that contributes to positive outcomes for all children.

  • As leaders they:
    • support and coach educators to use high quality practices
    • lead the development and implementation of a Tiriti-based curriculum
    • encourage and support Māori to build their leadership capabilities
    • encourage and support teachers and educators to build their leadership capabilities
    • strengthen and promote engagement in bicultural practice
    • uphold the highest standards for infants, toddlers and young children
    • plan for PLD and identify and access training and development opportunities for educators.
  • Emergent leadership among coordinators/visiting teachers and where possible educators, is encouraged.

 

Evaluation Framework for Mātauranga

How effectively is the curriculum provided in homes designed to promote positive learning outcomes for all children?

 

Priority questions
  • What does the service provider know about the effectiveness of its curriculum (design and planning) in: 
    • understanding of te ao Māori perspectives?
    • supporting Māori children to achieve success as Māori?
    • supporting Pacific children to achieve success?
    • supporting children as individuals?
    • responding to the interests, strengths and capabilities of diverse groups of children who attend the service and supporting them to achieve success?
  • To what extent does the curriculum provided in homes recognise and build on the knowledge and expertise children and their parents, family and whānau bring to the service?
  • How effective is internal evaluation in evaluating the impact of the curriculum in promoting positive learning outcomes for all children?

 

Supporting evaluation questions
  • How well do coordinators/visiting teachers and educators know infants, toddlers and young children and their parents and whānau?
  • How well are the aspirations and goals of parents and whānau understood by coordinators/visiting teachers and educators and reflected in the curriculum?
  • To what extent do coordinators/visiting teachers support, guide and coach educators to make curriculum decisions?
  • How well placed are educators to implement a curriculum that effectively responds to the interests and strengths of infants, toddlers and young children?
  • How effective are assessment and planning processes in enabling educators (with the support, guidance and coaching by coordinators/visiting teachers) to notice, recognise and respond to the strengths, interests and developing learning and dispositions to learn of infants, toddlers and young children?
  • To what extent is the curriculum based on the coordinators’/visiting teachers’:
    • professional knowledge, curriculum and subject knowledge, and knowledge of learners
    • understanding of te ao Māori perspectives?
    • knowledge of the diverse cultural identities and the diverse needs and strengths of the parents, families and whānau that make up the home-based service’s community?

 

Examples of prompts for investigation
  • How do coordinators/visiting teachers and educators get to know children and their parents and whānau?
  • What informs curriculum decisions in this service?
  • How are emphases and priorities for the curriculum determined? Who is involved?
  • What processes are in place to involve children, parents and whānau in curriculum decisions?
  • How do whānau Māori contribute to curriculum decisions? Hapū and iwi?
  • What role do whānau Māori have in reviewing the curriculum?
  • How does the service provider value and draw on the expertise of parents, family, whānau and the wider community in planning and reviewing its curriculum?
  • How do assessment processes enable educators, with support and coaching from coordinators/visiting teachers, to notice, recognise and respond to the strengths, interests and capabilities of infants, toddlers and young children? How well is the continuity of progress and learning for all children documented?
  • What processes are in place to plan a responsive curriculum?
  • How does the service provider evaluate the impact of its curriculum on children’s learning and development?

 

Indicators for Mātauranga

 

Connecting elements

 

Element: Mātauranga and partnerships with parents and whanau

Example of indicator:

Coordinators/visiting teachers, through visits to educators and contact with parents and whānau, support the development of strong, responsive, reciprocal and respectful partnerships to support children’s sense of belonging.

  • Coordinators/visiting teachers and educators value and acknowledge: 
    • parents’ and whānau aspirations for their children. They take account of these in assessment and planning processes and share children’s learning with parents
    • the knowledge, skill and expertise that whānau Māori bring to the service
    • children’s place as part of a wider whānau and iwi. 
  • Parent and whānau perspectives are used to inform the curriculum to enhance connections and provide continuity for children.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers can demonstrate how educators:
    • provide opportunities for parents and whānau to contribute their perspectives to the design of the curriculum in the home and community. 
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers and educators work in partnership with external agencies if required, and the parents and whānau of children who
  • have special needs, or diverse needs, to improve and enhance their learning.

 

Element: Mātauranga and sustainability through internal evaluation

Example of indicator:

Service providers and coordinators/visiting teachers use internal evaluation to inquire into the effectiveness of curriculum practices. They:

  • question whose knowledge is valued and reflected in the curriculum as part of internal evaluation
  • evaluate the impact of curriculum decisions on infants, toddlers and young children and their families
  • use Te Whāriki and current research as a basis for evaluating the curriculum.

 

Contributing elements

 

Element: Professional knowledge

Example of indicator:

The principles and strands of Te Whāriki underpin the curriculum provided in the home-based service.

  • Coordinators/visiting teachers: 
    • understand and value the home setting, where everyday life experiences provide opportunities for learning
    • know about current theories of learning, teaching and development and use this knowledge to support educators to design the curriculum in homes and decide how they structure time and space and use of resources
    • learn about Māori theories and philosophies to assist educators in the development of a culturally appropriate curriculum
    • encourage educators to reflect on their personal values, beliefs, attitudes and philosophy when making decisions about curriculum
    • recognise and value the importance of children learning through play and meaningful everyday experiences around the home and in the community.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers: 
    • support educators to explain and share the rationale for curriculum decisions with parents and whānau.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers and educators take personal responsibility for learning: 
    • te reo Māori, using correct pronunciation and integrating te reo Māori meaningfully into the everyday experiences
    • about the languages, cultures and identities of all children attending.

 

Element: Curriculum and subject content knowledge

Example of indicator:

Coordinators/visiting teachers can explain how the provided curriculum aligns to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki. Over time they support educators to gain this understanding.

  • Coordinators/visiting teachers’ and educators’ knowledge of te ao Māori including waiata, haka, pūrakau, pakiwaitara, karakia and whānau helps them to extend children’s thinking and foster new understandings to value children’s parents and whānau culture and identity.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers support and coach educators to develop: 
    • an understanding of te ao Māori perspectives across all aspects of the curriculum
    • sufficient knowledge, including subject and general knowledge, to recognise and build on children’s existing understandings, working theories and dispositions
  • a depth of subject knowledge that enables them to respond meaningfully to infants’, toddlers’ and young children’s learning embedded in their interests and enquiries.
  • Where coordinators/visiting teachers and educators do not have the necessary content knowledge to support children’s interests and enquiries, they provide resources and access information with children (e.g. through books, the internet, or by asking community specialists and family elders, tangata whenua, kaumātua, kuia, whānau).

 

Element: Knowledge of learning and of children as learners

Example of indicator:

Coordinators/visiting teachers have information that shows how they work with educators to appreciate the experiences that infants, toddlers and young children bring with them to the early childhood service. These experiences are acknowledged and provide a basis for decisions about the curriculum.

  • Coordinators/visiting teachers can demonstrate how educators: 
    • understand the child in the context of family/whānau and wider community
    • value Māori children’s identities as Māori as the foundation for, and key to, their success as Māori
    • recognise and acknowledge the whakapapa of Māori children
    • encourage children to contribute to the development of a curriculum that is responsive to their culture, languages and identities
    • provide socially meaningful, culturally relevant experiences in the home and community
    • provide a curriculum that is responsive to infants’, toddlers’ and young children’s interests
    • have an understanding of each child as a unique learner including their ‘working theories’ (knowledge, skills and dispositions)
    • carefully listen to, recognise and document infants’, toddlers’ and young children’s working theories, and encourage their development through dialogue and providing further relevant meaningful experiences.

 

Element: Knowledge of children’s rights

Example of indicator:

Within the curriculum coordinators/visiting teachers have information that demonstrates how educators are encouraged and supported to provide learning opportunities that:

  • provide opportunities for children to discuss and negotiate rights, fairness and justice with adults
  • allow children to have a say within the day-to-day curriculum, their views are listened to, respected and responded to
  • support children to develop the characteristics of a global and local citizen, including collective responsibility for problem solving in a changing world
  • support children to understand and contribute to decisions about their learning.

 

Element: Knowledge of culture and context

Example of indicator:

Service providers, coordinators/visiting teachers and educators acknowledge whakapapa as integral to the development of a sense of self, belonging and connectedness.

  • Coordinators/visiting teachers encourage and support educators to learn about local hapū and iwi, their history, sites of significance and kawa, and incorporate this into the programme in a meaningful and respectful manner.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers and educators are aware of indigenous knowledge unique to Aotearoa New Zealand and what this means for the service’s curriculum.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers support and coach educators, where necessary, to: 
    • understand kaupapa Māori concepts such as manaakitanga, wairuatanga, whanaungatanga and kaitiakitanga are integral to curriculum decisions and how these look in day-to-day practice
    • recognise the diversity within children of Pacific heritage
    • understand that language and culture are key to Pacific children’s identity and a positive, confident sense of self
    • seek ways to maintain the children’s connections to and fluency in their first language and reflect these in day-to-day practice
    • seek ways to maintain children’s connections to their cultural identity and reflect this in day-to-day practice.

 

Element: Knowledge of family and community

Example of indicator:

Coordinators/visiting teachers can demonstrate how educators are supported and encouraged to:

  • recognise that Māori have a unique culture and history based on strong genealogical links and relationships
  • engage with children and their parents’ language and culture to make the setting more meaningful for their wider community of learners
  • view each family and whānau and their knowledge of their child as an integral part of the service’s learning community
  • establish strong connections with the child’s home life.

 

Element: Assessment and identity

Example of indicator:

Assessment for learning practices are formative, underpinned by current research and actively involve children, parents, family and whānau. Coordinators/visiting teachers are knowledgeable practitioners who understand children’s learning.

Coordinators/visiting teachers can show how, over time, educators are supported and encouraged to use assessment practices that:

  • build children’s identity as a successful learner
  • acknowledge the social and cultural worlds, and ways of learning of all children
  • support the development of a strong Māori identity in Māori children, through reflecting Māori perspectives of the child, their world and their place in the world
  • acknowledge and value Māori children’s cultural capital and their learning achievements are celebrated
  • value and respond to Pacific cultures, knowledge and ways of learning
  • reflect the language/identity of diverse learners.

 

Element: Assessment processes

Example of indicator:

  • Coordinators/visiting teachers can demonstrate how educators, over time, are supported and encouraged to use assessment practices that: 
    • focus on enhancing dispositional learning, as well as skills and ways of knowing
    • reflect the learning that is valued in the home-based setting
    • shows deepening and the increasing complexity of children’s learning
    • reflect the complexity of children’s relationships with people, places and things and the child as a learner in the home-based setting
    • reflect a credit-based approach that pays attention to children’s strengths, interests and developing learning and dispositions
    • are available to the children so that they can revisit and share their learning with others.
  • Ongoing observation of children in everyday learning experiences builds a picture of what children are: puzzling; curious; developing understandings about; knowing; understanding; feeling; interested in; and can do.
  • Assessment includes the perspectives of the child, parent, educator and coordinator/ visiting teacher that enhances the interpretation and analysis of learning.

 

Element: Assessment purpose

Example of indicator:

  • Coordinators/visiting teachers support and coach educators to use a range of approaches for different assessment purposes. These include: 
    • understanding and supporting children’s learning and development
    • identifying progress, learning and next learning steps, and showing the difference these have made to children’s success as learners
    • identifying and understanding children’s capabilities and where they may need additional support
    • evaluating how well the curriculum is helping the service to achieve its outcomes.
  • Assessments illustrate and support continuity in learning and demonstrate children’s progress in a range of contexts.
  • Assessment practices provide parents and whānau with a way of contributing to their children’s learning.

 

Element: Curriculum planning

Example of indicator:

Coordinators/visiting teachers, in partnership with educators, analyse assessment information to understand children’s learning pathways and then plan to continue and strengthen them.

  • When planning the curriculum, a wide range of information about children as individuals should be used. Including information from other sources will provide a more comprehensive view about a child as a learner.
  • Planning for individuals and groups of children is driven by evidence-based formative assessment.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers systematically reflect on, affirm, support and develop educators’ practice.

 

Evaluation Framework for Tikanga Whakaako

How well do teaching and learning practices promote positive learning outcomes for all children?

 

Priority questions
  • What does the service provider know (through internal evaluation) about the effectiveness of tikanga whakaako in:
    • supporting Māori children to achieve success as Māori?
    • supporting Pacific children to achieve success?
    • supporting children as individuals?
    • responding to the interests, strengths and capabilities of diverse groups of children who attend the service and supporting them to achieve success? 
  • To what extent do teaching and learning practices promote partnerships with parents and whānau?
  • How effective is internal evaluation in improving teaching and learning practices to promote positive learning outcomes for all children in this service?

 

Supporting evaluation questions
  • How effectively do coordinators/visiting teachers support and coach educators to: 
    • use teaching practices that contribute to positive learning outcomes for infants, toddlers and young children?
    • use teaching practices that enhance children’s sense of themselves as successful learners?
    • engage in respectful, reciprocal and responsive relationships with all children and their parents, family and whānau?
    • respond to strengths, interests and capabilities of all children?
    • implement practices that reflect the principles of Te Whāriki?
    • use teaching practices that are responsive to children with special needs and capabilities?
    • interact with children to extend and challenge their thinking?
    • establish a learning environment that contributes to positive learning outcomes for infants, toddlers and young children?
    • use teaching strategies and resources that support children to become confident in Aotearoa New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage?
    • engage in reflective practice that leads them to question and modify their practice?
    • support continuity and promote connections that add to parent, family and whānau practices, not undermine them?
  • How well are transitions managed for children when they are: settling into the service; moving within the service; and when starting school?

 

Examples of prompts for investigation
  • What do coordinators/visiting teachers know about the effectiveness of educators’ practice in promoting positive learning outcomes for:
    • infants and toddlers
    • all young children, including diverse groups.
  • In what ways do teaching and learning practices: 
    • engage, extend and deepen children’s knowledge, skills and dispositions?
    • recognise and respond to children’s developing learning and dispositions to learn, their strengths, interests and capabilities?
    • promote the language, culture and identity of Māori children, Pacific children and children with other cultural heritages?
    • support and respond to diverse groups of children, including those who have special needs and capabilities?
  • What do coordinators/visiting teachers know about the effectiveness of educator practice for promoting:
    • learning environments in homes that reflect and support the learning of infants, toddlers and young children?
    • transition processes that support children as they transition into, within and from the home-based service to another early childhood service or school
  • What opportunities do service providers, coordinators/visiting teachers and educators have to reflect on and discuss their practice with other coordinators/visiting teachers, educators and service providers to build a community of learners?
  • In what ways are educators supported by coordinators/visiting teachers to be intentional and deliberate in their teaching?
  • What opportunities do parents and whānau have to meet the coordinator/visiting teacher/educator to develop their child’s learning programme, and have input and give feedback on the quality of their child’s learning experiences and the home environment?
  • What do coordinators/visiting teachers know about the relationships between educators, parents, family and whānau, including caregivers?

 

Indicators for Tikanga Whakaako

Note: There are separate indicators specifically for children up to two years of age at the end of this section.

 

Connecting elements

 

Element: Tikanga Whakaako and partnerships with parents and whanau

Example of indicator:

  • The service is welcoming to all children and their parents and whānau.
  • Families and educators are carefully matched to support children’s wellbeing.
  • Partnerships are based on genuine attitudes of acceptance, respect and willingness to listen and respond.
  • Parents’ and whānau aspirations for children’s learning are sought, valued and responded to.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers and educators incorporate the knowledge, skills and expertise (cultural advantage) that whānau Māori bring to the service.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers and educators ensure that interactions with Pacific parents and communities are culturally responsive.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers and educators enable parents, family and whānau to have a sense of ownership, control and involvement in the educational and care decisions, including any interventions made for their child.

 

Element: Tikanga Whakaako and sustainability through internal evaluation

Example of indicator:

  • Coordinators/visiting teachers support and coach educators to:
    • systematically evaluate the quality of their own practice and the impact of this on outcomes for children and families
    • engage in discussion and debate that challenges and informs improvement of their practice. 
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers provide regular constructive feedback that enables educators to reflect on their practice to support improved learning outcomes for children.
  • Internal evaluation:
    • includes a focus on the impact of the service’s bicultural curriculum for all children
    • includes a focus on the impact of the service’s support for children with diverse needs
    • leads to improved practices that enable and are based on principles of advocacy, equity and social justice.

 

Contributing elements

 

Element: Relationships and interactions with children

Example of indicator:

  • Coordinators/visiting teachers have evidence of how they have supported and coached educators to:
    • develop positive, trusting, responsive and reciprocal relationships with children
    • take time to genuinely listen to children and explore the deeper meanings in their learning
    • support children to follow their interests and lead their learning
    • foster children’s language development and communication skills in a range of domains
    • provide for authentic dialogue in meaningful contexts
    • ask open questions of children to allow their interests to lead learning
    • actively promote peer interactions to support learning
    • use te reo Māori in ways that recognise it as a living language, indigenous to Aotearoa New Zealand
    • acknowledge what children bring in relation to their culture, language, identity and life experience.

Children’s talk is encouraged, accepted and respected.

 

Element: Children’s rights

Example of indicator:

Coordinators/visiting teachers have evidence that educators are encouraged and supported to:

  • talk with children about decisions that affect them
  • respect children’s rights to express a point of view and be involved in decisions that affect them
  • empower children to take increased responsibility for: the wellbeing of themselves, others and the group; the emerging curriculum and their immediate and wider environments.

 

Element: Effective teaching practice

Example of indicator:

Coordinators/visiting teachers keep records/evidence that demonstrate how educators are encouraged and supported to:

  • be attuned to the variety of ways children express and explore their working theories, and use a range of strategies to encourage the development of these theories
  • use a range of teaching strategies and practices to respond to the cultures, languages and identities of all children
  • be intentional in the way they recognise and respond to all opportunities to engage in, and extend, children’s learning
  • engage in sustained, shared interactions that extend children’s thinking and value their contribution to the learning experience
  • empower children to make choices and lead their own learning
  • reflect an understanding of the essence of the Māori child for example mana, wairua and mauri
  • support children’s problem-solving and experimentation
  • make links across time and activities by revisiting children’s ideas, interests and deepening understanding
  • foster children’s learning dispositions
  • provide children with specific feedback that acknowledges their effort and success
  • understand the concept of ako and support children to change roles between teacher and learner
  • consistently implement routines, involving children as much as possible in these, and give children a sense of security in being able to predict what will happen next
  • promote the development of children’s learning dispositions
  • support children to use the home and community as a valued learning environment
  • engage children in sustainable environmental practices
  • value and promote the concept of tuakana teina
  • empower children to take responsibility and leadership roles
  • make learning meaningful, challenging, and fun/enjoyable

 

Element: Literacy and mathematics, Links to the school curriculum, Domains

Example of indicator:

Coordinators/visiting teachers are knowledgeable; they use current research to inform their thinking; they are familiar with and understand the links between Te Whāriki and The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).24 They share this knowledge with educators and support them to provide meaningful learning experiences across the curriculum domains.

  • Coordinators/visiting teachers have evidence to demonstrate how educators are encouraged and supported to build a repertoire of literacy practices, using the home and community environments. These enable children to:
    • observe, listen and play with language
    • use literacy in play for a purpose
    • critically question.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers have evidence that demonstrates how educators are encouraged and supported to: 
    • provide good quality language resources to support children’s first languages, including Māori and Pacific
    • expose children to, and engage them in, meaningful play-based experiences to develop print awareness and alphabet knowledge.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers have evidence that demonstrates how educators are encouraged and supported to enhance children’s learning through the provision of meaningful and interesting opportunities to: 
    • use mathematics in play and everyday life
    • use open-ended resources for mathematical exploration
    • engage in games where they can vary the level of challenge
    • engage with children’s understanding of literacy and mathematical concepts from a te ao Māori perspective
    • to make sense of the natural, social, physical and material worlds
    • to be creative and imaginative
    • use information communication technologies (ICT) in meaningful ways.

 

Element: Te Tiriti-based practice, Bicultural curriculum

Example of indicator:

  • Coordinators/visiting teachers can demonstrate how they support/coach educators to:
    • be open to ‘listening to culture’, allowing space and time for whānau Māori to tell their stories, create their own images, and listen to their own voices
    • incorporate the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (partnership, participation and protection)
    • include Māori concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes, reo, practices, customs, values and beliefs into learning experiences. 
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers support the use of te reo Māori.
  • Coordinator/visiting teachers’ practice reflects the competencies in Tātaiako.25

 

Element: Inclusive practices

Example of indicator:

Coordinators/visiting teachers can demonstrate how they support and coach educators to:

  • share a philosophy and commitment to inclusive education that includes particular beliefs and values based on social justice, fairness, human rights and the rights of the child
  • take full responsibility for the education and care of children with special needs, following the child to ensure their needs are met so that they can participate
  • in all aspects of the curriculum, alongside their peers
  • identify and remove barriers to a child’s full acceptance, participation, and learning
  • help all children and families to celebrate their differences by reinforcing the rights of individuals and groups to be different
  • provide children with positive ways of thinking about and understanding diversity, disability and the place of children with disabilities in early childhood settings
  • and communities
  • enable children to explore gender and gender roles in ways that are non-stereotypical and open-ended.

 

Element: Learning environment

Example of indicator:

Service providers and coordinators/visiting teachers clearly communicate to parents and educators that the home and the community are the child’s learning environments. They have systems and processes to be assured that resources and environments:

  • are safe, while offering challenges and interest that invite children to explore and become fully involved in a wide variety of activities and experiences
  • provide opportunities for children to make choices linked to their interests
  • encourage critical thought, wondering and creativity
  • encourage exploration that is meaningful, challenging and enjoyable for children
  • support children to choose, experience challenge and revisit prior learning
  • include languages and symbols linked to children’s cultural backgrounds, making visible and valuing the diversity of Pacific heritages.
  • Coordinators /visiting teachers have information/evidence to demonstrate how educators are encouraged and supported to: 
    • include a wide range of natural materials and cultural artefacts that reflect the cultural backgrounds of children and their parents and whānau
    • encourage children to be involved in decisions about the resources and space in the learning environment
    • organise and manage the learning environment so that challenging behaviour is minimised or less likely to occur.

 

Element: Transitions in and between environments, people and school

Example of indicator:

Service providers and coordinators/visiting teachers, in partnership with parents, families and whānau and educators, implement transition practices that:

  • nurture children’s sense of belonging during and after transitions into and within the service, to other ECE services and when moving to school
  • honour the cultural uniqueness that all children bring with them
  • foster children’s friendships and engagement in a group to enhance their security and confidence at settling-in and during transition times
  • maintain effective partnerships to support transition between families, homes, and schools.

 

Children up to two years of age

These indicators focus on factors that contribute to high quality provision for children up to two years of age. They are particularly focused on Tikanga Whakaako and Mātauranga.

 

Connecting elements

 

Element: Positive, sensitive and responsive interactions

Example of indicator:

  • Coordinators/visiting teachers carefully select and match the educator, parent, family and whānau to:
    • include consideration of values, cultural identity and belief systems
    • foster and respect parental choice.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers can demonstrate how they encourage and support educators to: 
    • develop secure child/educator family relationships to promote the development of children’s positive sense of self
    • provide responsive empathetic caregiving which supports infants’ and toddlers’ need for strong and secure attachments
    • respond sensitively to each child’s changing needs and preferences.
  • The social and emotional climate created by a responsive curriculum supports infants’ and toddlers’ engagement and learning.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers can demonstrate how they support/coach educators to: 
    • develop practices that reflect a commitment to the provision of high quality education care
    • learn about te ao Māori perspectives to support their care of Māori infants and toddlers
    • understand the concept of aroha; including compassion, respect, connectedness and obligation to whānau, to foster appropriate care and education for Māori infants and toddlers
    • support continuity of practices that take into account parent, family and whānau requirements
    • engage in one-to-one responsive interactions (where educators follow the child’s lead)
    • recognise that consistency and continuity are critical in establishing a secure foundation for young children’s care and education
    • respect children’s rights to be informed and consulted about decisions that affect them
    • know the children they care for and the level of communication and language used by each child
    • be responsive to children’s temperaments, preferences and interests
    • interpret and respond to the subtle cues offered by infants and toddlers including body language; for example gaze and pointing
    • be flexible and respond to the needs and rhythms of children up to two years of age
    • offer infants and toddlers choices about what is to happen to them and wait for them to respond to the choices offered
    • be available to infants and toddlers, supporting them in their learning, but resisting the urge to intervene unnecessarily in their problem-solving efforts and mastery of their own physical development
    • be sensitive and responsive to differences in children’s social and cultural backgrounds
    • understand and value the importance of learning through play
    • recognise and use learning opportunities within routines
    • maintain a calm, slow pace in which younger children have space and time to lead their learning.

 

Element: Learning environment

Example of indicator:

Coordinators/visiting teachers can demonstrate how they support educators to ensure that:

  • home and community environments provide for the safety, physical and emotional wellbeing, intellectual stimulation and social support of very young children
  • very young children have easy access to an environment that is well resourced and encourages exploration
  • infants and toddlers experience an environment where they are not exposed to ongoing and harmful stress and where there is support from an adult who can soothe and comfort them
  • there are comfortable, safe spaces that cater for young children who are not yet mobile or able to sit by themselves, and for those who are crawling and learning to walk.

 

Element: Structural aspects of quality for infants and toddlers, Responsibility for these aspects lies mainly with Pou Whakahaere and Pou Ārahi

Example of indicator:

The service provider has policies and procedures to promote infants and toddlers sense of wellbeing.

  • Coordinators/visiting teachers can demonstrate how: 
    • they support continuity of connection between children, their parents, families and whānau and their educator/s.
    • educators build positive relationships with infants and toddlers and their parents, family and whānau.
  • The service provider has systems and processes to be assured that the adult-to-child ratios as outlined in the home-based regulations (2008) are adhered to.
  • A positive relationship between all those involved in the service facilitates low turnover of educators.
  • Educators caring for infants are offered appropriate professional learning opportunities.
  • Coordinators/visiting teachers that support and coach educators have: 
    • relevant qualifications, knowledge and skills to support infants and toddlers to experience positive outcomes
    • professional knowledge, that includes current research on high quality care and education practices for infants and toddlers.

 

Part 7: Process Guidelines for  Reviews

Notification

ERO begins the process with an email notification that gives the home-based early childhood service time to prepare for the external review.

In the email, ERO includes links to electronic versions of this document, the Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists, a hard copy of the Self Report and links to electronic versions of other relevant documents.

ERO gives the service information to distribute to coordinators/visiting teachers, parents, families, whānau and educators about the review.

 

Self reports

The self report plays a significant part in the ERO review. ERO’s evaluation builds on the information that the service provides in the self report about what is going well and where improvement may be needed. It helps ERO to design a review that is responsive to each context.

The self report is largely structured on Ngā Pou Here. Completing the self report is an opportunity for the service to reflect on its practice in relation to promoting positive learning outcomes for children.

The self reports are available to download from ERO’s website and complete electronically.

 

Information exchange

Before the on-site stage of the review, information is shared between ERO and the service.

Home-based services with upcoming ERO reviews are invited to participate in a group briefing meeting, coordinated by local ERO personnel. Individual schemes/networks involved in cluster reviews will participate in a briefing meeting within their association or umbrella organisation. The briefing meeting will explain ERO’s review process and general focus.

The review coordinator gives the service an opportunity to clarify information about the review process, either at the briefing meeting or through telephone or email contact, and explores with the service who will take responsibility for being involved in the review.

The review coordinator specifies the date for the early childhood service to provide ERO with the completed Self Report and Assurance Statement and other requested documentation.

 

Designing the review

Review design involves ERO deciding, often in collaboration with the service, where it will place its evaluation emphasis during the ERO review. A significant determinant of review design is the quality of internal evaluation within a service.

The organisation and nature of the ERO review is determined in response to context. Context includes the service’s philosophy, community and its capacity, as indicated through documentation and other sources of information.

ERO uses information provided by the service, including the completed relevant Assurance Statement and Self Report, to scope the review. ERO also draws on internal information it has about the service including the last ERO report and reporting history. The scoping process helps ERO to determine what needs to be further explored during the review.

ERO uses Ngā Pou Here as a framework for organising the information it has and the investigative questions it wants to answer on the review. Consideration is given to the interrelationship between the Pou and where the review emphasis will be placed.

ERO’s emphasis, in reviews of home-based education and care, will be the service provider and coordinator/visiting teacher as the people who have primary responsibility for service operation and those who oversee the education and care requirements.

The review team plans the review process taking into account the resources available for the review. The review design is shared with the service.

 

The focus of the review

Decisions about the balance between the Pou and where to focus reviews depend on information in the completed Self Report and Assurance Statement.

The time allocated to gathering information within each Pou, the processes used and the reporting of findings varies between reviews. ERO uses a ‘one-size-fits-one’ approach so that the process is tailored to be as responsive and contextual as possible. Each review will look different.

The Ngā Pou Here framework shows relationships between each Pou and outcomes for children. Areas of strength and areas for review and development that are identified by ERO and the service should lead to (or help create the conditions for) improved learning outcomes for children.

The national evaluation topics (NETs) provide a way for ERO to investigate key aspects of early childhood services’ performance in relation to the Government’s education priorities. Each topic is explored through the review framework, Ngā Pou Here, and is evaluated in this context.

In some services, reviews need to focus on compliance, because of risks to the safety and wellbeing of children. This is likely to be the case where, despite attestation made by the service in the Assurance Statement, there do not appear to be adequate systems for the internal checking of compliance.

 

Investigation and synthesis

During its time on-site the review team:

  • uses evaluative questions, investigative questions and evaluation indicators as a basis to gather and document evidence
  • reads the service’s documentation, talks to managers and others as appropriate, determines the purpose and focus of any visits to homes if required
  • synthesises the review findings.

The service delegates appropriate personnel to be involved in the review and negotiates the level of their involvement with the review team. Ongoing interaction between service personnel and the review team will be a feature of the process.

During the scoping process the review teams plan with the service who ERO should talk to during the review. Participants may include:

  • coordinators/visiting teachers
  • the owner of the service
  • the contact person/service provider
  • management
  • personnel from the umbrella organisation
  • children
  • parents
  • educators
  • the Māori community
  • other groups.

From the service’s internal evaluation information, ERO identifies if the early childhood service is already performing well in a specific area or if there is a need for improvement.

For areas where the service appears to be performing well, the priority is on validating the results of internal evaluation. For areas where review or development is needed ERO uses its processes to build the service’s capability to evaluate and improve its own performance.

 

Consultation

ERO encourages the home-based education and care service to share information about the consultation it has undertaken. ERO is particularly interested in any consultation that shows:

  • how the service works in partnership with parents, whānau and educators and how they and all staff contribute to the service’s internal evaluation.

 

Discussion of findings

Towards the end of its time at the service the review team will discuss the review findings with the personnel nominated by the service. The discussion will highlight areas of good performance and areas for review and development. In situations where significant development is needed ERO will indicate the likelihood of an early return review.

This discussion of findings should include the service provider and coordinator/visiting teacher and any others who will have the responsibility for taking action as a result of the external review.

It may be that findings are shared throughout the review process, in which case a discussion of findings may not be necessary at the end of the onsite stage of the review.

 

Reporting

The audience for ERO reports includes the public and the Government, as well as those in the early childhood education sector.

Early childhood service reports will start with an overall judgement. The report will include the material findings that answer the overarching evaluation question. The report is sent to the early childhood service as an unconfirmed report within 20 working days of the completion of the on-site part of the review. A service that is identified as Not Well Placed will receive the unconfirmed report within 10 days of the last day on site.

The management of the early childhood service has 15 working days from the date ERO sends the report in which to query the evidential basis for reported judgements; and/or advise ERO in writing of any errors of fact and provide supporting documentation.

A service that is identified as Not Well Placed has 10 days to respond.

ERO considers any response from the service and, where justified, makes amendments to the report. The report is confirmed and a copy is sent to the service provider.

The confirmed report is released publicly on ERO’s website two weeks after it is sent to the service provider.

 

Cluster reviews

Cluster reviews: reviews of individual services managed by umbrella organisations ERO has adapted its approach to reviews of individual early childhood services managed by umbrella organisations. Cluster reviews apply to kindergartens, playcentres and

other individual early childhood services that operate under an umbrella organisation.

The cluster refers to the grouping of individual scheme/network reviews together. It is not a review of an association or umbrella organisation.

Where there is an umbrella organisation, ERO refers to each home-based network within that umbrella as the service, and refers to the umbrella as the organisation.

Cluster reviews:

  • make better use of the umbrella organisation and individual services’ internal evaluation
  • contribute to internal evaluation capacity at the management/professional practice level of the umbrella organisation as well as at the service level
  • ensure the efficient use of ERO’s resource.

 

Determining a cluster for review

A cluster review can only be undertaken if:

  • there is an umbrella organisation that receives funding, provides services and monitors the quality of its individual services
  • there is a degree of commonality across policies, structures and quality assurance for individual services within the cluster.

The size and make-up of a cluster takes into account the distance between services, overall size of the umbrella organisation, and previous ERO return times for each service.

Home-based services that are part of national umbrella organisations automatically meet the criteria for cluster reviews. This does not mean that all of the services within an organisation will be reviewed at one time. There may be situations where it is more appropriate for the review of a service to be undertaken as a stand-alone review, rather than as part of a cluster of reviews.

 

Notification

ERO consults with the umbrella organisation to identify the cluster size and specific services to be reviewed.

Each service licence holder receives a notification electronically with links to this document, the Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists, a hard copy of the self report and electronic versions of relevant documents. ERO provides the service with information to distribute to coordinators/visiting teachers, educators, parents and whānau about the review.

ERO sends an information letter and a self report for the umbrella organisation having a cluster review. In the self report the umbrella organisation describes what it knows about the performance of each scheme/network within the cluster and how internal evaluation in the organisation contributes to quality improvements for children.

 

Review process

The umbrella organisation nominates representatives to be involved in the ERO process.

The review team meets with nominated representatives to explore internal evaluation within the organisation as it relates to individual services and to develop review planning for the cluster.

The review team arranges a briefing meeting for nominated representatives and service leaders. The nature of this meeting will depend on ERO’s previous involvement with and knowledge of the umbrella organisation.

The service and the umbrella organisation provide ERO with the required review documentation.

The review teams work with the nominated representative and service leader as appropriate to design each review to reflect the context of each service.

The nominated representatives negotiate their role with the ERO cluster coordinator and/or each review team.

Each review proceeds according to ERO’s review process guidelines. Refer to previous information in this section.

ERO writes an individual education review report for each licensed service. Evaluation findings about governance, management or organisation leadership, to the extent that they impact on outcomes for children, will be specified in these reports.

ERO uses its evaluation criteria to make a decision about the return time for each service’s scheme/network. In making this decision the review team will also take into account the capacity of the umbrella organisation to generate and sustain improved performance in that service.

ERO does not undertake a separate review of the umbrella association, or provide a written report based on the collation of trends or patterns evident through the individual reports.

ERO does however have the scope to conduct a special review of the umbrella organisation if major issues arise in the course of a cluster review.

 

Differentiated return times

The timing of the next ERO review will depend on how well placed the service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. There are four options:

 

Very well placed – the next ERO review in four years

ERO will next review the service in four years when it finds that the service is consistently effective in promoting children’s wellbeing and learning. High quality performance in relation to ERO’s evaluation indicators for Ngā Pou Here (home-based) will be evident.

 

Well placed – the next ERO review in three years

ERO will next review the service in three years when it finds that the service is effective in promoting children’s wellbeing and largely effective in promoting children’s learning. Good performance in relation to Ngā Pou Here (home-based) will be evident.

 

Requires further development – the next ERO review within two years

This option is used when many of the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children are not evident or require significant development. ERO will have some confidence that the service can improve with support.

After receiving the confirmed report, the service will be expected to participate in a meeting with ERO and the Ministry of Education to begin developing a plan for improvement.

The Ministry of Education will oversee the support that the service needs to become well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Approximately six to nine months after the ERO review, the service will provide ERO with an update about its progress. The Ministry of Education will also update ERO on the progress made. This information will be used to determine the appropriate ERO return time within the two year period.

Should ERO find that there has not been sufficient improvement the service will be identified as Not well placed. ERO will recommend that the service’s licence is reassessed by the Ministry of Education.

 

The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

This option will be used when a service is not performing adequately, is not meeting legal requirements and does not have the capacity to make improvements without support or Ministry intervention.

The service will be expected to address concerns and prevent a continuation of poor performance. There will be licensing consequences for continued poor performance.

ERO will not review the service again until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

The four different review return times provide ERO with greater flexibility in how it responds to an early childhood service’s performance. ERO and the Ministry of Education will work closely with services that need to improve and help them build capability. ERO will make less frequent visits to those services that are performing very well.

Most early childhood services are likely to be considered Well placed and will continue to be reviewed every three years.

ERO has developed criteria to support the overall judgements and their corresponding return times for home-based services. These are on ERO’s website (www.ero.govt.nz) under Review Process/Early Childhood. Ngā Pou Here and the evaluation indicators support the criteria and provide a deeper insight into what ERO considers to be high quality early childhood education and care in home-based services.

 

Diagram 7: Connections between Ngā Pou Here, the Evaluation Indicators, and the Criteria.

This diagram shows the connections between Ngā Pou Here, the evaluation indicators and ERO’s overall judgements and criteria for review return times in Education Reviews.

The first part of the diagram is the Ngā Pou Here, the review framework and the four Pou in the circular design. The pou are: Mātauranga – curriculum design; Pou Whakahaere – Philosophy, vision, goals and systems; Pou Ārahi – building capability; and Tikanga Whakaako – teaching and learning practices. In the middle, surrounded by the Pou is Tamariki, placing the child at the centre. Just below Tamariki is Haere Kōtui. At the top, overarching the whole circle is Arotake. The elements of the whole circle are shown as linked or connected by the design.

Beside this circle, to the left is reference to The Evaluation Indicators. This states that: ERO’s Evaluation Indicators for Early Childhood Services help to determine whether high quality practice is demonstrated. Ngā Pou Here and the evaluation indicators support ERO’s criteria for the three and four year return times. The criteria for the Very Well Placed option are further unpacked through the indicators. The indicators provide a deeper insight into what ERO considers to be high quality early childhood education. The indicators are in Part 6 of this book.

Below this and the circle, and across the page from left to right are four boxes giving the four overall judgements related to ERO’s next review of the service, with the four return times and the criteria for each.

The first box is for The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education. The overall judgement is: Not well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children. This option will be used when a service is not performing adequately, is not meeting legal requirements and does not have the capacity to make improvements without support or Ministry intervention. ERO will not review the service again until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

The second box is for The next ERO review within two years. The overall judgement is: Requires further development to promote positive learning outcomes for children. This option is used when many of the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children are not evident or require significant development. ERO will have some confidence that the service can improve with support.

The third box is for The next ERO review in three years. The overall judgement is Well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children. ERO will next review the service in three years when it finds that the service is effective in promoting children’s wellbeing and largely effective in promoting children’s learning. Good performance in relation to Ngā Pou Here will be evident.

The fourth and final box is for The next ERO review in four years. The overall judgement is: Very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children. ERO will next review the service in four years when it finds that the service is consistently effective in promoting children’s wellbeing and learning. High quality performance in relation to EROs evaluation indicators for Ngā Pou Here will be evident.

Below the whole diagram is a note about The Criteria. This states that within the Ngā Pou Here framework for Education Reviews: ERO has four different return times for early childhood services, depending on their capacity to promote positive learning outcomes for children. ERO has criteria to inform its decision about the return time and the overall judgement that links to this. The criteria help ERO to evaluate practice across the wide range of quality in the early childhood sector. See ERO’s website for the criteria to support these decisions.

 

Citations and References

1          www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2008/0204/latest/DLM1412501.html?search=ts_regulation_early+childhood_ resel&sr=1

2          http://www.education.govt.nz/early-childhood/running-an-ece-service/the-regulatory-framework-for-ece/licensing-criteria/ home-based-ece-services/

3          http://www.education.govt.nz/early-childhood/running-an-ece-service/the-regulatory-framework-for-ece/licensing-criteria/ home-based-ece-services/curriculum/

4          Ministry of Education (1996). Te Whāriki: He Whāriki Mātauranga mōngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa; Early Childhood Curriculum.

Wellington.

5          Ministry of Justice (May 2015) United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989

6          Ministry of Education (1996). Te Whāriki: He Whāriki Mātauranga mōngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa; Early Childhood Curriculum.

p.9 Wellington.

7          Ministry of Education (June 2003) Quality Teaching for Diverse Students in Schooling: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration

(BES), page 5.

8          Penetito, W. (2001). ‘If We Only Knew … Contextualising Māori Knowledge’. Paper presented at Early Childhood Education for a Democratic Society 2001 and published in Wellington by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

9          Rameka, L. (2011) Being Māori: Culturally relevant assessment in early childhood education. Early Years 31, (3): 245–256. Retrieved from dx.doi.org/10.1080/09575146.2011.614222

10        Walker, R. (2008) The Philosophy of Te Whatu Pokeka: Kaupapa Māori assessment and learning exemplars. The First Years: Nga Tau Tuatahi, New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education 11 (1): 5-9.

11        Mead, H., and Mead, S. (2003). Tikanga Māori: Living by Māori Values. New Zealand. Huia Publishers. 12 Ministry of Education: Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017

12        Ministry of Education: Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017

13        http://www.education.govt.nz/early-childhood/running-an-ece-service/the-regulatory-framework-for-ece/licensing-criteria/ home-based-ece-services/governance-management-and-administration/professional-practices/gma5-self-review/

14        Ministry of Education, (1998). Quality in Action/Te Mahi Whai Hua: Implementing the Revised Statement of Desirable Objectives and Practices in New Zealand Early Childhood Services. Wellington: Learning Media.

15        Ministry of Education, (1999). The Quality Journey/He Haerenga Whai Hua: Improving quality in early childhood services.

Wellington: Learning Media

16        Ministry of Education, (2006). Ngā Arohaehae Whai Hua/Self-review guidelines for early childhood education.

Wellington: Learning Media.

17        Education Review Office (2009) Implementing Self Review in Early Childhood Services. Wellington: Education Review Office

18        Walker, R. (2008) The Philosophy of Te Whatu Pokeka: Kaupapa Māori assessment and learning exemplars. The First Years: Nga Tau Tuatahi, New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education 11 (1): 5-9.

19        Smith, G.H. (1995) Whakaoho Whānau: New Formations of Whānau as an Innovative Intervention into Māori Cultural and Educational Crises. He Pukenga Korero: A Journal of Māori Studies 1 (Spring): 18-36.

20        Hohepa, Margie (1993) Preferred Pedagogies and Language Interactions in Te Kōhanga Reo, Monograph 13, Te Tari Rangahau o te Matauranga Māori, University of Auckland, Auckland.

21        Walker, R. (2005) Bicultural Challenges to Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa New Zealand: Walking With Uncertainty. Paper presented to the CEIEC Conference ‘Honouring the Child, Honouring Equity: Reconsidering Rights and Relationships’, Melbourne, 17-20 November 2005.

22        The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) 1989

23        Ministry of Education (1996). Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whāriki. Wellington

24        Ministry of Education (2007). The New Zealand Curriculum Wellington.

25        Ministry of Education (2011). Tātaiako – cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners. Wellington.

 

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