The Little Steps

Education institution number:
10102
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
7
Telephone:
Address:

323 Roscommon Road, Manurewa, Auckland

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1 Evaluation of The Little Steps

How well placed is The Little Steps to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

Background

The Little Steps provides all day education and care services for children between two and five years of age. Most of the children attending have Māori heritage or are from Pacific Island nations. The centre's philosophy places a high value on meaningful relationships with children and families and respect for home languages and cultures.

In 2015, the service changed ownership and since then a number of new teachers have been appointed. One of the owners, who is a qualified teacher, is also the manager of the service. A supervisor leads the daily programme and works with a team of qualified and unqualified teachers.

Positive aspects identified in ERO's 2013 report remain evident. The integration of Māori and Pacific languages and positive relationships between teachers, children and whānau are features of the centre. The owner/manager and teachers have worked to improve planning, assessment and evaluation practices.

The Review Findings

Children are enthusiastic learners who experience respectful relationships with teachers and each other. Older children are caring towards their younger peers and involve them in group experiences. Children play cooperatively and spend time in focused activities of their choice. They approach adults confidently when they need support.

Teachers’ interactions with children are warm and caring. Their conversations acknowledge children’s interests and show that teachers know children and their families well. Teachers listen carefully to children, providing resources to support their exploration and learning. They model clear expectations that help children to develop social skills and manage their relationships and interactions with others.

The indoor and outdoor environments are set up well to promote children's participation. Families' cultural backgrounds and languages are included in displays. Teachers integrate te reo me ona tikanga Māori well and include the language and culture of children with Pacific backgrounds into routines. They could use individual and shared interests to support more purposeful, complex and extended learning for older children as they move onto school.

The manager's guidance has supported teachers to develop a useful planning system that is responsive to children's interests. Teachers have significantly improved how they document and analyse children’s learning. Assessment records increasingly show children's learning and progress over time. Programme evaluation includes very good examples of how programme experiences and teaching practices are contributing to children's learning. Teachers are considering how their discussions with whānau can become more visible in children's assessment records.

The owner/manager is an effective professional leader. Her skilful mentoring has contributed to shared understandings about effective teaching and improvements to the curriculum. Teachers use performance management systems well to reflect on their practice. They participate in appropriate professional development to improve their skills and knowledge. Clear long-term goals and an annual plan guide the centre's future direction. Useful internal evaluation systems have been established and could now be improved by increasing the rigour and evaluative aspect of this process.

Key Next Steps

The owners and ERO agree that key next steps include:

  • reviewing how the programme can promote complex learning for older children

  • continuing to develop partnerships with whānau that focus on children's learning

  • strengthening evaluation systems by consistently documenting the impact of improvement and change on children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Little Steps completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of The Little Steps will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

7 November 2016

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10102

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

21

Gender composition

Girls 12 Boys 9

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

other Pacific

7

3

8

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

7 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Previously reviewed as:The Childrens Corner Manurewa

Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

November 2009

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children

Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children

Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children

Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

The service is well placed to continue to develop and promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

The Childrens Corner Manurewa provides all day education and care services for children between two and five years of age. It is one of four privately owned centres that operate under The Childrens Corner Ltd Company. The multicultural centre reflects its community and most of the children attending are of Māori or Pacific descent. The integration of Māori and Pacific languages through the daily programme is a particular feature of the centre.

The centre provides a family focused environment. The positive relationships that exist between teachers, children and families/whānau/aiga, noted in the 2009 ERO report, continue to characterise the centre.

The centre owner oversees governance and management systems. A supervisor has responsibility for the daily management. The centre currently has three qualified and registered teachers, of whom two are provisionally registered.

Areas of strength

Centre leaders and teachers are motivated and enthusiastic. They work together to provide good quality learning programmes and experiences for children. Programmes are underpinned by Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, and reflect the centre’s focus on building positive relationships with children and families.

Culturally responsive practices are evident in the centre. The teaching team reflects the community and use Māori and Pacific languages routinely throughout the day. Children have many opportunities to celebrate their own and each other’s cultures. They play together in inclusive groups, developing friendships through collaborative play.

Children engage readily in the programme. They confidently initiate play and have good access to play areas and equipment. The recently redeveloped outdoor play area provides a range of physical opportunities and challenge for children. Teachers are focused on developing language and interactions with children that promote problem-solving and deeper thinking.

The centre owner provides good leadership for the centre. With the supervisor and teachers he is committed to ongoing improvement in centre management systems and practices. The owner strongly supports the professional development of staff. In this environment teachers readily engage in self review, set themselves professional goals and make on-going improvements that benefit children’s learning and development.

Areas for development and review

ERO and centre management discussed and agree that the next steps for the centre could include:

  • evaluating the achievement of long-term strategic goals and developing an annual plan to guide centre development
  • strengthening planning, assessment and evaluation practices to involve children to a greater extent
  • reviewing programmes and teaching practices to further promote children’s sustained play and engagement in learning

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the management of The Childrens Corner Manurewa completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)
  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)
  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

18 January 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Clendon, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10102

Licence type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 8 aged under 2 years

Service roll

36

Gender composition

21 Boys

15 Girls

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Samoan

Tongan

Niue

Asian

5

6

15

7

2

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

No children under 2

 
 

Over 2

1:6

Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

18 January 2013

Most recent ERO report

Education Review

November 2009

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

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

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.