Sandcastles Matakana

Education institution number:
10292
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
45
Telephone:
Address:

984 Matakana Road, RD5,, Warkworth

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ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards
ERO’s judgement

Curriculum

Meeting

Premises and facilities

Meeting

Health and safety

Meeting

Governance, management and administration

Meeting

At the time of the review, ERO found the service was taking reasonable steps to meet regulatory standards.

Background

Sandcastles Matakana is a family owned education and care service for local children. It was purchased in 2017 and is licensed for 30 children, including eight under two years of age. The owner/manager is assisted by a head teacher.

There are six qualified teachers including the head teacher, one teacher in training and a teacher aide.

This is the first ERO review since the change of ownership.

Summary of Review Findings

Teachers implement programmes that are consistent with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and respond to children’s interests and their parents’ aspirations. Children learn in an environment that supports their wellbeing and promotes curiosity. They have access to appropriate resources. Positive interactions with teachers encourage children to lead their own learning. Children have opportunities to gain an understanding of the cultural heritage of both parties to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The service is effectively managed and guided by its philosophy, annual plan and policies. Internal evaluation, including consultation with parents, guides improvement. Systems are in place to promote children’s health and safety.

Key Next Steps

Next steps include strengthening:

  • internal evaluation and strategic planning to promote positive outcomes for children
  • teachers’ use of te reo Māori as part of everyday interactions.

Actions for Compliance

Since the onsite visit, the service has provided ERO with evidence that shows it has addressed the following non-compliance:

  • beds that are covered with non-porous material.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008, PF30.

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review is likely to be an Education Review.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region | Te Tai Raki

15 January 2020

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name Sandcastles Matakana
Profile Number 10292

Location

Matakana, Warkworth

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 8 aged under 2 years

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Reported ratio of adults to children under 2

1:4 - Better than regulatory standards

Reported ratio of adults to children over 2

1:7 - Better than regulatory standards

Service roll

43

Gender composition

Boys 26 Girls 17

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 41
other ethnic groups 2

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

15 January 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

First ERO review of the service

General Information about Assurance Reviews

All services are licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The legal requirements for early childhood services also include the Licensing Criteria for Education and Care Services 2008.

Services must meet the standards in the regulations and the requirements of the licensing criteria to gain and maintain a licence to operate.

ERO undertakes an Assurance Review process in any centre-based service:

  • having its first ERO review – including if it is part of a governing organisation
  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’
  • that has moved from a provisional to a full licence
  • that have been re-licenced due to a change of ownership
  • where an Assurance Review process is determined to be appropriate.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements. Before the review, the staff and management of a service 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.

As part of an Assurance Review ERO assesses whether the regulated standards are being met. In particular, ERO looks at a 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 certification; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

As part of an Assurance Review ERO also gathers and records evidence through:

  • discussions with those involved in the service
  • consideration of relevant documentation, including the implementation of health and safety systems
  • observations of the environment/premises, curriculum implementation and teaching practice.

1 Evaluation of Montessori Small Steps Matakana Preschool

How well placed is Montessori Small Steps Matakana Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Montessori Small Steps Matakana Preschool has taken positive steps to address the areas of concern identified in ERO’s 2013 report. The licensee has accessed external advice and guidance through the Ministry of Education (MoE) and with this support has developed centre action plans to guide further development. The action plans are being progressively implemented and there is evidence to indicate that the centre is now better placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Montessori Small Steps Matakana Preschool in the Rodney township of Matakana is licensed to provide education and care for up to 30 children aged over two. The centre operates daily from 8:45am to 3:15pm during school terms. An additional programme is offered for families during the school holiday break.

The centre follows the Montessori philosophy of education and teaching methods. The programme is planned to provide children with a balance between more formal Montessori activities and opportunities for learning through play.

Three of the four staff are registered teachers, with a mix of early childhood and primary education qualifications. Some staff also have Montessori teaching qualifications.

The 2013 ERO review found that the centre required further development and the next ERO review would take place within two years. Several positive aspects of the service's provision were reported by ERO at that time. These included the development of children’s social skills and the positive conversations between teachers and children that promoted children's belonging and the centres good interactions with parents. These good practices continue to be evident.

The areas for development identified by ERO in 2013 included aspects of centre management, personnel practices, curriculum management and record keeping. With support accessed through the MoE the centre continues to make good progress in addressing these concerns. Action plans to guide improvements in areas including the environment, staff appraisals, teaching and learning and administrative systems are supporting on-going centre development.

The Review Findings

Children demonstrate a sense of belonging in the centre. They are free to select from the range of indoor and outdoor activities available to them. Children benefit from recent improvements to the outside environment including access to a greater range of learning opportunities. They are keen to learn and articulate their ideas well. They take an active role in their own care routines and enjoy positive friendships and interactions.

The programme is responsive to children’s interests. Plans for a centre approach to biculturalism and success for Māori children are providing good guidance to help strengthen this aspect of the programme. Teachers link aspects of children’s learning to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Portfolios provide a good record of children’s participation in the programme. The centre has made use of external support to develop an effective approach to presenting children's portfolios. Teachers' regular planning sessions have helped them to develop shared approaches and understandings in documenting and reporting on the outcomes of children's learning.

Teachers work collaboratively. They establish positive and supportive relationships with children. Teachers have high expectations of children playing quietly and calmly. The attractive physical learning environment reflects a good balance of Montessori philosophy and the strands of Te Whāriki.

A new head teacher provides good leadership in curriculum and teaching practice. She brings expertise and knowledge that could be influential in building the quality of the centre. She is beginning to make improvements that will better promote positive outcomes for children.

Staff are welcoming and inclusive and parents speak highly of the centre. High levels of trust exist between parents and the centre. Parents and whānau have the opportunity to contribute to the development and review of centre policies.

Key Next Steps

The centre continues to make progress to improve the quality of education for children. However, the owner, centre leaders and teachers should continue to focus on:

  • using of good self-review to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching practices in promoting positive learning outcomes for children
  • the implementation of robust performance management systems for staff
  • the effective implementation of plans and programmes that;
    • support Māori children in their language, culture and identity and
    • promote bicultural practices that benefit all children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Montessori Small Steps Matakana Preschool 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to the programme and performance management. To meet requirements the service must continue to improve its performance in the following area:

  • ensure that suitable appraisal practices are implemented [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, (GMA7)].

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Montessori Small Steps Matakana Preschool will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

23 September 2015

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

Matakana

Ministry of Education profile number

10292

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

28

Gender composition

Girls 16

Boys 12

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

South East Asian

5

22

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

23 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2013

 

Education Review

May 2010

 

Education Review

May 2007

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.