Little Wonders Glendowie

Education institution number:
10373
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
65
Telephone:
Address:

54 Sierra Street, St Heliers, Auckland

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1 Evaluation of Little Wonders Glendowie

How well placed is Little Wonders Glendowie 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

Little Wonders Glendowie, in the residential area of St Heliers, is licensed for 80 children, including 23 aged under two years. The centre was previously known as Acorn Early Learning Centre. It is led by a newly appointed manager and a new teaching team.

The centre's philosophy recognises each child as a unique learner and values partnerships with families. Teachers aim to provide an environment that fosters learning. Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, is acknowledged as a guiding document.

The centre's 2015 ERO report noted respectful teaching practices and a focus on building partnerships with parents to support children's learning. These practices have continued.

The centre is owned by the Evolve Education Group. Evolve provides an overarching governance and management framework and visiting personnel to support the operation of each centre. A recent re-branding of centres has occurred, with a view to building a greater sense of unity across the organisation. Initiatives that have been recently introduced are intended to improve staff stability in centres, promote effective internal evaluation and lift the quality of teaching practices.

This review was part of a cluster of eight reviews in the Evolve Education group.

The Review Findings

Children are settled, confident and friendly. They play independently or seek out friends and respond to the routines in the centre. Children are supported by adults who are eager to engage with them and foster their sense of belonging. Opportunities for sensory and messy play are well included in the curriculum.

Effective teaching practices that promote positive learning outcomes for children include:

  • an environment for infants and toddlers that nurtures their oral language and literacy development

  • respectful care practices that foster independence and self-help skills, and create a warm inclusive culture in the centre

  • outdoor environments that are spacious and offer opportunities for exploration, independent play and physical challenge for children of all ages

  • good support for children as they transition into and through the centre.

Teachers are developing new systems for programme planning that focus on teachers' observations of children's interests. These processes need continued development to ensure each child experiences a rich curriculum.

Respect for biculturalism is evident. Teachers are building their knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori and tikanga Māori. They are using words and songs in te reo Māori with the children.

Leaders have a clear vision and direction for the centre. They are committed to ongoing improvement. Relevant areas for development have been identified. It is timely to consider ways to develop and strengthen a collaborative and cohesive team culture.

The centre is effectively managed. Annual centre audits established by Evolve help to ensure legislative requirements are being met regarding policies, procedure and curriculum.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that their key next steps include:

  • teachers engaging at a deeper level with Te Whāriki 2017 to strengthen programme planning, bicultural practice and building partnerships with parents based on children's learning

  • strengthening programme evaluation so that it reflects more clearly on children’s learning outcomes

  • developing a shared understanding across the team of quality practice.

Evolve Education Group managers agree that key next steps include:

  • ensuring the company’s vision, values, philosophy, goals and systems reflect the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi

  • developing clear strategic goals to inform improvement focused annual plans at regional, area and centre levels, that include Te Whāriki 2017 and a strategy for supporting Pacific children and families

  • ongoing moderation and monitoring of the roles and responsibilities of personnel in positions of leadership, including centre managers

  • ongoing monitoring of appraisal practices to ensure effective implementation is lifting teaching practice

  • reviewing how effectively levels of resourcing in centres supports children’s learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Wonders Glendowie 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 Little Wonders Glendowie will be in three years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

20 December 2018

The Purpose of ERO Reports

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

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

St Heliers, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10373

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 23 aged under 2

Service roll

79

Gender composition

Boys 40 Girls 39

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Chinese
other ethnic groups

55
8
16

Percentage of qualified teachers

50-79%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

20 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2015

Education Review

February 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 Acorn Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Acorn Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

Background

Acorn Early Learning Centre operates in a residential area in St. Heliers, Auckland. It provides good quality full-day and sessional education and care for children from six months to five years of age. The centre is licensed for 80 children, including up to 23 children aged under two years.

The centre’s philosophy focuses on the values of kindness and respect, bicultural practices and responsiveness to children and their families and whānau. Teachers enact these philosophy expectations in their practices. Education and care is guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and by aspects of Reggio Emilia approaches.

Staff are managed and led by the business owners who are highly involved in the daily running of the centre. They have been careful to employ teachers with complementary strengths and who share the centre’s vision. The majority of teachers are fully qualified.

The ERO 2012 report identified good practices that contributed to positive outcomes for children. These included teachers’ caring and supportive interactions with children and parents/whānau, and the centre’s commitment to proving high quality care for children. These practices are still evident.

The Review Findings

Children demonstrate a strong sense of well being and belonging in the centre. Staff are sensitive and responsive to the needs of individual children and families and whānau. The carefully considered and well planned environment provides children with an inviting variety of attractively presented play spaces.

Children are happy, engaged and able to sustain their play and learning through the use of purposeful and plentiful resources. Friendships between children are fostered and evident. Teachers provide opportunities for children to work together in small groups.

There are many opportunities for children to discover and explore early literacy, science, numeracy ideas and to develop their creativity through everyday activities. Regular excursions from the centre also play an important role in enriching and supporting children’s learning. A programme for older children helps support their transitioning to school.

Infants and toddlers are cared for in a separate room that allows them to explore and learn at their own pace. Gentle, respectful teaching practices encourage the development of strong, positive relationships between these young children and teachers. Carefully considered transition procedures are used to move toddlers through to the preschool room.

Teachers work well together to deliver a programme that is responsive to the interests of children. They skilfully record children’s learning and development in attractively presented portfolios that are well used by children and their families. Teachers are continuing to investigate how children’s questions can be used more purposefully to drive the direction of the programme. They are also committed to strengthening bi-cultural dimensions of the centre's programme.

The importance of learning through play is prioritised and valued. The spacious outdoor environments provide ample room for children to explore, take on new challenges and problem solve. Centre routines have been reviewed in consultation with families. Routines now offer opportunities for children to engage in sustained, uninterrupted play and learning.

Teachers continue to focus on building partnerships with parents to support children’s learning by gathering their aspirations and expectations. Parents interviewed by ERO value the strong commitment from the staff to meeting the needs of families and children. They expressed appreciation for the variety of regular centre events offered.

Centre governance and management practices are effective. The management team provides regular professional development for staff. Self review is regular, useful and its purpose is well understood. The owners’ generous financial commitment helps ensure centre equipment, resources and property are well maintained and continue to be developed.

Key Next Steps

To support continuous improvement centre leaders should develop more evaluative self review across all areas of centre operations.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Dale Bailey Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

10 April 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

St Heliers, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10373

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 23 aged under 2

Service roll

105

Gender composition

Girls 55 Boys 50

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

other

2

95

8

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2015

Date of this report

10 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2009

 

Education Review

March 2006

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.