Awanui Playcentre

Education institution number:
17021
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
9
Telephone:
Address:

172 Far North Road, State Highway 1, Awanui

View on map

1 Evaluation of Awanui Playcentre

How well placed is Awanui Playcentre 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

Awanui Playcentre operates as a parent cooperative. It offers two sessions each week and is licensed for 25 children, including 10 up to two years of age.

The centre's philosophy acknowledges Te Tiriti o Waitangi and biculturalism and integrates Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum into all aspects of the programme. Parents are committed to Playcentre's holistic learning approaches.

The centre has continued to address the recommendations from the 2015 ERO report. These included improving bicultural practices, assessment, internal evaluation and challenges for children. ERO also recommended the alignment of annual and strategic planning.

The centre is one of five in the Far North Playcentre Association. The Association provides a management and policy framework, and centre support personnel. Playcentre Aotearoa is in the process of a national restructure. The Far North Association is now part of Playcentre's northern region and a new regional manager has been appointed. Some support personnel will be based at a Whangarei office.

This review was part of a cluster of three reviews in the Far North Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Families are welcoming and encourage new members to participate as they are able. Children are valued and respected as individuals who actively contribute to the programme with their parents/whānau. Children are keen investigators who test and develop their skills and confidence as they play, explore and learn. They have meaningful conversations with each other and with adults who support and encourage their language development

Parents/whānau build relationships and cultural connections that support everyone to feel that they have a place. These relationships help children to engage with learning and become confident and connected learners. Children are relaxed, confident and 'at home' in the centre. Te reo and tikanga Māori are valued and woven through the programme.

Babies and children up to five years play with each other and enjoy this tuakana/teina interaction. Parents/whānau are gentle, calm and nurturing. They respond to children with respect and care. Children lead their own learning and are given opportunities to choose, and make decisions about their play with parents alongside to guide and support them.

Children learn and play in spacious, well resourced, indoor and outdoor environments that supports their play. It is timely for centre members to review and improve the quality of resources available to children.

There is good evidence of children's interests leading the curriculum, with maths, technology, science and rich language evident in the programme, planning and learning. Parents/whānau write learning stories for children's portfolios that show their involvement in activities. Daily learning and termly planning are documented in a day-book. A more consistent standard of entry would enhance the day-book, which serves as a good record of learning for children and parents. It would be useful to record discussions about how well children's interests are supported and extended.

Collective decision making, collaborative leadership and Playcentre training enable all centre members to extend their knowledge as educators and parents. Parents/whānau acknowledge that continuing to build membership is important to centre sustainability.

Centre systems, including strategic and annual planning, policies, professional learning and internal evaluation, inform the next steps in centre development. Well planned internal evaluation is having a positive impact on centre practices. Parents/whānau understand the importance of continuing to build internal evaluation understanding and practice, and developing a schedule for the regular review of policies and procedures.

Centre leaders plan to include community consultation when developing the centre's strategic plan. This should promote community ownership, and provide support for the centre's long term goals and aspirations.

The Association currently has effective governance and management practices. A voluntary executive committee takes responsibility for specific management and centre support tasks. Good systems help them to monitor the quality of programmes, adult education levels, and health and safety requirements. The management team provides professional leadership to help centres respond to changes, particularly as they transition to the new national and regional structures.

Key Next Steps

Centre members agree that next steps to improve provision for children and support centre development are to:

  • strengthen planning, assessment and evaluation

  • develop a schedule to ensure internal evaluation is undertaken regularly and that policies are current

  • build membership and Playcentre training levels to support ongoing sustainability.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Awanui Playcentre 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 Awanui Playcentre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

2 November 2017

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

Awanui, Kaitaia

Ministry of Education profile number

17021

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

14

Gender composition

Girls 5 Boys 9

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā

5
9

Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent led

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

2 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2015

Education Review

February 2012

Education Review

August 2008

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 Awanui Playcentre

How well placed is Awanui Playcentre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Awanui Playcentre requires further support to better reflect playcentre philosophy. Centre members should endeavour to implement an effective shared ownership and collaborative presentation of programmes.

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

Background

Awanui Playcentre is a parent cooperative that serves a semi-rural community from a number of districts close to Kaitaia. It operates as one of six centres under the guidance of the Far North Playcentre Association which provides a policy framework and ongoing support. The well established centre is situated on the grounds of Awanui Primary School.

The centre is licensed to provide for 25 children, including up to 10 children under two years of age. It operates two sessions a week and is presently receiving support through the Association. The Centre Support Worker (CSW) lives in the local community, has extensive experience and holds a Course 4 Playcentre qualification. The playcentre’s roll is low and a number of parents attending have infants and toddlers. Two to four unfunded children attend almost every session.

The centre’s 2012 ERO report identified good features, such as ongoing parent education, a well presented environment and a variety of play opportunities for children. Children were making independent choices about their play and there were good systems in place to provide a safe centre environment.

The report also identified concerns, including the need to improve provisions for children up to two years of age, improve the planning cycle, enhance bicultural perspectives and practices, and continue to develop the centre’s profile in the community. Some progress has been made in improving these aspects of centre performance.

Since ERO’s 2012 review, the centre has received support to improve programme management and self review from the Playcentre Federation through a Ministry of Education contract. Support from the CSW will continue for at least a further two terms.

This review is part of a cluster of four centre reviews in the Far North Playcentre Association.

The national playcentre organisation is currently in the process of a comprehensive restructure. While this will mean significant changes at the local level, it is expected that support for individual centres will be maintained or strengthened.

The Review Findings

Children and adults benefit from the leadership and modelling of the CSW. Centre members and the CSW are starting to work together better to manage the centre and to provide activities and experiences for children. They have created spacious play areas indoors, particularly for the children up to two years of age. The well maintained outdoor play area has been designed to provide both challenge and safe spaces for children’s play.

Children confidently initiate play, requesting and accepting help from adults when necessary. Adults take care of children’s physical and emotional wellbeing and promote children’s sense of belonging in the centre. Some parents work with children other than their own during the session, but some chose not to participate in children’s play. The centre is reliant on external teaching support to operate sessions.

Centre members have made good use of the support they have received to record children’s learning. Their ‘Day Book’ records what adults have noticed about children’s play during each session. This is a good start. Members could now make better use of this record by more deliberately adding and completing entries. This would enable them to make decisions about ways of extending and building on children’s interests.

Parents/caregivers also keep individual portfolios about children’s participation and development in the programme. External support has helped parents to make these records potentially useful for planning. Some good examples could now be used to provide a foundation for making links between assessments and planning. It would also enable more regular evaluation about how well the centre is supporting children’s learning, especially for the older children.

Some adults consistently use te reo Māori with children in the programme. The centre library includes books in Māori language or with Māori themes. Children show understanding of te reo words and phrases used in the centre, and centre members indicate their intention of strengthening this bicultural focus.

At present the centre is struggling to fill its roll. Several families only attend one playcentre session a week, and take their children to other early childhood providers during the rest of the week. The lack of experienced members is placing undue stress on the few more able members. It is also undermining newer members’ understanding of playcentre philosophy and their role in the cooperative running of the centre. These factors weaken the ongoing viability of the playcentre.

Parents have received support to develop self-review processes and have started to use self review as a tool for making judgements about ways of improving outcomes for children. These processes are in the early phases and need to be further developed to effectively support positive change. Centre members and the CSW talk about ways to strengthen membership and centre practices. Regular reports about progress in the playcentre and good informal communication networks help inform Association decision making about support and parent education programmes needed.

The Association’s strategic plan provides a guide for governance and is regularly monitored by office bearers. Management and governance processes are well established and are continually refined. The Association continues to consider ways to streamline planning and to monitor its support for the centre. Association office holders are highly committed to the playcentre philosophy and to maintaining playcentre as a valuable early childhood education option in the Far North.

Key Next Steps

Awanui Playcentre parents and care-givers agree that next key steps for centre members are to:

  • strengthen their understanding and implementation of Playcentre’s philosophy of children and their families learning through play together
  • strengthen assessment and planning processes to more clearly record what centre members know about children’s interests and strengths
  • provide challenge, interest and quality interactions to support and extend the play of older children
  • support newer members to take on leadership roles so that responsibility for centre management is more evenly shared
  • align and streamline strategic planning, annual plans and action plans to monitor and affirm progress and to report to the Association.

It is important that transition to the new playcentre structure for the Far North is carefully managed to ensure there is no interruption in parent support and education programmes in centres.

Recommendation

ERO recommends, and centre members agree, that Association personnel should continue to provide close support for the centre as the roll grows and centre members become more self sufficient in the running of the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Awanui Playcentre 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to centre management. To meet requirements the Association and centre parents need to;

  • plan, implement, and evaluate a curriculum to enhance children’s learning and development through programmes that respond to children’s interests, strengths and capabilities, that include meaningful conversations, and that extend and enhance their learning and development individually and in groups [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C2,C3,C4, C9]
  • establish, implement and regularly review the privacy policy and procedures, and appoint a privacy officer, to ensure that children’s, families’ and employees’ privacy is protected [Privacy Act 1993, s23].

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the centre members, in consultation with the Association and the Ministry of Education, develop and implement a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Awanui Playcentre will be within two years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

30 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

Awanui, Far North

Ministry of Education profile number

17021

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

26 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

16

Gender composition

Boys 11

Girls 5

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

3

13

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

30 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2012

 

Supplementary Review

August 2008

 

Supplementary Review

June 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.