The Grange Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
20310
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
41
Telephone:
Address:

48 Awaroa Road, Sunnyvale-Auckland, Auckland

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1 Evaluation of The Grange Early Learning Centre

How well placed is The Grange 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

The Grange Early Learning Centre is a well-established centre in Sunnyvale, West Auckland. The centre is licensed for up to 37 children, with a maximum of eight under the age of two. Children who attend reflect the increasingly multicultural community.

The owner oversees centre operations, and is supported by an experienced centre manager who leads a team of registered early childhood teachers.

The centre's philosophy is underpinned by the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The centre's core values include respect, whanaungatanga, diversity and learning through play. The philosophy statement also articulates a commitment to excellence, natural environments, and literacy and numeracy development.

ERO's 2014 report identified many positive practices. Since 2014, centre leaders have continued to strengthen their practices through systematic internal evaluation. Initiatives have been set in place that have helped children to understand the richness of New Zealand's bicultural heritage and strengthened relationships within the community.

The Review Findings

Children are greeted warmly on their arrival in the calm, attractive and well-resourced centre. The nurturing environment and purposely positioned photos support connections with homes and families and promote a strong sense of belonging for children.

Infants enjoy a variety of activities and the opportunity to make their own choices in a play based programme. Warm interactions and reciprocal conversations with teachers and carers foster children's vocabulary. Adults' respectful care practices nurture toddlers' self-help skills and encourage independence. Wet weather clothing is available to allow children to participate in all aspects of the programme and have good access to outdoor activity.

Older children play well alongside each other. They are viewed as inquisitive and capable learners. Supportive adults listen to children's ideas and encourage them to try new ideas, problem solve and lead their own learning. Their interests are recognised and nurtured through good quality conversations. Extended periods of uninterrupted play promote opportunities for children to develop their own inquiries.

The indoor environment and multi-level landscaped outdoor space offer a compelling invitation for imaginative and creative play, as well as supporting appropriate risk taking and physical development. Teachers respond to children's learning strengths and interests by offering prompts to foster children's curiosity and encourage inquiry and investigation.

Teachers work collaboratively, and they engage respectfully with children. Deliberate acts of teaching facilitate purposeful learning experiences that extend children's thinking and develop complexity in their play. Opportunities for literacy, numeracy and exploring the natural world are naturally woven into the programme. Digital devices are used purposefully for research.

The centre's strong commitment to a bicultural curriculum is apparent in the environment, and has resulted in rich, authentic learning experiences for whānau and staff. The inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori is an integral part of centre practices that affirm Māori children’s cultural identity. Teachers are increasingly confident in their use of te reo Māori. It is timely to consider ways to make children's language, heritage and culture more evident in their portfolios.

Meaningful connections with the local community are expanding learning experiences for children. A focus on environmental sustainability is encouraging children to build their skills and knowledge, and to contribute to the local community gardens.

Parents are very positive about the education and care their children receive. Regular documentation, an online communication system and well-presented portfolios allow children's learning progress to be shared with families. Transitions into and through the centre are thoughtfully managed. Positive relationships with local schools have helped establish good processes around children's transition to school.

The centre manager's leadership has been integral to growing quality in the centre. Focused and purposeful internal evaluation has contributed to the very good quality teaching and learning practices. Teachers are encouraged and supported to be reflective practitioners. Robust induction and appraisal practices promote teacher inquiry, and establish expectations for high quality teaching. A mentor supports the team to critique practices and consider ways to enhance learning outcomes for children. Professional learning programmes extend teachers' practice and capability.

Effective governance systems guide centre operations. Management systems and expectations are clear and robust. The centre's culture of ongoing improvement, business sustainability and desire for high quality outcomes underpins all operations. Comprehensive policies are reviewed against practice. As part of the next review of the centre's philosophy, teachers could consider how it reflects the effective bicultural practice and ongoing focus for improvement evident in the centre.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders have comprehensive and relevant strategic plans that focus on using robust internal evaluation and teacher professional learning to build on current good practices across all aspects of centre operations.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Grange 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 The Grange Early Learning Centre will be in four years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

7 August 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

Sunnyvale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20310

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

37 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Boys 29 Girls 26

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
other

7
35
5
8

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

7 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2015

Education Review

February 2012

Education Review

September 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 The Grange Early Learning Centre

How well placed is The Grange 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

The Grange Early Learning Centre is situated in Sunnyvale, West Auckland. The centre operates from a converted home and caters for infants and children through to school age. There has been a recent change in centre ownership.

Children attending the centre are representative of the diverse ethnic groups in the local community. Staff work at providing special events for families at times when working parents and whānau are best placed to attend. These events also provide good opportunities for parents and teachers to discuss children’s progress.

The manager and owner share responsibility for the day-to-day routines and programmes. The teaching team is made up of long serving and new teachers, all of whom are qualified and registered. Together they have addressed the areas of compliance identified in the 2012 ERO review, reviewed the centre’s philosophy, and developed a child-centred curriculum.

The Review Findings

On arrival, teachers welcome children and their whānau, invite children to participate and support them to settle in to the day’s routines. Teachers take time to talk with parents and whānau as children select activities, greet their friends and become engaged in play.

Children enjoy playing in the upgraded and challenging outdoor environment where they develop their physical skills and explore the adventure-style setting. They have good opportunities to develop social skills through play. Teachers change the equipment and areas of play to suit children’s current interests. Children respect their environment and appreciate the varying levels of challenge the outdoor space provides for them.

The centre programme provides a rich and varied range of experiences for children. Teachers plan meaningful and challenging learning activities, which are responsive to the interests and perspectives of children and whānau. Literacy, mathematics, science and the arts are well integrated into the learning programme. The programme also includes opportunities for children to learn about the local and wider community, and supports them well to become life-long learners.

Children under 2 years of age are well cared for. Centre managers are aware of the challenges of the limited space available for these younger children. Teachers provide opportunities for infants and toddlers to be included in play with older children. They have good access to outdoor play.

A significant feature of the programme is its focus on environmental sustainability. Skills learnt at the centre are put into use each week at the community garden, where children’s contributions are highly affirmed and encouraged.

Teachers have good quality assessment practices that are used to monitor children’s learning. They are becoming more strategic in supporting children to develop their verbal language skills and are using children’s words in their learning stories.

Centre managers and teachers strongly value communication with parents. They are working to improve the effectiveness of online sharing of information with parents. Managers are also developing record keeping systems to better capture information shared in daily meetings between parents and teachers, and in regular professional discussions between teachers. Work to develop a more formal approach to capturing parent and teacher input should help to improve planning for individual children.

Teachers are committed to offering a bicultural curriculum. They recognise that their understanding of bicultural practice needs to be further strengthened. Development in this area would help all teachers and children to understand the richness of New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. It would also provide more responsive support for children and their whānau who identify as Maori. Some good initiatives in this area are already underway.

The centre is well managed by the centre manager. Her reflective practice, positive attitude and pedagogical knowledge have enabled the centre to function efficiently through the change of ownership. The centre team has used its philosophy, annual goals and appraisal process well to guide its practices and to contribute to strategic goal setting. Feedback and discussion with the owner prompts ongoing improvement and encourages teachers’ reflective practice.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers agree that next steps include:

  • strengthening self review so that it is systematic, robust and focuses on measuring the effectiveness of initiatives implemented
  • strengthening children’s use of ICT in the programme
  • further improving the way teachers plan for individual children’s interests.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Grange 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 The Grange Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern Select Region

26 January 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

Sunnyvale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20310

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

37 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll

48

Gender composition

Boys 27, Girls 21

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Chinese

Indian

other

6

28

4

3

2

5

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

26 January 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2012

 

Education Review

September 2008

 

Education Review

August 2005

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.