BestStart Parnell

Education institution number:
20519
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
33
Telephone:
Address:

7 Ngaoho Place, Parnell, Auckland

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First Steps Parnell - 17/02/2017

1 Evaluation of First Steps Parnell

How well placed is First Steps Parnell 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

First Steps Parnell provides full day education and care for 42 children including 15 up to two years of age. It is part of the BestStart Education and Care Centres' organisation which provides an overarching governance and management framework as well as personnel to support individual centres.

The centre has separate spaces for children up to two years and for children between the ages of two and five. The centre's philosophy focuses on inclusion, respect, relationships with families, and responsiveness to children's interests and needs.

Since ERO's 2014 review, there have been changes in teaching staff. Careful consideration to appoint a new centre manager has brought stability to the centre. Staff are supported by the professional service manager and the business manager. They provide ongoing professional development for teachers to enhance the quality of teaching and learning in the centre.

In 2014 ERO identified areas for development including centre leaders work with the Ministry of Education to develop an action plan to address these matters. The professional services manager, centre manager and teachers have made some good progress, although several areas continue to be a focus for improvement. Teachers have sustained positive practices in relation to the nurturing care of infants, and their supportive interactions encourage older children to develop independence.

The Review Findings

Children show a sense of belonging and they develop positive relationships with teachers and other children in the centre. They participate enthusiastically with activities and resources that teachers provide. Children like to help with centre routines alongside teachers who ask good questions to prompt children about their choices.

Infants and toddlers show trust in caring adults who are responsive to their individual needs and interests. They enjoy opportunities to explore suitable resources in a spacious learning environment that is welcoming to parents. Increasingly, older children are taking a lead role in their learning. They engage in active conversations with teachers and each other. The centre manager recognises that older children now need to experience more complex play and opportunities for exploration and problem solving.

Teachers use a variety of ways to access whānau aspirations and interests. Parents who spoke with ERO expressed confidence in the ways teachers provide for their children's learning. They appreciate the way that information is shared, including the use of an electronic portal that enables them to read and comment on their child’s learning at the centre. There are some good examples of assessment records that that show children's progress over time.

Teachers work well as a team. They continue to improve how planning, assessment and evaluation processes are used to enhance children’s interests and strengths. Individual plans are linked to the centre's strategic and annual planning.

Children's cultures are valued and celebrated. Teachers know children and their families well. They are aware of the importance of strengthening the bicultural programme. Teachers could increase their integration of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga in the learning programmes.

BestStart has useful systems for guiding and monitoring service operations. These include regular management meetings. The centre's strategic plan is linked to BestStart's strategic planning, philosophy statement, self-review and annual plans, and it promotes the centre's vision.

BestStart personnel keep leaders updated with current developments in early childhood education. They actively support teachers’ professional growth. A comprehensive, appraisal system is maintained, and professional development is guided by teachers' professional learning needs.

The new centre manager is inclusive in her management style and is a good role model for staff. She is committed to ongoing improvement, and is well supported by BestStart personnel. Internal evaluation is purposeful and is helping to make positive improvements in the centre. Centre leaders are committed to enhancing their internal evaluation processes and improving outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps for centre development include:

  • improving evaluation to identify the impact of the programme and teaching practices on children's learning

  • extending children's thinking through more complex play

  • increasing te reo Māori me ōna tikanga in learning programmes

  • monitoring and documenting how well the centre is progressing against strategic goals. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of First Steps Parnell 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 First Steps Parnell will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

17 February 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

Parnell, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20519

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

44

Gender composition

Girls 23 Boys 21

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

South East Asian

other

1

21

6

5

3

8

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2016

Date of this report

17 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

May 2011

Education Review

April 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.

First Steps Parnell - 26/06/2014

1 Evaluation of First Steps Parnell

How well placed is First Steps Parnell 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

First Steps Parnell is a well established centre situated in an industrial area close to the Auckland central business district. It serves mostly working families from across the city. Children from diverse cultural backgrounds attend the centre. The centre provides for up to 42 children from birth to five years of age. It has separate spaces for children up to two years of age and for children between the ages of two and five.

First Steps is owned by Kidicorp, a large early childhood organisation that governs and manages centre operations. A centre manager is responsible for the staff and the day to day running of the centre. Head teachers guide teacher practice within each of the two age-related learning environments. Five of the six staff are registered teachers.

The 2011 ERO report recommended that centre managers use self-review processes to improve the capability of staff to manage the programme, improve learning challenges for all children, and to encourage the participation of more Māori whānau in the centre. Very little progress has been made in these areas over the last three years.

The centre’s philosophy expresses many principles of good practice and should be used as a guide to help improve the quality of centre practices.

The Review Findings

Overall, older children are reasonably settled. Most use the learning resources and environment to occupy themselves. Some children are developing friendships. Other children do not engage with teachers, their peers or the learning programme.

Infants and toddlers are very settled and enjoy exploring the learning environment. They have warm reciprocal relationships with staff and confidently initiate interactions with adults.

The centre manager and staff need support to develop good quality management practices, implement effective programme planning, carry out self review for improvement, and develop strong leadership capability.

Leadership at management level and within the teaching team has not been effective. Changes to personnel in the Kidicorp advice and support team and within the staff team may have limited the effectiveness of guidance and support for the new, first-time centre manager. As the only fully registered teacher, she has found that additional calls on her time have limited her effectiveness as a manager. The completion of management tasks has been a challenge.

Kidicorp has a strong framework of policies and procedures that underpin operations. The centre, with the help of the Kidicorp professional services manager, has developed a detailed strategic plan to help lead future developments. This plan is at the beginning stages of implementation.

Self review is not yet established as a tool for exploring the quality of practices within the centre. Teachers should use self review to guide improvements to practice.

Staff are exploring new ways of assessing children’s learning needs in programme planning. At this time, teachers identify children’s dispositions and interests but are not yet using this information in planning. Staff should continue to work towards embedding effective planning, assessment and evaluation practices.

Key Next Steps

The professional services manager and centre manager agree that in order to improve the quality of centre operations and learning outcomes for children, managers and staff should:

  • ensure that self review is implemented in all areas of centre operations
  • continue to place a strong focus on accountability for good quality practices in the centre
  • continue to develop the planning cycle to focus more consistently on positive learning outcomes for all children.

Kidicorp managers should also identify and strengthen leadership capabilities in the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of First Steps Parnell 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 self review, consistency of professional practices, and planning for children’s learning.

To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • ensure that self review is used to promote improvement across all centre practices

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA4, GMA6

  • continue to develop high quality professional practice and focus planning on positive learning outcomes for all children

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C1-C4, C7-C10

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and 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 First Steps Parnell will be within two years.

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

26 June 2014

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

Parnell, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20519

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

52

Gender composition

Girls 31 Boys 21

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

British

Samoan

Middle Eastern

other Asian

1

27

8

6

3

2

1

4

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

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

26 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2011

 

Education Review

April 2008

 

Education Review

June 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.