Ellerslie Playcentre

Education institution number:
22059
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
28
Telephone:
Address:

8 Lawry Street, Ellerslie, Auckland

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1 Evaluation of Ellerslie Playcentre

How well placed is Ellerslie 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

Ellerslie Playcentre is a parent-led early childhood education service, and one of 14 centres in the Tamaki Playcentres Association. The centre provides five morning sessions each week for children up to school age, including one 'Shooting Stars' session for children over three years old. An afternoon SPACE programme for babies under one year old operates one day a week.

Programmes for children are underpinned by the overarching Playcentre philosophy of whānau and children learning together in a fun, nurturing environment. High levels of parent involvement in training enable them to be the kaiako (teachers) who guide the learning that children enjoy. The 'Shooting Stars' session is led by paid kaiako.

Tamaki Playcentres Association provides a framework for centre management and operations, as well as parent education programmes and personnel to support centre members in their leadership, educator, and parenting roles. Te Kimiora o Tamaki, the association support group for Māori whānau, provides members with advice and guidance regarding their bicultural practices.

Playcentre Aotearoa, the national organisation, is currently in the process of a comprehensive restructure. A regional hub will be established to provide governance, management, and parent education support for Playcentres in central, east, and south Auckland. While this will mean significant changes at the local Association level, it is expected that support for individual centres will be maintained or strengthened.

ERO’s 2014 review noted centre members’ focus on maintaining and improving Playcentre education levels, and their responsiveness to children's interests. It also noted the very positive relationships, and the systems in place to plan for children's learning. Areas for further development included aspects of self-review, strengthening leadership opportunities, and strategies for extending older children's learning. Centre members have responded very well to these challenges.

This review was part of a cluster of four reviews in the Tamaki Playcentres Association.

The Review Findings

Ellerslie Playcentre is a vibrant learning environment led by experienced kaiako, who willingly share their knowledge and encourage others. They warmly welcome and support new families, including those who have children with additional or diverse needs. There is a strong focus on children, and adults using positive, low key behaviour management strategies. Children show a sense of belonging, wellbeing, and ownership in the centre.

Children are confident and engaged learners. They initiate their own play, working collaboratively with others or independently exploring their own interests. Well established friendships support children to develop good conversation skills, and foster their problem-solving abilities. Older children are learning to deepen their explorations through the 'Shooting Stars' session, which is also supporting their transition to school.

Infants and toddlers are well cared for and nurtured by the whole group. A dedicated space for immobile infants is deliberately left open for older children to visit and interact with babies. In this way, kaiako encourage tuakana/teina relationships that help children respect the needs and interests of others.

Kaiako skilfully foster children's learning. They meet daily to discuss interests they have noticed, and to plan resources and activities that will encourage further exploration. Adults engage children in meaningful conversations to challenge their thinking and extend their ideas. Kaiako evaluate each session collaboratively to record what they have observed in children’s play. They also make links with Te Whāriki 2017, the early childhood curriculum, and identify next steps to support learning.

Individual portfolios provide extensive records of children's learning, development, and their relationships with others. Kaiako could now enhance the information about children's language, identity, and culture in these valued records.

Children enjoy a well-resourced and inviting learning environment. Accessible spaces and interesting equipment encourage children to make choices and develop complexity in their play. A current focus on developing the deck area will extend the covered space available for play, and support children's strong interest in carpentry. Members' commitment to bicultural practices is visible in displays. This could be extended to reflect the growing cultural diversity of families in the centre.

Parents and whānau have established very good systems to manage the centre, grow kaiako leadership capabilities, and maintain effective communication with all families. They collectively make decisions for operating the centre at monthly meetings, and meet each term for indepth planning, assessment, and evaluation of children's learning. A useful strategic plan includes clear goals that guides the centre's development.

Centre members continue to develop their evaluation processes to keep better records of strategies to improve the environment, the curriculum for children, and centre operations. They are currently exploring Te Whāriki 2017 to become familiar with the new curriculum format and embed its use as the guide for children's learning.

Tamaki Playcentre Association has worked diligently to prepare members and centres for the imminent structural changes to the national organisation. Leaders have implemented many strategies and systems to develop consistent good quality practices across the centres, and established cluster support groups to foster sustainability. The Association has provided positive guidance in relation to changes in Playcentre training programmes and pre-empted national changes to centre operations with paid administration support for every centre.

Leaders acknowledge the need to update some association policies to incorporate the requirements of the Vulnerable Children's Act, and recent changes in Health and Safety legislation. The Association is committed to promulgating Te Whāriki 2017 in all centres in coming months, and continues to provide strong support for meaningful bicultural practices.

Key Next Steps

Members agree that key next steps that will support centre progress and sustainability include:

  • extending the centre's strategic plan to maintain projected goals into the future, and to establish more measurable goals to support the development of bicultural practices

  • continuing to develop the depth and effectiveness of internal evaluation processes

  • strengthening assessment by linking anecdotal observations of children's learning to their strengths, interests and goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

21 December 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

Ellerslie, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

22059

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

34

Gender composition

Boys 25 Girls 9

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Asian
African
other European
other

1
22
3
2
2
3
1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

21 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2014

Education Review

December 2010

Education Review

August 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.

1 Evaluation of Ellerslie Playcentre

How well placed is Ellerslie 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

Ellerslie Playcentre in Auckland is an established centre that caters for children up to six years of age. It offers four general sessions each week. Learning programmes are implemented by parents/whānau who are also centre members. Two paid supervisors facilitate an additional ‘Big Kids’ session for older children.

Members have made very good progress in addressing the recommendations in the 2010 ERO report. They have reviewed areas of play to improve children’s access to resources and the provision for infants in the centre environment. The integration of literacy, science, numeracy and recognition of New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage is now more evident in the programme. The playcentre is currently fundraising to significantly upgrade the building.

The centre is one of 16 playcentres in the Tamaki Playcentre Association, which provides a management and policy framework to guide centre operations. Liaison officers and other Association staff provide support for centres, including adult education programmes to encourage children’s learning.

The Association is currently undergoing a structural review to streamline its systems, policies and practices and ensure the long-term sustainability of the organisation. A key priority is to empower playcentre members to take an active role in the governance of the organisation at the Association level.

This review was part of a cluster of six playcentre reviews in the Tamaki Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

The playcentre philosophy of parents and children learning, playing and growing together is very evident. Children enjoy positive, respectful and inclusive relationships with a variety of adults and other children of different ages. Babies have access to appropriate resources and opportunities to explore in the indoor and outdoor areas. Older children are enthusiastic and capable learners who make confident decisions to extend their learning experiences. Reviewing the provision for toddlers could enable members to more effectively support the increased mobility and independence of this age group.

Members are highly responsive to children’s interests and skilfully support children’s exploration and investigation. They engage in meaningful conversations, using appropriate questions to promote children’s thinking. Members use positive approaches to support children to manage their own behaviour. They have made positive improvements to practices that reflect the dual heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Members regularly talk about children’s emerging interests and preferred areas of play. Children’s ideas are sought and used thoughtfully to plan a broad range of experiences that engage individuals and groups of children. Adults could now focus more on using end of session and termly discussions to recognise the learning that happens in play.

Centre members are focused on maintaining and improving playcentre education levels to support the ongoing sustainability of the centre. Self-review systems and a long-term strategic plan have been developed. Members use strategic plan goals and work as a team to make helpful improvements to centre practices and systems.

Association management practices are well established. A current strategic review is focused on streamlining association systems, policies and practices to make them more manageable and to build the operational knowledge of playcentre members. Members report that the Association is very responsive to requests for support and guidance to manage the centre. The Association could now consider how staff can support centres to strengthen their strategic planning and self review practices. Guiding the improved quality of programmes in centres should be a more important aspect of the liaison officer role.

Key Next Steps

Centre members and ERO agree that key next steps for members include:

  • developing a shared understanding and agreed approaches for extending older children’s learning in general and to help ensure ‘Big Kids’ sessions support children’s transition to school well
  • determining what difference centre practices make to children’s learning when evaluating programme, self review and strategic planning systems
  • identifying ways to continue to develop leadership and knowledge of centre operations amongst a wider group of members

Tamaki Playcentre Association Information

The cluster review of six playcentres within the Tamaki Playcentre Association has identified areas of governance and management for the Association to address. These include:

  • re-establishing performance management systems for all employed staff
  • documenting strategic and annual planning systems for the association as a whole
  • clearly documenting a cycle of review and evaluation to support ongoing development and improvement at the association level.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

10 March 2014

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Ellerslie, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

22059

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

38

Gender composition

Boys 19

Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

Other European

2

26

8

2

Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

10 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2010

 

Education Review

August 2007

 

Education Review

June 2004

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.