Beginnings Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
25174
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
30
Telephone:
Address:

11 Waitai Road, Ostend, Waiheke Island

View on map

1 Evaluation of Beginnings Early Learning Centre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Beginnings Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Beginnings Early Learning Centre is a privately owned centre on Waiheke Island, Auckland. The centre is organised into two main areas to cater for children up to the age of two, and those between two years and school age. The roll includes a group of Māori children, and small numbers with diverse ethnic backgrounds.

A new centre manager leads a team of long-serving qualified teachers. The centre has a philosophical focus on whanaungatanga, connectedness and belonging in the Waiheke community.

Since the 2015 ERO report, the environment for infants and toddlers has been updated, and there has been progress toward using internal evaluation for improvement.

The Review Findings

Children are settled and relaxed in the programme. They demonstrate confidence and curiosity, and are articulate communicators. Children engage very actively and enjoy sustained play and learning.

Respectful relationships are evident in the centre. Teachers recognise the importance of building responsive connections with children and their families.

Younger children enjoy a calm and gentle environment. They receive very good quality care with supportive individualised attention from adults who know them well. A low fence that separates the older and younger children's outside areas allows some communication and connection between groups.

Transitions and routines within the centre are unhurried. These aspects encourage children to engage in longer periods of play. Teachers could now look carefully at embedding more intentional teaching strategies for the mixed-age group in the over two area.

The centre manager has led recent positive developments. These include introducing new planning approaches and aspects of science concepts and the natural environment, to reflect and capture the local context. Another priority is a deliberate focus on children’s individual strengths and interests. These initiatives should enable teachers to better align their planning with their assessment of children's learning and development.

Teachers continue to develop bicultural practices. The centre manager intends to provide support for teachers to learn and include te reo Māori and tikanga Māori in the centre programme.

The manager has begun to build a collaborative, professional team to support greater shared ownership of decisions. Extending approaches to teachers' appraisal should increase collective capacity across the centre. There is a good policy framework to guide centre operations and ensure health and safety requirements are met.

Internal evaluation is used to identify areas for improvement. Leaders and teachers are currently reviewing the centre philosophy. A priority for teachers is to use evaluation to identify ways to include parent aspirations and a commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.

Key Next Steps

The owner and centre manager recognise that key next steps for the centre are to:

  • implement intentional teaching strategies for the mixed-age group of children over the age of two

  • more clearly align planned teaching strategies with assessment of children's learning

  • continue to develop the learning environment to support more complex play.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Beginnings 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

10 May 2019

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

Waiheke Island, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25174

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

38 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

45

Gender composition

Boys 25 Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
other European
other ethnic groups

8
23
11
3

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

10 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2015

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

May 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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 Beginnings Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Beginnings 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

Beginnings Early Learning Centre, located on Auckland’s Waiheke Island, is licensed to provide full day care and education for 38 children, including up to 10 children aged under two years. Children aged under two are cared for in their own dedicated indoor and outdoor play spaces.

The centre’s philosophy strongly emphasises collaboration with families and links between the home and centre. The centre is well established, privately owned, and has maintained a core team of qualified teachers. A manager oversees the day-to-day operation of the centre.

The 2012 ERO report identified a number of areas of good practice which are still evident. These included strong relationships between the centre and families, effective programme implementation and bicultural practice.

Areas for development in 2012 included refining planning and evaluation processes, strengthening self review, and reviewing the environment in order to better support children’s creative and complex play. There has been progress in some of these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are happy and settled and demonstrate a strong sense of belonging in the centre. They confidently approach adults, secure in the knowledge that their needs will be met. Teachers are responsive to the needs of individual children.

Older children choose resources and places to play in an environment that has recently been reviewed and upgraded. Developing friendships are evident and children engage in sustained periods of play. Effective interactions between teachers and children encourage children’s exploration and curiosity, while supporting the development of their complex thinking skills.

Consideration now needs to be given to the layout of the room for children under two years. Being able to access resources independently would allow these children opportunities to engage in play of their own choosing. It would also provide teachers with more time to observe and respond to the interests of individual children.

Parents who spoke with ERO expressed their appreciation of the service. Children’s individual portfolios show connections between home and the centre, and give insights about the continuity of children's learning journeys. Effective links are made between the centre programme, children’s learning and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Presentation of documentation could be improved through professional development on ICT skills for teachers.

Head teachers are open to new thinking about programme planning. They are currently experimenting with, and refining, some new processes introduced by team members. The next step is to focus on and strengthen the way programmes are evaluated. Documented reflection on the effectiveness of teaching practice should be an integral part of this process.

A strong commitment to meaningful bicultural practice is evident across the centre. Teachers confidently use te reo Māori in their conversations with children. The commitment to inclusive practice is also evident in the centre environment and teaching practice. The team is currently reflecting on how they might do more to support and embrace the cultures of all children, particularly those of Pacific Island heritage.

The teaching team is developing shared understandings of the purpose and features of effective, long-term self review. The recent introduction of externally facilitated and ongoing professional development is supporting this development. The centre goal is to streamline and strengthen links between self review, annual and strategic planning, and staff appraisal processes. This should have a beneficial impact on the team’s capacity to evaluate the quality of centre practices and help to bring about ongoing improvements in its performance.

The centre owner has put in place a framework of policies and procedures to guide centre practice. Priority now needs to be given to reviewing and revising these to align them with Ministry of Education guidelines and recent changes to legislation. A review of the staff appraisal process is also needed to ensure it includes input from individual teachers and assessment against the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Key Next Steps

In order to continue to promote positive learning outcomes for children, centre leaders should now:

  • review the layout of the play areas for children under two years to allow more space to play and to provide children with more space to play and access to a wide range of quality resources
  • strengthen programme evaluation processes to include documented reflection on teaching practice
  • establish shared understandings about effective self review purposes and procedures across the team and engage in meaningful review with a focus on improving outcomes for children
  • undertake a thorough review of current policies and procedures to ensure they align with Ministry of Education guidelines and current legislation
  • review and refine teacher appraisal processes to include teacher self reflection, strong links to the Practicsing Teacher Criteria and action plans for appropriate professional development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

2 October 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

Ostend, Waiheke Island

Ministry of Education profile number

25174

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

38 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

57

Gender composition

Girls 30

Boys 27

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
South East Asian
other European
other Asian
other

9
37
4
2
2
1
2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

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

June 2015

Date of this report

2 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2012

 

Education Review

May 2009

 

Education Review

July 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.