Karaka Playcentre

Education institution number:
25203
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
26
Telephone:
Address:

299 Linwood Road, Karaka

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1 Evaluation of Karaka Playcentre

How well placed is Karaka 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

Karaka Playcentre is a parent-led cooperative early childhood education and care service, operating mixed-age sessions five mornings a week for children from birth to school age. The centre is licensed for 30 children with a maximum of 10 under two years of age. The current roll of 35 includes 10 children who identify as Māori.

The playcentre is one of 17 centres in the Counties Playcentre Association (CPA). The New Zealand Playcentre Federation and the CPA provide governance oversight for the centre. This includes strategic direction, management support, documentation and adult education programmes. The centre receives regular visits from association personnel whose role is to provide advice, guidance and support to centre members. The New Zealand Playcentre Federation is currently undergoing restructuring, and this has implications for CPA governance actions in the future.

The playcentre philosophy of whānau and children working together underpins centre operations and 'aims to achieve a positive learning environment for both tamariki and whānau, where there is sense of belonging and wellbeing'. Parents share responsibility for all children each session.

All members are encouraged to undertake playcentre training. Current levels of parent qualifications enable the centre to meet licencing criteria required by Early Children Education Regulations.

This review was part of a cluster of five reviews in the Counties Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

The playcentre programme provides children with an effective combination of child-initiated and parent-led activities and experiences. Parents plan and adapt the environment following daily session evaluations. These evaluations include both parents' and children's voice, and enable the programme to be responsive to children's ideas and interests.

The playcentre curriculum enable children to choose from a wide range of well-maintained, good-quality resources that are accessible throughout each session. A feature of the programme is the range of activities that promote imaginative and open-ended play, where children can explore possibilities in authentic situations. Literacy and mathematics learning are effectively integrated throughout centre environments, activities and interactions with parents. Children's learning and development is well supported through a responsive programme covering all areas of play.

Playcentre environments are set up to invite children's play and exploration. Outdoor areas include a bush area, extensive playground, a large grassed area, and vegetable and fruit gardens. The environment supports children to follow their interests and challenge their physical skills by enabling them to take risks within safe boundaries, and active exploration is encouraged and supported.

Infants are well supported with specific areas for parents and babies where it is calm and relaxed. Opportunities for infants to interact with older children and siblings, and explore the centre using appropriate resources, are also evident in the centre. Parents maintain a calm and caring pace in which infants have space and time to lead their early learning. All children benefit from a centre environment and programme that provides enjoyable and engaging contexts for play and learning.

Individual child portfolios provide an attractive record of children's involvement with the playcentre programme. Through assessment narratives in these portfolios, some parents are beginning to identify the learning that is occurring and making appropriate links to Te Whāriki (the early childhood curriculum). This is an area of ongoing development for the parents, and more use should now be made of Te Whāriki along with a focus of recognising and responding to children's learning.

Parents are at the beginning stages of enacting culturally responsive practices that promote Māori children's sense of belonging and give other children a greater understanding of their bicultural heritage. There is a large amount of bilingual signage throughout the centre. Resources and toys with a Māori theme are well integrated throughout all areas of play. Some parents use Māori words when interacting with children.

A CPA liaison worker provides effective support for supervising centre sessions. She models good practice through positive learning conversations and interactions with children and adults. A centre support worker regularly visits the centre to provide members with advice and guidance and support with aspects of playcentre training. The centre education officer has maintained continuity of day-to-day centre operations through a period of challenge and change. She is encouraging emergent leadership and building the confidence of new members as they take increasing responsibility for centre management. This shared leadership approach is contributing to centre sustainability and fostering ongoing commitment to training amongst centre members.

Centre leadership is collaborative, knowledgeable and respectful. Co-leaders bring a range of complementary skills and talents to their roles, which they use to ensure the centre runs smoothly and all families feel welcome and valued. Leaders also support parent education and have established systems to mentor new members and provide leadership opportunities for more experienced parents. This is contributing to a sense of sustainability for the service, enhancing quality for children and supporting newer members take on leadership roles.

High levels of relational trust among members is contributing to a culture of inclusion and acceptance for parents and children. Children benefit from this strong child-focused approach to leadership as members continually develop as early childhood educators. Parents are continuing to develop bicultural practices and this is a priority for further development.

Parents meet regularly to review a broad range of association policies to ensure practices are consistent with regulatory requirements and association expectations. This thorough approach and attention to monitoring the environment, contributes to a safe and healthy centre for children and parents. Parents also undertake effective spontaneous self review. This enables evidence-based decisions to be made about improving some aspects of the programme and environment.

Many parents are engaging children in effective learning conversations that acknowledge and support children's learning. They skilfully notice opportunities to become involved with children's play and exploration. These deliberate conversations are supporting the development of children's oral language, extending their ideas. Adults' interactions with children also play an important part in developing children's problem solving and thinking skills.

A useful strategic plan has been developed that identifies centre priorities and associated goals in order to achieve the centre's vision. This plan requires further development to provide a documented basis for more planned and strategic self review. This development is necessary to establish a more deliberate, documented and planned approach to improving the service for children and parents.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that they now need to strengthen the following areas:

  • Strategic planning and self-review: Strategic and annual planning need to be strengthened so that these processes provide a sound foundation for ongoing review and improvement. There needs to be stronger links between the strategic and annual plan with a greater emphasis on ongoing curriculum improvement.

  • Te ao Māori: Parents should investigate ways to include aspects of local Māori history and sites of significance in the programme. This is necessary to enhance Māori children's sense of identity and belonging, and further promote New Zealand's bicultural partnership.

  • Assessment, planning and evaluation: Individual child portfolios contain a good record of children's play and interests. Further development of the way parents recognise children's learning and plan to add complexity to this learning is now required. This likely to enable parents to show how each child's learning is progressing over time, and provide useful information about programme planning and effectiveness.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that CPA:

  • develops strategies to ensure that its centre members are kept up-to-date with obligations and expectations in relation to current regulatory requirements and policies. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Karaka 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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance.

  • The service provider must ensure that furniture or equipment that could topple or cause injury or damage is secured.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS6]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Karaka Playcentre will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

30 June 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

Counties Manukau

Ministry of Education profile number

25203

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

28 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

32

Gender composition

Girls 17 Boys 15

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Others

10
20
2

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

30 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

April 2014

Education Review

October 2010

Education Review

May 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 Karaka Playcentre

How well placed is Karaka 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

Karaka Playcentre provides for up to twenty-eight children and their families in Karaka, South Auckland. The centre is cooperatively managed by centre members. The centre offers three general sessions each week, when children attend with their parents, and two extended sessions for a small group of children over the age of three. The Playcentre philosophy of whānau and children learning together underpins centre operations.

Karaka Playcentre is one of seventeen centres in the Counties Playcentre Association, which provides a management and policy framework for centre operations. Liaison workers and other elected Association officers provide support for centres. Association members deliver the Playcentre adult education programme to help whānau develop their understanding about children’s learning.

Good quality practices identified in ERO’s 2010 report remain evident. In the past three years, a group of experienced and newer members have worked together to further improve the quality of teaching and learning, curriculum implementation and long-term planning systems.

This review was part of a cluster of four playcentre reviews in the Counties Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Supportive relationships amongst families and a high ratio of adults to children contribute to a nurturing centre environment in which children and their families feel a sense of belonging and community. Children are relaxed, confident and relate well with each other and with adults. They initiate and sustain independent and cooperative play. Children of all ages play together and are thoughtful and considerate of each other.

Learning environments are well resourced, providing many opportunities for children’s imaginative and physical play. Children choose from a wide variety of activities and play spaces. A recently developed ‘wilderness area’ offers an inviting natural area for exploration and play. Adults know children well and skilfully provide them with opportunities to extend and develop their play. They allow children with the space and time to think and reflect as they play.

The centre has an effective, child-centred process for planning, assessment and evaluation. Children’s profiles provide a valuable record of their developing interests, learning, and interactions with others over time. Assessment of children’s learning is well documented through learning stories in their portfolios. Members who are skilled in writing learning stories model this assessment practice for others.

Centre members are developing their awareness of and confidence in bicultural practice, led by their bicultural officer. Te reo and tikanga Māori are actively promoted through the programme and centre routines as part of a planned, ongoing improvement focus.

Good processes support smooth transitions for children into the centre and on to school. Productive relationships with local schools ensure that children are confident and well prepared for their move to school.

The centre benefits from enthusiastic, motivated leadership and management. Members work collaboratively to promote a high level of engagement and belief in the centre’s vision. They are regularly involved in Playcentre training. Established mentoring systems have resulted in a confident group of members who are strategic and reflective in their approach to centre development. Focused and purposeful self review contributes to a culture of continued improvement and ongoing sustainability.

Association management practices are well established. Self review involves centre members and contributes to decision making. A strategic review is currently underway, with a view to streamlining Association systems and practices and making them more manageable for centre members. This review could also consider how liaison workers could help centres to establish effective strategic and annual planning and strengthen their self-review practices.

Key Next Steps

Centre members and ERO agree that next steps for Karaka Playcentre include:

  • reviewing the philosophy to better reflect the collaboratively developed vision for the centre
  • developing an annual plan to support the implementation of strategic goals
  • exploring ways in which cultural diversity can be promoted and reflected in the programme and centre environment.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

30 April 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

Karaka, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25203

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

28 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

35

Gender composition

Boys 26

Girls 9

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

1

34

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:3 (1:5 for extended sessions)

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

30 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2010

 

Education Review

May 2007

 

Education Review

March 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.