The Gardens Early Childhood Education

Education institution number:
25401
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
91
Telephone:
Address:

153 Hill Road, Manurewa, Auckland

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1 ERO’s Judgements

Akarangi | Quality Evaluation evaluates the extent to which this early childhood service has the learning and organisational conditions to support equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners. Te Ara Poutama- indicators of quality for early childhood education: what matters most (PDF 3.01MB) are the basis for making judgements about the effectiveness of the service in achieving equity and excellence for all learners. The Akarangi Quality Evaluation Judgement Rubric (PDF 91.30KB) derived from the indicators, is used to inform the ERO’s judgements about this service’s performance in promoting equity and excellence.

ERO’s judgements for The Gardens Early Childhood Education are as follows:

Outcome Indicators

ERO’s judgement

What the service knows about outcomes for learners

Whakaū Embedding

Ngā Akatoro Domains

ERO’s judgement

He Whāriki Motuhake

The learner and their learning

Whakaū Embedding

Whakangungu Ngaio

Collaborative professional learning builds knowledge and capability

Whakaū Embedding

Ngā Aronga Whai Hua

Evaluation for improvement

Whāngai Establishing

Kaihautū

Leaders foster collaboration and improvement

Whakaū Embedding

Te Whakaruruhau

Stewardship through effective governance and management

Whakaū Embedding

2 Context of the Service

The Gardens Early Childhood Education is one of three centres under the same ownership. The centre has five areas for different age groups of children. Families and teachers reflect the diverse cultures in the community. Thirteen percent of children attending the service are Māori.

Children’s positive relationships with kaiako and the sound governance practices identified in the 2018 ERO report continue to be evident.

3 Summary of findings

Children up to two years of age, experience a calm and relaxing environment. Flexible routines are provided by responsive kaiako who respect children’s preferences and choices. The development of older children’s growing social competence is intentionally fostered by kaiako and managers. They demonstrate care and concern for others and the environment. Children with additional learning needs are well supported.

Managers make explicit their expectation that kaiako implement a bicultural curriculum. Kaiako integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into day-to-day teaching. Managers and kaiako acknowledge and respect children’s cultural identities and promote inclusive practices with all children.

Planning and assessment practices are based on a kaupapa Māori approach to learning. Kaiako provide parents with opportunities to share their aspirations for their children’s learning at enrolment and through their children’s time at the centre. Kaiako should continue to analyse and use children’s assessment information to consistently inform curriculum planning and evaluation practices.

Shared leadership and mentoring opportunities are contributing to kaiako knowledge and capability. A thoughtful process of long term and spontaneous internal evaluation is well aligned with kaiako individual research inquiries. These processes are used by kaiako to grow their knowledge, challenge their professional thinking and make improvements to teaching practices.

The service provider and managers use their individual strengths and passions to operate the service effectively. A culture of positivity and high relational trust supports the retention of staff. Managers and kaiako collaboratively enact the service’s philosophy and work towards implementing its strategic goals.

4 Improvement actions

The Gardens Early Childhood Education will include the following actions in its Quality Improvement Planning:

  • to continue to build kaiako capability to implement and evaluate the curriculum in relation to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and outcomes for tamariki
  • to continue to strengthen kaiako inquiry into the effectiveness of their practice by asking themselves “what works and why”, to enable improved teaching that positively impacts on outcomes for children
  • to implement a process to monitor and evaluate the progress of the service’s strategic goals and priorities.

5 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Gardens Early Childhood Education 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 | Te Tai Raki

20 May 2021 

6 About the Early Childhood Service

Early Childhood Service Name The Gardens Early Childhood Education
Profile Number 25401
Location Manurewa

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

120 children, including up to 35 aged under 2.

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Service roll

104

Ethnic composition

Māori 13%
NZ European/Pākehā 30%
Indian 26%
Chinese 9%
Samoan 5%
Middle Eastern 4%
other Pacific 7%
other ethnic groups 6%

Review team on site

November 2020

Date of this report

20 May 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, February 2018

Education Review, December 2014

1 Evaluation of The Gardens Early Childhood Education

How well placed is The Gardens Early Childhood Education 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 Gardens Early Childhood Education in Hill Road is one of a group of three centres owned by The Gardens Early Childhood Education Limited. This centre provides full day education and care for up to 120 children, including up to 35 under two years old. Children are organised into five age related groups with separate outdoor areas, but the two oldest groups mix together at most times. The centre caters for a culturally diverse community. The large teaching team reflects this diversity.

An experienced leadership team provides support and guidance for the group of centres. Leaders have established a management framework and overarching policies and procedures to guide centre practices. They delegate many day-to-day responsibilities to team leaders in each room. Several recent staff changes have resulted in most teams being in a developmental phase.

A shared philosophy of encouraging children to work at their own pace, make choices and learn self-help skills, underpins the curriculum. There is also recognition of parents' role as primary caregivers and partners in children's learning.

Sixteen staff members, including the group assistant manager, are registered teachers. An external mentor supports many provisionally registered teachers with their development. She is building team leaders' capacity to appraise teachers' practice. Teachers are supported to participate in many professional development opportunities to improve culturally responsive practices and to become reflective practitioners.

In 2014 ERO identified several positive features of the service. Inclusive and caring relationships enabled children to settle well and participate in opportunities to extend their explorations and sensory experiences. ERO recommended that teachers review the impact of formal aspects of the programme, continue to strengthen programme planning, and build their confidence in relation to te āo Māori. Teachers have continued to work on their practices in these areas.

This review was part of a cluster of three reviews in The Gardens Early Childhood Education Limited organisation.

The Review Findings

Children play enthusiastically in the centre. They have positive relationships with teachers, and are developing social skills as they play cooperatively with their peers. Children know about making choices from prepared resources and activities, and benefit from good access to interesting outdoor environments. They are becoming familiar with te āo Māori through waiata, karakia and cultural activities. Children's family cultures are also valued and respected. Several children with additional learning needs are welcomed and supported well by the centre.

Infants and toddlers enjoy nurturing care and benefit from very good adult to child ratios. They are encouraged to develop their independence, and they confidently explore suitable resources that are easily accessible to them. They regularly visit older children as they develop their mobility and social skills. Strong links between rooms enable children to transition easily through the centre.

Older children in the large space known as PTK (Pukeko, Tui, Kiwi) work together capably in small groups, communicate well with each other and make suggestions about games and resources they want. Most willingly participate in a daily set group time, but these activities do not always effectively engage children in learning. Teachers should reflect on the extent to which this hour-long session is purposeful in supporting children's independent investigations and whether intended learning concepts are being shared with children.

Teachers work alongside children and support them to make choices and access resources. Children respond well to this attention and want adults to be part of their play. Teachers converse enthusiastically with children and some use questions well to encourage children's ideas and help them to solve problems. Teachers could now think about the extent to which the PTK environments support children to lead their own learning.

Teachers continue to develop their planning, assessment and evaluation processes. They have recently increased their focus on individual children's learning dispositions which should help them to improve continuity in children's assessment portfolios. Teachers' use of Te Whatu Pōkeka (Kaupapa Māori Assessment for Learning) has provided them with greater respect for children's mana and the knowledge they bring with them.

The managers provide sound leadership for staff. They promote an inclusive environment, regularly consulting teachers and parents to involve them in decision making. Managers have fostered professional development which has encouraged teachers to undertake individual inquiries into their practices.

The Gardens Early Childhood Education Limited organisation provides sound governance for the group of three centres. Leaders model the positive relationships that underpin the organisation's philosophy and have established a culture of meaningful internal evaluation. They are committed to the ongoing professional development of staff and to maintaining inclusive environments for diverse learners.

Leaders have identified continuing teachers' mentoring and leadership development as a key priority. This should include embedding the use of Te Whatu Pōkeka, helping teachers to develop a shared understanding of child-led learning, and a review of the ways learning environments are organised. Leaders are also supporting teachers to expand links with their communities.

Key Next Steps

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

  • considering strategies to more consistently extend children's learning
  • further developing teachers' reflective practices in relation to planned internal evaluation
  • making better use of Te Whatu Pōkeka to enhance bicultural practices
  • documenting the process for growing leadership within the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Gardens Early Childhood Education 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 Gardens Early Childhood Education will be in three years.

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

13 February 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

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25401

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

120 children, including up to 35 aged under 2

Service roll

95

Gender composition

Girls       51
Boys      44

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Chinese
Cook Island Māori
Middle Eastern
Cambodian
Fijian
other Pacific Peoples
other European
other

  9
42
13
  9
  3
  3
  2
  2
  2
  2
  8

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

13 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2014

Education Review

December 2011

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.