Ngatea Playcentre

Education institution number:
32006
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Address:

McMillan Street, Ngatea

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1 Evaluation of Ngatea Playcentre

How well placed is Ngatea Playcentre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Ngatea Playcentre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Background

Ngatea Playcentre is a parent-cooperative early childhood service, located in the township of Ngatea. Many families come from the farming community surrounding the town. The service is licensed for 24 children, including 13 up to two years of age. There are two mixed-age morning sessions per week. Most parents remain with their children and share the responsibility of supervising them and running the centre.

Since the April 2016 ERO report, the centre has made some progress in relation to the key next steps, te ao Māori and assessment, planning and evaluation. These continue to be areas to further develop.

During 2018 and 2019, Playcentre transitioned from operating as a federation, with 32 regional s that were individual legal entities, to becoming one national body, Playcentre Aotearoa. This was legally amalgamated in June 2019. Six new regional offices are moving to streamline and standardise support across the country. The Central North Island Region was created in November 2017 when eight associations merged. It covers a large geographical area with a total of 94 centres, both urban and rural.

The governing body has recently appointed a centre support worker and centre administrator to provide support for the parent-led committee of members at Ngatea Playcentre. Parent members fill the key committee roles at the playcentre.

Through its national philosophy, Playcentre Aotearoa places emphasis on 'whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together'. They empower adults and children to play, work and grow together and value and affirm parents as first and best educators of their children.

This review was part of a cluster of four reviews in the Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island region.

The Review Findings

Children have a curriculum that is informed by the knowledge, interests and skills that they and their whānau bring to the centre. Children access a wide range of planned play activities and good quality resources. Child-initiated play empowers them to explore both indoor and outdoor environments with confidence. The environment fosters children's curiosity and promotes cooperative and independent learning experiences. High adult-to-child ratios help promote children's oral language and social competency. Early literacy and numeracy support children's learning. Children develop a strong sense of belonging at the centre.

Bicultural contexts for learning, celebrations and excursions enrich the programme. Māori children are to some extent affirmed in their culture and identity. Leaders acknowledge this as an area to continue to strengthen.

Children up to the age of two are well supported by their parents and develop trusting relationships with other familiar adults. Home routines are responded to and their stages of development are nurtured.

Caring relationships with parents and trusting adults support positive learning outcomes for children. Experienced members model aspects of good practice and offer support and guidance to those new to the playcentre. Children's participation in the programme is documented in carefully presented profile books. Regular session evaluations provide useful summaries of learning and ideas for extending children's interests. The quality of assessment reflects the different levels of knowledge and experience among members. Assessment, planning and evaluation needs to be strengthened to highlight the links between children's interests, intentional planning and evaluation. Incorporating children's language, culture and identity in their learning assessment is a next step. The appointment of a centre support worker, and renewed adult training, should support this development and further strengthen members' knowledge of New Zealand's early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki.

Leadership promotes a strong sense of partnership and collaboration. There is a wide range of skills and experience among leaders. A positive team culture for learning is fostered through open communication and high levels of relational trust. Many members are engaged in training. Most office positions are filled, with some entry level roles available for new members. Leaders are focused on building capability and capacity of the centre at all levels. Induction of new members carefully outlines the roles and responsibilities of the centre. A 'duty buddy-up' system and well-planned handover process contributes to centre sustainability and improvement. Self review is spontaneous, and documentation continues to be developed. Leaders recognise the need to strengthen this area to be more strategic and aligned to the new national directives.

During the transition period there is some overlap between associations and the new national or regional systems and processes. National policies and an online management tool are currently being delivered throughout the new region. Management need to ensure that support is in place for local centres to fully implement these. A revised adult education training course has recently been offered across the region to support adults grow their capabilities and knowledge. The overarching strategic plan, philosophy and vision of Playcentre Aotearoa and individual annual plans have been implemented and guide direction.

A particular strength of Playcentre Aotearoa is the two-house model initiative for governance. Te Whare Tikanga Māori promotes self-determination for Māori members. This national initiative is yet to impact on practice for Māori learners at Ngatea Playcentre as members continue to strengthen bicultural practice.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for Ngatea Playcentre are to continue to strengthen:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation to make clear the links between children's interests, planning and evaluation

  • te reo me ngā tikanga Māori practices and knowledge of local Māori history and legends to enrich the curriculum

  • members' shared knowledge and understanding of New Zealand's early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki.

Recommendation

New support and professional development is in place for the centre. Those in governance and local members should continue to strengthen their relationships and align systems and processes to the new national directives.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ngatea 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.

In order to improve practice, ongoing vigilance and monitoring of potential hazards is needed. Since the on-site phase of ERO's evaluation, the playcentre has provided evidence that items that could topple and electric sockets are secured. Additionally, members should seek advice from Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island and/or the Ministry of Education about plants on site that could be unsafe for children at certain times of the year.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

9 December 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

Ngatea

Ministry of Education profile number

32006

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

24 children, including up to 13 aged under 2

Service roll

36

Gender composition

Male 26 Female 10

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Other

32

4

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

9 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2016

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

February 2010

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 Ngatea Playcentre

How well placed is Ngatea 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

Ngatea Playcentre is a long established, parent cooperative, early childhood service operating under the umbrella of the Thames Valley/Coromandel Playcentre Association (TVCPA). The centre is located in Ngatea township. It is licensed to cater for 24 children including 13 children under two years of age. At the time of this ERO review there were 26 children on the roll. Parents remain with their children and share the responsibility of supervising two mixed-age, morning sessions each week.

The centre environment is well maintained and provides spacious indoor and outdoor spaces for learning and play. Many families come from the farming community surrounding the town and this has an impact on the roll at peak times of the year.

Since the 2013 ERO report a new committee and centre president were elected in October 2015. A long-standing centre leader and supervisor retired at the end of 2015. Improvements to the indoor and outdoor environment have enhanced learning and care for adults and children.

Since the previous Education Review in 2013 TVCPA has undergone a complete restructuring. It has employed key personnel to undertake the day-to-day management of the association and centres. This change has allowed the governance board to plan more strategically, effectively manage their finances, property, personnel and health and safety requirements. There are 13 centres in the TVCPA covering a wide geographical area which presents challenges for both the governance/ management body and individual centres. All members participate in coursework provided by TVCPA which contributes to maintaining the quality of sessions for children.

Centre members aim to provide a service where children learn through play, encouraged and supported by adults who are constantly increasing their knowledge and understanding of children's learning and development. These values were highly evident at the time of this ERO review.

This review was part of a cluster of six playcentre reviews in the Thames Valley/Coromandel Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Thames Valley/Coromandel Playcentre Association provides effective and responsive governance and management for the centre. Children are confident and courageous explorers. They freely investigate the interesting and inviting environment that fosters their curiosity and promotes their competence as independent learners. Adults affirm children's successes and guide them with gentle and positive strategies to build appropriate social skills in a mixed-age setting.

Infants and children up to two years old benefit from being with their parents/whanau, maintaining familiar routines and being able to observe and interact with their siblings, cousins and older children. They experience nurture and care from other adults. Parents appreciate the shared responsibility and the opportunities to interact with other children and complete centre duties. Centre members have created a designated area with specialised equipment for infants which enhances learning for them in a quiet, safe space.

Older children follow their interests, engage in role playing with friends and make independent choices about their play. Active learners and boys are well catered for in an environment that reflects the farming contexts of many homes. A natural wilderness area with native trees and a fire pit add interest and complexity to play. A particular strength is the well-equipped 'tool shed' where children can be creative, build constructions to enhance their play, and experience challenge. ERO observed children engaging in complex role play and making use of their knowledge of the world around them in sustained and imaginative play. Trips and excursions to places of local interest increase children's understanding of their local community.

Adults include early concepts of number, literacy and natural science in their conversations and activities with children. Children's early writing skills and creativity are acknowledged and displayed throughout the centre. Routines are flexible and responsive to individual needs. Sharing food provides an opportunity to learn kai karakia, experience reading together and enjoy sociable times as a group. Parents report that meaningful and positive relationships with new entrant teachers have resulted in children confidently making the transition to a familiar learning environment at school.

Aspects of the centre programme are documented and attractively displayed in the centre. Recently reviewed planning and assessment processes include displaying the goals and interests of individual children. This approach supports adults to know children well, be aware of their interests and contribute to supporting their progress. Adults document children's participation in the centre programme in carefully presented profile books. Regular session evaluations provide useful summaries of learning and ideas for extending children's interests. These evaluations are contributing to continuity across sessions. Assessment, planning and evaluation reflects the growing understanding of adults as they progress through levels of playcentre training.

Centre members made good use of self review to identify the need for knowledgeable support to build their understanding and inclusion of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori practices. They sought support from the Māori Department at Hauraki Plains College. This resulted in competent college students visiting the centre and sharing waiata and poi making with centre members and children.

A particular strength of the centre is the ongoing mentoring, support and guidance from a dedicated and experienced liaison officer. She visits the centre regularly, is a good role model, makes herself available for advice and information sharing and provides members with documented and relevant feedback. This is contributing to centre sustainability and improvement.

Centre leaders are knowledgeable, qualified and experienced. They share their expertise and model good practice to benefit the life of the centre. New members are skilfully introduced to playcentre philosophy and expectations through a well-planned and thoughtful induction process. Good use is made of digital technology to enhance communication with the wider community and keep members well informed and up to date.

Adults are highly cooperative and supportive of each other and their children. They take shared responsibility for centre roles and effectively manage the strategic direction and day-to-day operation of the centre. There are good strategies in place to maintain contact with past experienced members and centre sustainability is strengthened by sound succession planning.

Centre members have established positive and respectful relationships with local schools and the business community and they benefit from their generous support and positive profile in the neighbourhood.

Key Next Steps

There would be benefit in centre members developing, documenting and implementing a manageable cycle of assessment, planning and evaluation that links current documents and displays more coherently.

It is now important for adults to seek support from Puriri Whakamaru o Hauraki members to:

  • further support children to learn about the history of local hapū and iwi through meaningful experiences and stories

  • continue to build the confidence and competence of centre members to increase their knowledge and use of te reo and include this in meaningful contexts during sessions.

In addition, supporting families to further share their language, cultural and identity and to include these in meaningful ways will enrich the programme for all.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

14 April 2016

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

Ngatea, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

32006

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

24 children, including up to 13 aged under 2

Service roll

26

Gender composition

Girls 17 Boys 9

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

26

Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

14 April 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

February 2010

Education Review

June 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.