Whangamata Playcentre

Education institution number:
32015
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
18
Telephone:
Address:

99 Achilles Avenue, Whangamata

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Whangamata Playcentre - 13/10/2016

1 Evaluation of Whangamata Playcentre

How well placed is Whangamata 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

Whangamata Playcentre is a sessional centre providing education and care for children from birth to school age. The centre is a parent cooperative and is licensed for 25 children, including up to 12 under two years of age. At the time of this ERO review, 20 children were enrolled, including five who identify as Māori. Members are committed to providing a fun and friendly place for both children and caregivers.

Whangamata Playcentre is one of 13 centres governed by the umbrella organisation known as Thames Valley/Coromandel Playcentre Association (TVCPA) affiliated to the New Zealand Playcentre Federation. The centres in this association cover a wide geographical area, which presents challenges for both the governance/management body and individual centres. The centre’s philosophy is to foster learning through play in a rich, stimulating environment, in which children and adults are empowered to work, learn and grow together

Since the 2013 ERO review there have been improvements to both the indoor and outside learning environments. An increased number of parents studying the courses available has resulted in greater collective understanding of early childhood care and education in the centre. There is a continuing focus on child-led play, and identifying children’s strengths and interests to meet individual learning needs.

The centre has responded positively to the areas for review and development in the 2013 ERO report that relate to improving learning outcomes for children in the programme. Little progress has been made with the integration of te reo and tikanga Māori throughout the centre.

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

The Review Findings

The centre benefits from the dedication of experienced centre members who work collaboratively to effectively lead centre operations and the programme for children. They provide a co-operative leadership with clear roles and responsibilities and communicate well with each other and the community. Parents’ strengths and abilities are well used to provide good role models to benefit children’s learning. Effective leadership by parent members is contributing to positive learning experiences for children.

Positive and affirming interactions between parents and children contribute to a settled inclusive environment. Children participate in sustained individual and group learning experiences. Children of different ages play well together.

The centre provides a wide range of learning opportunities in a well-organised and resourced environment. Children move freely between indoor and outdoor activities that promote active exploration. They are secure and happy, and demonstrate a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging.

Suitably planned areas of play cater well for children’s interests and physical development. Other aspects of the programme that support children’s learning and sense of themselves as capable and confident learners include, high quality portfolios that clearly show children’s progress and achievements, the effective integration of literacy and numeracy, and regular opportunities for children to make links with the wider community. Children are engaged in meaningful and enjoyable learning experiences and benefit from a positive and exciting environment with many opportunities to play.

The TVCP provides overall guidance, support and clear policies, procedures and guidelines for self review, assessment, planning and evaluation. Playcentre workshops help parents establish strategies and practices that ensure positive educational outcomes for children. Parents recognise that evaluation of the programme and formalising self-review processes are areas for continued development.

At the time of this ERO review the TVCP was in the process of considering changes to the governance and management structure of the organisation. This is likely to present an opportunity for further review and improvement to communication and support for centres.

Key Next Steps

Centre members and ERO acknowledge the need to:

  • strengthen the extension and complexity of older children's learning

  • continue to develop the confidence of centre members to include aspects of Māori culture and language in the centre programme

  • continue to develop a strategic and annual plan.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

13 October 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

Whangamata, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

32015

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll

20

Gender composition

Boys 12 Girls 8

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

5

15

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

13 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

May 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.

Whangamata Playcentre - 01/05/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Whangamata Playcentre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

Whangamata Playcentre is a parent cooperative that operates under the umbrella of Thames Valley/Coromandel Playcentre Association. The centre is located next to Whangamata Area School, and has maintained a close relationship with the school. It is licensed to provide three sessions a week for children from birth to school age. At the time of this ERO review, the majority of children attending were under three years of age. The centre’s philosophy is to foster learning through play in a rich, stimulating environment, in which children and adults are empowered to work, learn and grow together.

Members receive effective association support. This includes valuable administrative and educational leadership provided by a very knowledgeable liaison officer, as well as financial, property and personnel management support. The association has also assisted members to maintain funded sessions despite a short-term drop in playcentre training levels. Ongoing implementation of a plan to increase training levels should assist members to independently meet funding requirements and to increase members’ collective understanding of best practice in early childhood education.

Members have made substantial progress in addressing the recommendations in the 2010 ERO report. They have significantly improved the quality of assessment, planning and evaluation, self-review practices and the centre’s relationship with the association. Members have extended the covered outdoor area and created more open, visible and spacious indoor play areas with improved child access to resources. They have reorganised many areas of play and have provided a safer area for babies and toddlers.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in six early childhood education services within the Thames Valley/Coromandel Playcentre Association umbrella organisation.

Review Findings

Children enjoy positive, respectful and responsive interactions with a wide variety of adults and peers of different ages. The older children play well together and often initiate cooperative and imaginative play. Toddlers actively explore the environment and learn by playing alongside and observing older peers. Babies respond with enthusiasm and delight when interacting with children and adults. Children are confident communicators and display high levels of trust and belonging at the centre.

The programme reflects parents’ understanding of playcentre philosophy and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Members skilfully foster children’s independence and creativity, and the development of language, social and physical skills. They support children’s emerging interests by making suggestions and providing additional resources and equipment. Some parents are particularly skilled at encouraging children to problem solve and think for themselves.

Parents have made effective use of self review to improve the quality of portfolios and collective planning to cater for children’s emerging interests. Several portfolios document the development of children’s strengths and interests over time. Members could further reflect on the purpose of portfolios, strengthening strategies to support each other to use observations more consistently to identify children’s learning, interests, and ways to explore these further.

Families are very committed to sharing leadership and other responsibilities. They work well as a team and benefit from each other’s knowledge, skills and experience. Decision making is enhanced by the liaison officer’s identification of issues and professional advice. Members have recently implemented a system of self review. This system places a strong emphasis on extending and improving learning outcomes for children.

The recent restructuring of the association has had positive outcomes for this centre. These include:

  • increased parent participation in strategic decision making at association level
  • more responsive support and oversight of financial and property management
  • members devoting more time to learning and playing with their children, and completing playcentre training.

Key Next Steps

ERO agrees with the liaison officer and centre leaders that the next steps for members are to:

  • review the integration of te reo Māori and literacy, mathematical and scientific concepts in the programme and learning environment,
  • continue to review challenges and opportunities for exploration for children , especially in the outdoor and under two areas
  • make learning more visible for children
  • develop action plans for improvement with clear criteria to evaluate their effectiveness in improving outcomes for children.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the management of Whangamata 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:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

1 May 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Whangamata

Ministry of Education profile number

32015

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

27

Gender composition

Girls 15 Boys 12

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Maori

23

4

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:2

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:2

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

1 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2010

June 2007

May 2004

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.