Deanwell Playcentre

Education institution number:
33003
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
8
Telephone:
Address:

Deanwell Avenue, Deanwell, Hamilton

View on map

1 Evaluation of Deanwell Playcentre

How well placed is Deanwell 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

Deanwell Playcentre is a parent cooperative early childhood service situated in the Hamilton suburb of Deanwell. It operates under the umbrella of the Waikato Playcentre Association and caters for children aged from birth to 6 years. It is licensed for 30 children, including 15 children up to the age of two. The current roll of 15 children come from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds. In response to parent demand the centre has recently increased the number of sessions to three per week.

The centre leadership team includes a president, treasurer and secretary, all of whom are volunteers. The Waikato Playcentre Association provides a centre support worker, (CSW), who visits the playcentre on a regular basis to support the work of the volunteers. The centre operates a mixed-age group programme where all children play together regardless of age. Parents at the centre are active in gaining the qualifications offered by the association. This increases their understanding of how children play and learn. The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO. They have made good progress in responding to the recommendations of the 2012 ERO report.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation and the Waikato Playcentre Association (WPA) continue to provide effective governance, strategic direction, management support and adult education programmes for the centre. This support and training is underpinned by the WPA philosophy 'Whānau tupu ngātahi - families growing together'. The centre has developed its own philosophy also which is strongly aligned to that of the association.

The association’s strategic commitment to te Tiriti o Waitangi is evident in its bicultural leadership model. High value is placed on productive partnerships with Māori whānau, and funding is made available for related professional development. The association’s commitment to Ka Hikitia has resulted in clear expectations for continuing to build members’ understanding, confidence and competence in te ao Māori.

This review was part of a cluster of 8 playcentre reviews in the Waikato Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children pursue their interests and are joined by adults who foster their learning and oral language development. With the support of adults, they access resources and enthusiastically engage with the play equipment, both indoors and outdoors. There are many opportunities for them to explore and extend their physical skills in the outdoor environment.

Parents have established a warm, welcoming centre culture where manaakitanga and whanaungatanga are strongly evident. Children and adults participate in the growing, preparing and sharing of kai that enhances a sense of belonging and wellbeing for children and their whānau. Families of diverse cultures are actively included as part of the centre family.

The use of te reo Māori is highly evident and aspects of tikanga Māori are promoted. The centre actively participates in Māori cultural events organised by the association, such as Matariki and the annual hāngi. The importance of making whakapapa connections is acknowledged and followed up for all new families.

The centre programme is strongly underpinned by the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. There is a good balance between child initiated and parent led activities. Art and creativity, extending physical coordination and skills, participating in waiata and music, and learning about the local community and children's place within it are evident within the curriculum. Literacy and numeracy are naturally integrated throughout all learning activities.

Through their commitment to ongoing upskilling via playcentre development programmes, parents have a good understanding of how children learn through play. They use Te Whāriki as a basis for identifying and responding to children's learning. A recent focus on appropriate activities to support and extend older children has led to improved outcomes for this group. Positive relationships with the adjacent primary school are enhancing children's transition to school.

Parent members engage in meaningful discussions about children's learning at end-of-session evaluations and centre meetings. They plan to extend and add complexity to children's play in response to children's current interests. Despite the challenges of time and resources for busy parents, there are examples of high quality records of children's learning and development.

Parents use a range of spontaneous and strategic self-review to bring about ongoing centre improvement. Their current self-review topic on the role of the adult in playcentre is relevant and already leading to improvement.

Centre leaders have overcome challenges in working as a team and, with the support of the CSW, they have responded positively to professional development in effective relationships and communication. They now give and receive positive feedback, collaboratively organise, problem solve, complete playcentre tasks, and effectively promote the playcentre in the wider community. This has led to a recent increase in membership and clearer understandings and expectations, and ensured that the centre is sustainable for the future.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that they should:

  • continue to strengthen parent capacity in te reo Māori so that they can have short, authentic conversations with their children in Māori

  • explore the curriculum with an emphasis on local Māori history and surrounding areas

  • continue to enrich the programme for children in the area of healthy food and healthy eating

  • continue to deepen members understanding of effective self-review processes

  • use self review to make ongoing improvements to the presentation of the indoor environment, including the provision of quiet spaces for infants.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

10 June 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

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

33003

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

16

Gender composition

Girls 6 Boys 10

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

5

8

3

Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

10 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2012

Education Review

June 2009

Education Review

May 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.

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Deanwell Playcentre is a sessional education and care service located in Hamilton and catering for children from birth to school age. The centre operates under the umbrella of the Waikato Playcentre Association.

The playcentre aims to support parents as the first and most important educator of their children. The playcentre’s philosophy statement acknowledges that children learn through child-initiated play, along with the promotion of positive social behaviours.

Since the previous ERO review, the centre has continued to focus on developing the use of te reo Māori, appointed a centre support worker, and replaced and improved resources and fixed assets.

Playcentre members have successfully created an inclusive and harmonious atmosphere. Children are increasingly gaining confidence in socialising with a range of people and their peers. Positive and affirming relationships are strongly evident between adults and children.

Centre families prepare an interesting and stimulating learning environment that enables children to initiate their own play. There is good flow between the indoor and outdoor areas and the centre continues to naturally integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into the programme.

Parents place importance on children having the opportunity to learn in the wider community. Children can visit and socialise with peers and teachers at the adjacent school and enjoy organised excursions to areas of interest in the local district.

The association provides a range of helpful guidelines and support for playcentre parents. The liaison officer visits regularly and encourages parents to undertake relevant training.

Parents are committed to ongoing improvement to the quality of education and care of children. Programme evaluation encourages parents to reflect on activities provided for children. These evaluations now need to have an increased focus on children’s learning and detail how activities have contributed to learning outcomes.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Deanwell Playcentre was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atDeanwell Playcentre.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

Deanwell Playcentre is a sessional education and care service located in Hamilton and catering for children from birth to school age. The centre operates under the umbrella of the Waikato Playcentre Association and is licensed for 30 children including 17 under twos. The current roll consists of children from 21 families.

Deanwell Playcentre’s philosophy values:

  • child-initiated play;
  • parents as first educators;
  • a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi;
  • quality resources and equipment in a safe facility;
  • nurturing relationships and learning experiences through play;
  • continuous adult self review of teaching practice; and
  • welcoming all children, whānau/families.

Since the previous ERO review the centre has continued to focus on developing te reo Māori, appointed a centre support worker, and replaced and improved resources and fixed assets. They have also addressed the recommendations identified in the previous ERO report.

Areas of strength

Relationships: Positive and affirming relationships are strongly evident among adults and children. Parents play alongside their own and others’ children. They are quick to recognise and respond to children’s feelings and support their emotional well-being. Children are increasingly gaining confidence in socialising with a range of adults and their peers.

Learning environment: Children are welcomed into a well prepared, interesting and stimulating learning environment. There is good indoor and outdoor flow allowing children access to a wide range of choices as they initiate their own learning. The environment fosters children’s curiosity to explore and investigate the world around them.

Family culture: Playcentre members have successfully established a team culture. They know children and their families well. New members are made to feel welcome and more experienced members share their knowledge. This collaborative approach is appreciated by members and contributes to the harmonious atmosphere at the centre.

Reflections: Session evaluations encourage parents to reflect on activities provided for children. Spontaneous ongoing discussions are effective in leading to positive outcomes for children. Parents are committed to ongoing improvement to the quality of education and care provided for children.

Programme: Children engage in and enjoy a wide variety of interesting and stimulating individual and group activities. Many opportunities are provided for imaginative play and creative experimentation. Literacy and mathematical concepts are integrated throughout the programme. Children and parents set up activities and children are free to choose their areas of interest. Parents use a variety of questioning techniques to promote learning and further support the development of children’s oral skills.

Transition to school: A feature of the playcentre is the transition to school programme. Close relationships have been developed with the neighbouring school. Regular visits to and from the school and centre assist children’s progress into school life.

Te reo and tikanga Māori: The centre continues to naturally integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into the programme. Parents are confident in using te reo Māori within their daily conversations with children. Charts and prompts support the awareness of a bicultural perspective. Children are developing an understanding and knowledge of Māori culture and language.

Areas for development and review

Assessment, planning and evaluation: While parents have developed systems and practices for assessment, planning and evaluation, they tend to focus on evaluating the quality of the activities provided for children rather than the impact the activity has on children’s learning. Additional development is needed to further include the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki in programme planning, assessment and evaluation practices.

Information, communication technologies (ICT): Currently children are experiencing limited use of ICT as a learning tool. Incorporating the development of ICT within a long-term plan for the centre should assist children to gain the appropriate skills to become competent members of a technological society.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Deanwell Playcentre completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-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; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within three years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

28 children, including up to 9 aged under 2

Roll number

28

Gender composition

Girls 16

Boys 12

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 16

New Zealand Māori 12

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

11 July 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review June 2009

Education Review May 2006

Accountability Review June 2002

11 July 2012

To the Parents and Community of Deanwell Playcentre

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Deanwell Playcentre.

Deanwell Playcentre is a sessional education and care service located in Hamilton and catering for children from birth to school age. The centre operates under the umbrella of the Waikato Playcentre Association.

The playcentre aims to support parents as the first and most important educator of their children. The playcentre’s philosophy statement acknowledges that children learn through child-initiated play, along with the promotion of positive social behaviours.

Since the previous ERO review, the centre has continued to focus on developing the use of te reo Māori, appointed a centre support worker, and replaced and improved resources and fixed assets.

Playcentre members have successfully created an inclusive and harmonious atmosphere. Children are increasingly gaining confidence in socialising with a range of people and their peers. Positive and affirming relationships are strongly evident between adults and children.

Centre families prepare an interesting and stimulating learning environment that enables children to initiate their own play. There is good flow between the indoor and outdoor areas and the centre continues to naturally integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into the programme.

Parents place importance on children having the opportunity to learn in the wider community. Children can visit and socialise with peers and teachers at the adjacent school and enjoy organised excursions to areas of interest in the local district.

The association provides a range of helpful guidelines and support for playcentre parents. The liaison officer visits regularly and encourages parents to undertake relevant training.

Parents are committed to ongoing improvement to the quality of education and care of children. Programme evaluation encourages parents to reflect on activities provided for children. These evaluations now need to have an increased focus on children’s learning and detail how activities have contributed to learning outcomes.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.

Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.

Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre 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 this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.