Tots Love Country

Education institution number:
34122
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
38
Telephone:
Address:

Tots Love Country 16 O'Brien Road, RD9, Rotokauri

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Tots Love Country - 14/04/2020

1 Evaluation of Tots Love Country

How well placed is Tots Love Country to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Tots Love Country is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Tots Love Country education and care centre is a privately owned service located in rural surrounds near to the Hamilton Zoo. It is licensed for 30 children including 10 children under the age of two years. The current roll of 40 includes 6 children who identify as Māori. The teaching team are made up of all qualified and registered staff.

Through the centre's vision and philosophy, teachers aim to develop caring relationships with children and their families helping them learn, thrive, foster independence, and to grow holistically.

The centre continues to operate under the governance and management of the owners and centre manager. There have been a number of changes to teaching staff since the previous education review in 2017.

Management and teachers have undertaken professional development to further their knowledge and understanding to plan for ways to extend children’s learning.

The Review Findings

Children experience positive and affirming interactions with their teachers. They are well supported to be successful learners through a key teacher approach. Teachers are attuned to the variety of ways children express and explore their working theories. They plan and provide children with relevant learning opportunities in a mixed-aged setting. Children benefit from individualised routines and form secure attachments with familiar caring adults. Children’s social competence is supported through positive and consistent guidance strategies. Relationships between families and teachers are affirming, respectful and highly valued in a family-like environment. The centre has appropriate processes in place to support children with additional needs. Children enjoy learning in meaningful contexts that promotes their wellbeing and excitement for learning.

Deliberate and meaningful learning experiences promote positive learning outcomes for children. The spacious purpose-built environment is equipped to provide children with a range of physical challenges. Children have good opportunities to observe, interact and learn sustainable practices, environmental responsibility, and care for animals. Literacy, mathematics and science are naturally woven throughout the programme. Tuakana teina relationships are a valuable and nurtured part of the centres mixed age environment. Teachers need to further develop their knowledge and use of te reo and te ao Māori and include in curriculum and assessment documentation. Positive transitions into and out of the centre support children's confidence and sense of belonging. Children enjoy learning in a variety of meaningful contexts.

Leadership promotes a positive culture for teaching and learning. Surveys of parents are used to gather information to inform improvement and change. A range of professional learning opportunities are undertaken to support the teachers' professional development. Assessment and planning processes are being refined based on individual children's interests. Emphasis should now be placed on demonstrating children's progress in a range of contexts over time that are aligned with parent aspirations.

Governance and management have effective systems and practices to support ongoing improvement of the service. There is clear alignment between the strategic direction and centre annual plans. The appraisal process enables management to identify priorities for improving and growing teaching practice. There is a need for management to improve this process by further including Teaching Council Standards into the appraisal summary. Internal evaluation is improvement focused. This should now be used to measure the effectiveness of learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Leadership and teachers should strengthen aspects of assessment planning and evaluation.

This includes:

  • increasing the collection and use of parents' aspirations to plan for children’s learning

  • explicit planning of children's next steps to support continuity of learning

  • improved internal evaluation to further explore changes in teaching practice and consider how well these changes contribute to improved learning outcomes for children

  • developing the capability of teachers implementation of te ao Maori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tots Love Country 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 relating to health and safety. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • securing heavy furniture, fixtures, and equipment that could fall or topple and cause serious injury or damage are secured.
    Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood and care Centres 2008, HS6.

Since the on-site phase of the review, members have provided ERO with evidence of action taken in securing furniture (HS6).

In order to improve practice management and leadership need to include the Teaching Council Standards and associated criteria in teachers' appraisal processes and documentation.

Darcy Te Hau Acting

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

14 April 2020

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

Rotokauri, Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

34122

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

40

Gender composition

Male 19 Female 21

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
South East Asian

6
32
1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2020

Date of this report

14 April 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2017

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

July 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

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.

Tots Love Country - 15/02/2017

1 Evaluation of Tots Love Country

How well placed is Tots Love Country 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

Tots Love Country education and care centre is a privately owned centre located in well-presented, safe and attractive rural surrounds near to the Hamilton Zoo. It is licensed to provide education and care for 30 children including up to 10 under two years. The centre operates in a mixed-age setting between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm on week days. At the time of this ERO review the roll had increased to 39 children including 15 children aged under two years and 3 Māori children.

The centre continues to operate under the governance and management of the owners and centre manager. Since the 2014 ERO review, a new manager was appointed and there have been a number of changes to teaching staff.

With support from ERO and the Ministry of Education an action plan was developed and documented in 2014. The actions have been effectively implemented to address the areas requiring improvement identified in the 2014 ERO report. During the past two years, the centre has benefitted from:

  • focussed leadership

  • supportive governance

  • professional support and guidance from the Ministry of Education

  • the commitment of teachers to participate in ongoing, relevant, whole-staff professional learning.

This has resulted in significant improvements to the areas for development identified in the 2014 ERO report related to strategic direction, self review, strengthening bicultural practices and improving the quality of assessment and evaluation, particularly for individual children.

In addition, wide consultation led to a review of the vision, philosophy, and the development of a new visual logo to reflect these. The centre aims to grow confident, independent learners to embrace papatūānuku and reflect a holistic approach to valuing the place of whānau. 

The Review Findings

Tots Love Country is well placed to provide positive outcomes for children.

Children benefit from the opportunity to play and learn in a mixed-age setting alongside siblings. There is a strong, whānau-based culture for learning. Bicultural practices are consistently integrated in the programme. Children enjoy sharing karakia, kai, waiata, stories of local significance to Maori. They benefit from tuakana-teina relationships and the recognition of the strengths they bring. Papatūānuku is visible, valued and meaningfully included in the life of the centre. A good example of this is children regularly gathering eggs from the chickens, using these for cooking, and sharing at kai time. Leftover food is fed to centre pets. This approach is building children's knowledge about sustainability, and experiences that are building children's knowledge about their cultural heritage and Aotearoa New Zealand.

There are rich opportunities for children to learn about literacy and mathematics in meaningful and wide-ranging contexts. A particular feature is the specialised carpentry and construction area built for the centre by a skilled builder. Teachers and children benefit from working alongside trained craftsmen and learning useful techniques for construction. The life of the surrounding rural environment is carefully integrated into the programme where children are able to observe seasonal farming activities.

An effective review of centre routines has resulted in a flexible approach, which is promoting children's ability to make choices and engage in sustained play. Children are encouraged to explore, experiment, discover, imagine and create in a spacious, well-planned natural environment.

Children up to the age of two years are sensitively included in play and learning alongside their siblings and older children. Experienced teachers offer responsive care and nurture, and support infants to maintain familiar routines from home. Good communication strategies promote continuity of care between home and the centre for very young children.

A calm and respectful environment contributes to the wellbeing of children identified with special needs. Teachers work in professional partnership with specialist agencies. Children are settled and actively involved in play alongside their peers and teachers.

Teachers are collaborative and reflective. They meet regularly to share:

  • assessment, planning, and evaluation of children's learning and development, centred about individual children's strengths and interests
  • planned and spontaneous reviews of centre practice and organisation
  • professional learning and dialogue.

Intentional, whole staff and ongoing professional learning has resulted in a positive team culture. The centre manager is a model of good practice. She has implemented strategies and initiatives that foster teamwork, knowledge of best practice, and emergent leadership. ERO observed deliberate acts of teaching that included:

  • using conversations that build children's social skills, knowledge of the wider world and oral language
  • teachers knowing children well, when to engage in their learning and when to allow for uninterrupted play
  • calm and unhurried practice
  • carefully planned and prepared environments that lead to high levels of engagement for children.

Teachers have established meaningful and constructive partnerships with families and whānau. They respond to parent aspirations for the learning and care of children. Teachers acknowledge the positive and shared culture resulting from ongoing, effective self review and a shared philosophy.

A particular strength is the commitment teachers have made to increase their knowledge and use of te reo and tikanga Māori. In addition teachers have established meaningful links with the nearby Te Papa Orotu Marae. Māori parents expressed appreciation for the warm, welcoming, and responsive approach to children and their whānau.

Centre owners and leaders have developed effective systems and processes to govern the centre. There is a good understanding of best practice in early childhood and Ministry of Education (MoE) expectations. This is evident in:

  • a clear and shared vision
  • a documented strategic plan aligned with MoE requirements
  • self-review systems informed by consultation, aligned with strategic planning and linked to best practice criteria
  • open, transparent, positive and respectful relationships amongst all stakeholders.

Under the leadership of the recently appointed centre manager, significant improvements have been made to centre operations. Particular strengths are:

  • ongoing development of professional practice
  • rigorous appraisal
  • increased understanding of culturally responsive practices
  • consistently implemented assessment, planning, and evaluation processes and expectations.

Owners, leaders, teachers, families and whānau are benefitting from clear and high expectations, a strong team culture, meaningful engagement in learning for children and an increased partnership with whānau and families.

Key Next Steps

Teachers should now plan for ways to consistently add complexity and challenge to children's learning in all areas of play. This is likely to support teachers to meet the intent of the centre's vision for growing independent and competent children. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tots Love Country 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 Tots Love Country will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

15 February 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

Rotokauri, Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

34122

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

39

Gender composition

Boys 21 Girls 18

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

3

35

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2016

Date of this report

15 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

July 2011

Education Review

June 2008

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.