Creators @ Home Auckland W & N

Education institution number:
40327
Service type:
Homebased Network
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
32
Telephone:
Address:

201 Sandwich Road, St Andrews-Hamilton, Hamilton

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1 Evaluation of Creators @ Home Auckland W & N

How well placed is Creators @ Home Auckland W & N to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Creators @ Home - Auckland W & N is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Creators @ Home - Auckland W & N is part of a national organisation that owns a range of early learning services. This network is licensed to provide care and education for 80 children, including 80 aged up to two years. Of the 36 children enrolled in this network, 18 are Māori.

This is the first review of this network, previously known as Footsteps Education. Creators Education Trust, a not for profit organisation purchased Footsteps in September 2015. The organisation worked with the Ministry of Education to meet full licensing conditions for all of its home-based services.

The organisation provides three models of support; 'At Home' where educarers care for children in private homes, 'Awhi' for caregivers of children uplifted from their families by Oranga Tamariki; and 'Awhi Whānau', for whānau caring for the children of family members. Approximately half of the children in this network are supported through the 'Awhi' model.

A national coordinator has oversight of all Creators @ Home early learning services and reports to the Chief Executive (CEO). Educarers provide education and care programmes in homes. The visiting teacher provides support, educational oversight and leadership for educators. Regular playgroup sessions for educarers and children are hosted by the visiting teacher. The visiting teacher is a fully qualified and registered early childhood teacher.

The Creators @ Home philosophy aims for children to be provided with loving, respectful, exciting and inviting learning environments that foster their holistic development. Four Pillars guide service operations and practices, they are: love and connection, nature play, the Reggio Emilia learning model and value-based learning.

This review was part of a cluster of four home-based education and care networks in the Creators Education Trust Organisation.

The Review Findings

The regional leader and visiting teachers work together as a supportive team for many vulnerable children. The Creators @ Home philosophy of home-based education and care, and the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum in service documentation, could be strengthened to enhance children's development and educational outcomes.

Inclusive, trusting partnerships guide children's learning and service development. Visiting teachers and educarers provide carefully considered transition processes for children moving into and between homes. External agencies are accessed for a range of support when needed.

Children have regular opportunities to meet and play with children across the network at playgroups. Practices for monitoring children's wellbeing, health and safety are maintained.

Visiting teachers' monthly reports record information about the children's programmes and activities, and health and safety. Children's learning stories focus on their interests and ways to extend them.

Appropriate planning and assessment practices should consistently guide programmes for children. Visiting teachers should improve documentation for curriculum assessment, planning and evaluation, to focus more on children's learning. The monthly plans could have stronger links to children's learning dispositions, developing their language, including their imaginative play and te Ao Māori. This could be useful particularly for those children under two years of age, and those with additional learning needs.

Visiting teachers take part in professional development that is relevant to the context of this new service. They could enhance this further by being more deliberate in their support and guidance of educarers' practices to effectively promote children's learning.

The service should implement a performance management policy and procedures to support the visiting teacher to improve teaching practice and curriculum leadership. This appraisal process should be updated to align with the Teaching Council's requirements.

Internal evaluation, from the strategic level to individual children's learning, is yet to develop effectively in the service. The use of evaluative questions and indicators of effective practice could add depth to this process.

Key Next Steps

The service management have identified relevant priorities for development that include:

  • making learning more visible in documented planning, assessment and evaluation to promote effective teaching practice focused on children's learning outcomes

  • strengthening the alignment of targeted professional learning and clear expectations to improve regional leader, visiting teachers and educarer capabilities to promote children's learning

  • improving internal evaluation processes to guide the service's ongoing development with the use of evaluative questions, indicators of effective practice and recommendations

  • implementing appraisal processes that align with the Teaching Council's requirements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Creators @ Home Auckland W & N completed an ERO Home-based Education and Care 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.

Actions for compliance

During the course of the review, ERO identified areas of non-compliance. To meet requirements, the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas. The owner should ensure:

  • there is a documented risk management system for excursions

  • the procedure for monitoring children's sleep is consistently implemented

  • documented assessment, planning, and evaluation that demonstrates children's learning is in place.

Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Services 2008 HS14, HS8, C2.

Recommendation

The service will provide ERO with an action plan that shows how key next steps and actions for compliance will be addressed. ERO will request progress updates.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Creators @ Home Auckland W & N will be in three years.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

1 February 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 Home-based Education and Care Service

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

40327

Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 80 aged under 2

Service roll

36

Standard or Quality Funded

Standard

Gender composition

Boys 18 Girls 18

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
other ethnic groups

18
4
14

Number of qualified coordinators in the network

2

Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2

1:2

Over 2

1:4

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

1 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Previously known as Footsteps Education

March 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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

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

Footsteps Education Ltd 40327 is a privately owned and operated home-based care service. Previously known as Linmark the service has been under new ownership and management since 2008. It caters for children up to the age of five years and includes children under the guardianship of Child, Youth and Families Services (CYFS). The network is chartered for 80 children and at the time of this review had 40 children, eight of whom identified as Māori. This is the first review for this charter.

The service is governed by an enthusiastic team, providing sound management from a central national office in Tauranga. Clear administration and policy frameworks guide network operations. A qualified and experienced regional leader provides support and professional guidance for two kaiako (registered early childhood teachers) and ensures the effective operation of the network. This team maintains positive relationships with caregivers and children and is dedicated to providing a quality service. Footsteps management have recently developed an action plan to monitor health and safety matters in caregivers homes.

Caregivers and children demonstrate caring and respectful interactions. Children are settled in their home environments, play confidently alongside caregivers and receive affection and nurture from them. Kaiako support and develop caregivers’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Aspects of children’s learning and development are recorded in Learning Journey books.

Children’s strengths and interests form the basis of their learning. They are able to explore and persist in their play in diverse indoor and outdoor environments. There are many opportunities for children to develop their early literacy and mathematical concepts. Babies and toddlers receive nurture and care in appropriate environments that contribute to their wellbeing and development.

Strategic planning and self review should now focus on improving aspects of health and safety in caregiver’s homes and enhancing learning experiences for children.

Future Action

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

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Footsteps Education Ltd 40327 was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by Footsteps Education Ltd 40327 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 service (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atFootsteps Education Ltd 40327.

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

Footsteps Education Ltd. 40327 is a chartered service established in 2008 in the Auckland region. It provides home-based education for children, including children in foster care, where Child, Youth and Family Services (CYFS) are the guardian. The service aims to provide a quality, strengths-based early childhood education. Education Review Officers visited four caregiver homes (11%) during the review. Two kaiako, who are qualified early childhood teachers, provide educational support to the caregivers and children. A regional leader has overall responsibility for the operation of the network and reports to the umbrella organisation. This is the first Education Review report for this charter.

Areas of good performance

Governance and management: The directors and management team have developed effective management systems to support service operations and professional practice. They provide clear expectations and guidelines for regional leaders, kaiako and caregivers through comprehensive documentation and open communication. A robust appraisal process provides staff with effective professional guidance. A particular strength of management is self review and the effective use made of external specialists to guide and inform the development and improvement of the service.

Professional leadership: The qualified and experienced regional leader provides effective professional guidance and support for two kaiako. They meet regularly as a group and with relevant external agencies to discuss the needs of caregivers and children in the network. This knowledgeable and competent team maintain collegial relationships as they undertake the day-to-day running of the network.

Interactions: Positive, caring and responsive interactions are evident between children, caregivers and kaiako. Children are settled in their home environments, play confidently alongside caregivers, and receive affection and nurture from them.

Kaiako skilfully include useful information in their conversations to support and develop caregivers’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They effectively model positive and encouraging interactions for learning. Kaiako use conversations with children that notice and build on their strengths and interests.

Programme: Dedicated caregivers provide a range of learning opportunities for children that:

  • are responsive to their cultural heritage;
  • include interesting and meaningful daily activities and experiences;
  • support developing literacy and mathematical concepts; and
  • build on identified strengths and interests.

Some children regularly attend early childhood centres.

Kaiako and caregivers provide extra resources and record aspects of individual children’s learning in learning journey books. These books are a record of children’s participation in activities during their time in care. Kaiako visit notes provide high quality evidence of children’s progress and development.

Learning environments: Children receive good quality care and a range of opportunities for learning in suitable and diverse home environments. Children enjoy a variety of age-appropriate resources in both indoor and outdoor settings that encourage them to make choices, explore and persist in their play. There are examples of outdoor settings that provide children with physical challenge and links to the natural world. Caregivers’ homes provide children with environments that contribute to their wellbeing and development.

Areas for development and review

Strategic planning and self review: There is a need to strengthen the documentation link between review practices and strategic planning. Particular attention should be given to:

  • documenting the linking of strategic goals to the appraisal process and professional development;
  • improving the durability of children’s learning journals/portfolio files to make them more accessible and visible;
  • reviewing the use and purpose of resources; and
  • improving quality assurance, in particular the standard of health and safety in caregivers’ homes.

Attention to these aspects should enable the service to more effectively monitor progress.

3 National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Partnerships with whānau of Māori children in early childhood services

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • this service understands and values the identity, language and culture of Māori children and their whānau, particularly when the child and whānau transition to the service;
  • managers and educators have built relationships with whānau of Māori children; and
  • this service works in partnership with whānau of Māori children.

Background

At the time of the review eight children who identify as Māori were enrolled in this service. An independent review in 2009 on staff capability and understanding resulted in developing the initiative ‘Ara Poutama’ in consultation with local iwi. The objective of ‘Ara Poutama’ is to build staff understanding in te reo me ona tikanga Maori. The service has been implementing some areas of this review.

Area of strength

Bicultural perspectives: Regional leaders and staff demonstrate a willingness to strengthen the integration of te ao Māori across the service. Aspects of Māori culture are visible and valued at many levels of operations. Māori children are cared for in homes that reflect and value whanaugatanga.

Relationships and interactions are welcoming and positive for Māori children and their whānau. Kanohi ki te kanohi conversations are highly valued and form an important part of the way information is shared between kaiako and caregivers. Learning stories are written in holistic contexts, use te reo and include whānau and children’s voices.

Area for development and review

Implementing ‘Ara Poutama’: An important next step for the service is to fully implement and sustain the recommendations of the 2009 bicultural review. This should include;

  • developing the confidence and competence of staff in their use of te reo me ōna tikanga; and
  • reviewing the range of resources that reflect Māori cultural values available for kaiako, caregivers and children.

Clearly linking the aims of ‘Ara Poutama’ to strategic planning should enable the service to monitor progress.

4 Management Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Before the review, the management and staff of Footsteps Education Ltd 40327 completed an ERO Home-Based CareManagement Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they had 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 checked the following items because they 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.

5 Recommendation

ERO and the service arranger agreed that:

5.1 strategic planning would be strengthened by documenting the link between review recommendations and strategic goals.

6 Future Action

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

About the Service

Licence type

Home-Based Care

Chartered under

Education (Home-based Care) Order 1992

Roll number

40

Gender composition

Girls 21 Boys 19

Ethnic composition

Indian 17

New Zealand Māori 8

New Zealand European/Pākehā 6

Samoan 4

Tongan 2

Other 3

Review team onsite

February 2011

Date of this report

22 March 2011

Previous ERO report

This is the first report for this service.

22 March 2011

To the Parents and Community of Footsteps Education Ltd 40327

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Footsteps Education Ltd (40327).

Footsteps Education Ltd 40327 is a privately owned and operated home-based care service. Previously known as Linmark the service has been under new ownership and management since 2008. It caters for children up to the age of five years and includes children under the guardianship of Child, Youth and Families Services (CYFS). The network is chartered for 80 children and at the time of this review had 40 children, eight of whom identified as Māori. This is the first review for this charter.

The service is governed by an enthusiastic team, providing sound management from a central national office in Tauranga. Clear administration and policy frameworks guide network operations. A qualified and experienced regional leader provides support and professional guidance for two kaiako (registered early childhood teachers) and ensures the effective operation of the network. This team maintains positive relationships with caregivers and children and is dedicated to providing a quality service. Footsteps management have recently developed an action plan to monitor health and safety matters in caregivers homes.

Caregivers and children demonstrate caring and respectful interactions. Children are settled in their home environments, play confidently alongside caregivers and receive affection and nurture from them. Kaiako support and develop caregivers’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Aspects of children’s learning and development are recorded in Learning Journey books.

Children’s strengths and interests form the basis of their learning. They are able to explore and persist in their play in diverse indoor and outdoor environments. There are many opportunities for children to develop their early literacy and mathematical concepts. Babies and toddlers receive nurture and care in appropriate environments that contribute to their wellbeing and development.

Strategic planning and self review should now focus on improving aspects of health and safety in caregiver’s homes and enhancing learning experiences for children.

Future Action

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

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood service we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management 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 service or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

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 services; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each service’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 service, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.

National Evaluation Topics – This strand contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.

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

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 this service.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a service 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 service.