First Class Education & Care (Bethlehem)

Education institution number:
45024
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
50
Telephone:
Address:

125 Moffat Road, Bethlehem, Tauranga

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1 Evaluation of First Class Education & Care (Bethlehem)

How well placed is First Class Education & Care (Bethlehem) to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

First Class Education & Care (Bethlehem) is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

First Class Education and Care is located in Bethlehem, Tauranga. It is a full day education and care service, licensed for 50 children with a maximum of 15 up to two years of age. The current role of 63 includes 18 children from a range of ethnicities and a small number of children who identify as Māori. Children learn in two separate age-based learning areas, catering for toddlers and pre-school.

First Class Education and Care is governed by the Christian Education Trust (CET), a charitable organisation. It is one of five centres that operates under the umbrella of Bethlehem Early Learning Centres. A board of directors provides professional support through a company manager. The head teacher oversees both aged-based rooms, supported by the teaching team.

Through their Christian based philosophy, teachers value open and respectful relationships with every child and their whānau so that they can achieve positive learning outcomes. They aim for children to experience a sense of belonging and well-being, develop secure relationships, and explore the learning environment.

The centre has responded positively to the next steps in the 2015 ERO evaluation relating to assessment, planning and evaluation.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a broad and rich curriculum. All children learn to appreciate the bicultural curriculum with Matariki celebrated, some te reo Māori evident and Māori values interwoven in practice. Multi-cultural resources and educational visitors to centre, including for Pacific and Asian learners, affirms children's language, culture and identity. Spacious and accessible learning environments provide opportunities for children to work in groups or choose quiet, independent play. Literacy, mathematics, science and learning about the natural world feature in the curriculum. A school readiness programme for older children supports their transition to school. Children develop a sense of belonging at the centre.

Children's learning is captured in individual portfolios. A recent review of the assessment, planning and evaluation process is reflected in more individualised planning, which is showing clearer progression of learning over time. This process needs time to embed. Parent aspirations are sought and responded to. The use of some home languages in learning stories is supporting families with English as a second language. Assessment of learning is strengths based. Portfolios capture the identity of the child as a successful learner.

Children are supported by responsive, respectful and reciprocal relationships with their teachers. Social competencies are encouraged. Children with additional learning needs benefit from inclusive teaching practice and teachers working alongside external agencies where required. Oral language is well supported. The collaborative and reflective teaching team regularly attend professional development and share knowledge with each other. Children up to the age of two benefit from a key teacher approach that supports the development of trusting relationships. Their individual care needs are well met. Flexible routines support older children. Consideration should now be given to allowing toddlers more choice and independence.

Leadership is highly effective. Strong systems and processes are in place and leaders have high expectations for practice. There is ongoing communication with parents and whānau. Leaders are responsive to individual family and teacher needs and circumstances. Emergent leadership amongst staff members is encouraged and a strong team culture based on shared values is established. There is ongoing mentoring and support for all teachers. A robust appraisal process is supporting teachers to grow in their capability. Internal evaluation has recently been strengthened and is leading to positive learning outcomes for children. Teachers should continue to embed this process. Children are at the heart of decision making.

The strategic goals set by management have a focus on fostering ongoing improvement. The manager and head teacher meet regularly and have a collegial and long-standing working relationship. There is a focus on equitable learning outcomes for children. The Trust funds additional teaching support for those who might need it and strategically appoint staff to reflect the ethnically diverse community. Managers network with other education and health providers to support learners. The philosophy, vision and values of the centre are embedded in practice. Some management policies and systems require review to align with current legislation and best practice.

Key Next Steps

The next steps for First Class Education and Care (Bethlehem) management are to:

  • more thoroughly review policies and systems to ensure they meet current legislation and best practice guidelines

  • continue to embed newly strengthened processes including the assessment and planning of children's learning and internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of First Class Education & Care (Bethlehem) 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.

Since the on-site phase of the review, members have provided ERO with evidence of action taken in relation to securing equipment that could topple and cause injury. [HS6].

Darcy Te Hau Acting

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

24 February 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

Bethlehem, Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

45024

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

63

Gender composition

Male 32 Female 31

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Chinese
Other ethnic groups

3
42
5
13

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

24 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

March 2012

Education Review

February 2009

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children

Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children

Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children

Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.

1 Evaluation of First Class Education & Care (Bethlehem)

How well placed is First Class Education & Care (Bethlehem) 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

First Class Education & Care (Bethlehem) is located in the Tauranga suburb of Bethlehem near the edge of the Bethlehem College Campus. It is licensed to cater for a maximum of 50 children, including 15 up to the age of two years. The service aims to provide an environment where children are ‘happy, nurtured and enjoy genuine relationships with caring teachers who facilitate creative play and quality learning experiences’. The centre is one of five learning centres operated by Bethlehem Early Learning Centres, which is a company operating under the Christian Education Trust. The centre operates from 7.30 to 5.30 Monday to Friday.

The centre is made up of two main areas for children. One caters for children from eight months to two and a half years, while a second area is for children up to school age. Both areas include separate and extensive indoor and outdoor play spaces.

The head teacher is knowledgeable, experienced and committed to providing a quality education and care service. She, along with support from the Bethlehem Early Learning Centres' manager, continues to provide stable and knowledgeable leadership for the team of teachers. The centre enjoys a low turnover of staff and this contributes to strong relationships evident in the centre between children and teachers.

Facilities to support staff are also extensive and enable teachers to undertake administration tasks, store resources, and maintain children’s assessment information in a spacious, modern and well-equipped setting.

Since the last ERO review in 2012 changes to the centre have included the review and development of:

  • age-group areas, resulting in changing from three areas to two
  • teacher mentoring processes
  • teacher performance management systems
  • a stronger relationship with local primary schools
  • programme planning and assessment processes.

The Review Findings

The programme of education and care is made up of an effective blend of child-initiated and teacher-led exploration and learning. The planning of learning areas and displays of learning around the centre show that children are exposed to a rich and diverse curriculum, including a strong focus on literacy and mathematics learning. The organisation of the curriculum provides children with extensive choice, and access to a wide range of high-quality equipment throughout the day. There are many opportunities for children to be creative, which are supported by teachers and used in a highly effective way to promote children’s success and development.

Learning environments both inside and outdoors are very well resourced, attractive, clean and very well maintained. Teachers plan learning areas carefully to provide innovative and inviting places for children to explore and investigate. There are opportunities for parents to make a contribution to the programme and programme displays throughout the centre. A strong focus on promoting children’s social competencies is evident in the programme, teacher planning and interactions with children. Children play a valuable part in setting up the environment so that activities are more closely based on children’s ideas and preferences.

Since the last ERO review teachers and leaders have strengthened the way aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori are promoted throughout the centre. In addition, teachers are also developing the way they respond to families from an increasing range of cultures, especially in the area for younger children.

Programme planning is visible in the centre and strongly based on children’s interests and preferences. Important learning is documented in attractive assessment portfolios, which include a range of narratives and photographs that document children’s learning and development. During the day teachers skilfully notice children’s learning and sensitively intervene to support children’s developing theories and knowledge. ERO observed teachers engaging with children to support, challenge and extend their knowledge, language and ideas. Teachers frequently read to children, modelling appropriate language structures and encouraging them to talk about their learning. The programme for babies and toddlers is based on nurturing and responsive interactions, sensitively managed care routines, and ongoing communication with these young children.

Relationships between teachers and children are respectful and responsive to children’s need for education and care. Teachers have well-developed strategies to ensure daily care routines are used to promote meaningful learning. Strategies to manage children’s behaviour are also characterised by positive, timely interventions that support their development, rights and dignity.

Effective leadership and governance is being provided by the centre head teacher and Bethlehem Early Learning Centres' manager. This is contributing to a shared sense of direction within the service, collaboration, and strong relational trust across the First Class team. Structures and processes for governance, management and administration are well developed and focused on continual improvement. There is good evidence that ongoing self review is leading to improved outcomes for children. Teachers and leaders have focused on moving from spontaneous review to planned and strategic review of major aspects of centre organisation and teacher practice, and this is contributing to continual improvement of the service. Thorough systems are in place to monitor children’s health and safety and promote children’s wellbeing.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and teachers acknowledge the benefits of continuing a focus on self review and ongoing development of assessment practices, which are likely to further promote high quality learning outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of First Class Education & Care (Bethlehem) 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 First Class Education & Care (Bethlehem) will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

18 May 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

45024

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

50

Gender composition

Girls 26

Boys 24

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Chinese

Other European

4

37

2

1

6

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2015

Date of this report

18 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2012

 

Education Review

February 2009

 

Education Review

May 2005

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.