Hardykids Early Learning Service

Education institution number:
45140
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
131
Telephone:
Address:

400 Hardy Street, Nelson Central, Nelson

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1 Evaluation of Hardykids Early Learning Service

How well placed is Hardykids Early Learning Service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Hardykids Early Learning Service is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Hardykids Early Learning Service is located in Nelson and provides all-day education and care for up to 115 children. At the time of this review, 19 Māori and 3 Pacific children were attending. The centre serves a diverse ethnic community.

The service was purchased by Provincial Education Group (PEG) in September 2017. PEG provides governance and management support. A management team oversees a number of services nationwide. This includes a regional manager who provides support and guidance to centre staff.

A shared leadership model was established in June 2018. Day-to-day operation is the responsibility of the centre managers who support the teaching team.

The centre is purpose-built and caters for children from three months to five years of age, in two separate buildings which are adjacent to each other. Most teachers are qualified. Staffing has been stable and has increased under new ownership.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles are central to the PEG's philosophy and practices. The organisation's values underpinning teaching and learning emphasise whanaungtanga, rangatiratanga, ako, whakamana, kotahitanga, whānaua tangata and ngā hononga.

The May 2015 ERO report identified areas requiring further improvement. These included self review, bicultural practice and the monitoring of the quality and consistency of assessment documentation. Good progress has been made.

The Review Findings

Infants and toddlers changing needs are responded to sensitively and respectfully by consistent caregivers. There are plenty of opportunities for younger learners to refine and develop their physical skills both indoors and out.

Children’s wellbeing and sense of belonging are promoted through the play-based programme. Their independence is encouraged and promoted. They play alongside each other and in groups of their own choosing in sustained ways. Teachers provide resources that encourage exploration that is meaningful and enjoyable.

Consistent routines establish a framework for the day and provide children with a sense of security in knowing what will happen next. Inclusive practice is promoted and children with additional learning needs are well supported.

A school readiness programme for older children provides opportunities for them to collaborate on a shared project with peers. This focus draws on children's prior knowledge and values their contributions in what to investigate further. Oral, visual and written literacies are used well through this experience.

Useful guidance is provided to teachers in the social competence and positive guidance policy. Strengthening teachers' understanding and awareness of their role in the implementation of this policy should lead to improved practice.

Leaders and teachers are currently engaging in a review of PEG's overarching philosophy. This is supporting them to develop a shared understanding of this key document, and how it reflects Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and guides practice. As this review progresses, it should assist teachers to refine the focus on the learning that matters in this context, and more strongly reflect it through their practice and documentation.

The bicultural curriculum is highly valued by PEG which has clear expectations for how teachers will enact their commitment in their practice. Aspects of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori were used by teachers during the ERO review. A next step is for the teaching team to give greater consideration to how well it is promoting educational success for Māori.

Leaders and teachers have identified that they plan to further their knowledge of working with Pacific learners through exploring Tapasā: Cultural Competencies Framework for Teachers of Pacific Learners. ERO agrees this focus should support teachers to work with Pacific learners in a more culturally responsive way.

Group planning is based on children’s emerging interests, and extends the curriculum offered. PEG has recently provided guidance for teachers about its expectations for programme planning. This highlights the use of learning outcomes and teachers engaging in ongoing evaluation. If implemented well this should enhance the planning process further.

Regular portfolio entries record children’s engagement in the curriculum and developing friendships. Yearly summary sheets provide useful information to parents about how their child has progressed against the strands of Te Whāriki. Monitoring of the quality of assessment occurs at centre leadership level and useful feedback is provided to staff. An increased focus has recently been placed on involving parents in their child’s planning which, when fully implemented should support the developing learning partnerships. Next steps for strengthening assessment for learning should include teachers showing how:

  • children’s cultures, languages and identities are acknowledged and responded to

  • challenge and complexity is added to children’s learning.

Internal evaluation practice is well established and leads to ongoing improvements. Continuing to make better use of the identified indicators to inform the evaluation process should better support teachers to judge the effectiveness of practice. Greater consideration should also be given to what actions are expected of teachers as a result of the evaluation findings, which focus on improving outcomes for children.

Regular parent surveys provide useful feedback for the team. Leaders and teachers have been responsive to this feedback and parents are well informed about the planned response.

All teachers have participated in a comprehensive annual appraisal. A new process has been introduced in 2019. As part of this approach, consideration should be given to teachers identifying clear and measurable goals and receiving targeted observations and feedback linked to these.

A well-considered policy framework is in place to guide teacher practice. The organisation places considerable emphasis on the health, safety and wellbeing of children.

Collaborative leadership is evident and succession planning is well considered.

Key Next Steps

Priorities for ongoing improvement are to:

  • strengthen teachers' understanding and awareness of their role in the implementation of the social competence and positive guidance policy

  • give greater consideration to promoting educational success for Māori and working with Pacific learners

  • continue to develop assessment, planning and evaluation practice

  • refine internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hardykids Early Learning Service 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.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

7 June 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 Early Childhood Service

Location

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

45140

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

115 children, including up to 40 aged under 2

Service roll

157

Gender composition

Boys 52%, Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
English
Indian
Australian
African
Other ethnic groups

12%
63%
4%
3%
3%
3%
12%

Percentage of qualified teachers

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

April 2019

Date of this report

7 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

August 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.

1 Evaluation of Hardykids Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Hardykids Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Hardykids Early Learning Centre is well placed to positively promote children’s learning and wellbeing.

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

Background

Hardykids Early Learning Centre is a privately owned, family-operated centre. It is purpose-built and provides all-day care for children from three months to six years of age, in four separate spaces.

The service’s philosophy and programmes have a strong emphasis on providing a home-like nurturing and nature-inspired environment with a focus on sustainable practices.

At the time of the 2011 ERO review, Hardykids Early Learning Centre operated two separate licences, with an ERO report for each. In 2012, both centres combined under one licence. The service has retained the positive features reported in the 2011 ERO review. Good progress has been made towards addressing the areas identified for development. This included strengthening self review and ensuring aspects of the programme were reflecting the centre’s philosophy.

The Review Findings

Teachers, parents and children have strong, respectful relationships. Families are warmly welcomed into the centre. Teachers and parents work closely together to support children’s development, wellbeing and sense of belonging. Parents are provided with regular and useful information about their child.

ERO observed competent and confident children, who played creatively and collaboratively with others for sustained periods of time.

Teachers encourage children to learn at their own pace. They know children well and recognise and respond positively to their emerging interests and needs. Children’s routines are unhurried, thoughtful and integrated sensitively to support their independence.

Older children have many opportunities to contribute to and lead their own learning through project work and individual interests. Teachers regularly observe, assess and plan for children’s learning.

Infants and toddlers benefit from having designated key teachers who know them well. Teachers are caring and nurturing. They are highly focused on and responsive to children’s non-verbal cues. They teach simple sign language to help these younger children express their needs. Separate areas for younger children have been thoughtfully considered and provide a calm and peaceful space to explore and learn.

Children learn and play within high-quality environments that are well maintained and attractively presented. They have easy access to a wide range of interesting and natural resources. Literacy and mathematics are purposefully integrated into the programme. Teachers make considered decisions about the layout of the centre, including opportunities for children to sleep in shaded, quiet outdoor spaces.

Children’s transitions into and within the centre are very well supported and planned. Teachers and parents work in close partnership to ensure transition processes are flexible to meet individual needs.

Teachers work well together and regularly share information about children’s learning and ways they can improve their teaching practice. They are provided with relevant and targeted professional development to support their personal goals and knowledge.

The centre director has high expectations, provides thorough guidelines for staff and is improvement-focused. She makes good use of individual teacher strengths and works closely with the leadership team. The newly appointed curriculum leader is helping to promote consistency across the centre. There are well-developed systems for monitoring health and safety.

Key Next Steps

The centre director, leaders and ERO agree that the main steps for ongoing improvement include:

  • continuing to implement the curriculum leader position within the leadership structure
  • refining and strengthening the effectiveness of self review by consistently using evaluative questions and measurable indicators
  • establishing a system for monitoring the quality and consistency of teachers’ assessments and evaluation processes
  • increasing teachers' and leaders' knowledge, understanding and use of te reo and tikanga Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hardykids Early Learning Centre 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 Hardykids Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

12 May 2015

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

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

45140

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

75 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

117

Gender composition

Boys 65

Girls 52

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnicities

102

10

1

1

3

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

March 2015

Date of this report

12 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

This is the first ERO report for the service under the new (combined) licence

 

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 frameworkNgā 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 toERO’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 onERO’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.