Space Southland

Education institution number:
45250
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
33
Address:

328 Tramway Road, Strathern, Invercargill

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1. Evaluation of Tramway Playcentre

How well placed is Tramway Playcentre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The timing of this review was brought forward so that this playcentre could be reviewed at the same time as other playcentres in the Southland Playcentre Association (SPA). Tramway Playcentre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

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

Background

Tramway Playcentre is located in South Invercargill and provides two morning sessions per week for up to 25 children aged from birth-to-five years. Sessions are regularly attended by about 12 children. Some children attend with their grandparents. Several new families have recently joined the playcentre. A skilful paid educator provides high-quality support for parents as the first teachers of their children.

The areas of strength identified in the June 2012 ERO report are still evident. These include the meaningful interactions adults have with children, the improvements in programme planning and evaluation, and the support given by the SPA. In 2013, the parents have carefully used additional funding to buy equipment that enhances the environment and children’s play.

This review was part of a cluster of 17 reviews in the Southland Playcentre Association..

The Review Findings

Developments since the last review. The parents have made significant progress in improving aspects of the playcentre environment, the programme and their practices. Since the June 2012 ERO review, the outdoor verandah has been covered to provide an all-weather play area. Outdoor climbing equipment has been purchased giving children more choice and challenge and matting has been laid to provide greater safety. Plans are underway to further improve the outdoor area.

In 2012 parents undertook professional development with an external provider. They have grown in confidence in noticing and recording their children’s learning and take pride in showing this in their children’s profile books. Records of planning for individuals now show a greater focus on children’s learning and development. Discussions held between the duty parents and the educator before and after sessions include specific strategies to support the goals for individual children.

Every child has an individual planning sheet displayed on the wall for all to see. The next step is to ensure that all parents are made aware of each child’s goals and the strategies adults will use to support that child’s learning.

Current practice. ERO observed children settled in their play. They are effectively helped to make choices about what they want to do. The educator is a very good role model for the parents. She works closely with the children, supports their learning and extends their thinking.

The parents are mindful of each other’s children, and particularly care for the safety of infants and toddlers.

The playcentre is very well resourced. There is a broad range of activities inside and out for children to enjoy. The group plan for Term 4 has included a number of excursions and visitors to the centre. These events enrich children’s experiences, such as a trip to the Southland museum and a visit from a parent in her concrete-mixer truck.

A small group of dedicated parents ensure the smooth running of the centre. Many parents are undertaking training for playcentre qualifications. One parent is helping others to include te reo Māori in the sessions.

SPA Support. The SPA provides strong support to the playcentre through:

  • ongoing adult education
  • twice termly visits from the playcentre liaison officer
  • advice and guidance from a Māori liaison officer
  • property and maintenance advice
  • additional funding as required
  • help to meet relicensing requirements
  • a policy and strategic planning framework
  • sound governance practices.

The SPA provides strong leadership to guide the future direction and ongoing improvement of all its centres. This includes the way the association foster emergent leadership. Currently there are high numbers of people participating in playcentre training. The association has identified, and ERO agrees, that its next step is to improve its knowledge and understanding of self review. It then needs to support playcentres to implement effective self review.

Key Next Steps

The playcentre parents are in the early stages of documenting the group programme. They agree that this is work in progress.

They have identified that self review is also work in progress. They should continue to work with the SPA to develop their understanding and use of self review. They then need to implement this so that improvements to what happens for children are ongoing.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tramway Playcentre completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)
  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)
  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Tramway Playcentre will be in three years.

Graham Randell National Manager Review Services Southern Region

4 April 2014

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

Strathern, Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

45250

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

23 children, including up to 10 aged under two

Service roll

12

Gender composition

Girls: 7

Boys: 5

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

1

10

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

50-79%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:1

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:5

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

4 April 2014

Most recent ERO reports

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

June 2012

 

Education Review

April 2006

 

Education Review

June 2003

3. General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

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

Review Coverage

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

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Tramway Playcentre is one of the twenty playcentres administered by the Southland Playcentre Association. Originally named Tisbury Playcentre, it was in recession and reopened at Tramway Road. It is operated by parent leaders and supported by a volunteer educator. It offers two morning sessions for parents and children from birth to five years of age. Parents must stay with children who are under two and a half years old.

The playcentre is well organised and resourced. There has been good progress in developing the centre on its new site. It has a large outdoor area which is used to create a variety of challenges for physical play. Parent leaders are successfully building the centre roll on this new site.

Children benefit from a safe and nurturing environment. Parents and their children are made to feel welcome and included. Positive and supportive relationships are evident between adults and children throughout the centre.

Parent leaders focus strongly on developing all aspects of the centre. They seek and receive good support from key personnel within the Southland Playcentre Association. Parent leaders undertake playcentre parent education programmes.

Parent leaders work well together to support the children’s learning. They have made a good start in developing children’s records of learning. They reflect and evaluate the quality of the programme for children to improve children’s experiences.

ERO noted the following features of the centre going particularly well. The:

  • positive interactions between parents and children
  • focus and support provided to develop parents’ knowledge and skills
  • planning and evaluation of the centre programme
  • way in which tasks are shared and carried out
  • support and guidance provided through the Playcentre Association.

Centre leaders and ERO agree that the centre’s next steps should include reviewing and developing:

  • the bicultural dimension of the programme
  • the centre’s philosophy
  • further opportunities for children to explore aspects of the world around them
  • planning for individual children’s next learning steps.

Children’s care and safety are being well managed at the centre.

Future Action

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

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

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
  • the interactions between children and adults.

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

The Quality of Education

Background

This is the centre’s first ERO report since 2006. This centre was formerly Tisbury Playcentre. Tramway Playcentre is on a new site. The centre has been refurbished and is run by new parents, families and a volunteer educator.

Findings

Focus on improvement. Parent leaders and the association are focused on improving the centre and outcomes for children. Parents are responsive to new ideas from the leaders. Systems are being developed to support continuous improvement. Children benefit from tailored professional learning for parents within and beyond the centre.

Assessment and portfolio development. Parent leaders are in the early stages of compiling records of children’s learning. They capture children’s interests and experiences. Records show parents are noticing and recording children’s interests. Parents should consider how children could have easier access to their portfolios.

Areas of strength

Interactions. Children benefit from positive and productive interactions throughout the centre. Children’s behaviour is managed in positive ways. Parents feel welcomed by parent leaders. Children generally get along well with each other. Greetings and farewells are building children’s sense of belonging to the centre.

Planning and evaluation. Parent leaders use planning and evaluation approaches for children’s learning. Goals for children and future support possibilities are recorded in planning webs. Children’s goals are revisited at the end of session evaluations of the daily programme.

Shared leadership. Parents are working well together as a team. They successfully share their roles and responsibilities. Children’s interests and needs are communicated effectively. These factors are contributing to a cohesive, smooth running programme.

Playcentre Association support. Personnel from the Playcentre Association are providing useful support and information for parents. This has included:

  • some formats to help record children’s daily learning
  • ongoing monitoring of aspects of centre operations
  • support to meet the 2008 ECE regulations
  • ideas to assist parents’ engagement with children.
Areas for development and review

Planning for individual children’s next steps.It is not always clear how children’s future learning is planned for in centre programmes. There could be a greater focus on planning and extending individual children’s learning.

Bicultural dimension. There is scope to increase parents’ knowledge and confidence in the integration of bicultural elements into the centre’s programme. Parents are receiving some support for this from an external liaison person. There is scope to increase children’s awareness and understanding of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage through programme planning and evaluations.

Self review. It is time for parent leaders, with support from the Playcentre Association, to review and implement a local philosophy for the centre. Parent leaders should consider how well the centre programme provides for children to explore aspects of the world around them.

3. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Tramway Playcentre completed an ERO CentreManagement Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

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

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

4. Future Action

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

 

 

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

29 June 2012

 

About the Centre

Type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

23 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Roll number

15

Gender composition

Girls 8

Boys 7

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 14

Māori 1

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

29 June 2012

Previous three ERO reports (as Tisbury Playcentre

 

Education Review April 2006

Education Review June 2003

Accountability Review February 1993

29 June 2012

To the Parents and Community of Tramway Playcentre

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

Tramway Playcentre is one of the twenty playcentres administered by the Southland Playcentre Association. Originally named Tisbury Playcentre, it was in recession and reopened at Tramway Road. It is operated by parent leaders and supported by a volunteer educator. It offers two morning sessions for parents and children from birth to five years of age. Parents must stay with children who are under two and a half years old.

The playcentre is well organised and resourced. There has been good progress in developing the centre on its new site. It has a large outdoor area which is used to create a variety of challenges for physical play. Parent leaders are successfully building the centre roll on this new site.

Children benefit from a safe and nurturing environment. Parents and their children are made to feel welcome and included. Positive and supportive relationships are evident between adults and children throughout the centre.

Parent leaders focus strongly on developing all aspects of the centre. They seek and receive good support from key personnel within the Southland Playcentre Association. Parent leaders undertake playcentre parent education programmes.

Parent leaders work well together to support the children’s learning. They have made a good start in developing children’s records of learning. They reflect and evaluate the quality of the programme for children to improve children’s experiences.

ERO noted the following features of the centre going particularly well. The:

  • positive interactions between parents and children
  • focus and support provided to develop parents’ knowledge and skills
  • planning and evaluation of the centre programme
  • way in which tasks are shared and carried out
  • support and guidance provided through the Playcentre Association.

Centre leaders and ERO agree that the centre’s next steps should include reviewing and developing:

  • the bicultural dimension of the programme
  • the centre’s philosophy
  • further opportunities for children to explore aspects of the world around them
  • planning for individual children’s next learning steps.

Children’s care and safety are being well managed at the centre.

Future Action

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

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

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

 

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

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

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

Review Focus

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

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

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