Otatara Preschool

Education institution number:
45287
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
86
Telephone:
Address:

6 Marama Avenue North, Otatara, Invercargill

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1 Evaluation of Otatara Preschool

How well placed is Otatara Preschool 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

Otatara Preschool is a privately owned early childhood service near Invercargill. The service provides education and care for infants to school age children in a purpose-built facility. The centre has four rooms designed to accommodate the various ages and stages of children's development.

Since ERO visited the centre in 2015, the owner has opened a new centre in Gore and appointed a head teacher. The head teacher at this centre is also the 'practice leader' with oversight of the teaching and learning in both centres. She works in collaboration with team leaders, who have responsibility for the day-to-day practices in each room.

The leaders and teachers align their practice with the philosophy that values community involvement. They believe children learn best through respectful relationships, within a calm and spacious environment.

The recommendations in the 2015 ERO review included making improvements to assessment and planning, bicultural practices and internal evaluation. There has been good progress with respect to these recommendations, however some continue to be work in progress.

The Review Findings

Children at Otatara Preschool play and learn in a calm and settled environment. Friendships between children are very evident. Interactions between children and with teachers are respectful and caring. Children confidently approach each other and the teachers to share their achievements. The teachers follow the children’s lead, and offer support and resources to build on their interests.

Teachers encourage and support children to be independent and take responsibility. They know the children well as individuals. The use of assigning a 'key teacher' with responsibility for a small group of children supports this. This key teacher system helps teachers know and track children’s learning closely. Parents are regularly asked to contribute ideas when teachers are planning for children's learning.

Children under two years of age are nurtured and well cared for. Teachers follow the routines the parents have established for their children when at home. They are in tune with infants' verbal and non-verbal communication and respond sensitively to their needs and wants.

Children have a wide range of opportunities for learning, including a variety of engaging activities and experiences. The spacious outside area offers interesting challenges. Teachers encourage children to value the natural world and enjoy the outdoors. They present resources in ways that attract children's interest and involvement in their learning. Teachers stay alongside children to ensure they are on hand to have meaningful conversations about the learning occurring and to support and extend it.

Aspects of the Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whāriki, are very evident in planning. Teachers reflect on and adapt the programme to meet children’s interests and needs. Children’s early literacy development, including oral language, is well supported. Children are often involved in dramatic play. They try new things and confidently engage in learning that builds their physical development. Teachers are consistent in the way they help build children’s social skills. They model and help facilitate positive social interactions. Children with additional needs are well supported by effective teaching strategies and the use of external agencies.

Leaders and teachers have identified areas for further development in learning and teaching. ERO agrees that the next steps include strengthening:

  • the Māori dimension in programmes and practices and the way teachers acknowledge and celebrate the cultural diversity of families at the centre
  • assessment, planning and evaluation for individuals and groups of learners and how these processes are documented.

The centre is well managed. The owner/manager has developed comprehensive systems to ensure efficient management of all aspects of the centre's operation. She provides ongoing support and ensures teachers have professional development opportunities to build leadership abilities. In her capacity as owner/manager, she is committed to supporting equity of outcomes for children. She and her team regularly reflect on their practice and are focused on making ongoing improvements. The appraisal process effectively supports this.

The leaders have developed clear strategic priorities and action plans to help the future development of the service. There is the potential to develop these strategic goals and plans further and to establish ways to monitor progress against plans and evaluate the outcomes.

Key Next Steps

The manager and head teacher have identified their next steps for improvement. ERO agrees that these include the further development of:

  • the bicultural development plan so it better informs ongoing and sustainable practice

  • the centre's vision, philosophy, learning priorities and internal evaluation so they are better aligned

  • internal evaluation practices, including development of a schedule, to ensure regular review of aspects of the service that impact most on children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Otatara Preschool 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 Otatara Preschool will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

12 June 2018

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

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

45287

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

65 children, including up to 17 aged under 2

Service roll

74

Gender composition

Girls: 37 Boys: 37

Ethnic composition

Māori:
Pākehā:
Pacific:
Other:

6
66
1
1

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

May 2018

Date of this report

12 June 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

April 2012

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 Evaluation of Otatara Preschool

How well placed is Otatara Preschool 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

Otatara Preschool is a privately-owned education and care centre in Otatara, Invercargill. The centre caters for up to 65 children aged from birth-to-school age. The centre’s philosophy emphasises building connections with the community and respect for other people and the environment.

The centre is a modern, purpose-built building. The building has recently been extended to create a separate space for infants. The children now play and learn in four rooms, grouped by age.

The director has overall responsibility for the centre and is supported by two team leaders. Nearly all the centre’s staff are qualified teachers. The centre has continued to make good progress since the April 2012 ERO review.

The Review Findings

The children at Otatara Preschool have a wide range of worthwhile learning experiences. The teachers have given careful thought to the interests and needs of the different age groups and worked out suitable programmes for each group. They are sensitive to children’s feelings and needs. As a result, the children have close and trusting relationships with their teachers. The children play in a settled way in groups and independently.

The teachers have built strong links with centre families and the local community. They hold family evenings, take part in community events, and take children on regular excursions into the community. The teachers consistently pay attention to developing children’s social skills and independence. The children have access to high quality resources and activities provided to build their knowledge and interests. The programme also has an emphasis on mathematics and literacy learning for all age groups.

Many teachers use te reo Māori in the course of the day and they are systematically building their knowledge of te reo Māori. The children are becoming familiar and confident with waiata and a range of phrases in te reo Māori. Wall displays, the use of natural materials and other resources reflect aspects of Māori and Pacific cultures. Teachers should investigate how well centre practices support Māori children to stand tall in their culture.

The teachers working with infants respond to their interests and needs. They maintain a calm and slow pace with infants and are sensitive to their cues. This creates an atmosphere where infants’ emotional wellbeing is nurtured. 

The children’s profile books are an attractive record of the children’s experiences, knowledge and ongoing development. The teachers have been working on finding better ways to plan for children’s learning and record the progress that children make. They find out parents’ wishes for their children’s learning in a variety of ways. A next step is to ensure that the parents’ ideas are consistently included in the planning.

Governance and leadership

The manager, leaders and teachers constantly evaluate their practice and look to make things work better for the children. They have good systems in place for the teachers to communicate with each other. This enables them to share their ideas and knowledge about the children and their learning. The manager and leaders are committed to supporting the skills of the teachers and building consistent professional knowledge and practice.

The manager has put effective management systems in place. She has created useful strategic and annual plans to guide the future direction of the centre. She fosters a culture of reflection and improvement among the teams, and has begun to implement a new appraisal system. The leaders have developed a useful framework for self review and a schedule for planned reviews. Reviews have led to some positive changes for children.

Key Next Steps

The leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that key next steps include:

  • continuing to develop systems for planning, assessment and evaluation with a focus on showing children’s ongoing learning and the teachers’ role in this
  • continuing to develop and implement the new appraisal system.

ERO also recommends leaders and teachers undertake planned self review to investigate how well:

  • teachers’ interactions with children promote learning
  • Māori perspectives in the programme support the identity of Māori children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Otatara Preschool 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 Otatara Preschool will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

18 May 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

45287

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

65 children, including up to 17 aged under 2

Service roll

88

Gender composition

Girls: 36

Boys: 52

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Fijian

Asian

10

72

1

5

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

18 May 2015

Most recent ERO report

Education Review

April 2012

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.