Early Learning Counties Manukau - Wattle Cove

Education institution number:
45443
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
59
Telephone:
Address:

15 Scotsmoor Drive, Wattle Downs, Auckland

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Early Learning Counties Manukau - Wattle Cove - 11/04/2016

1 Evaluation of Early Learning Counties Manukau - Wattle Cove

How well placed is Early Learning Counties Manukau - Wattle Cove 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

Early Learning Counties Manukau - Wattle Cove centre in South Auckland, provides early childhood education for up to 80 children to school age, including 20 under two years of age. The centre philosophy embraces Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and the principles of Reggio Emilia. Respect for children, biculturalism and a child-initiated programme are integral to the centre's philosophy. The centre has close connections with nearby Reremoana Primary School. Teachers are using this connection to help children make smooth transitions to school.

Children are grouped in three age-related rooms. The infants and toddlers have their own outdoor play area, while the other children have a shared outdoor play area. The centre serves an increasingly diverse community. The bulk of the children enrolled have European/Pākehā and Indian heritage. Teachers are well qualified and reflect the diverse backgrounds of children and families.

Early Learning Counties Manukau - Wattle Cove (ELCM Wattle Cove) is a community-based centre that operates under and is a subsidiary of Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association (CMKA). ELCM Wattle Cove is governed by a board of directors. The centre manager provides leadership for the centre, and has responsibility for management and administration systems. The centre is supported by the CMKA with a framework of policies and procedures. The centre manager works collaboratively with staff to review and refine governance, management and administration systems and processes.

This is the second ERO review for ELCM Wattle Cove. The 2013 ERO report commented positively on the support for children to be confident and competent learners, the variety of learning experiences provided and the well-established relationships that teachers have with children and their parents. These positive features of the centre are still evident. The 2013 report also identified areas for development. These included, building learning partnerships with parents, increasing the bicultural dimension of the programme and providing more opportunities for children to lead and sustain their play. Significant progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children have a strong sense of belonging and are happy and settled in the centre. They have respectful, responsive relationships and interactions with adults and their friends. Children know about making choices, are able to lead their own learning and independently select resources. They enjoy a programme that is unhurried and gives them time for exploration. Children are able to engage in uninterrupted play for long periods.

The centre’s environments play a powerful role in supporting children’s learning. The spacious grounds are well designed and resourced. There are plenty of natural resources and the space is used flexibly by children and adults. This creatively presented environment is attractive to children and invites investigation and exploration. It also demonstrates respect for children as capable, self-directed learners. Teachers design and redesign the environments in innovative ways to foster children’s creativity, problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Infants and toddlers have their own separate indoor and outdoor spaces. Teachers are welcoming and friendly, and promote a particularly flexible and relaxed tone for these younger children. They know children well and respond to their verbal and non-verbal cues well. This responsive and nurturing caregiving supports infants’ need for strong and secure attachments. Children’s learning and development are supported through a curriculum that is designed around their interests and engages them in play. They communicate confidently and actively explore their environment.

Teachers’ conversations with children promote children's language development, communication and thinking and reasoning skills. Teachers listen carefully to children’s ideas and make good links to children's prior knowledge. Teachers help children to take leadership roles and to share their expertise in areas of interest. Literacy, mathematical concepts, science and creativity are integrated throughout the programmes in ways that are meaningful for children. Teachers have documented clear expectations for effective teaching and learning. They strive to provide a holistic and inquiry-based approach to learning. They work with children to design learning opportunities and possibilities.

Bicultural practices are promoted. Teachers' self review since 2013 has focused on developing and strengthening teachers' understanding and knowledge of biculturalism. They are continuing to strengthen the ways that they recognise Māori as tangata whenua and promote the natural integration of te reo and tikanga Māori. The centre manager leads and models a commitment to professional development in this area.

Teachers have improved their planning to focus more on children's individual learning interests. They have good systems for noticing, recognising and responding to children's emerging interests and learning dispositions. Children's individual portfolios show very good analysis of their learning, and continuity of learning over time. The portfolios also make strong links to the educational goals of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers continue to review and improve the quality and consistency of children's assessment documentation.

Parents are encouraged to be partners in their children’s learning. Teachers provide many opportunities for families to participate in the programme, contribute to reviews and be informed about their children’s progress. Children's learning is also shared with parents through wall displays and the recently established online e-portfolio programme.

The centre benefits from inclusive and collaborative leadership. The centre manager is a capable and thoughtful leader. She knows teachers well, including their strengths. Professional development for teachers is meaningful and relevant. There is a strong focus on building leadership capability and strengthening professional practice. Developing a sense of team and cohesion are key centre priorities.

Strategic and annual plans are well developed, and aligned. The plans are specifically tailored for the context and people at ELCM - Wattle Cove. The annual plan provides a comprehensive and detailed guide of the actions planned to meet strategic goals during the year. CMKA provides clear, coherent systems and processes and a sound framework for monitoring and self review. Evaluative and reflective practice is strongly evident. Self review is ongoing, collaborative, wide-ranging and rigorous. Staff use indicators well to measure progress towards improvement.

Through the centre's own self-review processes, centre leaders and ERO have identified the following priorities. Firstly, to strengthen programme evaluation to include a review of the effectiveness of teaching strategies. Secondly, to continue building consistency amongst teachers in terms of focusing on children's learning dispositions and engaging children in more complex play.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Early Learning Counties Manukau - Wattle Cove 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 Early Learning Counties Manukau - Wattle Cove will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

11 April 2016

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

Wattle Downs, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45443

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll

70

Gender composition

Boys 41 Girls 29

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

Chinese

Fijian

other

4

49

8

3

2

4

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

1:10

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2016

Date of this report

11 April 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2013

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.

Early Learning Counties Manukau - Wattle Cove - 21/01/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Early Learning Counties Manukau – Wattle Cove is a new centre that is continuing to increase its capacity to promote positive outcomes for children, with support from Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association.

Context

This is the centre’s first ERO review. The centre, adjacent to Reremoana School, is located in a newly subdivided area between Takanini and Manurewa.

The centre is part of Early Learning Counties Manukau (ELCM), a subsidiary of Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association (CMKA). ELCM is governed by a board of directors. The centre is licensed for children up to school age.

The centre was established as a result of the local community desire to increase the provision for early childhood education and care. This report focuses on the area for children over the age of two, which opened in 2010. The adjacent area, for children up to the age of two, opened in 2011. Together, the two licences on this site cater for up to 80 children.

The centre manager and teachers are registered teachers. An external early childhood provider is contracted to mentor teachers who are provisionally registered. Teachers have many opportunities to benefit from professional development.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi is respected as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand and teachers’ bicultural practice honours that commitment.

The Review Findings

Teachers provide learning opportunities that foster a holistic approach for children. The centre’s philosophy clearly outlines the service’s commitment to promoting children’s positive self image with an emphasis on respectful relationships.

Children are supported to be confident and competent learners. Their wellbeing and sense of belonging are nurtured by caring and compassionate teachers. Children are respected and trust that teachers will tend to their needs. Teachers provide a variety of learning experiences that promote positive outcomes for children. The centre has a warm atmosphere.

Children settle quickly into the centre’s routines when they arrive. They are comfortable in the centre environment and approach adults with confidence. Children are encouraged to be independent, particularly at meal times. Positive interactions among children and teachers are evident. Children with special learning needs are well supported.

Teachers’ relationships with children and their parents are well established and this has strengthened through self review and good teamwork. Teachers could further strengthen their partnership with families by providing opportunities for parents to document their aspirations for their child and using these more often in programme planning and individual children’s portfolios.

The service promotes partnerships with Māori whānau. To provide for the ongoing success of Māori children, centre leaders and teachers have appropriately identified the need to continue to increase the bicultural aspects in the programme and engage in professional development to build the teachers’ confidence in using te reo Māori. Key cultural events are celebrated and children benefit from learning about diversity.

The centre environment is spacious and invites children’s exploration. Well designed outdoor areas offer opportunities for children to use spaces and materials in creative ways. Reviewing the use of, and links between, areas of play could provide further opportunities for children to sustain their play. Teachers could minimise tidy-up routines to offer children opportunities to revisit their learning and develop children’s thinking by engaging them in more complex conversations.

ERO and the centre leaders agree that teachers could further strengthen the curriculum and promote positive outcomes for children by:

  • developing programme planning approaches that support more individual children's interests
  • improving the quality and consistency of children’s assessment documentation
  • including opportunities for children to explore Pacific values and contexts and New Zealand’s place in the Pacific.

The centre is well managed. Effective financial management and resourcing for ongoing improvement is evident. Clear systems and processes support centre operations. Self review is an established part of management practice. The centre manager models an inclusive approach, which is appreciated by teachers and families. Useful external support, administration services and advice are provided by the leadership team of Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association.

ERO and centre leaders agree that relevant next steps to strengthen governance and management include:

  • developing a centre-specific annual plan and process that is reflective of the goals, vision and aspirations of the CMKA strategic plan
  • making policies and procedures specific to ELCM Wattle Cove
  • documenting expectations for effective teaching and learning, so that teachers can continue to align their practice with centre philosophy and evaluate their success.

Recommendation

ERO and centre leaders agree that teachers should continue to develop their use of self review to further improve the quality of programmes and to promote opportunities for children to extend their learning.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Early Learning Counties Manukau - Wattle Cove 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

21 January 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Wattle Downs, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45443

Licence type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 10 aged under 2 years

Service roll

50

Gender composition

Girls 28 Boys 22

Ethnic composition

NZ European/ Pākehā

Māori

other European

Indian

Cook Island Māori

Fijian

Latin American

South East Asian

other Pacific

33

5

4

3

1

1

1

1

1

Review team on site

September 2012

Date of this report

21 January 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

 

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

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 the service.