A Fun Place To Be Childcare

Education institution number:
45562
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
50
Telephone:
Address:

3 Maramarahi Road, Thames

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1 Evaluation of A Fun Place To Be Childcare

How well placed is A Fun Place To Be Childcare 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

A Fun Place To Be Childcare is a privately owned early learning service located in Thames. The centre was opened in October 2010 in a purpose-built facility. It is licensed to provide full-day education and care for children from birth to school age. The centre roll of 51 includes 12 Māori children. The centre operates two aged-based areas, one for children up to the age of two years, and the other for older children.

The centre has maintained the same ownership, leadership and management structure since the last ERO review in 2015.The centre owner and centre manager are both qualified early childhood educators. They work collaboratively undertaking governance responsibilities, professional leadership and the daily operation of the centre.

The philosophy describes the centre as being ‘family orientated’ in an environment that recognises the importance of reciprocal relationships. There is an emphasis on nurturing and educating children through the development of trust, security and loving relationships, whilst working within the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and The Treaty of Waitangi.

The ERO review of 2015 identified shared leadership practice to build teacher understanding as an area for development.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a broad and rich curriculum that provides learning opportunities in Te Whāriki, including education for sustainability and inquiry learning. Children experience learning in mathematics, literacy and science which are well integrated into their play by teachers. Te ao Māori is naturally weaved throughout the curriculum in authentic ways to ensure children's language culture and identity are supported and strengthened. Assessment and planning focus on enhancing dispositional learning and developing skills and knowledge in a way that is responsive to individual needs. Teachers value and seek the contribution of children and whānau to improve the daily programme. Effective internal evaluation is enriching the curriculum for children.

Positive relationships between teachers, children and their whanau provide sound foundations for learning built on respect and trust. Teachers understand whānau aspirations and expectations, and work in partnership to achieve them. They have recently concentrated on an intentional teaching approach that promotes self-initiated and sustained play, and adds complexity to children's learning. Teachers' interactions are focused on providing positive learning outcomes for children. Teachers use a range of positive guidance strategies to promote social problem solving and encourage emotional regulation. They have shown growth in their confidence to use te reo Māori and to research and share Māori knowledge with children.

Teachers are effective and work in an inclusive manner with whānau and outside agencies to respond to children with special needs. This ensures the children can fully participate in the centre's daily programme. Children up to the age of two years benefit from warm and supportive relationships with their teachers. The programme is responsive to home routines and parent care preferences for children which promotes their sense of belonging. Teachers allow children time and space to lead their own learning. They use a range of effective strategies to support children’s oral language development in calm and nurturing environments.

Leaders work collaboratively to promote positive outcomes for children. They have created a team culture that values each teacher's contribution. A recently reviewed teacher appraisal process aligns with the Education Council requirements. Teacher inquiry is a significant component of the new appraisal process. These inquiries are planned to align with the strategic direction of the centre and are effectively promoting improved practice. Generous access to relevant professional development supports teacher's individual needs and assists with building capability within the centre. Leaders are strongly committed to developing a new centre philosophy that reflects whanau, teacher's and children’s aspirations. A clear policy framework guide's centre practice. A well-developed strategic plan identifies the centre priorities towards achieving its vision. Leaders and teachers respectfully validate te ao Māori by continuing to find ways to include a bicultural component in every aspect of the teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

The key next step for leaders and teachers is to continue to develop the cultural component of the curriculum with a focus on local iwi history and places of significance.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of A Fun Place To Be Childcare 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 A Fun Place To Be Childcare will be in three years.

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

23 August 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

Thames

Ministry of Education profile number

45562

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

51

Gender composition

Boys 30 Girls 21

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other

12
31
8

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

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

23 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2015

Education Review

June 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 A Fun Place To Be Childcare

How well placed is A Fun Place To Be Childcare 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

A Fun Place to Be Childcare is a privately owned, purpose-built centre located near Thames. It is situated in well-maintained, spacious and attractive buildings and grounds. The centre provides all-day education and care for children up to school age. There is a separate area for children up to the age of two. In 2014 the centre extended the premises and increased its licence to cater for 42 children including a maximum of 12 children under two. At the time of this ERO review there were 64 children enrolled, including 13 children up to the age of two and 12 identified as Māori.

The centre has maintained the same ownership, management and leadership structure and personnel as when reviewed by ERO in 2012. Centre leaders continue to provide a service, which places priority on positive partnerships with families from a diverse community. They are committed to employing a high proportion of well-qualified staff, many of whom have remained with the service for a number of years. There is a commitment to maintain higher than required teacher-to- child ratios in the under-two area to allow for individual care and learning moments for infants and toddlers.

The service has made good progress with the areas for development identified in the 2012 ERO report related to professional development for teachers, strengthening strategic planning and further documenting parent aspirations for their children. Teachers and children make good use of digital technology for research and to enhance learning. In addition the recent introduction of digital portfolios has increased the ways that families can participate in and contribute to children’s learning.

The centre philosophy aims to empower children, support their holistic development and foster lifelong learning.

The Review Findings

Children and families are welcomed into a caring, safe and inclusive environment that is focused on promoting their wellbeing and belonging. Children enjoy playing with their friends and alongside teachers in small groups of their choosing. A feature of the centre is the spacious, well-designed, natural outdoor learning environment that provides appropriate challenge and adventure for active learners. Features of the programme include:

  • a mixture of teacher-led and child-initiated learning experiences, including opportunities for older children to extend their learning through a designated programme
  • the integration of literacy, mathematics and concepts of sustainability into children’s play
  • regular trips into the local and wider community
  • well-planned and effectively managed transitions into the centre, between rooms and to school
  • an inclusive approach to children with diverse learning and health needs.

The language, culture and identity of all children is known and evident in the centre environment and programme. Parents are encouraged to share familiar words, stories and customs from their culture to build connecting links in the centre for children.

The centre owner maintains close links with Ngāti Maru iwi and the centre is situated on whānau land. Meaningful Māori perspectives are integrated throughout the environment, resources, programme and centre celebrations. Māori tamariki are demonstrating confidence in their culture as they participate in mihi, waiata, karakia and learn about Papatuanuku and the natural world through the centre gardens and activities such as kumara planting. Tuakana-teina, reciprocal relationships are evident during times when older children and their younger siblings play together.

Parents and whānau are able to be involved and contribute their ideas to the centre programme. They are well informed about their children’s learning and participation in the programme through the well-presented individual learning portfolios and recently introduced digital portfolios. Centre leaders invite parents to informative parent education meetings and make every effort to support families in many ways.

Babies and toddlers experience nurturing and secure relationships with their teachers. Close partnerships with parents ensure that familiar home routines are maintained. This is resulting in a strong sense of wellbeing and confidence for these children. They explore the interesting indoor and outdoor environments alongside their teachers. Centre pets have added increased interest for them. Teachers of infants and toddlers need to ensure they consistently access a wide range of activities and resources that respond to their interests and development.

Teachers are a collegial and professional team. They have established positive and responsive relationships with children and families. Staff have participated in a number of professional development opportunities that have enhanced their bicultural capability, strengthened their understanding of brain development in very young children and supported team building. They meet regularly to discuss individual children’s interests and learning and to share ideas for planning the programme linked to these.

There are some good examples of effective teaching strategies that promote children’s involvement in meaningful play, support their developing social skills and foster their leadership.

An experienced and knowledgeable centre supervisor models effective teaching practice. She is contributing to a strong team culture among staff and parents. Teachers expressed appreciation for the useful support and feedback she gives to build their practice. Her leadership is being fostered as she takes greater responsibility for centre management in preparation for when the centre manager takes extended leave.

The centre manager sets clear and high expectations for the service. She has a good understanding of strategic and annual planning, and uses this knowledge effectively to continue to build a highly regarded service in the community. Self review is well embedded and leads to regular and ongoing reflection and improvement that considers relevant research and responds to the views of stakeholders. There are appropriate and comprehensive policy frameworks, guidelines and documentation to guide centre operations. Centre owners act as good employers and are highly supportive of staff. They are committed to providing a quality care and education service for families and whānau.

The centre manager has been proactive and dedicated to foster regular and reciprocal visits to nearby schools for parents and children nearing school age. She has gathered and responded to useful feedback from primary teachers about their expectations for children’s school readiness.

Key Next Steps

An important next step for centre development is to continue to develop a shared leadership model that strengthens teachers’ understanding about key aspects of centre operations. Consideration should be given to:

  • centre leaders providing regular, evidence-based feedback to teachers against agreed indicators of best practice
  • increasing teachers’ understanding of intentional teaching strategies that promote self-initiated and sustained play of children, and add complexity to their learning
  • finding ways to maximise the potential of centre resources to enhance children’s learning.

Attention to these aspects is likely to further support the centre to meet the intent of their centre philosophy to empower children to learn in their own way and at their own pace.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of A Fun Place To Be Childcare 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 A Fun Place To Be Childcare will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

12 August 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

Thames

Ministry of Education profile number

45562

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

64

Gender composition

Boys 32

Girls 32

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other European

Fijian

Indian

Samoan

South East Asian

Other

12

45

2

1

1

1

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

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

12 August 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 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.