Zigzagzoo Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
45594
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
27
Telephone:
Address:

7 Henry Street, Queenstown

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ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards
ERO’s judgement

Curriculum

Meeting

Premises and facilities

Meeting

Health and safety

Meeting

Governance, management and administration

Meeting

At the time of the review, ERO found the service was taking reasonable steps to meet regulatory standards.

Background

Zigzagzoo Early Learning Centre is located in Queenstown and provides all day education and care from Monday to Friday. It is owned and governed by ACG Education Group. Significant progress has been made to address the recommendations from ERO’s June 2018 review. This includes improved systems for planning assessment and evaluation, identifying priorities for learning, and improved appraisal processes.

Summary of Review Findings

The centre manager and team leaders plan and implement a programme based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The programme is based on the interests, strengths and capabilities of all children. There are opportunities for children to be confident in their own culture and to understand the cultural heritages of the Treaty of Waitangi.

There are suitable governance and management structures. SELO professional learning has supported the centre to address the areas identified in ERO’s June 2018 review. Internal evaluation and appraisal processes support leaders and teachers to improve and sustain aspects of education and care.

Next Steps

For ongoing improvement, key next steps include:

  • strengthening assessment, planning and evaluation processes to clearly show the effectiveness of teaching strategies in supporting children’s learning
  • refining internal evaluation practices and processes to enable teachers to better measure the effectiveness of the curriculum in enhancing and extending children’s learning.

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review is likely to be an Education Review.

Dr Lesley Patterson Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

6 September 2019

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

Zigzagzoo Early Learning Centre

Profile Number

45594

Location

Queenstown

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

38 children, including up to 20 aged under 2.

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Reported ratio of adults to children under 2

1:4 - Better than regulatory standards.

Reported ratio of adults

1:6 - Better than regulatory standards.

Service roll

34

Gender composition

Boys 15, Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Māori 1
NZ European/Pākehā 11
Other ethnic groups 22

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

6 September 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review June 2018
Education Review April 2015
Education Review April 2012

General Information about Assurance Reviews

All services are licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The legal requirements for early childhood services also include the Licensing Criteria for Education and Care Services 2008.

Services must meet the standards in the regulations and the requirements of the licensing criteria to gain and maintain a licence to operate.

ERO undertakes an Assurance Review process in any centre-based service:

  • having its first ERO review – including if it is part of a governing organisation
  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’
  • that has moved from a provisional to a full licence
  • that have been re-licenced due to a change of ownership
  • where an Assurance Review process is determined to be appropriate.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements. Before the review, the staff and management of a 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.

As part of an Assurance Review ERO assesses whether the regulated standards are being met. In particular, ERO looks at a 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 certification; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

As part of an Assurance Review ERO also gathers and records evidence through:

  • discussions with those involved in the service
  • consideration of relevant documentation, including the implementation of health and safety systems
  • observations of the environment/premises, curriculum implementation and teaching practice.

1 Evaluation of Zigzagzoo Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Zigzagzoo Early Learning Centre 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

There are two Zigzagzoo early childhood centres in Queenstown. The Academic College Group (ACG) based in Auckland, is the licensee of Zigzagzoo ECE services, having taken ownership of this service in 2014. This Zigzagzoo centre is on Henry Street, close to the main township. It is a full-day service licensed for 38 children, including 20 under two years of age.

An operations manager has overall responsibility for both centres. A manager/team leader at Zigzagzoo Early Learning Centre has been appointed to support team leaders to provide learning and teaching in each of the two rooms, where children are grouped by age. She has been in her role for six months, and prior to this had been with the Zigzagzoo service in Remarkables Park for a number of years. The majority of the teaching staff are recent appointments and a further team leader position is currently vacant.

Zigzagzoo Early Learning Centre has a high turnover of staff. There has been little progress with addressing the recommendations in the 2015 ERO report. There are insufficient systems to support the centre operations and ensure that positive outcomes for children can be sustained.

The centre aims to provide education and care based on philosophies that include RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) and Reggio Emilia approaches.

The April 2015 ERO report recommended the owners, managers, leaders and teachers:

  • identify key priorities for the centre's future development
  • develop actions to achieve the centre's priorities over time
  • clarify expectations of teachers' work, roles, and lines of reporting and responsibility
  • develop a schedule for planned self review
  • align self review, appraisals, team meetings and professional development to achieve the centre's key priorities.

Two further key priorities from the ERO report were for leaders to ensure planning for children focuses on future learning, and to develop bicultural practices, including the integration of Māori perspectives into the programme.

There has been some progress with implementing aspects of the recommendations from the 2015 ERO report. It is too early to evaluate, however, the impact of changes, or to be confident in the sustainability of improved practice.

The Review Findings

Children at the centre settle well when they arrive. Teachers provide a range of interesting resources and activities to support and encourage their engagement in learning. The environment is small and well organised and teachers have made maximum use of the space available. Children work and play well together, in small groups or alongside others. Friendships between children are apparent. Children know the teachers' expectations for behaviour and routines are well established. The manager/team leader is focused on ensuring that the health and wellbeing of children is supported through establishing useful systems and teaching practices. This is particularly evident within the infant room where teachers are very responsive to the needs of the children. Teachers work along-side children and engage in purposeful conversations that are affirming and help extend children's thinking.

The operations manager from Zigzagzoo Early Learning Centre Remarkables Park has a good relationship with the manager/team leader at Henry Street. She has encouraged her to develop leadership skills and provided her with opportunities for professional development.

Key Next Steps

The next steps for governance and management are similar to those in the 2015 ERO report.

The owners and the centre's operation manager need to ensure there are robust systems to accurately report and monitor compliance with regulatory requirements across all aspects of the centre operation at both the Zigzagzoo sites. This needs to include robust internal evaluation to inform decision-making at governance level. This should help inform key strategic and annual priorities for long and short-term centre development.

The ACG licensee needs to provide the operations manager with ongoing support and guidance to:

  • clarify and differentiate between the centre’s vision, philosophy and key learning priorities
  • ensure strategic and annual planning aligns with these and ensure that progress towards identified goals is systematically monitored, documented and reported
  • clarify roles and responsibilities at this centre, of the operations manager, centre manager, team leaders, teachers and other support staff
  • develop centre-wide guidelines/expectations for teaching and learning
  • monitor and evaluate the quality of centre practices to ensure compliance with requirements
  • embed and sustain an effective appraisal system
  • continue to develop leaders' and teachers' understanding and implementation of effective internal evaluation practices.

The operations manager needs to clearly identify and communicate centre-wide expectations for teaching and learning across both centres. The manager/team leader at this Zigzagzoo centre has been working independently to develop systems and establish practices there. The owner and operations manager need to clarify roles and responsibilities and ensure the leaders from both sites work together to achieve greater consistency across Zigzagzoo. Teaching practices need to better align to an agreed centre-wide philosophy that includes clear key learning priorities.

The manager/team leader is making progress building coherence within the new team of teachers. The operations manager needs to continue to work collaboratively with her and other team leaders across Zigzagzoo to establish effective systems that:

  • align practices with the centre-wide philosophy and agreed learning priorities
  • ensure ongoing effective group and individual assessment, planning and evaluation of programmes for learning
  • help the development of bicultural practice and the further integration of Māori perspectives in children's learning
  • ensure that effective appraisal processes are ongoing and fully implemented.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Zigzagzoo 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

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of compliance where practices were not satisfactory or requirements were not met. The centre owners (ACG) completed an internal Health and Safety Performance Assessment in 2017 which also highlighted areas of non-compliance identified as a risk.

The overarching concern is the lack of adequate systems and insufficient clarity around processes to identify, maintain and improve compliance with requirements.

To ensure compliance with Regulation 47, the owner needs to ensure the service is effectively governed, and is managed in accordance with good management practices. ACG and the centre manager need to ensure there are robust policies and procedures that:

  • align with child protection requirements and the Vulnerable Children's Act 2014 (such as in the appointment process, GMA7A)
  • include accidents analysis and reporting (HS12)
  • are updated and comply with administration of medications requirements (HS28)
  • support robust management of risks on excursions (HS17)
  • support teacher registration and appraisals (GMA7)
  • address the risks identified in the ACG internal health and safety assessment
  • ensure regular and a consistent quality of assessment, planning and evaluation of children’s learning (Regulation 43, C5 and C6)
  • ensure useful strategic and annual plans are developed to guide the development of the services operation (GMA8).

There needs to be a robust system and process to regularly review all aspects of the centre operation to ensure practices meet legal requirements and build on the quality of centre practices (GMA6).

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a comprehensive plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Zigzagzoo Early Learning Centre will be within two years.

Dr Lesley Patterson Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

25 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

Queenstown

Ministry of Education profile number

45594

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

38 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll

46

Gender composition

Girls: 26

Boys: 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

2

14

30

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

25 June 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

April 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.