Big Hugz Early Learning Centre Limited

Education institution number:
45609
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
40
Telephone:
Address:

3 Fenwick Crescent, Hillcrest, Hamilton

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ERO’s Akanuku | Assurance Review reports provide information about whether a service meets and maintains regulatory standards. Further information about Akanuku | Assurance Reviews is included at the end of this report.

ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards

ERO’s judgement

Curriculum

Meeting

Premises and facilities

Meeting

Health and safety

Meeting

Governance, management and administration

Meeting

Since the onsite visit the service has provided ERO with evidence that shows it has addressed non-compliances and is now taking reasonable steps to meet regulatory standards.

Background

Big Hugz Early Learning Limited is a small privately owned education and care centre. The owner manages a team of four qualified and one unqualified teacher across two age-based areas. The centre philosophy expresses the provision of a nurturing and stimulating learning environment that is responsive to its multicultural community.

Summary of Review Findings

Children experience positive, meaningful interactions with kaiako. The design of the premises supports the provision of different types of play. Infants and toddlers have their own spaces that are calm and unhurried. Teacher practice is inclusive. Children have opportunities to explore their own and other cultures. The unique place of Māori as tangata whenua is acknowledged. Positive steps are taken to respond to parental aspirations. Guidance is sought when necessary from agencies to ensure all children are able to participate alongside their peers.

Actions for Compliance

Since the onsite visit the service has provided ERO with evidence that shows it has addressed the following non-compliances:

  • ensuring children in the sleep room are checked every 5 – 10 minutes for warmth, breathing and general wellbeing (HS9)
  • ensuring children are supervised while eating (HS22)
  • ensuring parental acknowledgement of medication given, is recorded (HS28)
  • ensuring parents have opportunities to contribute to the review of operational documents (GMA4)
  • scheduling a timeline for planned review of different areas of operation and ensuring records of outcomes from the review process are kept (GMA6).

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review is likely to be an Akarangi | Quality Evaluation.

Shelley Booysen
Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

5 August 2021 

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

Big Hugz Early Learning Centre Limited

Profile Number

45609

Location

Hamilton

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

39 children, including up to 23 aged under 2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Service roll

35

Ethnic composition

Māori 12, NZ European/Pākehā 11, Chinese 5, Pacific 4, Other ethnic groups 3

Review team on site

June 2021

Date of this report

5 August 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, April 2018

Education Review, February 2016

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 Akanuku | 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 Akanuku | 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 Akanuku | 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 Akanuku | 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 Big Hugz Early Learning Centre Limited

How well placed is Big Hugz Early Learning Centre Limited 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

Big Hugz Early Learning Centre Limited is a privately owned and operated centre offering all-day early childhood education and care. The centre is located in a converted house in Hillcrest, Hamilton. It is licensed for mixed ages with 39 children including, 26 under two years of age. The current service roll is 39 of whom 14 identify as Māori. Children from diverse ethnicities are enrolled. 

The centre's philosophy aims to provide a safe and nurturing, stimulating environment that embraces all children, parents and whānau. The philosophy states that, 'children learn best through play and experiences that leads them to see themselves as competent learners'. The service acknowledges and respects the dual heritage of Aotearoa together with many diverse cultures represented in the centre.

The 2016 ERO report identified a need for further development in the areas of curriculum and assessment, performance management and appraisal, and improving learning environments. Since then the centre manager has worked closely with external consultants and the Ministry of Education to bring about significant improvements in all of these areas.

The Review Findings

Children continue to experience mutually respectful relationships that affirm their sense of belonging, culture, language and identity. Teachers build productive partnerships with parents and whānau which are based on genuine attitudes of acceptance and respect. They promote and celebrate the cultural advantage that children and their families bring to the centre. Teachers have continued their focus on te reo and tikanga Māori and this is highly visible in the environment and daily programme. This explicitly supports and values Māori children's unique place of tangata whenua. The centre continues to enhance children’s sense of self through regular use and integration of children’s home languages and cultures, including Tongan, Samoan and Chinese.

Children up to the age of two years continue to benefit from respectful and nurturing interactions. The programme for babies and toddlers has been reviewed to ensure routines suit the rhythms and needs of each individual child. The indoor and outdoor areas for this age group have been upgraded. Infants and toddlers experience an environment that is calm, well-resourced, uncluttered and which encourages exploration.

Since the 2016 ERO review, the centre's curriculum has been significantly reviewed to better reflect current best practice in early childhood education. All children benefit from a child-led programme that skilfully integrates early literacy and mathematics. They have opportunities to engage in sustained and complex play and learning. Flexible routines are respectful and build self-management skills, manners and tikanga. The upgrade to the outdoor area has maximised the space available and provides rich learning experiences, opportunities for physical challenges and experimentation. The centre has recognised the need to seek professional development in the revised Te Whāriki early childhood curriculum document to stay abreast of the changes to further improve educational outcomes for children.

Ongoing professional development about assessment, planning and evaluation has had a positive impact on teaching practice. The daily programme is now following individual children's interests and needs. A next step is for individual child portfolios to reflect the good practice of the centre in embracing and promoting each child’s language, culture and identity. In addition, learning stories now need to include more opportunities for parents and whānau to express their aspirations for their child’s learning and development.

Leaders are providing equitable opportunities and outcomes for all children. This includes providing daily transport where appropriate, and resources to support families in need. Teachers demonstrate empathetic support for children with additional needs and work with parents, whānau and external agencies to assist these children in their learning and development.

The owner/manager has developed a more collaborative and professional leadership structure. This has provided teachers with more opportunities to develop their leadership capabilities. The professional culture has enabled leaders to rigorously monitor teaching practice. There is ongoing reflection, feedback and feed forward by leaders and teachers to improve outcomes for children. The teacher appraisal process has been significantly improved and now meets the requirements of the Education Council. Refinement to meet the new standards and codes is an ongoing consideration.

Governance is effective in setting the direction, vision and philosophy for the centre. All aspects of the philosophy, vision and goals are enacted in the programme. There has been a significant and appropriate update of policies and procedures and these are now reviewed on a two year cycle. A well-considered self-review process is in the early stages of implementation. The centre has recognised the need to review the transition process to school. Teaching as inquiry is an area for further development. This inquiry process should be more focussed on improving equitable outcomes for all children. 

Key Next Steps

Leaders and ERO agree that important next steps are to further develop:

  • assessment practices to reflect individual children's language, culture and identity
  • professional development in the revised Te Whariki early childhood curriculum 2017
  • staff appraisal to include teaching as inquiry focussed on providing equitable outcomes for all children
  • centre-wide self review to continually improve learning outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Big Hugz Early Learning Centre Limited 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 Big Hugz Early Learning Centre Limited will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

11 April 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

Hillcrest, Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

45609

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

39 children, including up to 26 aged under 2

Service roll

39

Gender composition

Boys                     23
Girls                      16

Ethnic composition

Māori
Chinese
Pacific
Pākehā
Other

14
11
  6
  5
  3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:9

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

11 April 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2016

Education Review

October 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.