Eskdale Treehouse Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
45782
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
36
Telephone:
Address:

76 Eskdale Road, Birkdale, Auckland

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1 Evaluation of Eskdale Treehouse Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Eskdale Treehouse Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Eskdale Treehouse Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Eskdale Treehouse Early Learning Centre is licensed to provide full-day education and care for up to 30 children aged over two years. Children play together in a mixed-age-range setting. Small numbers of Māori and Pacific children attend the service.

The service is privately owned and led by the owner and head teacher. They lead a team of four other qualified teachers. The teaching philosophy is focused on providing a natural environment that promotes exploration and supports children's individual learning journeys. Strong relationships with children and their families are seen as the foundation for a quality early learning experience.

The 2016 ERO report noted many positive aspects of quality teaching and learning practices that have been sustained. Areas for development included long-term planning and teacher appraisal. Some progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children play and learn at their own pace. They have easy access to a wide range of resources and activities. Teachers encourage children to make choices and explore their environment, indoors and out. The daily routine allows for long periods of uninterrupted play. Children are relaxed and settled.

Children confidently approach adults for conversation and to share their discoveries and projects. Teachers' interactions with children are respectful and positive. They model language well and support children's developing social competence. Effective questioning by teachers supports children's more complex thinking.

Parents and whānau who communicated with ERO expressed appreciation for the inclusive practices of leaders and teachers. There is good collaboration with families on decisions that affect individual children and their future learning.

Whānau consultation has also supported leaders and teachers to strengthen their bicultural practice and enhance the mana of Māori learners. Te reo and tikanga Māori are evident in the centre environment, documentation and teaching practice. There is strong commitment from the team to continue to deepen their knowledge and understandings of te ao Māori.

Teachers plan programmes for groups of children. Parent contribution is invited. Children's portfolios of learning show their participation in the programme. Teachers could now focus on documenting planning for individual children, based on children's interests, strengths and abilities, showing continuity and developing complexity over time.

The centre is well led. The owner is focused on growing leaders within the team. Effective frameworks are established to guide centre practices and future direction. Internal evaluation is well embedded into centre operations. Refining the question that leads these investigations would streamline the process and support more evaluative thinking.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps include a deeper engagement with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum to support the development of:

  • meaningful programme plans for individual children, inclusive of their language, culture and identity

  • learning based partnerships with all parents and whānau

  • a process for evaluating the impact of the programme and teaching practices on children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Eskdale Treehouse 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.

Since the onsite visit the owner has addressed a non-compliance relating to governance and management. All workers who have access to children have been safety checked in accordance with the Children's Act 2014.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

13 May 2020

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

Birkdale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45782

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

37

Gender composition

Boys 21 Girls 16

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
other ethnic groups

2
28
7

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2020

Date of this report

13 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Education Review

March 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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 Eskdale Treehouse Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Eskdale Treehouse 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

Eskdale Treehouse Early Learning Centre is a privately owned service that provides good quality education and care for up to 30 children from two years of age. Most children at the centre are Pākehā, with smaller numbers of children who come from a range of ethnicities including Māori, Chinese and Indian.

Many aspects of the centre's philosophy are well enacted. Teachers focus on providing children with meaningful learning experiences, developing their confidence and involving children in decision making. A comprehensive review of the service's philosophy is underway.

In the last nine months there have been changes in the teaching team. Centre managers believe it is timely to review aspects of governance, management and curriculum in order to develop shared understandings and expectations.

The 2013 ERO report commented on the positive relationships, relevant programme provision and knowledgeable leadership evident in the centre. These areas continue to be noteworthy. The 2013 ERO report identified some areas for improvement and these continue to be priorities.

The Review Findings

The centre is welcoming to children, parents and whānau. Very good child-teacher-family relationships promote the development of children’s positive sense of self. Children are confident, friendly and willing to interact. They are supportive of each other through the tuakana/teina relationships that are fostered. Children’s independence, social and emotional competence is well promoted. Children with special educational needs are responsively supported.

The learning environment is attractive, well resourced and highlights very good use of natural resources. Children enjoy exploring the different learning environments, making choices and engaging in a wide range of activities. Projects foster social learning skills. Children play for uninterrupted periods of time.

Centre managers are revisiting planning, assessment and evaluation processes with teachers. Children's learning assessments provide an attractive record of their participation at the centre. Staff continue to prioritise engaging with parents and seeking their aspirations to support outcomes for children. Managers are now introducing the use of a computer-based resource that enables parents and whānau to view their children's work and to electronically communicate with teachers to discuss and support their ongoing progress and development.

Events such as Matariki, Chinese New Year and Diwali are celebrated with children and families. Centre managers are committed to enhancing the service's bicultural curriculum and supporting teachers to use te reo Māori with children. They also acknowledge the importance of continuing to explore ways in which they might reflect the diverse cultures of children in the centre environment.

The purpose of self-review is well understood. Staff are consulted and involved in discussions that allow them to reflect on their practice and contribute to centre improvement. Centre managers continue to develop self-review processes with teachers.

Centre managers are knowledgeable, improvement focused and work well together. They provide responsive leadership and set high expectations of themselves. Current areas of focus for managers include reviewing roles and responsibilities, induction of staff and further distributing leadership opportunities. Documenting guidelines and procedures could strengthen this work.

Key Next Steps

The centre managers have identified key next steps for the centre that include:

  • formalising systems, guidelines and documentation that support long-term planning and centre operations, such as staff appraisal processes

  • further developing teaching strategies that support children’s individual interests, extend children's thinking and complex play opportunities.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Eskdale Treehouse 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Eskdale Treehouse Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

10 June 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

Birkdale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45782

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

41

Gender composition

Girls 23 Boys 18

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

German

Indian

other

1

24

3

2

2

9

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

10 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 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.