The Little Steps Tuakau

Education institution number:
45924
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
25
Telephone:
Address:

61 Harrisville Road, Tuakau

View on map

1 ERO’s Judgements

Akarangi | Quality Evaluation evaluates the extent to which this early childhood service has the learning and organisational conditions to support equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners. Te Ara Poutama- indicators of quality for early childhood education: what matters most are the basis for making judgements about the effectiveness of the service in achieving equity and excellence for all learners. The Akarangi Quality Evaluation Judgement Rubric derived from the indicators, is used to inform the ERO’s judgements about this service’s performance in promoting equity and excellence. 

ERO’s judgements for The Little Steps Tuakau are as follows:

Outcome Indicators

ERO’s judgement

What the service knows about outcomes for learners

Whāngai Establishing

Ngā Akatoro Domains

ERO’s judgement

He Whāriki Motuhake

The learner and their learning

Whāngai Establishing

Whakangungu Ngaio

Collaborative professional learning builds knowledge and capability

Whāngai Establishing

Ngā Aronga Whai Hua

Evaluation for improvement

Whāngai Establishing

Kaihautū

Leaders foster collaboration and improvement

Whāngai Establishing

Te Whakaruruhau

Stewardship through effective governance and management

Whakatō Emerging

2 Context of the Service

The Little Steps Tuakau is a privately owned centre in the rural community of Tuakau. Most children enrolled are Māori or have Pacific heritages. There are separate learning environments for infants and toddlers, and for older children. The service provider and supervisor lead a team of four qualified and two unqualified teachers.

3 Summary of findings

Māori children and whānau have regular opportunities to contribute to the curriculum provided. Kaiako connect with the local iwi and marae to support children’s cultural identity and sense of belonging. They provide opportunities for children to learn about the whakapapa of the local land. Kaiako have begun to integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into daily teaching practices.

Kaiako respect and respond to the identities, languages and cultures of all children and whānau, particularly Pacific learners. They celebrate the diversity of children and their whānau and recognise the skills and knowledge they bring to the service.

Infants and toddlers experience a calm pace to routines, and they develop positive relationships with kaiako. Care is understood to be an integral part of providing infants with a sense of security to promote their learning and development. Older children are well supported to take responsibility for their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. Leaders and kaiako have started to work with whānau and external agencies to provide appropriate learning support for children with additional learning needs.

Leaders and kaiako are establishing their knowledge of ways to use internal evaluation to promote improvement. They are beginning to work together to build shared understandings to help develop their collective skills and teaching capabilities. The service is working towards implementing a curriculum that is consistent with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

4 Improvement actions

The Little Steps Tuakau will include the following actions in its Quality Improvement Planning:

  • to strengthen the depth and consistency of curriculum planning and assessment processes to support positive outcomes for learners in relation to Te Whāriki
  • to use internal evaluation processes to implement and evaluate systems, processes and practices that focus on improved outcomes for children
  • to seek external professional development that will support leaders and teachers to grow their capability to implement effective curriculum and internal evaluation processes.

5 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Little Steps Tuakau 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.

6 Actions for Compliance

ERO found areas of non-compliance in the service relating to:

  • monitoring and replenishing items in the first aid kit
  • ensuring heavy furniture items that could fall and cause injury are secured
  • monitoring and replenishing items in the civil defence kit.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services PF28, HS6, HS7.

Steve Tanner
Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)
Northern Region | Te Tai Raki

8 April 2021 

7 About the Early Childhood Service

Early Childhood Service Name The Little Steps Tuakau
Profile Number 45924
Location Auckland

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

38 children, including up to 10 aged under 2.

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Service roll

27

Ethnic composition

Māori 15
NZ European/Pākehā 5
Pacific 5
other ethnic groups 2

Review team on site

January 2021

Date of this report

8 April 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, April 2017
Education Review, February 2014

1 Evaluation of The Little Steps Tuakau

How well placed is The Little Steps Tuakau 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

The Little Steps Tuakau, formerly known as Little Sparks Educare until ownership changed in early 2016, is in a phase of change and development. The service provides full day education and care for up to 38 children including up to 10 under two years old. There are separate indoor and outdoor areas for each age group. Children and staff come from diverse cultural backgrounds.

The centre is one of two in the South Auckland area operated by the owner. She spends most of her time in this centre working as part of the team. As most staff have been new appointments in the last year, there is a current focus on building a collaborative team and developing shared leadership responsibilities. The owner and three other staff are registered teachers.

In 2014 ERO identified a number of concerns that resulted in additional support for the centre and an action plan to guide improvements. The previous owners and teachers made good progress, and work has continued with the current team. Teachers have sustained positive relationships with families, developed a new centre philosophy, and improved the quality of the programme for infants and toddlers. New planning processes are evolving and the owner continues to develop centre resources.

The Review Findings

Children are supported well to be settled and confident in the centre. They benefit from teachers' focus on positive behaviour management and they learn to play cooperatively. Children make choices from prepared resources and activities, and they can move freely between the indoor and outdoor environments. Older children's transition to school is supported through a programme that focuses on developing their independence and learning dispositions. A significant cultural component in the programme provides good support for Māori children, and acknowledges other cultures in the centre.

Infants and toddlers enjoy personalised care and support. Teachers respect toddlers' growing self-management skills as they guide them through routines and learning activities. Teachers' positive interactions encourage these younger children to engage in play and interact with other children.

Teachers support children to engage with resources and follow their interests. They provide a range of equipment and they teach children to more proactively ask for resources they need. Children have opportunities to participate in real life activities such as gardening and cooking. Excursions and links with the community are a significant part of the programme, helping children to know their local environment. Further emphasis on extending children's learning through their individual interests would be a useful next step for teachers.

Teachers continue to develop planning, assessment and evaluation. They regularly record children's interests, and involvement in topics such as insects and gardening. While teachers plan related activities and resources, they could more specifically plan for their roles in children's learning. This could enhance the continuity of assessment in children's portfolios, and contribute to meaningful programme evaluations. Teachers are considering taking leadership roles in curriculum areas such as literacy, numeracy and science. This initiative could help the development of more complex learning experiences and support for children's oral language development.

Teachers encourage parents' involvement in the centre. They invite families to share children's whakapapa, home experiences, and parents' aspirations for their children's learning. Leaders keep families informed through newsletters, emails and daily personal contact. They also consult through surveys and questionnaires. Leaders are keen for parents to become more active partners in children's learning by contributing more to children's portfolios.

The owner provides sound leadership. She consults teachers and involves them in decisions about the centre’s philosophy, policies and vision. The owner's support for staff professional development has significantly improved teachers' understanding of bicultural practice, knowledge of te reo Māori and child protection strategies. Internal evaluation is extensively documented and results in positive outcomes for children. A purposeful strategic plan is guiding centre development. This document could include more measurable goals and a defined plan for implementing the goals.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps for centre development could include:

  • supporting teachers to extend children's learning and the complexity of their play

  • continuing to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation to guide teaching practices and the curriculum

  • ongoing development of centre resources, and supporting children to ask for equipment they need

  • evaluating the purposes and effectiveness of whole-group mat time activities. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Little Steps Tuakau 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 The Little Steps Tuakau will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

21 April 2017 

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

Tuakau

Ministry of Education profile number

45924

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

38 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

39

Gender composition

Girls 22, Boys 17

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

Filipino

Kiribati

Chinese

others

11

11

5

4

4

2

2

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

March 2017

Date of this report

21 April 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

February 2014

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.