Magic Sparks Care and Learning

Education institution number:
45941
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
61
Telephone:
Address:

28 Buick Street, Petone, Lower Hutt

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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

Not meeting

Governance, management and administration

Meeting

At the time of the review, ERO identified non-compliance with regulatory standards that must be addressed.

Background

Magic Sparks Care and Learning is one of four privately-owned services. The managing director and general manager oversee the business operation and the day-to-day management of teaching. Since the October 2017 ERO review, there have been significant and ongoing changes to staff including leaders.

Summary of Review Findings

The service curriculum is inclusive and informed by assessment, planning and evaluation aligned to the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The premises and facilities are resourced to provide for the learning and abilities of the children attending. Children experience respectful interactions with adults. The curriculum provides children with a range of experiences and opportunities to support their interests. Teacher appraisal and internal evaluation processes are established. A policy framework and annual planning guide operations. Consistent implementation of health and safety practices are required to meet aspects of regulatory compliance.

Actions for Compliance

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

  • consistent evidence of approval from the person responsible for an excursion to take place.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services, 2008, HS17.

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

  • furniture intended for children to sleep on are arranged and spaced when in use so that adults have clear access to at least one side, and children are able to sit or stand safely. (HS10)

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends the Ministry follows up with the service provider to ensure that non-compliances identified in this report are addressed promptly.

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

24 June 2021 

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name Magic Sparks Care and Learning
Profile Number 45941
Location Lower Hutt

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

75 children, including up to 20 aged under 2.

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Service roll

62

Ethnic composition

Māori 5, NZ European/Pākehā 27, Pacific heritages 3, Indian 8, Chinese 4, other ethnic groups 15.

Review team on site

March 2021

Date of this report

24 June 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2017, Education Review August 2014.

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 Magic Sparks Care and Learning

How well placed is Magic Sparks Care and Learning 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

Magic Sparks Care and Learning is one of three privately owned services. It is located in Lower Hutt and is licensed for up to 75 children, including 20 aged up to two years. The centre operates for five days a week. There are four separate areas which cater for different age groups. At the time of this review, three children identify as Māori.

The managing director and general manager oversee the business operation and the day-to-day management of teaching. The team leader has oversight of the leaders of each area and teaching staff. Three of the teachers are working towards full registration.

The service philosophy gives priority to a caring and nurturing environment as the foundation for children to develop a love for learning. Encouraging children's natural curiosity and following their interests through exploration are promoted. Te ao Māori is upheld.

The August 2014 ERO evaluation identified a number of areas for development. These included: developing shared understanding between owners, leaders and teachers to support consistent quality of teaching practices; self review; assessment and evaluation; and understanding leadership and best practice. Progress is evident in these areas.

This is the second ERO review for this service.

The Review Findings

The programme is based on a comprehensive approach that clearly links to the centre’s philosophical values and Te Whāriki. Planning for learning is appropriately informed by children's interests, strengths and preferences. Interviews with parents provide opportunity to share goals and aspirations for their children. Teachers use a clear framework to guide planning and learning for individuals and collective learning.

The service is well resourced with literacy, numeracy and movable materials to support a range of age groups. The environment, programmes and resources are thoughtfully managed to initiate children's learning through play. The large indoor-outdoor areas have been redeveloped. These include several connecting spaces that support an increased range of challenging learning experiences. Teachers should consider: ongoing access to a wider range of creative and artistic materials; and organising materials to invite children’s participation and interest and empower them as thinkers and problem solvers. Staff should consider how well they use opportunities to interact meaningfully with children to enrich their learning.

Children's independence and self-care is well supported through routines that give them choices about their participation. Children experience respectful, reciprocal relationships

An online programme has potential to significantly increase parents' input into their children’s learning programme. There is continuity of assessment practices for parents and children across the centre. Teachers' approach to assessment of individual children’s learning should be strengthened by further acknowledgement of families' and children’s culture, language and identity.

Te ao Māori concepts are woven through the programme. Kupu Māori are promoted. Children participate enthusiastically using te reo Māori and confidently share their knowledge and understanding. Continuing to strengthen teachers' capability in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori should enrich the approach to promoting educational success for Māori children.

Children aged up to two years enjoy improved play spaces that support their learning. Consistent care giving, supports infants to settle well and participate in the programme. Teachers should continue to strengthen their approach to support these young children's emerging ideas and interests.

Educators work closely with families to support children identified as having additional needs. Liaison with appropriate agencies occurs when required. Useful individual development plans are developed in consultation with parents and whānau.

There is a considered approach to transition children into the centre, through and onto school. Recent review in supporting transition to school has generated positive change.

Teachers build their capability through internal, centre professional learning opportunities. The centre leader has attended the professional development programme for Te Whāriki (2017), the early childhood curriculum. A further step is to disseminate the early childhood curriculum to all staff.

Internal evaluation leads to positive change and improvement in teaching and learning. Professional development is improving educators' understanding of self review. The internal evaluation framework supports good decision making about change. The process involves a collaborative team approach and is well implemented. Guidelines are up-to-date and well-developed.

Appraisal procedures and guidelines support improvement for teachers. Incorporating an inquiry based approach to teaching is a next step. Mentoring supports teachers’ development.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders acknowledge that there is a need to continue to develop teachers' shared understanding and consistent practice in the following areas:

  • planning for learning

  • engagement and interactions with children to enrich learning

  • responsiveness to children's culture, language and identity, particularly Māori and Pacific children

  • opportunities for children's creative play.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Magic Sparks Care and Learning 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 Magic Sparks Care and Learning will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

6 October 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

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

45941

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

75 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll

83

Gender composition

Boys 42, Girls 41

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

11
54
18

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

1:9

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

6 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 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.