Little Buddies Learning Centre

Education institution number:
45947
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
32
Telephone:
Address:

444 Richardson Road, Mount Roskill, Auckland

View on map

1 Evaluation of Little Buddies Learning Centre

How well placed is Little Buddies 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

Little Buddies Learning Centre provides all-day and sessional education and care for up to 54 children, including 10 up to the age of two years. Children attending the centre are from the diverse cultural backgrounds of the local community. Many families are new to New Zealand.

The privately owned centre operates in a purpose-built facility. There are separate indoor spaces for three age groups of children. Infants, toddlers and older children access one outdoor area.

The centre’s philosophy aims to promote the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.All teachers hold practising certificates. Many of them bring overseas teaching and cultural experiences to their roles.

The 2014 ERO report noted many strengths of the centre, including positive relationships, partnerships with parents, care for infants and an orderly environment. These areas of good practice continue to be evident. Areas identified for improvement were the outdoor environment, the quality of the programme for older children, the responsiveness of teachers to individual children's interests, and a more evaluative approach to the review of centre practices. While attention has been focused on these aspects of centre operations, more work needs to be done.

The Review Findings

Children have a strong sense of belonging in the centre and are keen to learn. They are confident and enthusiastic in their conversations with adults and with each other. Children are familiar with the routines and expectations of the centre.

Relationships between teachers and children are warm and respectful. Teachers are caring and attentive to children's needs. They provide activities and encourage children's learning by working alongside them.

Infants are very well cared for by their teachers in a calm and gentle environment. Teachers know infants well through close partnerships with parents. They are committed to responding to individual children's preferences in care routines and play. As a result, infants and teachers develop secure attachments.

Teachers provide good opportunities for children to become familiar with te reo Māori. Children confidently participate in waiata and karakia. Teachers extend children's use of te reo Māori to include words relevant to the current theme. Some teachers skilfully ensure children have good understanding of kupu Māori used during these times. This good practice helps to foster Māori children's sense of cultural identity and promote the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand for all children.

The centre is welcoming and inclusive. Teachers provide opportunities to recognise families' cultural backgrounds. Various religious, cultural and language days that are relevant to the multicultural backgrounds of children and teachers are celebrated.

Teachers plan activities related to popular themes or topics. While they do gather aspirations that parents hold for their children, teachers could be more intentional in their responses to this information. Teachers' planning and programmes need to focus more on fostering and developing individual children's interests and passions. These areas of interest could provide strong contexts through which to extend the complexity of children's thinking and play.

Records of children's learning provide parents with good background information about a particular event or group activity. Teachers record children's participation in, and learning from the activity. Most parents provide regular and detailed feedback to teachers in children's individual learning records.

The centre director is aware of a difference in understanding between parents' expectations of a more formal programme for children and the principles of Te Whāriki. Teachers have collaborated with staff from local schools to extend parents' understanding of the attitudes and behaviours that best support learning within the New Zealand education system.

The centre director has established systems and frameworks to document centre operations. It is now timely to refine and align these systems and documentation. Internal evaluation that includes robust critique of centre practices could support improvement. Using indicators for high quality early childhood education practices could help to ensure that effort and resourcing result in valued outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

To better implement Te Whāriki and to continue to improve the quality of provision for children, the centre manager and teachers should:

  • review the philosophy statement and identify the outcomes that the centre values for children

  • establish high expectations of the teacher's role in promoting valued outcomes for children

  • ensure that planning and programmes respond to children's individual interests and promote creativity, critical thinking and complex play

  • improve resources and the outdoor area to provide greater challenge and to support children's exploration and imaginative play

  • refine management processes and documentation, including internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Buddies 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 Little Buddies Learning Centre will be in three years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

8 September 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

Mount Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45947

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

54 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

75

Gender composition

Boys 40, Girls 35

Ethnic composition

Indian
Pākehā
African
Chinese
Samoan
SE Asian
other Asian
other

41
5
3
3
2
2
12
7

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

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

8 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

January 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.

1 Evaluation of Little Buddies Learning Centre

How well placed is Little Buddies 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

Little Buddies Learning Centre in Mt Roskill, Auckland, first opened in July 2012. The centre provides all day and/or sessional education and care for up to 54 children, including up to 10 under the age of two. The centre aims to provide exemplary childcare for the children of Mt Roskill, in partnership with parents/whānau and the wider community.

Children are placed into three age groups. The indoor area features separate spaces for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. The three groups share one outdoor area, and opportunities are provided for children of all ages to play together in the mornings and late afternoon.

The principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, underpin the centre’s philosophy and practice. The centre acknowledges and supports New Zealand’s bicultural heritage. The service also embraces and celebrates other cultures in the increasingly multi-ethnic environment of Mt Roskill.

The largest ethnic groups in the centre are Indian, Pakistani, Afghani and Fijian-Indian. The inclusive nature of the centre is reflected in its provision for children with special and additional learning needs.

The centre is privately owned. The centre director is an experienced educator and has had a major role in designing, equipping and staffing this purpose-built facility. All teaching staff are registered teachers and some have had overseas teaching experience. Team leaders and the teachers are well supported by the centre director and specialist consultants to continue their professional learning and development.

The Review Findings

Multiculturalism is one of the outstanding features of the centre. Children’s cultural identities and languages are valued and respected. Children have opportunities to hear and learn the Māori language through greetings, songs and celebrations of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage. Their own languages and cultures are affirmed by their teachers and through the many cultural celebrations in the centre programme.

Effective communication and partnership with parents and families, another strength of the service, benefit children’s learning. Good quality assessment approaches enable staff to keep parents well informed about their children’s learning and progress. The centre is responsive to parents’ aspirations for their children and their desire to have their children settle well and succeed in education.

Children’s learning and wellbeing are central to centre operations. The calm, orderly learning environment created by the teachers helps children to feel secure, have a sense of belonging and become confident, competent learners.

Relationships within the centre are warm and respectful. Children enjoy playing and learning together. Teachers are caring and attentive. They support children and engage with them in learning activities. Teachers are especially responsive to children with special needs and have been effective in advancing their progress.

Infants receive nurturing and loving care. They are encouraged to develop self-management and social skills as well as their language, thinking and physical abilities. Learning programmes for the younger groups of children are thoroughly prepared and build on children’s interests. Children are keen to learn and happily participate in learning activities, extending their knowledge and skills.

The preschool programme remains an area for review and improvement. The programme is overly teacher directed and does not adequately promote opportunities for children to develop their independence and self-management skills. A review of the current structure is needed to provide a better balance between educationally recognised good teaching practices and managing parents’ aspirations. Children require more opportunities to develop complexity and challenges through sustained play. Reducing the number of transitions during the day and offering more flexible routines should help teachers to make this change.

The centre director sets high standards for all aspects of centre operations in order to provide a high quality service that promotes positive outcomes for all children. The thoughtfully designed and well equipped rooms and facilities are clean and attractive.

Policies, procedures and quality assurance monitoring systems are well developed. Self review for centre improvement is an established a part of centre culture. The centre director supports and mentors teachers effectively to continue developing their teaching practice and to fulfil their leadership roles.

Key Next Steps

The centre director and ERO agree that the next steps to guide centre development could be for teachers to:

  • identify learning outcomes for individuals and groups of children in programme evaluation and planning
  • share good practices about ways of being more flexible and spontaneous in responding to children’s interests rather than allowing teacher-led group routines to dominate children’s learning.

The centre director should also ensure that:

  • centre self review includes more evaluative questions and agreed indicators of high quality early childhood education practices
  • management plans are extended into a strategic plan that includes self-review and quality assurance processes and outcomes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Buddies 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 Little Buddies Learning Centre will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

24 January 2014

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

Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45947

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

54 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

76

Gender composition

Boys 46 Girls 30

Ethnic composition

Māori

Indian

Afghani

Pakistani

Fiji Indian

Somalian

Ethiopian

Fijian

Tongan

other

1

24

11

10

9

5

4

2

2

8

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

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

24 January 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

No previous ERO reports

 

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.