BestStart Elles Road

Education institution number:
45957
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
95
Telephone:
Address:

200 Elles Road, Invercargill

View on map

1 Evaluation of Edukids Elles Road

How well placed is Edukids Elles Road 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

Edukids Elles Road is owned and operated by the BestStart group. It provides full-day education and care for up to 75 children in a purpose-built facility in South Invercargill. Children play and learn in three separate age-based areas known as the nursery, preschool, and the prep room. There is a separate outdoor area for infants and toddlers. Older toddlers and young children share an adjoining playground.

A centre manager, and a lead head teacher and two head teachers form the leadership team. A BestStart Business Manager and BestStart Professional Services Manager (PSM) visit regularly to support the service.

Since the 2014 review, there have been some staff changes. This includes a new centre manager who had been a head teacher within the service. The centre is staffed by a combination of qualified early childhood teachers and caregivers. BestStart has secured funding for an extra staff member to help provide additional support for children who need it.

This review was part of a cluster of four reviews in the BestStart Group in Southland.

The Review Findings

The service leaders have taken a planned approach to addressing the recommendations in the 2014 report. They have made considerable improvements in all the key areas. These improvements and the high expectations leaders have for teaching and learning are contributing to positive outcomes for children.

The service philosophy clearly outlines the shared values and beliefs and is used to guide practice and decision making. The philosophy would be further strengthened by including the service's desired outcomes for children and stating its commitment to the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Developing reciprocal and responsive relationships with whānau and valuing each child's culture and identity are central within the philosophy. Leaders and teachers think carefully about and adopt different ways to:

  • involve whānau in their child's learning

  • recognise the diverse cultures

  • support whānau in their parenting role.

Records of learning could more consistently show how close relationships with whānau, whānau aspirations and valuing cultural diversity contribute to planning to support children's learning.

Children's learning is increasingly well supported by a deliberate programme focus in all rooms on developing their sense of belonging, wellbeing and skills for relating to each other in positive ways. Teachers provide a range of appropriate experiences relevant to the ages and interests of the children they are responsible for. Infants in particular benefit from a relaxed, unhurried pace and many opportunities for close one-to-one interactions with their primary caregivers.

Other aspects of the programme that support children's learning include:

  • more opportunities for early literacy learning as a result of teacher professional development

  • a greater focus and inclusion of children's language culture and identity in the programme and environment

  • well-planned strategies and experiences that are enabling children with diverse needs to have greater success in their learning

  • greater consideration of how to support children's wellbeing during transitions into, within and out of the service

  • opportunities for choice, challenge and physical development.

Leaders and staff have developed useful planning to improve the bicultural curriculum and to improve the way they respond to Māori families. This work is in the early stages and continues to be a self-identified focus for ongoing development.

Service leaders, with the ongoing support of the PSM, have had a sustained focus on improving the quality of individual and group planning and intentional teaching. The next step is to consolidate, embed and grow consistency of practice in this area across the centre. Leaders should continue to ensure that records of learning and interactions keep a strong focus on the intended learning.

There are useful systems to support all teachers to have a better understanding of effective internal evaluation. The PSM and centre leaders agree that growing all teachers' capability in internal evaluation is work in progress. The schedule for internal evaluation has a focus on areas of practice that are likely to have a positive impact on children's learning, for example the quality of teacher interactions. Internal evaluation will be strengthened by developing clearer indicators of best practice relevant to the evaluation focus and using these indicators at all stages of the evaluation.

The centre leaders are effectively coaching and mentoring teachers with regular specific feedback and feed forward to improve the quality of teaching practice. They are building a collaborative team with clear improvement-focussed expectations.

The centre is very well supported by BestStart Educare. Support includes regular visits from managers who provide constructive advice and guidance. The organisation has a useful policy and procedure framework, provides targeted professional learning for leaders and teachers, and has very effective regional quality assurance and strategic planning practices.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders have identified and ERO agrees the key next steps to improve outcomes for children are to continue to strengthen:

  • all teachers' understanding and use of effective internal evaluation

  • consolidate and embed planning, assessment and evaluation, and ensure teachers show how they respond to whānau aspirations and value children's cultural backgrounds

  • the philosophy, by including desired outcomes for children and more clearly identifying commitment to the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Edukids Elles Road 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.

To strengthen current practice service leaders should show in risk management plans for excursions how they will respond to an identified risk should it occur. 

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Edukids Elles Road will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

12 June 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

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

45957

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

75 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

84

Gender composition

Boys: 49

Girls: 35

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other

13

55

3

13

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

April 2017

Date of this report

12 June 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.

The Child – the Heart of the Matter

1 Evaluation of Edukids Elles Rd

How well placed is Edukids Elles Rd 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

This centre will require considerable support from Kidicorp to address ERO’s recommendations. Kidicorp has the capacity to provide this. With appropriate support the centre will be well placed.

Edukids Elles Road opened in July 2012. The spacious purpose-built centre is divided into three classrooms. These include a nursery for infants and toddlers, a preschool room for children aged two to three and a half years and a ‘prep’ room for older children. There are two large outdoor areas.

Since the centre opened its roll has grown rapidly. The large staff is made up of a mixture of untrained, in-training, provisionally and fully-registered teachers. Since opening there have been some changes in staffing, including two of the three head teachers.

A centre manager oversees the centre and a head teacher is responsible for each room. The centre is owned and managed by the Kidicorp company. A regional business manager has worked alongside the centre manager. After a long vacancy, a professional services manager has been appointed to oversee professional support for teachers in this and other Kidicorp centres.

Children come from a wide range of different family backgrounds. About 10% of the children and some of the teachers are from overseas. Almost 25% of the children identify as Māori.

This is the centre’s first ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children, including infants and toddlers, settle quickly on arrival. Teachers take time to hold and show affection towards the infants. Teachers notice their care needs and respond to these.

On arrival at the centre, older children confidently approach their teachers and other children. They play well alongside and with each other. Over time, many have developed friendships with other children at the centre.

In each room there are well-established routines. These routines give each day a predictable structure and give children a sense of security. Resources are well-organised, attractively displayed, and easy for children to access.

Teachers and the centre manager take time to talk with parents about their children. They find out about the different cultural backgrounds of children and the cultural practices that their families see as important. Teachers try to be respectful of these preferences.

Within each room teachers communicate well with each other about children’s care needs and what they are doing. Teachers’ interactions with children are generally friendly and supportive.

The programmes in each room are mostly child centred and responsive to children’s interests and dispositions.

Children’s profiles are attractively presented. They include frequent learning stories about children’s involvement in activities, their physical and social development, interests and emerging friendships. Increasingly, teachers discuss individual children’s learning and record this.

Given the newness of the centre, teachers are in the early stages of planning how they support children and families as they prepare to move on to school. The centre is beginning to develop relationships with local schools and resources for parents and children to help them in this transition.

The rapid growth of the centre has required the manager to spend considerable time appointing staff and enrolling new families.

The centre manager meets regularly with the Kidicorp business and professional managers and is now feeling better supported.

Kidicorp has useful policies, procedures and guidelines. These set out clear expectations for centre operations. Staff appraisal is being implemented and a Kidicorp Quality Education and Care audit is underway.

Key Next Steps

Most of the teachers are untrained, in training or in the early stages of their teaching career. Due to the rapid growth of the centre and a long period with no professional support person, teachers have not had sufficient guidance and professional learning opportunities. It is critical that Kidicorp ensures that the teachers, especially provisionally-registered teachers, have adequate support.

Teachers need support to improve how they:

  • use routines like kai time, and other interactions with children, as opportunities to enrich children’s language
  • use intentional teaching strategies to extend children’s learning
  • document how they will support children’s early literacy and numeracy development
  • integrate te reo Māori and aspects of Māori culture in centre
  • recognise and celebrate children’s different cultural backgrounds.

It is also timely for the centre manager and staff to:

  • review how well aspects of the centre philosophy are implemented such as how well teachers encourage children to be independent
  • explore recent research about best practice in the education and care of infants and toddlers and then review their own practices against this
  • introduce in-depth reviews of the different ways the centre supports children’s learning.

When writing learning stories, teachers need to make use of parents’ wishes about their children’s learning and then show how they respond to these. Learning stories need to focus more on children’s learning. They also need to show what strategies teachers have or will use to challenge children and add complexity to their learning.

Teachers need to come to a shared understanding of how to plan small and large-group learning. This planning needs to clearly show the strategies teachers will use to extend children’s learning. Teachers also need to regularly evaluate the impact of their programmes.

The appraisal process needs to be strengthened. This should include teachers setting and being appraised against specific goals, and observations of teachers as they work.

The managers and ERO have identified that the centre’s strategic and annual plans need to more clearly reflect the centre’s priorities. Managers should also work with teachers to improve their understanding of effective self review.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Edukids Elles Rd 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 Edukids Elles Rd will be in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

30 January 2014

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

45957

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

75 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

131

Gender composition

Girls: 68

Boys: 63

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

Other

29

85

4

6

7

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

50-79%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4 and 1:5

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

30 January 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reviews

 

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.