Active Explorers Tauriko

Education institution number:
46079
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
60
Telephone:
Address:

512 Cambridge Road, Tauriko, Tauranga

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ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards
ERO’s judgement

Curriculum

Meeting

Premises and facilities

Meeting

Health and safety

Meeting

Governance, management and administration

Meeting

At the time of the review, ERO found the service was taking reasonable steps to meet regulatory standards.

Background

Active Explorers Tauriko is governed by Evolve Education Group. There have been significant changes in the governance structure of the group. An area manager provides support to the centre manager and teaching team. The previous ERO review in April 2018 found the centre was requiring further development. The centre regained its full Ministry of Education licence in June 2019. Significant progress to address the next steps and compliances identified in the last ERO report have been made. These related to curriculum, health and safety, and governance and management. Children are catered for in three age-based rooms.

Summary of Review Findings

Adults providing education and care engage in positive interactions to enhance learning and nurture reciprocal relationships. Children’s preferences are respected. Teachers demonstrate an understanding of children’s learning and development. The curriculum supports children’s developing social competence and understanding of appropriate behaviour. The outdoor environment has been recently developed and supports the provision of different types of play. There are comfortable and spacious spaces for infants and toddlers to freely move and develop physical skills, protected from more mobile children. Suitable human resource management processes have been implemented including a more robust appraisal system and a selection and appointment process.

Key Next Steps

Next steps include to consistently ensure that:

  • the curriculum in each room reflects the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua
  • assessment, planning and evaluation demonstrates an understanding of all children’s learning, their interests, whānau and life contexts.

Actions for Compliance

Whilst ERO was onsite the service addressed the following non-compliances:

  • items that could topple or fall and cause injury or damage were secured or removed. HS6.

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review is likely to be an Education Review.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

25 February 2020

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name Active Explorers Tauriko
Profile Number 46079

Location

Tauranga

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 15 aged under 2.

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Reported ratio of to children under 2Choose staff or adults.

1:4 - Better than regulatory standards.

Reported ratio of to children over 2Choose staff or adults.

1:8 - Better than regulatory standards.

Service roll

66

Gender composition

Male 37

Female 29

Ethnic composition

Māori 14

NZ European/Pākehā 48

Other ethnic groups 4

Review team on site

20 January 2020

Date of this report

25 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review, April 2018

Education Review, March 2015.

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 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 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 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 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 Active Explorers Tauriko

How well placed is Active Explorers Tauriko to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

There have been significant and ongoing changes to ownership, management, leadership and teaching staff in the past three years. To improve outcomes for children priority should be given to:

  • reviewing the philosophy

  • implementing strategic planning over time

  • developing robust internal evaluation systems and processes

  • strengthening leadership capability

  • enhancing teaching practice and enriching the curriculum.

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

Background

Active Explorers Tauriko, previously known as Kid Country Tauranga is located in Tauriko, near Tauranga. It is licensed to provide education and care for 80 children including 28 up to the age of two years. There has been a significant drop in the roll since the previous ERO review in 2015. Currently 61 children are enrolled including four Māori and a number of children from other nationalities. Children learn in separate age-based areas.

Since the ERO review in March 2015 the centre has been purchased by Evolve Group Ltd which provides governance and management support. A new centre manager was appointed in April 2017. A new area manager with oversight for a number of Evolve services was appointed in July 2017. There is a professional teaching, learning and development team which provides professional support for centre leaders nationally. In addition, there is ongoing review and renewal of policies and guiding documentation to more closely align with regulatory requirements and best practice in early childhood education. Evolve Group Ltd. also provide administrative support for the centre.

The areas for development identified in the 2015 ERO report related to reviewing the centre philosophy and strengthening internal evaluation continue to require improvement. There is also a need to strengthen other aspects of governance and leadership.

The philosophy aims to provide opportunities for children to have the freedom to learn and grow in a unique country setting.

The Review Findings

Important areas of the curriculum require strengthening to meet the needs of all children at the centre.

Positive aspects observed by ERO include:

  • affirming and supportive relationships between teachers and children

  • spacious indoor and outdoor areas that engage active learners in exploration and contact with the natural world

  • well planned transitions through the centre and on to school

  • early concepts of literacy and mathematics are integrated into younger children's play

  • assessment and planning that has an individualised approach and meaningful goals

  • parents accessing and sharing in children's learning through formal and informal conversations with teachers, individual portfolios, centre displays and e-portfolios.

Māori children benefit from teachers who are building their confidence to use te reo Māori in meaningful contexts and show respect for tikanga practices. Centre staff are warm and welcoming of families and whānau.

Infants and toddlers experience familiar care routines that respond to their individual needs. Teachers establish caring and respectful relationships with children up to two years of age. Children have free access to the indoor and outdoor environment and a range of appropriate materials and equipment for much of the day. Breast feeding mothers are supported by teachers to continue their commitment to feeding their babies. Infants and toddlers demonstrate a sense of wellbeing and belonging in a calm environment.

Children with additional learning needs are well included and teachers and leaders work positively with external agencies to support children and families.

Important next steps to strengthen the curriculum are to:

  • develop and implement the centre's local curriculum, including the history of local hapū and iwi and the knowledge about places of significance to them

  • fully implement the culture and identity policy to further promote success for Māori

  • implement intentional planning to add complexity and challenge for children as they grow, particularly for older boys and active learners

  • value and make visible the language, culture and identity of every child

  • increase opportunities for older children to experience literacy and mathematics in meaningful contexts for learning.

In addition, children need access to a wider range of materials and equipment throughout the day to promote their imaginative and creative play.

Teachers are working collaboratively to build a new team after many ongoing changes to ownership, leadership and staffing. There are some examples of teaching practices which promote positive learning outcomes for children. These are:

  • consistent use of strategies to manage children's behaviour positively

  • affirming children's dispositional learning

  • encouraging children’s independence and self-managing skills

  • using te reo Māori in meaningful contexts with children

  • calm and unhurried interactions with infants and toddlers.

Children demonstrated confidence when communicating with teachers and exploring their environment.

The area manager and centre manager work in a positive professional partnership to strengthen leadership capability across the centre. The centre manager is establishing positive relationships with staff, families and children. Centre leaders have recently experienced greater opportunities for regular and relevant professional learning and development and networking with other centre managers in the Evolve group. Important next steps to improve leadership are to:

  • strengthen the centre manager's knowledge and confidence to build professional practice across the centre

  • develop and implement clear expectations for high-quality teaching and learning in each age-based room

  • establish a consistent approach to assessment, planning and evaluation to further respond to individual children’s learning and inform appropriate resourcing decisions.

Many changes to governance and leadership have impacted on the centre's ability to provide a sustained approach to promoting positive learning outcomes for all children. A recently developed and comprehensive strategic plan identifies priority areas for development that address many of the concerns identified in this report. The recent review of the governance structure has improved the clarity of expectations, set a clear direction for centre improvement and strengthened the professional support of the centre manager and head teachers. Evolve Group Ltd has provided increased professional support for centre leaders and teachers in recent times. There is on-going review and renewal of centre policies and guiding documentation to more closely align with regulatory requirements and best practice in early childhood education. Evolve also provides useful administrative support for the centre. Consideration should be given to including a commitment to the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand as part of the umbrella organisation's values statement.

Key Next Steps

The area manager and centre manager should give priority to:

  • reviewing of the centre philosophy

  • implementing and integrating Te Whāriki 2017 aligned to the centre philosophy and vision

  • improving systems and processes for internal evaluation

  • fully implementing Tātaiako, the intent of the culture and identity policy, and strategies that promote success for Māori as Māori

  • continuing to provide teacher professional learning and development aligned with centre priorities and best practice in early childhood.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Active Explorers Tauriko 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to aspects of health and safety, children's access to equipment and materials for learning and the appraisal process. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • checking equipment, premises and facilities every day of operation for hazards to children

  • giving children greater access to a wider range of materials and equipment for learning

  • implementing suitable appraisal for staff that meets the requirements of the New Zealand Education Council.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C5, HS12, PF4, 8, GMA7].

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Active Explorers Tauriko will be within two years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

19 April 2018

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

Tauriko, near Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

46079

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 28 aged under 2

Service roll

61

Gender composition

Boys 40 Girls 21

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
British
Other

4
49
4
4

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

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

19 April 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

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.