School of Fish Childcare

Education institution number:
46284
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
79
Telephone:
Address:

74 Grey Street, Onehunga, Auckland

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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 (PDF 3.01MB) 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 (PDF 91.30KB) 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 School of Fish Childcare are as follows:

Outcome Indicators

ERO’s judgement

What the service knows about outcomes for learners

Whakawhanake Sustaining

Ngā Akatoro Domains

ERO’s judgement

He Whāriki Motuhake

The learner and their learning

Whakawhanake Sustaining

Whakangungu Ngaio

Collaborative professional learning builds knowledge and capability

Whakawhanake Sustaining

Ngā Aronga Whai Hua

Evaluation for improvement

Whakaū Embedding

Kaihautū

Leaders foster collaboration and improvement

Whakawhanake Sustaining

Te Whakaruruhau

Stewardship through effective governance and management

Whakawhanake Sustaining

2 Context of the Service

School of Fish Childcare operates from a converted villa and is one of two early childhood services under the same ownership. There are three areas for different age groups of children. The centre owner has a staff of 14 that includes a centre manager, eight qualified teachers, three teachers in training, a chef and an experienced external mentor.

3 Summary of findings

Children are confident and capable learners. They play collaboratively and engage in sustained conversations with teachers and peers. Children at this service have developed a strong sense of belonging. They make choices and take responsibility for themselves and the environment. Tuakana/teina relationships between older and younger children are evident.

Teachers who work with infants provide nurturing and individualised care. These younger children are treated with dignity and respect. Teachers are attentive and respond quickly to infants’ non-verbal communication. Toddlers explore a well-resourced and inviting area that meets their learning styles and preferences. Teachers facilitate a calm and relaxed pace for children to feel secure and develop independence.

Older children learn through play in an environment that encourages creativity, imagination and discovery. Teachers encourage children to share and develop their ideas. They foster problem solving, literacy, mathematics, science through intentional teaching strategies woven into meaningful experiences. Teachers actively support children’s readiness for school through the Little School programme and the relationship they have with local schools.

Leaders and teachers provide a rich, responsive and inclusive curriculum that aligns well to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers respond meaningfully to children’s interests and ideas. They support the development of children’s understandings and ways of learning. Children’s emotional wellbeing and social competence are affirmed through teachers’ interactions and skilful positive guidance.

Leaders plan professional learning and mentoring opportunities to ensure teachers develop their confidence, capabilities and reflective practice. Time, equipment and personnel are allocated to support change and improvement. Leaders work collaboratively to build teachers’ evaluation knowledge and to enrich practices that support a culturally responsive curriculum.

Governance and management systems operate with a high level of efficiency and relational trust. Leaders’ collaborative approaches help to build teachers’ capability. Leaders and teachers enact a shared philosophy and implement policies and practices that promote positive outcomes for children. The working environment is conducive to sustaining good quality adult, child and whānau relationships, and supports continuity in the curriculum experienced by children.

4 Improvement actions

School of Fish Childcare will include the following actions in its Quality Improvement Planning:

  • Enrich the curriculum by deepening bicultural practice.
  • Document more deliberately how teachers respond to children’s languages and cultures in curriculum planning.
  • Show how the service promotes and enacts equitable outcomes for children by strengthening the implementation of a documented internal evaluation process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of School of Fish Childcare 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.

Phil Cowie
Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)
Northern Region | Te Tai Raki

24 September 2021 

About the Early Childhood Service

Early Childhood Service Name School of Fish Childcare
Profile Number 46284
Location Onehunga, Auckland

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 16 aged under 2.

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Service roll

82

Ethnic composition

Māori 2, NZ European/Pākehā 57, Chinese 8, other European 8, other ethnic groups 7

Review team on site

May 2021

Date of this report

24 September 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, November 2018
Education Review, September 2015

1 Evaluation of School of Fish Childcare

How well placed is School of Fish Childcare 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

School of Fish Childcare, in Onehunga, is licensed to provide all-day education and care for 60 children including 12 up to two years of age. It operates in a converted villa in a residential area close to the town centre. The owner/director opened a second centre in Mangere Bridge in 2016. The two centres share some management and curriculum approaches.

About a quarter of the children enrolled are from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Children are catered for in two age groups, transitioning into the older group at approximately two years of age. Children over the age of four take part in a morning programme that has a greater focus on getting ready for school.

The centre's philosophy is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach to early learning. The philosophy recognises the individuality of children, and the importance of teachers listening to children and giving them the time to make choices. The teachers' role is to facilitate learning led by the child.

The centre employs a large number of qualified staff. An experienced mentor supports teachers in their professional learning and development. A chef is employed to provide meals for the children.

The 2015 ERO report recognised the high quality environment that provided many learning opportunities for children. It commented on the calm and affirming relationships that teachers had with infants and toddlers. The next steps identified at that time were to increase alignment between the centre's philosophy and teaching practice, and to develop more teaching strategies to extend children's learning. Some progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from positive relationships with centre staff and each other. Teachers respond to children with warmth and respect. They work at the children's level and engage them in conversations and interactions that support their wellbeing and learning. Children are familiar with routines and how to access resources. Friendships among children are evident.

A primary caregiving approach for infants and toddlers facilitates good communication with parents when they are enrolling their children in the centre. The care for young children is based on their home sleep and meal routines.

The 'Little School' for four-year olds provides a good opportunity for older children to develop their skills in self-management, literacy and numeracy, and relating to others. Centre managers recognise that these skills, support children's transition to school and can be developed in the context of play.

The centre's physical environments are attractive and well organised. Resources are chosen for their educational value and displayed in ways that make them accessible and invite children to engage with them. Teachers set up the environment to provoke children's interests and promote their learning.

Teachers identify children's interests and support them to extend their learning through conversations and resources. Teachers are considering how they can strengthen the recording of planning for individual children.

Teachers' programme evaluation recognises children's learning and emerging interests, and includes brief teacher reflections. More effective, improvement-focused evaluation would help teachers to inquire into and examine their teaching strategies in more depth and to continually enhance their professional practice.

Teachers support children to build their knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori. Aspects of te ao Māori are included in programmes and the environment. There is some use of te reo Māori by teachers. There are also aspects of the environment that affirm the identity of children from other cultures. Bicultural practices and cultural responsiveness could be strengthened.

Staff value their partnership with whānau and keep them well informed. Parents are encouraged to participate in decision making about centre operations. They also have opportunities to contribute to the assessment and planning of educational programmes. The centre is trialling an online tool that will allow parents easier access to their children's assessment portfolios.

Good governance and management systems are in place to guide centre operations. A comprehensive policy framework guides centre practices. Policies are reviewed regularly. The owner/director works collaboratively with leaders and staff with a focus on ongoing improvement and building professional capability.

There are strong systems in place to build teachers' professional practice. An external mentor is working with centre staff to implement a strengthened appraisal process that aligns with Education Council requirements and encourages teachers to reflect on their practice. Relevant professional learning and development supports teachers' professional growth.

Key Next Steps

The director, centre manager and curriculum mentor agree that key next steps include strengthening:

  • assessment of individual children's learning, so that it more clearly shows children's progress over time

  • programme planning, by clearly identifying the strategies teachers might use to support children's learning

  • approaches to support children's understanding of bicultural Aotearoa New Zealand

  • internal evaluation, by using evaluative questions to guide the centre's inquiries into the effectiveness of current management and teaching practices and to help improve operations.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of School of Fish Childcare 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 School of Fish Childcare will be in three years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

2 November 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

Onehunga, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

46284

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

75

Gender composition

Boys 38 Girls 37

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
other ethnic groups

2
55
5
13

Percentage of qualified teachers

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

August 2018

Date of this report

2 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 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.