Hokowhitu Children's Centre

Education institution number:
52516
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
66
Telephone:
Address:

Building 5 80 Tennent Drive, Fitzherbert, Palmerston North

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1 Evaluation of Hokowhitu Children's Centre

How well placed is Hokowhitu Children's 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

Hokowhitu Children’s Centre is a non-profit parent cooperative. It is licensed to provide all day education and care for 70 children, including 24 up to the age of two years. There are two main indoor learning areas, one for children over two years of age and the other for the younger children. Each of these areas has a head teacher and specific teaching team.

A parent-led management committee is responsible for governing the service, all members are new to this role in 2018. There have been changes to staffing since the December 2015 ERO report.

A new centre supervisor and head teacher, in the learning area for older children, were appointed in March of this year. There are also some new teaching staff.

The whakatauki, 'Ko te piko o te māhuri, tērā te tupu o te rākau', 'The way the sapling is shaped determines how the tree grows', encapsulates the service’s philosophy, ‘Hand in hand: Learning and growing’. These shared values and beliefs guide positive child-teacher-family relationships to support the development of children's identity.

The centre's staff and community is representative of a diverse range of ethnicities.

The previous ERO report identified key next steps for this service as establishing priorities for learning, internal evaluation and strengthening strategic and annual planning. Good progress is evident.

The Review Findings

Children's wellbeing and learning is enhanced through their active involvement in the service's well-considered and implemented, culturally responsive curriculum. The centre philosophy aligns with the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and is highly evident in practice. Whanaungatanga underpins teaching and learning.

A positive atmosphere permeates the centre. The services youngest children's holistic development is promoted within a culture of care and nurture. Responsive teachers know the children and their preferences well. This knowledge, and the calm and unhurried curriculum provide a very positive platform for learning and progress.

The meaningful inclusion of te ao Māori and te reo Māori is purposefully planned, giving emphasis to Māori learners' culture, language and identity as tangata whenua. Pacific and all families' cultures and languages are incorporated in the curriculum through celebrations and learning experiences.

Strong learning partnerships develop between teachers, families and whānau. Centre practices enable teachers to regularly share information about children's learning and progress with families. This contributes well to continuity of care and learning between homes and the centre. If a child has additional learning needs, these relationships are extended to include external agencies if deemed appropriate.

Teaching staff are highly reflective practitioners. They undertake research collaboratively, build shared understandings of effective practice and adapt and review teaching and the curriculum aligned to this new knowledge.

The new governance committee members and centre leaders are developing their understanding of collective expectations for their roles and responsibilities. Actions are underway to build capacity through improved strategic planning. Self review for accountability and improvement is well understood.

The committee and teachers are making good progress reviewing policies and procedures. Leaders recognise human resource management practices require further improvement. As a priority, leaders need to:

  • formally appraise the centre supervisor

  • fully implement the newly developed appraisal process for all teaching staff

  • ensure appraisal procedures and practice meet all the requirements of the Education Council for issuing and renewal of teachers' practising certificates.

Key Next Steps

Leaders should continue to:

  • build teachers' capability to use internal evaluation effectively to sustain and continually improve teaching and learning for all children

  • strengthen human resource management practices, including appraisal for all teachers.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hokowhitu Children's 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 Hokowhitu Children's Centre will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

6 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

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

52516

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

70 children, including up to 24 aged under 2

Service roll

63

Gender composition

Girls 33, Boys 30

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Cook Island
Other ethnic groups

7
34
3
19

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

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

6 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2015

Education Review

September 2012

Education Review

August 2009

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 Hokowhitu Children's Centre

How well placed is Hokowhitu Children's 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

Hokowhitu Children’s Centre operates as a non-profit parent cooperative. It provides education and care for 60 children, including 18 up to the age of two years, at any one time. The parent-led management committee is responsible for governance of the service and is supported by the centre manager and teachers.

Since the September 2012 ERO report, the service has relocated to a semi-rural setting in the grounds of the Fitzherbert Science Centre, Palmerston North. The building and outdoor spaces have been thoughtfully planned and organised to support children’s exploration and investigation. There are two main indoor learning areas, one for children over two years of age and the other for the service's youngest children. Each of these areas has a specific teaching team.

The philosophy is underpinned by shared values and beliefs. Positive child-teacher-family relationships successfully support the development of children's identity.

Since the previous ERO report teachers have focused on strengthening bicultural awareness. Professional learning and development with an external facilitator has improved their understanding of internal evaluation for improvement.

The Review Findings

The centre curriculum, environment and resources provide children with a varied range of activities and learning experiences. Programme planning and assessment include reference to the strands and goals of Te Whāriki. A developing part of these processes is the collection and sharing of assessment information with families through e-portfolios. Children’s learning and developments are increasingly celebrated and shared between teachers and parents.

Teachers support learners to follow their interests. They encourage children’s language development, mathematical understanding and sustained attention to both child-initiated and adult‑directed learning goals. Young children welcome opportunities to actively explore, talk about, and participate in, these experiences.

Programme provision for very young children focuses on nurturing their wellbeing through responsive caregiving. Care routines are unhurried and an integral and enjoyable part of children’s learning experiences. Play is viewed as a vehicle for learning. Opportunities are plentiful for these young learners to be active communicators and explorers.

Teachers increasingly acknowledge and value the cultural identity of Māori learners, linked to place and identity. Te ao Maori is becoming a meaningful part of children’s daily experience. Waiata, pepeha and the use of te reo Māori reflect curriculum priorities.

A new appraisal process is being implemented. It is developmental and informs professional learning opportunities for teachers. Further exploration of Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners should enhance teaching practice and understanding of a culturally responsive curriculum.

Internal review processes continue to evolve. Leaders and teachers are developing clearer understandings of evaluation for improvement. Recent review of transition processes within the centre supports a well-considered flexible approach to meet individual children’s needs.

Governors and managers should seek support to enhance understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Strategic planning requires strengthening. The focus of the plan is on centre operations and broad teaching and learning objectives.

Key Next Steps

Managers and teachers should continue developing a shared understanding of formal, in-depth, evidence-based internal evaluation to enhance decision-making including:

  • establishing agreed teaching practice to determine curriculum priorities and emphasis
  • strengthening strategic and annual planning to better inform centre priorities for teaching and learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hokowhitu Children's 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 Hokowhitu Children's Centre will be in three years. 

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

16 December 2015 

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

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

52516

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 18 aged under 2

Service roll

64

Gender composition

Girls 33, Boys 31

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Sri Lankan
Chinese
Other ethnic groups

11
31
  9
  3
  5
  5

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

16 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

September 2012

Education Review

August 2009

Education Review

September 2002

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.