Otaki Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
55390
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
51
Telephone:
Address:

177 Mill Road, Otaki

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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 Otaki Early Learning Centre are as follows:

Outcome Indicators

ERO’s judgement

What the service knows about outcomes for learners

Whakaū Embedding

Ngā Akatoro Domains

ERO’s judgement

He Whāriki Motuhake

The learner and their learning

Whakaū Embedding

Whakangungu Ngaio

Collaborative professional learning builds knowledge and capability

Whakaū Embedding

Ngā Aronga Whai Hua

Evaluation for improvement

Whakaū Embedding

Kaihautū

Leaders foster collaboration and improvement

Whāngai Establishing

Te Whakaruruhau

Stewardship through effective governance and management

Whakaū Embedding

2 Context of the Service

Otaki Early Learning Centre is one of four services that are privately owned and operated. Since the March 2018 ERO report, a new head teacher and several teachers have been appointed. The centre provides a free van service to collect and drop off children from their homes.

3 Summary of findings

Leaders and teachers collaboratively developed and enact the service's philosophy, vision and goals, recognising Te Tiriti o Waitangi as foundational. They have yet to engage with families and whānau Māori to determine what educational success means to them and their children and to contribute to the services learning priorities.

Teachers who work with infants and toddlers, maintain a calm, slow pace that gives younger children time and space to lead their own learning. The environment challenges children to explore and become fully involved in a wide range of activities. Promoting independence is a key focus of the curriculum.

Planning for learning is effectively linked to children’s individual interests, parent and whānau aspirations and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Learning outcomes are used by teachers to plan the learning programme. Celebrating children’s culture, language and identity within assessment documentation is not yet evident.

Leaders and teachers over time have established purposeful relationships Ngāti Raukawa. This has enabled teachers to effectively celebrate te ao Māori in the programme. Purposeful wall displays and the use of te reo Māori further enrich children’s learning. Significant stories that celebrate places that are of value to Ngāti Raukawa to strengthen, build and be reflected in the local curriculum is an area for development.

Leaders and teachers engage in a wide range of professional learning and development to deepen their understanding of Te Whāriki learning outcomes and te ao Māori. This has enhanced teaching and assessment practices.

Leaders and teachers are improvement focused. They have a well-established internal evaluation framework that is enabling them to measure the effectiveness of aspects of the curriculum. Leader and kaiako are yet to consistently measure the information they gather as part of this process against their identified indicators to reliably support decisions and plan improvements.  

Relational trust and working collaboratively for sustained improvement is establishing. 

4 Improvement actions

Otaki Early Learning Centre will include the following actions in its Quality Improvement Planning. These are to continue to embed:

  • learning partnerships with whānau drawing on their aspirations to determine what educational success means to them and their children and to better celebrate and make visible children’s culture, language and identity in the curriculum
  • iwi knowledge and expertise to extend the service’s localised curriculum so that places and stories of significant value to Ngāti Raukawa are celebrated
  • internal evaluation practice through deeper analysis of the information gathered against the identified indicators of good practice. This is likely to more reliably support decision making and identify next steps for sustained improvement to the curriculum.  

5 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Otaki Early 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

10 August 2021 

6 About the Early Childhood Service

Early Childhood Service Name

Otaki Early Learning Centre

Profile Number

55390

Location

Ōtaki

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

38 children, including up to 15 aged under 2.

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Service roll

58

Ethnic composition

Māori 29, NZ European/Pākehā 29.

Review team on site

May 2021

Date of this report

10 August 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, March 2018; Education Review, January 2015.

1 Evaluation of Otaki Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Otaki Early 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

Otaki Early Learning Centre is an all-day service located in Otaki. The centre is licensed for 38 children, including 15 up to two years of age. At the time of this ERO evaluation, 57 children are enrolled, including 27 Māori.  The centre provides a van service to collect children from local families to provide equitable access to early learning provision.

The education and care service is privately owned, operating under the service provider G. Williams Daycare Limited. Day-to-day operation is the responsibility of the head teacher supported by the centre manager. 

Significant management and staffing changes have occurred since the January 2015 ERO report. Currently, all teachers are qualified and registered.

Areas for development identified in the previous ERO report that have been progressed are: self review; curriculum; and relationships with whānau.

The Review Findings

Through a highly collaborative approach with whānau, the values of manaakitanga, aroha, whanaungatanga, tiakī and māoritanga guide practice. The philosophy, recently and comprehensively revisited, gives priority to high quality care and equitable education that is responsive to the children's needs and in partnership with whānau and families.

Children easily access a suitable range of resources that extend their interests, promote free play and support interactions with peers in purposefully designed learning spaces. The outdoor areas provide physical challenge and encourage children's exploration. Community resources are used to enhance learning experiences.

Staff are attuned to children's feelings and cues and use effective strategies to support their wellbeing and participation. Children experience highly respectful, individualised interactions with teachers.  Mathematics, literacy, te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and social competence are well promoted and integrated throughout the programme. Increasing the visibility of Pacific cultures is a next step. 

The service's youngest children have continuity and consistency of care through well-established routines and a calm environment. These positive conditions for learning support their strong sense of belonging. Infants, toddlers and whānau are well supported into the centre through a flexible and responsive transition approach.

Meaningful partnerships with families and appropriate liaison with external agencies support ongoing progress for children who have a wide range of diverse needs. Teachers work sensitively with children and have productive partnerships with families.

Children regularly see, hear and experience te reo me ngā tikanga Māori within the programme in a meaningful and respectful manner. Leaders and teachers have a strong focus on promoting Māori success as Māori. A deliberate commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the provision of a bicultural curriculum is clearly evident in policy and practice. Positive relationships with whānau Māori have been established and their expertise used to inform philosophy development. Leaders and teachers strive for continual improvement in this area.

Assessment, planning and evaluation successfully guide learner progress and achievement. Learning records clearly illustrate children's progress. Their successes, capabilities and areas requiring further support are identified and thoughtfully responded to through individual and group planning. Exploring ways that allow all teachers to contribute to each child's learning through a collaborative and visible approach to planning is a next step. The aspirations of parents and whānau are valued and highly visible. An improved response to reflecting the culture, language and identity for all children is evident.

A well-considered and collaborative approach with whānau supports flexible transitions within the centre and on to school. These practices have been strengthened through robust review and development. The centre is looking to strengthen partnerships with all local schools to further enhance the transition process for children and their families.

Leaders appropriately focus on building the quality of teaching and learning through self review and internal evaluation, regular professional learning opportunities and appraisal.  With leadership guidance, teachers effectively engage in an internal evaluation process.  This guides developments and results in improvements to practice. The centre recognises that ongoing use of the evaluative process should assist them to determine the impact of changes made on learner outcomes.

Approaches to strategic planning and organisational management are well thought out. Gathering whānau input to inform decision making and curriculum priorities is regularly undertaken.

Key Next Steps

Planned internal evaluation and professional development by and for staff, should continue to improve:

  • curriculum provision and responsiveness to Pacific children
  • shared understanding of assessment, planning and evaluation, aligned with
    Te Whāriki (2017)
  • collaborative practices that allow all teachers to contribute to each child's learning
  • determining the impact of changes made on learner outcomes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

2 March 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

Otaki

Ministry of Education profile number

55390

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

57 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

56

Gender composition

Girls 33, Boys 23

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Other ethnic groups

27
26
  1
  2

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

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2018

Date of this report

2 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2015

Education Review

February 2012

Education Review

June 2008

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.