Discovery Preschool Ltd

Education institution number:
55417
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
21
Telephone:
Address:

3 Waldie Grove, Avalon, Lower Hutt

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1 Evaluation of Discovery Preschool Ltd

How well placed is Discovery Preschool Ltd 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

Discovery Preschool Ltd is a privately owned early learning service in Avalon, Lower Hutt. It is licensed for 30 children aged over two years. Of the 29 children enrolled at the time of this ERO review, 14 identify as Māori.

In early 2017, the service was bought by Adhikar Enterprises Limited. The new owners are focused on providing quality education and care and attend professional training to increase their understanding of best practice in early childhood. Developments and improvements have resulted in enhanced indoor and outdoor environments for children and adults.

Since the November 2016 ERO report, the centre has experienced a significant number of staff and leadership changes. A new centre manager and centre coordinator provide overall curriculum guidance for the teaching team. Four teachers have an early childhood qualification and full certification. One educator has a certificate in early childhood practice (level 4).

The centre philosophy highlights the concepts of 'Whakamanawa, Whanaungatanga, Manaakitanga, Ākonga and Auahatanga' to express expectations for teaching practice and how children's learning and development will be supported. Currently the philosophy is being reviewed to align with the owners', teachers' and whānau values and beliefs.

The previous report identified a number of areas requiring considerable improvement. These included building management and teachers' capability in:

  • curriculum development and delivery

  • promoting success for Māori and Pacific children

  • developing a robust appraisal process to support teachers professional growth and improving teaching practices

  • using internal evaluation to promote improvement.

Significant progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

The programme for children is strongly underpinned by respect and empowerment, and enables teachers to nurture and build positive, trusting relationships with learners and their whānau.

Teachers capture each child’s development through regular and useful assessment. They work collaboratively to develop an understanding of each child as a unique participant in the centre’s learning community. Whānau are beginning to share in and respond to their child’s on-line assessment information. Responsive teachers support children’s social and emotional progress.

Children are confident and active participants in learning. They make choices about play and set challenges for themselves. Children initiate interactions and conversations with their peers and adults. They develop tuakana teina relationships through regular engagement with others and are enthusiastic learners.

In collaboration with management and teachers, Māori children and their whānau are leaders in bicultural learning at the centre. Their language, culture and identities have a special place in the environment and programme. Te reo Māori is naturally incorporated into conversations with children. Teachers continue to investigate further ways to promote te ao Māori in a local, place-based context.

Teachers work responsively with children who are identified with diverse needs for learning. An inclusive environment acknowledges, and is respectful of, the range of ethnic groups in the centre. Teachers continue to find strategies to engage and support those requiring additional learning support.

Continuity between home, centre and school is acknowledged by teachers as important to children's developing confidence, competence and capabilities that transfer to the classroom. They continue to seek ways to strengthen these relationships.

Leadership is collaborative and improvement focused. The owners have a clear vision for the centre that is well communicated. The centre manager and teaching team are developing a culture, based on mutual respect and skills that encourages children’s learning.

Practices to support continuing improvement and evaluate progress are consolidating. Focused professional development has helped the manager to work well with her team to develop a shared understanding of effective practice. Strategic planning identifies priorities and associated goals aligned to the service's annual plan. A new appraisal system supports developing deliberate strategies for working towards goals and links to relevant training. The process has the potential to enhance teachers' professional growth and positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The owners, manager and ERO agree on the following key next steps for Discovery Preschool Ltd, to continue to:

  • further embed assessment, planning and evaluation practices to guide future teaching and learning

  • fully implement all teachers' appraisal to enhance outcomes for children and their whānau.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Discovery Preschool Ltd 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 Discovery Preschool Ltd will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

14 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

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

55417

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, aged over 2

Service roll

29

Gender composition

Girls 20, Boys 9

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Tongan
Indian
Samoan
Other ethnic groups

14
5
3
3
2
2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

14 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2016

Education Review

November 2013

Supplementary Review

July 2013

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 Discovery Preschool Ltd

How well placed is Discovery Preschool Ltd to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The centre manager and teachers should continue to improve practices to ensure the provision of high quality education and care for all children attending the service.

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

Background

Discovery Preschool is a privately owned centre, situated in the diverse community of Avalon in Lower Hutt. It is licensed for 30 children from two to five years of age and operates from 9am to 3pm daily. The service's owner is also the licensee and centre manager.

A high number of Māori children attend the centre. Staffing reflects the cultural backgrounds of children and their families.

The owner is responsible for the management and administration of the centre. The head teacher is responsible for the day-to-day running of the service.

The November 2013 ERO evaluation identified the need to continue to develop the service's curriculum based on priorities for children's learning and self review. Some progress has been made in addressing the curriculum findings.

The Review Findings

Teachers focus on building responsive relationships. Children, parents and whānau demonstrate a sense of belonging and are familiar with routines and centre expectations. Teachers value the contribution of parents and seek ways to engage them in their child's learning. Revisiting the centre philosophy to include parent, families and whānau perspectives should help leaders and teachers update and revitalise the service's priorities for children's learning.

Children experience a curriculum that is a mix of play-based and teacher-directed experiences. Teachers support children to develop physical skills. Mathematics, literacy and science are integrated. Self-help and management skills are encouraged. Regular outings make good use of community resources and provide additional learning opportunities for children. A priority is for leaders and teachers to determine how effectively the service's curriculum conveys that learning is exciting and meaningful, values children's language culture and identity and provides challenging opportunities for learning.

Children are independent and lead their own play. They engage in activities for sustained periods of time. They have access to a good range of relevant resources. Teachers should more consistently engage children in rich learning conversations that would enhance their thinking, problem solving and oral language development.

There is still some work required in developing teachers' shared understanding and implementation of:

  • collaboratively designing and planning a curriculum that promotes learning and success for all children
  • identifying high quality teaching practices that assist the service to achieve its priorities for children's learning
  • the purpose and use of assessment for learning
  • using review and evaluation to identify how well children are learning.

The manager and teachers have also identified the need to include multiple perspectives in their planning. ERO's evaluation affirms this step.

Improvements to practice in curriculum planning and assessment should enhance the current planning process developed for individual children. Profile books are attractive records of children's participation in a range of centre experiences and show how transitions are supported.

Teachers are responsive to the needs of children, parents and whānau when transitioning into the centre. Teachers are currently reviewing the centre's transition-to-school processes. This should include a review of the effectiveness of the pre-school group programme to determine whether the experiences offered reflect current research and teaching practice.

The knowledge and experience of leaders has informed the development of some internal processes, to strengthen their responses to children requiring additional learning support. They should continue to seek assistance from external agencies to further support these children's participation and engagement in learning.

Teachers have engaged in a range of professional development to improve the quality of education and care. A next step is to identify the impact that this time and commitment has had on improving outcomes for children.

To further support improvements to teaching practice the appraisal process requires ongoing development. The current appraisal document is not sufficiently focused on improving teaching and learning, teachers' practices has not been observed and feedback provided. Strengthening appraisal to support teachers' professional growth and development is a key next step. This should include links to the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Teachers are reflective and regularly engage in self-review activities. They have sought external support to develop their understanding of the process. The focus of review needs to shift from investigating what the centre is doing, to how well centre and teaching practices promote positive outcomes for children. This should enable staff to know what is working or not working and who for, and to inform the next steps for centre improvement.

Key Next Steps

The management and teachers should continue to build their capability in:

  • designing, planning and evaluating the curriculum

  • continuing to promote educational success for Māori and Pacific children

  • developing a shared understanding of assessment for learning

  • further developing appraisal to support teachers' professional growth and improve teaching practices

  • using internal evaluation to promote improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Discovery Preschool Ltd 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

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and 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 Discovery Preschool Ltd will be within two years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

29 November 2016

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

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

55417

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, aged over 2

Service roll

29

Gender composition

Girls 16, Boys 13

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

13

5

8

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

 

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

29 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

November 2013

Supplementary Review

July 2013

Education Review

August 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.