Brooklyn Playcentre

Education institution number:
60031
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
39
Telephone:
Address:

22 Harrison Street, Brooklyn, Wellington

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1 Evaluation of Brooklyn Playcentre

How well placed is Brooklyn Playcentre 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

Brooklyn Playcentre is one of 19 parent-led early childhood centres governed and administered by the Wellington Playcentre Association (the association). It is licensed to provide mixed-age, sessional education and care for 24 children four mornings a week. This includes provision for 18 children up to the age of two at any one time. 

A council, of elected volunteer representatives from each of the association's member centres oversees operation of the association at the governance level. Their work is assisted by an operations manager and general manager.

An executive committee administers the adult education programme and tutors provide timely guidance and support for members. Responsibility for day-to-day operation is undertaken by centre-elected office holders.  

A centre support worker is employed to visit the centre and provide professional advice and feedback to strengthen practice and promote improvement. The support worker's more formalised role was developed after the 2014 ERO review that identified the need for a more effective response by the association to the needs of individual centres. 

The association philosophy, Whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together, is articulated as empowering parents and children to learn, grow and play together and underpins practice. This was reaffirmed by the association and Brooklyn Playcentre at their 2016 annual general meetings and guides service provision and practice for their learning community.

Curriculum planning and implementation is a shared responsibility. Each session is supported by a duty team of parent educators who hold playcentre training certificates. All centre members participate in the playcentre courses and in the additional adult education programme provided by the association. The centre has sustained high numbers over time enabling parents to be actively involved in their child's education.

Brooklyn Playcentre has a positive reporting history with ERO and responded proactively to the areas identified for improvement in the 2014 ERO review. The report identified that centre leaders would benefit from association support to further develop a more bicultural perspective, assessment, planning and self-review practices. Since this review, the centre’s bicultural journey has been planned and deliberate.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation, of which the Wellington Association is part, is planning a significant restructure for 2017. Playcentres will be grouped in regional hubs, supported by a regional manager and support persons.

The review was part of a cluster of nine in the Wellington Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children's learning is meaningful and responsive to their interests. Their holistic development is enhanced through engagement in child-initiated, play-based learning. Te Whāriki and Playcentre philosophy underpin centre practice. Assessment, curriculum planning and evaluation practices provide adults with timely and useful information that help them plan. Children's progress, their developing skills, knowledge and attributes are celebrated in individual learning portfolios.

Children’s early learning experience is well supported by strong, effective leadership from the centre support person and duty teams. Helpful strategies are in place to assist newer members document and record children's learning and progress.

A sense of collective responsibility for children and high levels of community involvement are evident.  Members are a diverse group of enthusiastic parents and whānau who bring valuable skills and knowledge to their roles. Well-developed systems support the smooth day-to- day running of the playcentre.  Children have a positive platform for learning.

The inclusion of te ao Māori as an integral part of children's daily experience has strengthened through ongoing internal evaluation. A comprehensive internal evaluation was undertaken, during 2014, to discover how well the association and centres included te reo me ngā tikanga Māori as part of a culturally rich, responsive curriculum.

Brooklyn Playcentre participated in this process and carried out a further evaluation in late 2016. Planning is strengthened by the up-skilling of members in te reo Māori, who bring their new knowledge and enthusiasm to the sessions. Increasing use of te reo Māori by children and members is evident.

The dual purpose of self review for accountability and improvement is well understood and guides ongoing decision-making. Planning priorities are aligned to the service and association vision and positioned to improve teaching and learning.

In 2015, a review identified the need to better meet the learning of a group of four year olds. A successful pilot, and now an established weekly session, has used the context of weekly outdoor play sessions to introduce extension and challenge to the curriculum for these children. Self-review practices have had a positive impact on children’s social development and learning.

Members are aware of the importance of maintaining the continuity of learning across all sessions to ensure that all children’s learning needs are recognised and met. Effective systems to collate and communicate observations about children’s developing interests and skills inform planning and assessment. 

Well-considered transition processes for children and parents new to the centre enable them to become part of the learning community. Parents are mentored by more experienced members who model an open collaborative approach.

Well-chosen age-appropriate equipment and effective session planning enables and supports children of all ages to play and learn together. The centre is responsive to and provides well for the up to two year olds and for all children. Successful transition to school is enabled through reciprocal information sharing and visits between the centre and the local school.

Key Next Steps

Association and centre leaders should continue to improve outcomes for children and families by using internal evaluation effectively to ensure the very good practice occurring is sustained and prioritised developments are achieved.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Brooklyn Playcentre 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 Brooklyn Playcentre will be in four years. 

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

9 May 2017 

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

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60031

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

24 children, including up to 18 aged under 2

Service roll

36

Gender composition

22 Boys, 14 Girls

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Asian

  1
32
  3

Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

9 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

May 2014

Education Review

September 2010

Education Review

November 2007

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. 

Evaluation of Brooklyn Playcentre

How well placed is Brooklyn Playcentre 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

Brooklyn Playcentre is one of 20 parent-led early childhood centres administrated by the Wellington Playcentre Association (the association). A council oversees operation at governance level and an executive committee provides the adult education programme, guidance and support for members. Two centre supporters are employed by the executive to visit playcentres and provide professional advice and feedback to strengthen practice and promote improvement. Responsibility for day-to-day operation is undertaken by centre-elected office holders. Parents share the duties associated with implementing the programme.

Playcentre philosophy recognises parents as the best first teachers of their children and emphasises the importance of child-initiated play in mixed-age sessions. Acknowledging Te Tiriti o Waitangi is an integral part of this philosophy.

Brooklyn Playcentre is one of many early childhood centres in the area. It serves a diverse community. Members place high value on the centre’s links with its community, using the local, natural environment, cooperative decision making and management, and positive relationships to support operation and children’s learning. Four mixed-age sessions are held each week.

Since the September 2010 ERO report, this service has been through the process for relicensing under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The process has been a focus for development for some time and matters are being attended to. The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO.

This review was part of a cluster of twenty reviews of centres in the Wellington Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Key philosophical values of playcentre are reflected in practice. A sense of family and community is evident. There is an ongoing focus on building and maintaining positive relationships in the centre. Members are friendly and welcoming and children are happy learners.

Respect is a value fostered by parents through their interactions with children and each other. They use open questions to encourage children to extend their play and deliberate activities are provided to respond to children’s possible next steps. Opportunities for children to be creative and imaginative are actively fostered. Parents know all children well and listen carefully to each other to be able to respond appropriately to the needs of the children.

The learning environment offers challenge and invites children to explore and become involved in a wide variety of activities. Children are included in decisions about resources in the learning environment. This allows them the opportunity to revisit learning experiences from previous weeks.

Children have free access to a suitable variety of learning materials. These are well organised to promote their interests and opportunities for investigation. The outdoor environment provides a range of challenges to support physical development, exploration and creativity .Children aged up to three years show confidence in making choices and leading their learning at this centre. Mixed-age groups support infants' and toddlers' inclusion in all activities.

Centre leaders, in consultation with the association, are committed to strengthening members’ understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership and establishing a more bicultural perspective in the centre. Fostering links with the association’s Māori whānau support group and local community groups to strengthen this approach is an ongoing focus. Te reo Māori is used at times and appropriate tikanga Māori practices are becoming established in the programme and daily operation.

Parents and children are well supported during transition into the playcentre, particularly when the time arises for children to remain at the centre independently. Transitions to school are considered as a process to occur at the pace of the child and parent.

The programme is strongly child led with adults in supporting roles. Since the previous ERO review, members have continued to develop their approach to planning for learning. Multiple opportunities are created for parents to share information about their children and to collaboratively develop the programme. There is now a stronger emphasis on identifying children's significant learning linked to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Members continue to focus on promoting continuity between daily sessions and in portfolios to better support children’s immediate learning. This should be extended to include more long term planning and monitoring of children's progress over time.

Adults take pride in being part of a learning community alongside their children. A highly committed core group of parents provide strong leadership for operation and programme development. They are improvement focused and determined to secure a sustainable future for the centre. A high level of relational trust is evident in the centre. The strategic plan outlines carefully considered priorities. Collaborative practice is highly valued and all involved are well supported to become familiar with roles and expectations as members. Although members are highly reflective, understanding and use of formal self review is at an early stage.

The association provides good support and training for members. The centre supporter gives regular, valued feedback and aid as needed. A more structured and evaluative approach based on centre and association identified priorities, and growth of members’ practice, should better promote and sustain improvement over time. Comprehensive up-to-date written policies and procedures guide office holders in their management roles, and members in planning and implementing an appropriate programme.

The association is both improvement and future focused. The systematic review of and plan to restructure governance and management are being carefully worked through. These should support a new and more sustainable future for the organisation and individual centres.

Key Next Steps

Members should continue to:

  • implement a more bicultural perspective in the learning programme
  • find ways to share assessment, planning and evaluation across teams on a day- to-day basis to improve continuity of learning for children over time
  • shift the focus of self review to investigate how well things are being done in the centre and how these impact on positive outcomes for children.

The association should:

  • support members to strengthen their understanding and use of self review to promote improvement
  • provide leadership to members to help them define their understanding of success for Māori as Māori
  • continue to develop centre support process based on identified centre needs and priorities
  • support members to develop their understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Brooklyn Playcentre 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 Brooklyn Playcentre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

5 May 2014

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

Brooklyn, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60031

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

24 children, including 15 aged up to 2

Service roll

39

Gender composition

Boys 21, Girls 18

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

36

3

Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2

1:1

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2014

Date of this report

5 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

September 2010

 

Education Review

November 2007

 

Education Review

March 2005

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.