Newtown Playcentre

Education institution number:
60042
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
28
Telephone:
Address:

3 Harper Street, Newtown, Wellington

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1 Evaluation of Newtown Playcentre

How well placed is Newtown 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

Newtown 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 15 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 operations 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 identified the need for a more effective response to the needs of individual centres.

The association philosophy, 'Whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together', underpins practice and is articulated as empowering parents and children to learn, grow and play together. This guides the service's provision and practice for their learning community.

Curriculum planning and implementation at Newtown Playcentre 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 adult education programme provided by the association. The playcentre has sustained this high level of professional learning over time, enabling parents to be actively involved in their child's education

Newtown Playcentre responded proactively to the areas identified for improvement in the April 2014 ERO report. This report identified that centre leaders would benefit from association support to further develop their bicultural perspective, assessment, planning and self-review practices. Since this review, the playcentre’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 ten in the Wellington Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children’s holistic development is enhanced through their 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 meaningful learning experiences responsive to children’s interests. Members are aware of the importance of maintaining continuity across all sessions and are developing systems to ensure that all children’s learning needs are recognised and met. Individual learning portfolios celebrate children's progress, showing their developing skills, knowledge and attributes.

The centre support person and duty teams provide strong, effective leadership that contributes positively to children’s early learning experience. Helpful strategies are in place to support newer members to the centre to 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.

Well-chosen age-appropriate equipment and effective session planning enables and supports centre children of all ages to play and learn together. The centre is responsive and provides well for the up to two year olds, and for all children and their learning needs.

The inclusion of te ao Māori as an integral part of children's daily experience, has improved 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.

When Newtown Playcentre reviewed its bicultural practices again in 2016, increased use of te reo Māori by tamariki and members was evident. The centre is aware of the need to upskill new members in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, and support the learning of those from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Building sustainability in bicultural knowledge and practices should provide continuity for the centre.

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. Successful transition to school is enabled through reciprocal information sharing between the centre and local schools.

The dual purpose of internal evaluation for accountability and improvement guides ongoing decision-making. Self-review practices are well considered, strategic and have had a positive impact on children’s social development and learning.

In 2016, an in-depth review asked whether children had a 'sense of belonging' to the centre. Changes were made and in term one, 2017, the positive impact of these on children's sense of identity and belonging were evaluated and celebrated. A next step would be to further explore the rich, multicultural diversity of the centre's children and their families. Further incorporating te ao Māori in learning should strengthen children's sense of belonging.

Key Next Steps

Building on and sustaining members' bicultural knowledge and practices to benefit all children is a next step.

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

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

27 June 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

60042

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

24 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

22

Gender composition

13 girls, 9 boys

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Indian
Latin American

19
1
2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

0-49%

Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

27 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

April 2014

Education Review

October 2010

Education Review

May 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 Newtown Playcentre

How well placed is Newtown 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

Newtown Playcentre is one of 20 parent-led early childhood centres administered by the Wellington Playcentre Association (the association). A council oversees operation at governance level and an executive committee provides 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. The centre runs five sessions a week for children up to six years.

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.

Newtown playcentre is a long established centre in the area. It serves a diverse community. Members use cooperative decision making and management, and positive relationships to support operation and children’s learning.

Since the October 2010 report, this service has been relicensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The licensing process was a sustained focus for development.

This review was part of a cluster review of 20 centres in the Wellington Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Key philosophical values are reflected in practice. A real sense of family and community is evident. Members demonstrate respect for the culture, language and identity of all. There is an ongoing focus on building and maintaining positive and relationships in the centre and beyond. Parents are friendly and welcoming.

Children are settled, cooperative and happy learners. They have free access to a wide variety of challenging and attractive learning materials. These are suitably displayed to attract children’s interest and to promote learning. Literacy and languages are well integrated into the programme in meaningful, playbased ways. A busy, engaged atmosphere with sustained play is evident.

The extensive outdoor area is attractive and inviting. It encourages exploration and physical challenge. This area has been carefully constructed to encourage an understanding of, and respect for, the environment.

There is good provision for infants and toddlers. They are well supported and encouraged to explore the play spaces and full range of learning materials. These youngest playcentre members show confidence in making choices and leading their learning.

Members maintain good levels of purposeful interactions with children. They are responsive, allowing children to take the lead and supporting their learning. Adults are skilful in their use of questioning to deepen children’s understanding. High ratios of adults to children promote opportunities for one-to-one conversations.

Members are committed to ongoing training and development. Their approach to planning for learning places a strong emphasis on identifying children's significant learning linked to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Session planning meetings consider ongoing interests of children. Termly planning sessions enable parents to share their children's developing interests and strengths, and their own aspirations for them.

Assessment portfolios are attractive, informative and regularly accessed by children and parents. They include observations of children’s learning and play providing parents with an attractive record of their child’s learning and range of experiences.

Bicultural practices are developing. Centre leaders are committed to strengthening members’ understanding of bicultural practices in the centre. Further development of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are key next steps.

The varied cultural backgrounds of children and their families are recognised and valued. The centre reflects the essence of the Newtown community. Members seek ways to share and support these during sessions. Continuing to deepen understanding of the diverse cultures in the community should support a culturally responsive programme.

The friendly culture, purposeful leadership and support for each other fosters parents’ confidence and willingness to become involved in management roles and training. Members are reflective and committed in their roles. They use self review to inform decisions about improvement and priorities for development that result in improved outcomes. Their dedication, commitment and sense of community point to a positive future for the service.

The association provides good support and a range of training for members. The centre supporter provides regular and valued face-to-face feedback and help as needed. Comprehensive written policies and procedures guide office holders in their management roles, and members in planning and implementing programmes. The systematic review and plan to restructure governance and management are being carefully worked through to support a more sustainable future for the organisation and individual centres.

Key Next Steps

Members should continue to:

  • deepen their understanding of diverse cultures in the community
  • strengthen bicultural perspectives as part of the learning programme
  • develop their understanding and implementation of success for Māori
  • sharpen members' understanding and use of self review to improve decision making and promote improvement.

The association should:

  • continue to develop centre support processes based on identified needs and priorities
  • support members to develop their understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership
  • provide leadership to members to help them actively support success for Māori as Māori
  • redevelop the appraisal process to ensure the development needs of centre-based employees are met.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

30 April 2014

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Newtown, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60042

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

24 children, including 15 aged up to 2

Service roll

38

Gender composition

Boys 23,

Girls 15

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other Ethnic Groups

5

22

11

Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2

1:1

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:5

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2014

Date of this report

30 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

October 2010

 

Education Review

May 2009

 

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.