Awatere Playcentre

Education institution number:
65001
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
4
Telephone:
Address:

Awatere Playcentre Redwood Streeet, Seddon

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1 Evaluation of Awatere Playcentre

How well placed is Awatere Playcentre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Awatere Playcentre requires further development to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Awatere playcentre requires significant support to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvement. Members agree that they are in a developmental phase.

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

Background

Awatere Playcentre is one of five set up by the Marlborough Playcentre Association (the association). It operates for two morning sessions each week and is licensed for 30 children, including 15 aged up to two years. At the time of this review 12 children were enrolled.

The playcentre premises sustained damage as a result of the Kaikoura earthquakes. Members are collaborating with the Ministry of Education and local community to develop an early childhood hub on the site.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation (the federation) is undergoing a significant restructure that includes amalgamating the 32 associations nationwide into one organisation, Playcentre Aotearoa. To date the legal amalgamation of the associations has not been completed so centres continue to operate in accordance with association policies. Marlborough playcentres are now managed from a regional office based in Christchurch.

A centre support worker (CSW) visits the centre to provide professional advice and feedback to strengthen the programme for children. Support for compliance with regulations is the responsibility of a centre administrator (CA). Both the CSW and CA are employed by the federation. Day-to-day management is the role of centre-elected office holders. Members run two sessions each week as a team. Since the May 2013 ERO review, all parents are new, with many starting at the centre in 2019.

Playcentre philosophy recognises the importance of parents working together, alongside their children, to support their self-initiated play and promote their learning.

Key next steps from the September 2013 ERO evaluation included developing assessment planning and evaluation; incorporating te reo me ngā tikanga Māori; strategic planning and self-review. These still need enacting. Since 2013 the service has experienced a complete turnover of personnel. Half of the current members are new to playcentre.

This review was one of five in the Marlborough Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children have free access to a wide range of learning materials. The outdoor play space is well equipped to promote adventure and challenge. Children enjoy the opportunities provided. Many sustain their play for long periods.

The programme is becoming increasingly responsive to children's needs and emerging interests. Adults encourage children to investigate, socialise, make their own choices and have fun. Creativity and self-expression are fostered. There is good provision for infants and toddlers. Children are settled, cooperative, confident and happy learners.

With half the families new to the centre, there is much work to be done to promote shared understanding of assessment for learning. The focus on encouraging parents' interest and input into their children's learning plans and supporting their understanding of the Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whāriki (2017), should continue. Members should consider ways to make planning and evaluation increasingly about children's learning rather than activity-based.

A close relationship with the adjacent school successfully supports children's transition from playcentre.

The association’s and federation’s acknowledgement of the importance of bicultural partnership is not yet sufficiently reflected in the centre's daily practice and development planning. The recent appointment of a Māori development officer at federation level, and regionally-based field worker, should assist with this work.

The CSW provides regular and valued face-to-face feedback and assistance to members, including strong support to build a sense of team. Her reports link to the region's current priorities. ERO's evaluation concurs with the centre support coordinator's findings, that CSW support should be increasingly focused on improvement and also individual centre's particular needs. A more evaluative approach is likely to promote and sustain better practice over time.

A new appraisal process is in place to support the CSW and CA in their roles which links to job descriptions and federation expectations, and supports reflection on practice. This process should be reviewed after its first cycle to ensure sufficient rigour in relation to goal setting, observations of practice and feedback to effectively support development. The CA has yet to be appraised in her role.

A comprehensive range of association policies is in place to support members' shared understanding of Playcentre expectations. Many of these are past their review date. Some no longer reflect current legislation at association level. While the legal amalgamation of the associations is imminent, in the interim, the centre should have access to a full range of up-to-date guidelines for practice.

A range of tools is being developed to assist with the implementation of internal evaluation at all levels. In this centre, understanding and use of this improvement-focused approach is at a very early stage.

The restructure of playcentre operation is being carefully worked through to support a new and more sustainable future for the organisation. The regional office provides a range of support for centres. This includes the creation of new roles designed to redistribute the management of compliance and administration, and provide improved assistance to members for curriculum, teaching and learning, internal evaluation, adult education, marketing and property. There is a strategic focus on growing a strong, viable centre with a centre community, and increased membership and parent involvement. Detailed action plans should contribute to progress in meeting goals.

Key Next Steps

Awatere playcentre requires significant support to implement and sustain good practice for ongoing improvement. Members agree that they are in a development phase in relation to the key next steps. ERO and regional leaders agree that the federation should prioritise:

  • support for the CSW and session facilitator to promote members' understanding of programme planning and evaluation, internal evaluation, te ao Māori and implementation of a bicultural curriculum

  • further development of CSW support and reporting

  • review and further development of the appraisal process for CSWs and session facilitators.

The continuing focus on strengthening leadership, growing a sense of community, parent participation and collaboration between playcentres should continue.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Awatere 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance relating to governance and management. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following area:

  • self review

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA6

In order to improve current practice the service provider should ensure:

  • the centre has a complete set of up-to-date policy guidelines

  • provision for sleeping children is clarified.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

6 June 2019

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

Seddon

Ministry of Education profile number

65001

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

12

Gender composition

Boys 7, Girls 5

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā

1
11

Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2

1:1

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:1

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

6 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2013

Education Review

June 2010

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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 Awatere Playcentre

How well placed is Awatere 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

Awatere Playcentre is part of a cluster of five parent-led centres that operate under the umbrella of the Marlborough Playcentre Association (the association). The centre, licensed for 30 children up to five years of age, and ten aged up to two, is located in Seddon just south of Blenheim. Sessions operate each day except Wednesday from 9.00 to 11.30am.

The centre is well supported by the association. Support workers, team leaders, tutors and facilitators provide professional advice and guidance for team members. They often model effective planning skills and teaching strategies. Clear overarching policies support centre operation. The association is responsible for the recruitment, appointment, police vetting, and appraisal of all paid staff.

The centre’s philosophy of ‘child-initiated, free uninterrupted play’ and strong networks for families is evident in the programme. Members support each other and learn together. Parents are valued as ‘first educators’ and all parents have, or are working towards, Playcentre qualifications.

Since the June 2010 ERO report the team has responded to the identified areas for development and review.

The Review Findings

The centre curriculum is clearly linked to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Parents work cohesively as a team in the best interests of children and their families. The team are currently gathering information to develop a unique centre philosophy that will reflect their rural location.

Planning for individuals and groups is responsive to children’s emerging interests. Members are trialling different planning formats. Children are able to follow their own interests and strengths. Learning stories capture children's involvement and engagement in centre activities. A notice, recognise and respond model of assessment and evaluation is capturing special moments and developing parents' confidence to contribute to their child’s learning. The teaching team have identified a need to continue to develop team members' understanding of assessment and evaluation. ERO’s findings affirm this decision.

The programme effectively contributes to children’s learning and development. Good use is made of the local rural and community environment through excursions, local events and celebrations. Teachers model oral language well. Established routines support children’s independence. Parents discuss each session to evaluate the programme and identify children’s emerging interests.

Centre displays promote a strong sense of belonging for children. A wide range of good quality resources contribute to the programme, effectively supporting freedom of play and self choice. A specific area for children up to two allows them to play with resources appropriate to their age. Outdoors, children can explore, be challenged and participate in active physical play and development.

Interactions are positive, supportive and caring. Children appear happy and actively engage and cooperate well in parallel play. They confidently approach adults to ask questions and share achievement. Children and parents have fun together.

Close relationships have been developed with the local school. Regular reciprocal visits, sports days and transition classes at the school, just prior to children turning five, contribute to a smooth move to school.

Inclusive bicultural practices are evident. Māori perspectives and resources, use of waiata and karakia provide a sense of belonging for Māori children and whānau. Increased use of te reo Māori has been identified by the team as an area for further development. ERO’s evaluation affirms this next step. Teams also need to develop an understanding how they can promote success for Māori children as Māori.

There is a shared approach to leadership. All parents are supported to take on leadership roles and they are involved in some way. Changes in centre personnel have led to alterations in governance and management and a cooperative committee structure is now operating well.

The new committee identified a need to align strategic and annual planning and self review to the centre philosophy. A good start has been made in this process. ERO’s evaluation affirms the direction of this development.

Key Next Steps

ERO and team members have identified that there is a need to continue to develop:

  • team members' assessment and evaluation knowledge and skills
  • confidence in integrating te reo me nga tikanga Māori into practice
  • an understanding of how they can promote success for Māori children as Māori
  • strategic and annual planning, and self review in alignment with the centre philosophy.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

4 September 2013

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

Seddon

Ministry of Education profile number

65001

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including 15 aged up to 2

Service roll

36

Gender composition

Boys 20,

Girls 16

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

4

29

3

Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2

1 : 2

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1 : 5

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

4 September 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2010

 

Education Review

April 2007

 

Education Review

March 2004

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.