Reefton Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
65226
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
17
Telephone:
Address:

4 Victory Street, Reefton

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Reefton Early Learning Centre - 18/06/2020

1 Evaluation of Reefton Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Reefton Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Reefton Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Reefton Early Learning Centre is licensed for 28 children, including eight under two years of age. It is open five days a week for children over two, and three days a week for younger children. The infants and toddlers, and the preschool children each have their own indoor and outdoor spaces.

The service is administered by a board of elected parents and community members. A manager, who is also a qualified early childhood teacher, is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the centre. There have been few changes in staff since the June 2017 ERO review. Most teachers are qualified early childhood teachers.

The service philosophy places a strong emphasis on manaakitanga (love and compassion), whanaungatanga (relationships) and children being confident and capable learners. The focus of the curriculum is to be play-based, help each child reach their maximum potential and nurture children's sense of wellbeing and self-worth.

The leaders, board members and staff have made significant progress towards meeting the recommendations for improvement in the June 2017 ERO report. Useful systems, processes and practices are now in place for governance, management and the curriculum. Bicultural practices are more evident in programmes and the management of the centre.

The Review Findings

Children are supported to be confident learners, problem solvers and deep thinkers who lead their own learning and take pride in their achievements. They are well supported by teachers who know each child as a learner and as an individual. Teachers make effective use of this knowledge to provide learning opportunities that extend and challenge children's thinking. They use a range of effective teaching approaches to help children build complexity in their thinking and understanding of the wider world.

Teachers provide the time, understanding and skills that children need to develop positive interactions and work cooperatively alongside and with others. As a result, children are social, respectful and inclusive of others.

Te reo me tikanga Māori are very evident in the programme. Teachers have put considerable effort into increasing their knowledge and confidence in this area of the curriculum. They willingly share their new knowledge with children and families. Māori whānau are active contributors to the programme. Māori children show pride in their cultural heritage. All children are eager to learn and participate in bicultural learning and events.

The curriculum emphasises the natural world, local community, imagination, active exploration and kindness to others. Children are encouraged to be capable learners who take an active interest in their community, and confidently use the centre resources to test their ideas and working theories for deeper learning.

The service has well-established transition procedures into and within the centre. Leaders and teachers now need to establish stronger transition partnerships with the local schools.

Assessment, planning and evaluation processes are becoming well established and useful. Teachers are making good use of their knowledge of each child to identify goals to promote their learning and wellbeing. Records of learning clearly show children's progress and the growing complexity of their learning. Teachers now need to clearly identify the involvement of parents and children in goal setting and evaluating children's progress. They need to place more emphasis on making their intentional teaching visible in the assessment and evaluation documentation.

The board, leaders and staff work together effectively to promote children's learning and wellbeing. The recently completed strategic plan provides clear direction for continuing to improve the quality of the service. Understanding about internal evaluation has been improving since the last ERO review and is now being used to help improve the quality of centre operations and programmes. There are close links between strategic goals, internal evaluation, professional development and staff appraisal.

Leaders and teachers should now improve the way they monitor the progress of the centre's strategic goals towards achieving the vision for children as outlined in the centre's philosophy. This should include internal evaluation action plans and their impact on outcomes for children.

Board members are elected annually from the parent and wider community. There are often changes in membership. Developing documented procedures for the operation, roles and responsibilities of the board would better promote effective governance. It would also help new board members to confidently participate in governing the centre.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO's evaluation confirm that the key next steps for Reefton Early Learning Centre are to:

  • embed and extend assessment, planning and evaluation processes to include learning partnerships with children and families, and to more fully document how teachers support children's learning
  • extend strategic planning and internal evaluation processes to include regular monitoring and evaluating of the impact of these processes on children's learning and wellbeing
  • continue to develop transition partnerships with local schools
  • develop documented procedures for the governance of the service.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Reefton 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

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

18 June 2020

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

Reefton

Ministry of Education profile number

65226

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

28 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll

40

Gender composition

Female 23, Male 17

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā

5
35

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2020

Date of this report

18 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2017

Education Review

February 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

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.

Reefton Early Learning Centre - 21/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Reefton Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Reefton Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Reefton Early Learning Centre provides care and education for up to 28 children from birth to school age. The nursery area has its own outdoor space. Children aged over two years have a separate indoor and outdoor area.

In July 2015 this service moved to new premises and increased the days the service is open from two days a week to five days a week. Many children attend part-time. The board and staff are still developing some aspects of the new environment, such as the outdoor spaces and equipment.

There have also been a number of ongoing staff changes, including employing more staff to meet extended days of centre operation. Qualified early childhood teachers are supported in the daily programme by untrained teaching assistants. A manager oversees the daily operation of the centre. A board of parents and community members provide governance.

The Review Findings

Interactions between staff and children and among children are positive and affirming. Teachers know children and families well and make good use of this information to extend children's learning. Staff make effective use of their interactions with children to encourage them to talk about their play, develop their ideas and extend their thinking.

Children experience an unhurried programme with a good range of play activities. Children are encouraged to make their own choices, take responsibility for their own decisions and understand the impact of their actions.

Infants and toddlers are effectively and safely included alongside older children as well as having their own space for uninterrupted play. Staff are very responsive to the needs of infants and toddlers.

Teachers build positive and affirming relationships with families. They are developing more structured and documented processes for seeking and responding to parents' aspirations for their children’s learning, including seeking Māori whānau voice.

Teachers promote children's learning about the natural environment and environmental sustainability. This includes demonstrating effective practices in involving parents, reflecting community values, and linking to aspects of a local school curriculum.

The centre has strong relationships within the local community to support children's learning. The development of the new centre premises was community driven to meet local needs. It has provided an opportunity for more children in the area to access early childhood education. Close links with local schools are supporting children's successful transition to school.

The early childhood trained teachers regularly seek new ideas and have recently initiated some useful developments that are better supporting the planning and assessment for individual children. Collaborative planning practices among staff are more evident and untrained teachers are being supported to contribute more to centre planning and grow their practice.

The committed governance board has skilled trustees with good levels of expertise and useful connections to the centre, early childhood education and within the community.

Key Next Steps

The board and centre manager had not fully anticipated the impact that a five day a week service would have on management and centre leadership. The leaders need to develop key documentation and systems that will help guide teaching and learning now it is operating on a daily basis.

Completion of the review of the philosophy is a priority to provide clearer expectations for teaching and learning. This review will also support more systematic strategic planning and internal evaluation.

Other key next steps include:

  • strengthening the process and documentation of internal evaluation and strategic planning

  • improving appraisal practices, including developing a better understanding of the requirements of the Education Council for teacher registration renewal

  • successfully implementing plans for new programme planning and assessment practices

  • increasing bicultural practices.

The board and centre leader need to ensure they have focused plans to support centre sustainability in staffing now that the number of sessions has increased.

Recommendation

ERO recommends the board and centre manager seek external support to improve centre practices around strategic planning, internal evaluation and appraisal.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer - Southern/Te Waipounamu

21 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

Reefton

Ministry of Education profile number

65226

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

28 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll

42

Gender composition

Boys 22; Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnicities

7

34

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

21 June 2017

Most recent ERO reports

 

Education Review

September 2013

Education Review

August 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.