Early Childhood Learning Centre

Education institution number:
70491
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
58
Telephone:
Address:

116 Ilam Road, Ilam, Christchurch

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Early Childhood Learning Centre - 10/12/2019

1 Evaluation of Early Childhood Learning Centre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

This centre provides all day care and education for children from birth to school age. It is licensed for up to 64 children, including up to 19 aged under two years. The centre comprises two adjacent units with separate outdoor environments. One caters for children aged 0-2 years and the other for toddlers (aged 2-3 years) and pre-schoolers (aged 3-5 years).

The centre is owned by the University of Canterbury and most children have family members who work or learn at the university. Children and teachers come from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Day-to-day operations are led by an experienced centre manager, with the support of a team leader in each unit. Almost all staff are qualified teachers.

The centre's philosophy states that leaders and teachers aspire to support all children to develop a sense of security and belonging in the centre, bicultural understandings, confidence in their identity, culture and languages, and confidence to explore and lead their own learning.

Leaders and teachers have made good progress in addressing the areas identified for development in the centre's April 2016 ERO review. This has included strengthening aspects of assessment and planning, internal evaluation and teacher appraisal.

The Review Findings

Children are well supported through effective teaching to achieve the valued outcomes identified in the centre's guiding philosophy. They experience positive, respectful relationships and interactions with their teachers. Teachers notice and respond to children's interests, ideas and initiatives. They plan purposefully to extend children's learning, thinking and developing capabilities. Teachers use a range of effective strategies to foster children's social skills, wellbeing and confidence to lead their own learning. Children's communication and early literacy capabilities are nurtured by a language-rich environment. The indoor and outdoor learning environments are well resourced and provide for choice, variety and challenge.

Leaders and teachers plan carefully to meet the diverse needs of children. All children's cultures, languages and identities are valued and celebrated. The learning environment and programme are modified to support children with additional needs to fully participate. Infants' wellbeing and learning are very well supported through calm, unhurried and responsive interactions and routines. Teachers build close collaborative relationships with parents in order to learn about children's lives beyond the centre and to be able to identify and respond appropriately to children's needs.

Very good use is made of the centre's connection to the university to promote children's sense of belonging and involvement in the university community and environment, and to provide authentic contexts for learning. Regular visits and excursions around the university campus enable children to stay connected to people and places that are important to them and their families.

Children have increased opportunities to learn about Māori knowledge, customs and language. Leaders and teachers have built their understandings of Māori tikanga, history, concepts and language. They are incorporating these with greater confidence throughout learning programmes and within assessment and planning.

Centre leaders are committed to promoting effective teaching and positive outcomes for children. Teachers are very well supported to continue to develop professionally through a comprehensive and well-considered professional learning framework. Leaders model and promote openness-to-learning and critical reflection for ongoing improvement. Internal evaluation is aligned with strategic priorities and leads to shared understandings of effective practice. There are robust systems and practices to support the sustainable operation of the centre and monitor the physical and emotional wellbeing of children. These are effectively supported by university expertise in finance, health and safety management, and human resources.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that key next steps to further develop the conditions for promoting positive outcomes for children include:

  • developing systems and practices for monitoring and sustaining recent improvements in assessment and planning and ensuring these reflect the centre's criteria for effective practice

  • following up changes and improvements that result from collaborative inquiries, reviews and evaluations to determine the impact of these on improving teaching practice and outcomes for children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Early Childhood 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 Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

10 December 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

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

70491

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

64 children, including up to 19 aged under 2

Service roll

62

Gender composition

Male 36

Female 26

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Chinese
German
Indian
Other ethnic groups

3
28
10
4
3
14

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

10 December 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

April 2016

Education Review

November 2012

Education Review

June 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

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.

Early Childhood Learning Centre - 07/04/2016

1 Evaluation of Early Childhood Learning Centre

How well placed is Early Childhood Learning Centre 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

This Early Childhood Learning Centre caters for children from birth to school age and is governed and managed by the University of Canterbury. Prior to 2014 the centre operated under two licenses but has now merged to operate as one centre.

The centre is arranged as two separate buildings, one for children aged under two and one for children over two years old. Each building has its own playground area.

Since the 2012 ERO review, there have been some changes in staff and centre leadership. A head teacher oversees the day-to-day running of both areas. Overarching leadership is provided by a manager.

The families who use this centre come from many different cultural backgrounds. Acknowledging and celebrating this diversity is important to the centre. Many families have English as a second language. Some staff speak other languages.

Over 90% of the teaching staff have early childhood education qualifications. The centre also employs support staff.

The centre is part of the Riccarton Learning Cluster with local schools and other early childhood services. They are working together to strengthen transition from early childhood to school.

The Review Findings

There is a shared and clearly-stated philosophy to guide centre practice. It is closely linked to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum of New Zealand.

Teachers promote a child-centred programme that is making increasing use of children's interests and teachers' abilities to extend children's learning.

Infants and toddlers benefit from the strong focus teachers place on building positive and secure relationships with them, especially when they first start at the centre. Interactions between teachers and babies are respectful, and are responsive to children’s cues and preferences. Children in the under two year old area are given time to make choices, follow their interests and explore the environment.

In the area for children over two years old, teachers work regularly alongside children in the programme. They have frequent conversations with them about their play. Teachers respond to and extend children’s interests and ideas.

Children have good opportunities to:

  • develop self-care skills and independence
  • engage in social play and learn about playing successfully with others
  • use resources in a variety of creative ways
  • play in a natural environment and make use of natural resources to extend their play and ideas.

Teachers are responsive to the culture, language and identity of children and their families. They encourage parents and their children to share aspects of their culture. Resources often reflect home cultures and teachers include home languages in the programme.

Teachers have been focused on providing a broader range of curriculum experiences. This has included regular science and music experiences. Teachers also make regular use of University resources and facilities to extend children's learning experiences.

Teachers are including more te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme and in their practices.

There are well-organised overarching health and safety systems and resources. Staff have clear roles and responsibilities. Teachers work as a team and communicate well to support children during play and routines.

There is an ongoing emphasis on internal and external professional development for teachers. The positive impact of this is evident in aspects of the programme. Regular performance management reviews and discussions are building teacher capability.

Teachers often reflect on aspects of the programme. The team responsible for children under two recently completed a very good self review that showed a robust, well-documented inquiry into teaching practices. This is an exemplar to build on for future self-review practice.

Management and teachers use a range of useful ways to engage with parents, seek and respond to their views, and inform them about their child’s learning and centre events.

Key Next Steps

The manager, head teacher and ERO agree that the key next steps to improve the quality of the service include:

  • extending the consistency of self review across the centre
  • documenting the evaluation and impact of the strategic and annual planning
  • showing partnerships with parents more clearly through planning for children’s learning and assessment.

The manager and head teacher have identified, and ERO affirms, that they also need to:

  • strengthen planning and assessment, including more explicit reference to teaching strategies and how these will be evaluated
  • continue to focus on how the centre effectively responds to diverse cultures
  • continue to be involved with the University's strategic plan and current professional learning to maintain responsiveness to Māori learners
  • strengthen the performance review system to improve consistency.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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.

ERO identified that checking on sleeping children and the daily environment for children aged under two need to be strengthened.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Early Childhood Learning Centre will be in three years. 

Chris Rowe
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

7 April 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

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

70491

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

64 children, including up to 19 aged under 2

Service roll

80

Gender composition

Boys 44; Girls 36

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Asian
Middle Eastern
African
Latin American
Indian
Other Ethnicities

46
13
  5
  3
  3
  3
  7

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

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2016

Date of this report

7 April 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2012

Education Review

June 2009

Education Review

October 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.