Pioneers Home Southern

Education institution number:
80002
Service type:
Homebased Network
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
49
Telephone:
Address:

5 Cavell Street, Musselburgh, Dunedin

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1 Evaluation of Pioneers Home Southern

How well placed is Pioneers Home Southern to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Pioneers Home Southern is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Pioneers is a not for profit early childhood education and care service. It comprises four early childcare centres and three home-based care services. These are managed by a director with the support of a management team. Pioneers is governed by a board made up of parents from within the organisation.

Pioneers was known as Dunedin Community Childcare Association when previously reviewed by ERO in 2015. At that time, the three home-based services were called Kauri, Rata and Kōwhai. These are now rebranded as Pioneers Northern, Pioneers Southern and Pioneers Central. Pioneers Southern is licenced for 80 children.

The 2015 ERO review recommended improvements in some aspects of the service. Pioneers leaders and teachers have made very good progress in implementing these improvements.

Pioneers home-based care service provides education and care for up to four children at a time in the homes of educators. The majority of educators are very experienced and either have an Early Childhood Education qualification or are working towards one. They are supported and guided by a qualified early childhood education professional (visiting teacher) who visits them regularly. The visiting teacher ensures children receive good quality education and care while in the educators' homes.

Pioneers home-based care services has a philosophy that promotes the belief that 'a child is a treasure to be nurtured to grow and to flourish'. The key priorities for children's learning include social competence, literacy and mathematics, bicultural understandings and physical wellbeing.

This review is about Pioneers Home Southern, formerly Rata, which is part of a cluster of three home based-care services governed and managed by Pioneers.

The Review Findings

The visiting teacher has established caring, empowering relationships with her educators and the children and families using the service. The dedication and professionalism of the visiting teacher supports positive outcomes for children. She builds on each educators' individual strengths while supporting them to implement programmes and provide experiences that promote and extend children's learning. The educators understand what is expected of them and the significance of their work. The service provides financial and study skills support for educators to support them to build their knowledge and skills.

Children at Pioneers Home Southern are provided with high quality care and education. The visiting teacher's skills are enhanced by the collegial support offered by the other visiting teachers. The visiting teacher's team and the service's leaders have extensive experience and expertise working within the early childhood education setting. They work closely together, sharing their expertise and supporting one another to personalise their work with educators.

Te Whāriki (2017), the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum is effectively used to support the focus on children and their learning. There has been significant and ongoing work with visiting teachers and educators to build their understanding of how Te Whāriki applies in daily practice. The teachers and educators set goals relating to key curriculum priorities and these can be seen clearly in documentation about children's learning.

There is an expectation for all involved in the service to build on their knowledge of te ao Māori and bicultural practices. This is gaining momentum across a range of practices. A bicultural review led to a plan of action to support this development over time.

All children are carefully matched to educators with the skills and knowledge to work with that family's particular needs. Children under the age of two are carefully placed with educators who support the child's home routines and provide the relevant care and learning needed for that individual's learning and development.

Pioneers uses a range of effective processes to communicate with parents, educators and each other. The Pioneers system supports the sharing of vital information which can be easily accessed by all who need it. Families can access information about their children's learning on a daily basis and hear how the educator and visiting teacher have supported this. The system also enables the visiting teacher and the team leader to closely monitor children's progress and educators' practice. Parents access profile books, made by the educators, which include useful and valuable information about their child's learning.

Children preparing to transition to school are well served. The visiting teacher supports educators to implement individualised learning programmes for older children, with an emphasis on promoting the child's independence, self-regulation and self-confidence skills.

The visiting teacher has useful links with the local community. She encourages educators to provide a range of outdoor experiences for children and to expose children to interesting community events. Along with her colleagues, the visiting teacher has begun a new initiative whereby the three homebased care networks gather together to share knowledge and skills. The visiting teachers facilitate this sharing while role modelling best practice.

The gathering place is set up to provide examples of ways to enhance learning through natural materials and other resources suitable to a home environment. This provides an opportunity for the educators to learn from the visiting teachers. Children are also able to build on their learning and social skills through the opportunity to interact with the wider Pioneers home-based community.

Children benefit from high quality leadership at all levels. The service's director, team leader and the visiting teacher team are all highly focused on outcomes for children. The board receives comprehensive reports from the leaders. Board members are well informed about the quality of the care and education the children receive. They also receive regular reports on compliance matters.

There is a strong culture of professional development. The visiting teachers access a wide range of useful professional learning aligned with strategic goals, curriculum development and internal evaluation, to strengthen teaching and learning where there is an identified need. Recent developments in the appraisal systems have also strengthened visiting teacher knowledge and practice. An appraisal process is in place for educators to build their capability and develop teaching practice on an ongoing basis. Pioneers has a comprehensive recruitment and induction process for new educators.

Leaders have a good understanding of the service's strengths and next areas for development or improvement. Internal evaluation for accountability and improvement are well understood. This process is effective in improving outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Service leaders have identified, and ERO's evaluation has confirmed, that the key next steps for Pioneers Home Southern are to:

  • consolidate newly introduced practices to ensure they are effectively maintained and monitored over time

  • continue with internal evaluation and self-identified next steps across the various aspects of the operation

  • continue to implement the Pioneer's bicultural plan, and further support and enhance children and their families' cultures and identities.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pioneers Home Southern completed an ERO Homebased Education and Care 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.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

1 April 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 Home-based Education and Care Service

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

80002

Institution type

Home-based Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 80 aged under 2

Service roll

48

Standard or Quality Funded

Quality

Gender composition

Boys 26

Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnicities

6
39
6

Number of qualified coordinators in the network

1

Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2

1:2

Over 2

1:4

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

1 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2015

Education Review

June 2011

Education Review

April 2008

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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

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.

Evaluation of Rata

How well placed is Rata 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

The Dunedin Community Childcare Association (DCCA) offers centre and home-based care and education aged birth to five years. The Rata scheme is one of 3 home-based care schemes administered by the DCCA. Most of the educators in this scheme are experienced. They all have some qualifications for working with children. Many of them are working towards furthering these qualifications. They work from home and provide high-quality education and care for children The DCCA employs four visiting teachers who oversee the three schemes.

Since the 2011 ERO review there have been changes within the association. A new director has been appointed. The DCCA director is the service provider for the home-based care schemes. A new role of team leader has been created within the visiting teacher team to oversee their work.

The many good practices identified in the previous report have been maintained and the visiting teachers have continued to improve their own practices and that of the educators.

This review was part of a cluster of three reviews in the DCCA.

The Review Findings

This DCCA home-based care service philosophy is to provide care and education that is fun and exciting where everyone participates in teaching and learning. The visiting teachers give careful thought to helping parents choose the best educator for their children. Families benefit from the flexible arrangements and the close relationships they develop with their educator.

The small group sizes and family environment are particularly well suited to children under the age of two. Through knowing the children and their families well the educators effectively manage the children’s daily routines and transitions to school and other settings.

Children‘s records of learning and visiting teacher notes show many interesting opportunities for learning in the homes and in the wider community. The visiting teachers have developed strong relationships with educators and work closely with them to recognise children’s learning and plan programmes based on everyday experiences and in the local surroundings. This includes early-literacy and mathematical learning and following children’s play ideas. Children benefit from many planned outings that help them develop an appreciation of the community and natural world so that they have “more green time, less screen time”.

The visiting teachers provide regular play groups to extend and support children’s learning. For example, music, gym, physical movement and gaining a knowledge of Te Ao Māori. They have developed learning goals and purpose statements for these experiences and have shared these with educators. To further support educators in their work they could consider developing these for other key learning areas such as literacy and mathematics.

The visiting teachers work collaboratively with external agencies to support children and their families with individual needs. They effectively support educators to develop and use strategies to deal with challenging situations.

There are very effective systems for ensuring that the day-to-day health and safety in the homes is well managed. The educators and the visiting teachers carry out rigorous checks four times a year.

The visiting teachers have developed and share with educators a strong philosophy for home-based education that values what the educator and her family contribute to children’s learning. The visiting teachers regularly review the current practices so that it reflects the philosophy. Educators are also encouraged to develop their own philosophy that shows what matters to them about children’s learning.

A strength of the service is the way the visiting teachers work together across the three schemes to provide consistency of practice for educators and reduce professional isolation for themselves and for the educators. They have a very rigorous recruitment, selection and induction process for new educators. They effectively:

  • provide useful feedback and guidance to educators as they plan and assess children’s learning

  • grow educators’ knowledge to recognise and extend learning

  • model their high expectations for care and education and follow through to ensure educators meet these expectations.

The visiting teachers take an individualised approach to working with educators providing additional and timely support where required. They provide regular opportunities for educators to meet, share practice and support one another to continue to improve. Each year the visiting teachers help the educators to set goals for improvement. These goals are used as the basis for setting the service’s professional development programme for the year. The next step is for the visiting teachers to help the educators develop action plans to achieve the goals.

The visiting teachers are experienced and are very aware of the requirements of their role. When they next review their job descriptions they should more clearly define exactly what they do and what the role requires of them. Guidance notes for educators could state more clearly what they expect from the visiting teachers.

There is an improved appraisal system underway across the association for all trained teachers. The visiting teachers’ appraisal goals could better show how they will support the association’s and the educators’ goals.

The association has a useful model for self review. The visiting teachers have been working with an external provider to refine their use and understanding of this. They agree they are working towards being more evaluative and strengthening the action plans arising from review.

The visiting teachers are well supported by the director who meets with them regularly and consults them about the interests of the whole DCCA.

There are very good systems overall for managing the day-to-day operations and requirements of the service. The home-based care schemes are well resourced and funded.

Governance and Management.

The association is committed to providing high-quality home-based care and education, that is affordable and community based. The board has redefined the role of the director to be more focused on the strategic direction of the association.

At the time of this review the board and director were still developing and consulting about the strategic and annual plans for 2015. To give greater prominence to home-based care at board level they should consider creating a designated home-based position on the board.

The board members and the director have identified that they require better reporting to assure themselves that all the requirements have been met. Reporting would be improved by:

  • ensuring that useful evaluative questions are answered
  • giving assurance by the use of analysed information that all these requirements are met
  • ensuring that recommendations made for improvements are followed through
  • tracking and monitoring emerging trends and patterns.

Key Next Step

The key next step for the DCCA Home-based Care - Kauri is to make the improvements outlined in the findings of this report.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rata 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.

To improve current practice the service provider and visiting teachers must:

  • appoint a privacy office in order to be compliant with the Privacy Act 1993

  • ensure there is a written expectation for educators to obtain first aid certificates prior to commencing work with children

  • develop written procedures to show how the visiting teachers will meet visit requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Rata will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

22 April 2015

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

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

80002

Licence type

Home-based Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 80 aged under 2

Service roll

79

Standard or Quality Funded

Quality

Gender composition

Girls 42

Boys 37

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other

17

50

2

10

Number of qualified coordinators in the network

1

Reported ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2

1:4

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:4

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

22 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2011

 

Education Review

April 2008

 

Education Review

April 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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

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.