Blueskin Playcentre

Education institution number:
81002
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
7
Telephone:
Address:

Waitati School Old North Road, Waitati

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1 Evaluation of Blueskin Playcentre

How well placed is Blueskin 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

Blueskin Playcentre is one of 47 playcentres within the New Zealand Playcentre Federation's South Island Southern Region (SISR). The centre operates three mornings a week and is licensed for up to 25 children, including 10 children under two. The playcentre is a fully parent-led cooperative. Parents lead the sessions and attend to the day-to-day operation of the centre.

The centre is located in the grounds of Waitati School. The playcentre children and parents have close links and involvement with the school, where many older siblings attend. The playcentre joins in with school and community activities.

Blueskin Playcentre's philosophy is based on being inclusive and welcoming to families and valuing their backgrounds and cultures. The playcentre is committed to including Māori culture and language as a living part of centre culture. The philosophy states that the children and adults will work and learn together in a safe, caring, supportive and attractive environment.

Since the last ERO review in 2013, the playcentre has made good progress in addressing the areas identified for development in the report. These areas were self review and programme planning. The centre has regular visits and receives ongoing support from a Centre Support Worker.

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

The Review Findings

Children benefit from the active involvement their parents and caregivers take in their play and learning. They have opportunities to be independent in their play and are well supported when they need or choose to work with adults.

Children play and learn well in the mixed-age setting, and play across the age groups. They involve themselves in a range of activities, including imaginative and dramatic play, cooperative games, activities to help develop large and fine motor skills, and art activities. The centre is well resourced. Equipment is easily accessible to the children and presented in ways to invite participation.

Children and their parents have many opportunities to hear and use te reo Māori. The centre has introduced aspects of tikanga Māori into the practices and protocols of their centre.

Meaningful planning is contributing to interesting and rich learning. Planning for individuals and groups of children:

  • responds well to parents' thoughts, aspirations and observations

  • includes relevant goals that link to Te Whāriki, the Early Childhood Curriculum

  • is well supported by narratives that show the children's progress against set goals and provide direction for future learning

  • includes specific activities to ensure all age groups are catered for in group learning.

Parent leaders have developed useful self-review processes to identify what they are doing well and what could be improved.

Centre practices provide effective support for:

  • children to transition smoothly into playcentre and on to school

  • parents to have a deeper understanding of their children's learning and development.

At the time of this review the Otago Playcentre Association (OPA) was implementing the New Zealand Playcentre Federation's new operating model and was amalgamating with Southland and South Canterbury Playcentre Associations to become the South Island Southern Region. While the changes resulted in some disruption to the services provided to individual playcentres in 2017, the OPA are effectively managing the restructure with the resources available to them. Each playcentre now receives regular support from a paid administrator and a centre support worker. There are robust systems in the association for monitoring the progress and performance of individual playcentres, and targeted support is given when needed.

Key Next Steps

The education team and other interested parents need to explore Te Whāriki (2017) further to:

  • strengthen aspects of assessment, planning for, and evaluation of children's learning

  • identify centre-based priorities for learning

  • review and design the local curriculum to reflect the identified priorities.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

8 November 2018

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

Waitati

Ministry of Education profile number

81002

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

23

Gender composition

Girls: 13 Boys: 10

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā

3
20

Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent-led educators with Playcentre training

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:1

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

8 November 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

February 2013

Supplementary Review

May 2009

Education Review

February 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 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 the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Blueskin Playcentre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

Blueskin Playcentre is one of 37 playcentres administered by the Otago Playcentre Association (OPA) The centre has recently moved to new premises on the Waitati School grounds after many months of hard work and concentrated effort. The centre is the only early childhood service in Waitati.

The centre has increased its roll and provides two morning sessions a week for up to 25 children aged birth-to-five years. The vision is to be a fully parent-led cooperative. As the centre moves to parent-led sessions, parents will need to explore with the centre advisor how they will meet all the session requirements and fulfil their responsibilities. A group of parents is working towards completing the playcentre training to achieve this vision. Planning is underway to further develop the outdoor area.

The centre priorities since the last review have been on securing and establishing new premises. As a result, little progress has been made in addressing the recommendations of the May 2009, education review. Those recommendations are the same as the findings of this review. However, the centre is well placed to address these.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in fifteen early childhood education services within the OPA umbrella organisation.

The Review Findings

The Blueskin Playcentre is a vibrant parent cooperative. The centre has strong links with the Waitati and surrounding community and receives good community support. The parents see the centre as a place for them and their children to learn. They are very involved in the management and operation of the centre. The parents are passionate about being their children’s first educators.

Children and their families benefit from strong relationships with one another. Children have good friendships with each other. The parents work alongside their children as they play. Children and parents have fun together. Parents support children in their learning through meaningful and nurturing conversations with them. For example, they support children to learn how to take turns and develop friendships.

Parents have a good understanding of what learning is important for their children. This includes following the child’s lead and supporting and extending their play and thinking. Children enjoy many outings into the local community.

There is a wide range of resources and experiences provided indoors and outdoors. The resources are good quality. Good use is made of natural resources.

Infants and toddlers are particularly well provided for. There are many resources to interest and intrigue this age group. The parents and some of the older children have sensitive interactions with them.

Many of the parents use te reo Māori in the programme with the children. There are many features of the programme and practices that integrate Māori perspectives. This includes protocols, such as, shoes off indoors and not putting chairs on the tables.

The centre has very good links with Waitati school. The school is accessed through a connecting gate and school children often visit the centre during their playtimes. When children transition to school the school welcomes the child with a mihi whakatau and they are officially farewelled by the playcentre.

The centre roll has grown and the centre is managed by a motivated and committed parent council. They have developed an ongoing strategic vision and plan for their centre. Policies are regularly reviewed according to OPA expectations. In-depth self review is in the very early stages. The next step is for the parents to:

  • develop a shared understanding of self review
  • develop a schedule for review
  • use self review in meaningful, manageable ways to show improvements over time in key aspects of the programme and practices.

There is a good system for programme planning. The next step is for parents and educators to:

  • continue to build their knowledge and confidence with using this system for planning
  • use the planning to guide their interactions, and the resources and experiences they provide, to promote and extend children’s learning.

Governance and Management

Blueskin Playcentre has received extensive support from the OPA throughout its building programme. In addition the Otago Playcentre Association (OPA) provides a comprehensive range of support to this and other playcentres. This includes:

  • developing an action plan for all centres to be relicensed with the 2008 Regulations
  • managing an association-wide system for all aspects of health, safety and compliance
  • ongoing support for employment processes
  • targeted support for playcentres requiring additional assistance
  • ongoing provision of playcentre training.

The OPA executive and personnel hold regular meetings with a specific focus on each centre. They discuss best ways to support individual centres. Records from these meetings could be more specific about what support is provided and the difference it has made.

A strength of the OPA is the ongoing support provided by the centre advisors. The centre advisor effectively supports the parents and educators at this centre to develop their understanding of planning and assessment and self review.

Centre advisors should continue to build their knowledge and understanding of self review. They should use each centre's self review as evidence to assure the governors of the OPA how well the playcentre is promoting positive outcomes for children.

OPA personnel need to further develop their understanding of self review and use the findings of self review to assure themselves of the effectiveness of their strategic goals and all aspects of the OPA management and operations.

The OPA governors have a sound policy framework to support the playcentre.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Blueskin 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

7 February 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Waitati, Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

81002

Licence type

Playcentre - Sessional

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

24

Gender composition

Girls: 12

Boys: 12

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

18

6

Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent lead educators with playcentre training

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:1

Exceeds minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:4

Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

7 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review
Education Review
Education Review

May 2009
February 2008
February 2005