Weston Playcentre

Education institution number:
81046
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
21
Telephone:
Address:

2 Airedale Road, Oamaru

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1 Evaluation of Weston Playcentre

How well placed is Weston 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

Weston Playcentre is a semi-rural playcentre, licensed for 25 children. It provides four morning sessions each week for children aged from birth up to school age. Families attend from nearby Oamaru or surrounding farming communities. The sessions are led by a supervision team with playcentre qualifications.

Weston Playcentre is one of 25 within the Otago Playcentre Association (OPA). The association comprises a core group of dedicated paid and elected members. To support members it provides a framework for management and operations, parent-education programmes and personnel.

The OPA is experiencing a time of change as all playcentre associations throughout New Zealand merge with the New Zealand Playcentre Association (NZPF) to reduce duplication and make cost savings. The restructure is resulting in significant changes at an association level.

Since the 2013 ERO report of Weston Playcentre, the supervision team have made good progress in key identified areas, particularly in improving planning, assessment and evaluation systems for individual children.

This review was part of a cluster of four playcentre reviews in the OPA.

The Review Findings

Children and adults show a strong sense of belonging to the Weston Playcentre community. This sense of belonging, and the respectful, positive relationships they have with one another, are contributing to positive outcomes for children. Supervisors and parents nurture children's sense of belonging and help them to be in engaged and sustained in their play by providing:

  • familiar routines

  • opportunities to make links to the wider community

  • support to develop friendships.

Children experience enriched bicultural programmes and practices. Supervisors and parents provide planned experiences for children to celebrate significant events such as Mātariki, and use te reo Māori. This supports Māori children to know their language and culture is valued. Supervisors and parents have created an environment where the diverse cultures within the playcentre are acknowledged and valued.

Children experience a varied programme that is based on the principles and strands of Te Whāriki (the early childhood curriculum). Supervisors and parents are intentional in the way they extend children's learning. Children have many opportunities to explore and learn about the natural world. Adults support the learning and wellbeing of infants and toddlers through responsive and nurturing relationships.

The playcentre's philosophy shows parents' values and beliefs. Supervisors and parents have clear ideas about what they believe and what they want for their children's learning. When the philosophy is next reviewed it should include these desired outcomes for learning and their commitment to the bicultural heritage of New Zealand.

Supervisors and parents have developed a useful system for planning, assessment and evaluating for individual children. Supervisors support parents to contribute to their own children's learning goals and assessment of learning. The next step for supervisors and parents is to strengthen documentation of learning to consistently show:

  • through the learning stories, the progress children are making

  • how well the planned strategies and experiences have supported the intended learning.

Group planning needs to be improved. To be more effective, the intended learning needs to be more specific to guide the adults when planning the strategies and experiences. Adults then need to evaluate how well the planned strategies and experiences have supported the learning.

The Weston Playcentre parent council has useful systems that ensure the smooth running of the playcentre. These include; clearly defined roles and responsibilities and ongoing monitoring of the playcentre operations.

Supervisors and parents use internal evaluation well to make improvements to centre operations and teaching and learning. Internal evaluation needs to be further strengthened by ensuring evaluative questions are used to guide the evaluation of programmes and practices. Adults should ensure their practice is guided by the most recent OPA policies and procedures.

There are high levels of parent involvement in the day-to-day programme and life of the playcentre. The parent council is responsive to community needs, focuses on roll growth and ongoing sustainability. 

The playcentre benefits from ongoing support from the OPA. Centre advisors use internal evaluation effectively to monitor how well centres are promoting positive outcomes for children. They identify the strengths and areas for support for each playcentre and report to the OPA. The OPA ensures that decisions are made about strategies to further support the playcentre. Regular appraisals are carried out, however the appraisal process needs to be further developed to be effective. The OPA is achieving its strategic goal of increasing the number of parents who participate in playcentre training to ensure ongoing sustainability. The OPA regularly monitor progress towards the strategic goals and evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies they use.

Key Next Steps

The playcentre supervisors and parents with the support of the OPA need to:

  • review the playcentre philosophy

  • strengthen individual and group planning

  • further develop their use of effective internal evaluation.

A key next step for the OPA is to ensure:

  • the appraisal system continues to be developed and embedded.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Weston 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.

To improve current practice, the OPA should ensure playcentre members use the most recent OPA policies and procedures to guide their practice. 

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Weston Playcentre will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

21 August 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

Oamaru

Ministry of Education profile number

81046

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

40

Gender composition

Girls: 22

Boys: 18

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other

5
33
2

Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent led

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

June 2017

Date of this report

21 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

August 2009

Education Review

March 2006

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?

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

Context

Weston Playcentre is one of 37 playcentres administered by the Otago Playcentre Association (OPA). It is one of four playcentres centres in the Oamaru region. These four centres have close and supportive links with each other.

Weston Playcentre is situated in a semi-rural setting next door to the local school and many families attending are farmers. The centre is open five mornings a week and offers programmes for children from birth to five years. The sessions are run by educators and parents who have completed the necessary playcentre training. There are good numbers of parents in training for playcentre qualifications. Most children attend only the playcentre and stay until they start school.

The playcentre has recently been relicensed under the 2008 licensing requirements. The parents have recently refurbished the outside deck area to make an all-weather play space.

The parents and educators have made very good progress in addressing the recommendations outlined in the 2009 Education Review Report.

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

Children play and learn in attractive and well-resourced indoor and outdoor settings. The centre resources are beautifully presented and well organised. Children can easily access these resources.

Many of the parents stay to settle their children and spend the session working alongside them. The education team gives clear direction to the parent helpers on the day and there are clear expectations of the parent help role.

Children benefit from many genuine conversations with the educators and parents. These conversations support children in their play and extend their thinking. Children play well with and alongside each other. Children stay for long periods of time at activities. They are encouraged and supported by parents and educators to make choices and be independent.

A feature of this centre is the strong routines and the useful learning that occurs through these times. Children are very familiar with the routines such as morning tea and group times where children can share news, sing familiar songs and practise letters and numbers.

The educators and parents have well established systems to identify children’s next steps for learning. Many of the parents share their aspirations and goals for their children. These goals are displayed on the centre notice board. The education team actively seek to involve parents in planning for their children. They have systems for adding to the children’s profile books. The profile books are attractive records of what children do at playcentre. These books are easily accessible to the children and their parents.

The next steps are to:

  • make better and more frequent use of individual children’s goals and aspirations when planning programmes
  • use these goals as the starting point to develop strategies (including interactions) and experiences to build on and extend individual children’s learning
  • use the aspirations and goals to guide what the educators and parents will write about to show progress being made in respect of these.

Educators have a group plan to guide the term's activities. The term plan includes a specific focus on the integration of te reo Māori, learning about Māori myths and legends celebrating Mātariki. In 2012 educators and parents have planned a wide range of activities and trips to broaden children’s knowledge and skills. The next step is for educators and parents to:

  • consider how they might better integrate individual children’s interests, strengths and abilities within the group plan.

The centre has established strong links with the local school. Children are well supported in their transition to school.

The parents and educators use spontaneous self review to make changes to the resources and environment. In-depth review is still a work in progress. The next step is for parents and educators continue to develop their use and understanding of in-depth reviews and how they gather multiple perspectives.

The centre is well supported by the centre advisor and has had good support from the Otago Playcentre Association during the relicensing process earlier in 2012.

Governance and Management

The 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 in developing their understanding of planning, 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 Weston 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

24 January 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Weston Oamaru

Ministry of Education profile number

81046

Licence type

Sessional

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

43

Gender composition

Boys 29 Girls 14

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

39

4

Review team on site

October 2012

Date of this report

24 January 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2009

March 2006

June 2001

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.