Pioneers Elm Row

Education institution number:
83014
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
49
Telephone:
Address:

86 Elm Row, Dunedin

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ERO’s Akanuku | Assurance Review reports provide information about whether a service meets and maintains regulatory standards. Further information about Akanuku | Assurance Reviews is included at the end of this report.

ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards

ERO’s judgement

Curriculum

Meeting

Premises and facilities

Meeting

Health and safety

Not meeting

Governance, management, and administration

Meeting

At the time of the review, ERO identified non-compliance with regulatory standards that must be addressed.

Background

Pioneers Elm Row is a community-based service governed by a parent board. The day-to-day operations are led by the director who works alongside the centre team leaders. The service provides education and care in a mixed-aged setting which caters for a range of ages and abilities.  

Summary of Review Findings

The service curriculum aligns to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The learning environment provides a range of resources and equipment that promote exploration. Teachers engage in calm and respectful interactions with children to support their learning and development. Children’s cultures are respected and supported through collaboration with parents and whānau to develop links between their home cultures and languages.

The design and layout of the premises support the provision of different types of indoor and outdoor experiences. Governance and management systems ensure policies and procedures are in place for the operation of the service, however an increased level of monitoring of health and safety practices is required.

Actions for Compliance

ERO found areas of non-compliance in the service relating to:

  • consistently monitoring and recording children’s sleep times

  • maintaining consistent records of all medicine (prescription and non-prescription) given to children attending the service that includes the specific symptoms for which medication is to be administered.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS9, HS28.

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends the Ministry follows up with the service provider to ensure that non-compliances identified in this report are addressed promptly.

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

21 April 2022 

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

Pioneers Elm Row

Profile Number

83014

Location

 Dunedin

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

45 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80-99%

Service roll

47

Ethnic composition

Māori 8, NZ European/Pākehā 29, Other ethnic groups 10

Review team on site

February 2022

Date of this report

21 April 2022

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, September 2018; Education Review, February 2015.

General Information about Assurance Reviews

All services are licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The legal requirements for early childhood services also include the Licensing Criteria for Education and Care Services 2008.

Services must meet the standards in the regulations and the requirements of the licensing criteria to gain and maintain a licence to operate.

ERO undertakes an Akanuku | Assurance Review process in any centre-based service:

  • having its first ERO review – including if it is part of a governing organisation

  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’

  • that has moved from a provisional to a full licence

  • that have been re-licenced due to a change of ownership

  • where an Akanuku | Assurance Review process is determined to be appropriate.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements. Before the review, the staff and management of a service 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.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO assesses whether the regulated standards are being met. In particular, ERO looks at a 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 certification; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO also gathers and records evidence through:

  • discussions with those involved in the service

  • consideration of relevant documentation, including the implementation of health and safety systems

  • observations of the environment/premises, curriculum implementation and teaching practice.

1 Evaluation of Pioneers Elm Row

How well placed is Pioneers Elm Row 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

Pioneers Elm Row is one of four centres under the Dunedin Community Childcare Association, trading as Pioneers. Pioneers is a not for profit organisation and has four centres and three home-based care networks. A governance board oversees the work of Pioneers. A director acts as the operational manager and leader of learning. Pioneers aims to ‘provide accessible, affordable and flexible quality education and care for families of Dunedin’.

Pioneers Elm Row (Elm Row) is a full-day service in central Dunedin. Children from birth-to-school age attend the centre and learn in a mixed-age setting. The centre has recently had major improvements to the indoor environment. The centre provides healthy food for the children.

Elm Row has a head teacher and assistant curriculum leader. The head teacher is responsible for the day-to-day management of the centre. Since the 2015 ERO review, there has been little change in staffing. All teachers are qualified early childhood educators/teachers.

The centre philosophy states that the centre will be a 'safe, fun and exciting place'. It also refers to providing a purposeful, rich and inclusive learning environment, recognising each child’s uniqueness, valuing New Zealand’s bicultural heritage, and respecting and involving families.

The review was part of a cluster of four early learning services reviewed in the Pioneers (DCCA) organisation.

The Review Findings

Elm Row is welcoming to all children and their parents and whānau. Relationships between teachers and children are responsive, caring and respectful. Children have a strong sense of belonging and settle quickly into well-known routines. They are empowered to have ownership of and make choices about their learning.

The family-like, mixed-aged setting provides a positive and supportive learning environment. Children experience tuakana-teina relationships where older children nurture and include younger children in their play. They enjoy learning (ako), through meaningful conversations with teachers.

Children are well supported in their learning. Leaders and teachers, particularly key teachers (the primary caregiver), know their children well as individuals and learners and communicate closely with their families. Children with additional learning needs are very well supported.

Teachers have improved planning and assessments for individual children and groups. This is guided by a useful template. In better examples of assessment and planning, links were made to parents’ aspirations and significant learning moments were recorded.

Infants and toddlers are well provided for. Key teachers have very close and nurturing relationships with their children and carefully align care routines with home and the wishes of parents. Teachers intentionally support children’s learning, including the development of gross motor skills and oral language.

Strong aspects of the curriculum include:

  • growing children’s social competence which is very deliberate and strongly linked to group planning
  • providing opportunities for children to be physically challenged
  • giving children many opportunities to explore dramatic and imaginative play.

Teachers and leaders have a positive and collegial staff culture with a strong focus on what is best for children. They work collaboratively and are highly responsive to children’s needs.

Key Next Steps

The leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that leaders and teachers need to continue to embed their new assessment, planning and evaluation practices. This includes making children’s cultures more visible, being more specific about the intended learning outcomes in group plans, and strengthening the evaluation of group and individual planning to know how effective teachers’ strategies have been.

Leaders and teachers need to:

  • refine the centre’s philosophy and clarify key priorities for children’s learning
  • strengthen how children’s cultures are included and valued in the day-to-day programme
  • continue to strengthen their understanding and use of effective internal evaluation.

Pioneers Association - Governance

Pioneers has sound governance practices. Board members have a good understanding of their governance role, and have relevant skills and work experience. With the director, centre leaders and teachers have developed well-considered strategic goals and useful long and short-term plans. Initiatives and practices across the centres are intentionally aligned to these. Teachers and leaders feel valued and very well supported by director and board.

The director has implemented useful systems and practices that contribute to the smooth operation of the centres through a period of significant change. Valuable relationships have been built with social and educational organisations beyond the association, with the intent of improving educational provision and children's wellbeing.

The director and ERO have identified that the next steps are to continue to:

  • implement the new and improved appraisal system, including teaching as inquiry
  • extend quality assurance to further identify and share best practices across all centres so that any additional support required is identified

  • build links with local iwi and Māori whānau to enable rich learning about te ao Māori across all centres
  • support centres to develop more useful annual action plans and improve reporting against these.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pioneers Elm Row 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 Pioneers Elm Row will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

6 September 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

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

83014

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

45 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

47

Gender composition

Girls: 23

Boys: 24

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnicities

2
40
1
4

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

June 2018

Date of this report

6 September 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

September 2011

Education Review

September 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.