Children's Ward Playroom - Southland Hospital

Education institution number:
90117
Service type:
Hospital Based
Definition:
Hospital Play/Recreation Programme
Telephone:
Address:

Kew Road, Invercargill

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1 Evaluation of Children's Ward Playroom - Southland Hospital

How well placed is Children's Ward Playroom - Southland Hospital to contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

Background

Children's Ward Playroom is a hospital play specialist service located in the Southland Hospital children's ward. It is licensed for 18 children and operates Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm, providing education and care for children admitted to the ward, from birth to 16 years of age.

Two qualified and certificated teachers are employed part-time to deliver the programme. One is a registered hospital play specialist. The children's ward nurse manager is responsible for the day-to-day operation.

The vision of the service aims to provide learning activities for children and their families to promote a positive hospital experience through play. The district health board's values - manaakitanga, pono, whaiwhakaaro and whanaungatanga - underpin the service's philosophy. These values focus on promoting the best education and care outcomes for children based on their needs, strengths and interests.

Strategic priorities for the service include:

  • a commitment to ongoing improvement
  • a curriculum that reflects the special nature of the service
  • the provision of an environment which is safe and engaging for children, families and staff.

Leaders and teachers have effectively addressed the recommendations identified in the April 2016 ERO report. External professional support has supported very good progress with the areas identified for improvement.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from very respectful, caring relationships at all levels. A strong culture of inclusion and trust is nurtured between teachers and children and their families/whānau. Children are settled and show a strong sense of ownership and belonging. They are encouraged to take responsibility for themselves, to care for others and to develop friendships. Their voice is valued and is used by teachers to improve and enhance their learning goals. All children are valued as capable and competent learners.

The curriculum is child-centred and is strongly effective in meeting the diverse needs and strengths of all ages and abilities. It emphasises free play, enabling teachers to notice, value and support children's interests as they arise. They are provided with a broad range of creative, sensory and physical play to support their learning and engagement in the programme.

Infants and toddlers benefit from consistent and respectful caregiving that supports their sense of security and wellbeing. Teachers and parents work together to provide predictable routines for children’s changing needs.

The culture, language and identity of children and families is respected, acknowledged and celebrated. Teachers regularly integrate sign language into the daily programme. Bicultural practices are strongly evident and are well integrated within children's learning profiles and documentation.

Parents and whānau are welcomed and comfortable to stay in the service and play alongside their children. Their aspirations are regularly sought and contribute to their child's assessment and planning. Parents are well informed about children’s interests and learning through well written learning records, wall displays, use of digital technologies and informal conversations.

Leaders value teachers and provide them with an environment and conditions that enable them to be effective. The hospital play specialist works in close partnership with each child and their family/whānau. Teachers respectfully support children with additional needs to succeed in their learning.

Children are at the heart of all decision making. Leaders and teachers sensitively advocate for infants, toddlers, young children and their whānau. Personalised transitions into the service and on to school help children to settle well and to develop a sense of belonging.

Leadership is strongly focused on building positive relationships and promotes collaboration and professional practice based on respect and trust. Leaders support the hospital play specialist to successfully implement and embed a highly effective programme of teaching and learning.

An effective appraisal system is in place to support teachers to inquire into their own practice. Leaders and teachers use a strengths-based approach to meet appraisal goals and build teacher capability.

Internal evaluation is improvement focused. Leaders and teachers regularly review centre processes and practices. Planning and assessment for children's learning has been effectively strengthened since the April 2016 ERO review.

Clear links to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, are strongly evident. Learning stories celebrate the interactions and activities of the children and keep parents well informed. They document ongoing observations of children in the achievement of their learning goals.

Key Next Steps

Leaders have identified, and ERO agrees that the key next steps are to continue to:

  • scrutinise practice through internal evaluation processes with a focus on improved outcomes for children
  • strengthen aspects of the appraisal system.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Children's Ward Playroom - Southland Hospital completed an ERO Hospital-based 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

10 March 2020

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

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

90117

Licence type

Hospital Based Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for / notional roll

18 children, including up to 18 aged under 2

Number of hospital play specialists in the service

1

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2020

Date of this report

10 March 2020

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

April 2016

Education Review

February 2013

3 General Information about Hospital-based Service Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for a hospital-based service education review is ‘How well placed is this service to contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing?’

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 contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing

Pou Ārahi– how leadership is enacted to contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing

Mātauranga– whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing

Tikanga whakaako– how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity, contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness ofarotake– self review and ofwhanaungatanga– 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 have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service responds to children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to two years of age.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to the methodology for ERO reviews in Hospital-based Education and Care 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 contribute to children’s learning and wellbeing and are useful to the service.

1 Evaluation of Children's Ward Playroom - Southland Hospital

How well placed is Children's Ward Playroom - Southland Hospital to contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

Background

The Children's Ward Playroom is a licensed early childhood service for children in Southland Hospital, Invercargill. Its overall aim is to help children and their families feel more comfortable in the hospital setting. The playroom itself is open to children and parents 24 hours a day.

One experienced long-serving Hospital Play Specialist (HPS) staffs the service. She is a registered HPS and qualified early childhood teacher. She works with children and their families on the wards and in the playroom. She works closely with the health professionals within the hospital. The HPS service is part of the Women's and Children's Health service of Southland Hospital, Southern District Health Board (SDHB). The HPS coordinates a team of volunteers who help her in the playroom.

The 2013 ERO report identified many positive features about the service. These are still evident. Internal evaluation remains an area for further development.

The Review Findings

The Playroom offers a safe and welcoming place for children and their families to play and spend time together. Families can access the room at any time of the day or night. Children can also play and explore in the outdoor play area. The HPS creates a normal and enjoyable play environment by providing a wide range of familiar toys and activities for children of different ages. The HPS makes connections with children's home life, interests, and other early childhood settings. Wall displays and resources reflect children's varied cultural backgrounds.

The HPS gives careful thought to how she can reduce the stress and strangeness of children's hospital experience. For example, she gets children to handle the medical equipment they will meet and express their feelings through play. Children and their families benefit from the way the HPS responds quickly to events and circumstances as they arise. Each day the HPS prioritises the children most in need of her services. She ensures children do not undergo medical procedures in the Playroom.

The programme is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, with an emphasis on supporting children to be comfortable in the hospital setting. The service's philosophy statement would be more useful if it outlined in more detail the desired outcomes for children within this very specialised service. It could then provide better guidance for the HPS in her interactions with children and how she documents the difference she has made for children's learning and wellbeing. It would also help her evaluate how well programmes and practices are meeting the desired outcomes for children.

Records of learning for children who are long-term patients are appreciated by their families. The HPS fosters the children's sense of belonging and wellbeing by documenting their strengths, connections to their families, their cultural backgrounds and the interest they have in the activities of the Playroom.

The HPS acknowledges that much of her planning, assessment and evaluation occurs daily in the form of conversations between herself, parents and medical staff. The HPS and her manager agree that a next step is for the HPS to better record her decisions in children's clinical records, and how she has contributed to improving children's hospital experiences.

The HPS works well within the child-health team. The HPS advocates for the wellbeing of children and has been instrumental in improving hospital practice for the benefit of children. For example, children are now able to wear their own pyjamas to and in the hospital which has removed a major source of stress for them.

The HPS has taken the initiative to strengthen links with the HPS service in Dunedin, and attends the biennial HPS Association conference. These links are essential as she is the sole play specialist at Southland Hospital. She should now explore ways to strengthen these professional relationships to support her in her work.

The SDHB has a useful appraisal model. The HPS in Southland and Dunedin are adapting it for their services. The model would be improved by including written feedback after observations and by linking the HPS competencies to the Education Council requirements for teachers and including Tātaiako, cultural competencies for teachers.

The HPS reflects on her practice and looks to improve the way she works with children. She now needs to improve her understanding and practice of internal evaluation. Internal evaluation should be widened to include all aspects of the service and progress towards its vision and goals. The SDHB has systems in place for internal evaluation and improvement. The HPS and managers could explore how SDHB internal evaluation could be used in the HPS service.

The HPS service is well regarded by the hospital managers. Managers receive monthly reports aligned with the annual goals of the service. They could now develop a longer-term strategic plan to guide the future direction of the HPS service.

Key Next Steps

The service manager, HPS and ERO agree that key next steps are to:

  • develop a strategic plan that supports the service's goals and philosophy

  • strengthen professional networks for the benefit of the HPS

  • develop and use robust internal evaluation practices

  • improve written documentation of planning, assessment, and evaluation.

To improve current practice, the service managers and HPS should:

  • keep records of daily safety checks of the Playroom and outdoor area

  • develop a written procedure for excursions.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Children's Ward Playroom - Southland Hospital 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 Children's Ward Playroom - Southland Hospital will be in three years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

20 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

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

90117

Licence type

Hospital Based Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

18 children, including up to 18 aged under 2

Service roll

Variable

Gender composition

Variable

Ethnic composition

Variable

Number of hospital play specialists in the service

1

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Over 2

1:6

Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

20 April 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

December 2009

Education Review

September 2006

3 General Information about Hospital-based Service Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for a hospital-based service education review is ‘How well placed is this service to contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing?’ 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 contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing

Pou Ārahi– how leadership is enacted to contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing

Mātauranga– whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing

Tikanga whakaako– how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity, contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness ofarotake– self review and ofwhanaungatanga– 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 have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service responds to 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 methodology for ERO reviews in Hospital-based Education and Care 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 contribute to children’s learning and promote their wellbeing. 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 contribute to children’s learning and wellbeing and are useful to the service.