Deanwell Playcentre - 11/07/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Deanwell Playcentre is a sessional education and care service located in Hamilton and catering for children from birth to school age. The centre operates under the umbrella of the Waikato Playcentre Association.

The playcentre aims to support parents as the first and most important educator of their children. The playcentre’s philosophy statement acknowledges that children learn through child-initiated play, along with the promotion of positive social behaviours.

Since the previous ERO review, the centre has continued to focus on developing the use of te reo Māori, appointed a centre support worker, and replaced and improved resources and fixed assets.

Playcentre members have successfully created an inclusive and harmonious atmosphere. Children are increasingly gaining confidence in socialising with a range of people and their peers. Positive and affirming relationships are strongly evident between adults and children.

Centre families prepare an interesting and stimulating learning environment that enables children to initiate their own play. There is good flow between the indoor and outdoor areas and the centre continues to naturally integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into the programme.

Parents place importance on children having the opportunity to learn in the wider community. Children can visit and socialise with peers and teachers at the adjacent school and enjoy organised excursions to areas of interest in the local district.

The association provides a range of helpful guidelines and support for playcentre parents. The liaison officer visits regularly and encourages parents to undertake relevant training.

Parents are committed to ongoing improvement to the quality of education and care of children. Programme evaluation encourages parents to reflect on activities provided for children. These evaluations now need to have an increased focus on children’s learning and detail how activities have contributed to learning outcomes.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Deanwell Playcentre was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atDeanwell Playcentre.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

Deanwell Playcentre is a sessional education and care service located in Hamilton and catering for children from birth to school age. The centre operates under the umbrella of the Waikato Playcentre Association and is licensed for 30 children including 17 under twos. The current roll consists of children from 21 families.

Deanwell Playcentre’s philosophy values:

  • child-initiated play;
  • parents as first educators;
  • a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi;
  • quality resources and equipment in a safe facility;
  • nurturing relationships and learning experiences through play;
  • continuous adult self review of teaching practice; and
  • welcoming all children, whānau/families.

Since the previous ERO review the centre has continued to focus on developing te reo Māori, appointed a centre support worker, and replaced and improved resources and fixed assets. They have also addressed the recommendations identified in the previous ERO report.

Areas of strength

Relationships: Positive and affirming relationships are strongly evident among adults and children. Parents play alongside their own and others’ children. They are quick to recognise and respond to children’s feelings and support their emotional well-being. Children are increasingly gaining confidence in socialising with a range of adults and their peers.

Learning environment: Children are welcomed into a well prepared, interesting and stimulating learning environment. There is good indoor and outdoor flow allowing children access to a wide range of choices as they initiate their own learning. The environment fosters children’s curiosity to explore and investigate the world around them.

Family culture: Playcentre members have successfully established a team culture. They know children and their families well. New members are made to feel welcome and more experienced members share their knowledge. This collaborative approach is appreciated by members and contributes to the harmonious atmosphere at the centre.

Reflections: Session evaluations encourage parents to reflect on activities provided for children. Spontaneous ongoing discussions are effective in leading to positive outcomes for children. Parents are committed to ongoing improvement to the quality of education and care provided for children.

Programme: Children engage in and enjoy a wide variety of interesting and stimulating individual and group activities. Many opportunities are provided for imaginative play and creative experimentation. Literacy and mathematical concepts are integrated throughout the programme. Children and parents set up activities and children are free to choose their areas of interest. Parents use a variety of questioning techniques to promote learning and further support the development of children’s oral skills.

Transition to school: A feature of the playcentre is the transition to school programme. Close relationships have been developed with the neighbouring school. Regular visits to and from the school and centre assist children’s progress into school life.

Te reo and tikanga Māori: The centre continues to naturally integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into the programme. Parents are confident in using te reo Māori within their daily conversations with children. Charts and prompts support the awareness of a bicultural perspective. Children are developing an understanding and knowledge of Māori culture and language.

Areas for development and review

Assessment, planning and evaluation: While parents have developed systems and practices for assessment, planning and evaluation, they tend to focus on evaluating the quality of the activities provided for children rather than the impact the activity has on children’s learning. Additional development is needed to further include the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki in programme planning, assessment and evaluation practices.

Information, communication technologies (ICT): Currently children are experiencing limited use of ICT as a learning tool. Incorporating the development of ICT within a long-term plan for the centre should assist children to gain the appropriate skills to become competent members of a technological society.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Deanwell Playcentre completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within three years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

28 children, including up to 9 aged under 2

Roll number

28

Gender composition

Girls 16

Boys 12

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 16

New Zealand Māori 12

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

11 July 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review June 2009

Education Review May 2006

Accountability Review June 2002

11 July 2012

To the Parents and Community of Deanwell Playcentre

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Deanwell Playcentre.

Deanwell Playcentre is a sessional education and care service located in Hamilton and catering for children from birth to school age. The centre operates under the umbrella of the Waikato Playcentre Association.

The playcentre aims to support parents as the first and most important educator of their children. The playcentre’s philosophy statement acknowledges that children learn through child-initiated play, along with the promotion of positive social behaviours.

Since the previous ERO review, the centre has continued to focus on developing the use of te reo Māori, appointed a centre support worker, and replaced and improved resources and fixed assets.

Playcentre members have successfully created an inclusive and harmonious atmosphere. Children are increasingly gaining confidence in socialising with a range of people and their peers. Positive and affirming relationships are strongly evident between adults and children.

Centre families prepare an interesting and stimulating learning environment that enables children to initiate their own play. There is good flow between the indoor and outdoor areas and the centre continues to naturally integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into the programme.

Parents place importance on children having the opportunity to learn in the wider community. Children can visit and socialise with peers and teachers at the adjacent school and enjoy organised excursions to areas of interest in the local district.

The association provides a range of helpful guidelines and support for playcentre parents. The liaison officer visits regularly and encourages parents to undertake relevant training.

Parents are committed to ongoing improvement to the quality of education and care of children. Programme evaluation encourages parents to reflect on activities provided for children. These evaluations now need to have an increased focus on children’s learning and detail how activities have contributed to learning outcomes.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.

Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.

Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre 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 this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.