Diamond Harbour Playcentre - 24/05/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Diamond Harbour Playcentre is one of 49 operating playcentres that are administrated by the Canterbury Playcentre Association. The playcentre is open for three sessions each week.

The playcentre operates as a parent cooperative. Parents help the employed coordinator to take responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the playcentre. The association offers opportunities for parents to train in the playcentre’s early childhood education training programme.

Coordinators and parents provide a welcoming environment for adults and children. Adults are responsive to meeting the needs of children. Experiences in the wider community help to build on children’s interests.

Children’s learning benefits from the spacious outdoor area that provides many opportunities for them to be involved in physical play and to make discoveries.

The centre has made good progress in addressing the recommendations of the 2008 ERO review. Parents have received support from the association and maintain good relationships with it.

This review occurred during the time of the Canterbury earthquakes. The coordinators and the association have provided a good level of support to families during this time.

The coordinators have identified, and ERO agrees, that the next areas for development are to improve children’s assessment and programme planning; and strengthen the way they review the centre’s programme and operation.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the playcentre again in three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Diamond Harbour 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 atDiamond Harbour 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
  • the interactions between children and adults.

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

The Quality of Education

Background

The playcentre programme aims to meet children’s needs in a child-focused mixed-age setting. Parents are recognised as children’s first educators. Family involvement is seen as an integral part of the playcentre. The curriculum document, Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, is the basis for the programme.

Areas of strength

Relationships

ERO observed families being warmly welcomed. Many parents/whānau, in addition to those supervising, spend time at the centre and stay for periods of time. There are positive relationships between children and adults. Children generally play well with and alongside others. Adults were observed working well together and communicating effectively. Some te reo and tikanga Māori was used during conversations between children and adults.

Programme

Children benefit from the wide variety of opportunities and experiences indoors and outdoors. They are confident to make their own choices in the child-led programme. Most adults are actively involved in children’s play. On the day of the review, many children were well engaged in their interests for sustained periods of time. Adults encourage children’s independence. Some adults make good use of questioning to extend on children’s thinking and problem solving.

Environment

Attractive wall displays identify children’s current interests and involvement in the programme. The outdoor environment is spacious and well resourced. Children’s individual profile books are well presented and provide a good record of their interests and participation in a range of activities.

Areas for development and review

Playcentre team leaders are in the early stages of making changes to centre-wide practices. They acknowledge, and ERO agrees, that the next steps are to build on existing assessment and programme planning practices, and to extend aspects of self review.

In assessments by:

  • more clearly identifying children’s learning
  • further developing the next steps for children’s learning.

In planning by:

  • more clearly linking individual children’s assessment information and how this is used to plan the programme
  • describing the practices adults will use to extend children’s learning
  • showing the impact of the planned programme on children’s learning.

In self review by:

  • further developing practices to include the impact of this on learning outcomes for children and on the role of the adult.

Extending bicultural practices

The playcentre team leaders are aware that they need to continue to further integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into the programme.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Diamond Harbour Playcentre completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement and Self-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
  • 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
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Future Action

ERO is likely to review the playcentre again within three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

About the Centre

Type

Sessional, Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

20 children, including up to 8 aged under two

Roll number

42

Gender composition

Girls 13;

Boys 29

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 40;

Japanese 2

Review team on site

March 2012

Date of this report

24 May 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review September 2008

Education Review February 2005

Accountability Review December 1999

24 May 2012

To the Parents and Community of Diamond Harbour Playcentre

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

Diamond Harbour Playcentre is one of 49 operating playcentres that are administrated by the Canterbury Playcentre Association. The playcentre is open for three sessions each week.

The playcentre operates as a parent cooperative. Parents help the employed coordinator to take responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the playcentre. The association offers opportunities for parents to train in the playcentre’s early childhood education training programme.

Coordinators and parents provide a welcoming environment for adults and children. Adults are responsive to meeting the needs of children. Experiences in the wider community help to build on children’s interests.

Children’s learning benefits from the spacious outdoor area that provides many opportunities for them to be involved in physical play and to make discoveries.

The centre has made good progress in addressing the recommendations of the 2008 ERO review. Parents have received support from the association and maintain good relationships with it.

This review occurred during the time of the Canterbury earthquakes. The coordinators and the association have provided a good level of support to families during this time.

The coordinators have identified, and ERO agrees, that the next areas for development are to improve children’s assessment and programme planning; and strengthen the way they review the centre’s programme and operation.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the playcentre again in 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.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

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.