Hawera Playcentre - 08/02/2017

1 Evaluation of Hawera Playcentre

How well placed is Hawera 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

Hawera Playcentre is one of 17 centres administered by the Taranaki Playcentre Association (the association). A management team of elected volunteers oversees operation at governance level and provides the adult education programme, guidance and support for members.

The playcentre is licensed to provide mixed-age sessional education and care for up to 30 children, three days a week. This includes 15 children up to the age of two years. The playcentre has a range of spaces for children to play and learn.

Centre supporters are employed by the association to regularly visit playcentres. Their role is to provide professional advice and feedback to strengthen practice and promote improvement. Responsibility for day-to-day operation is undertaken by centre-elected office holders. Parents share the duties associated with implementing the programme.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation is planning a significant restructure for 2017 that includes amalgamating all playcentre associations. Playcentres will become part of a regional hub, supported by a regional manager and support persons.

The association philosophy of parent-led education and child-initiated play alongside the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, guide and inform centre practices to generate positive changes for children. Strategic and annual planning provides guidance for centre operations, teaching and learning.

The February 2014 ERO report identified that improvement was needed in assessment, planning and evaluation and self review. Steady progress has been made in these areas.

The report also indicated that external professional input should be sought to support the association to strengthen: annual and strategic planning; assessment, planning and evaluation; understanding about Māori success as Māori and teaching and learning; regulatory requirements; and self review.

This review was part of a cluster of eight reviews in the Taranaki Playcentre Association. 

The Review Findings

The child-initiated programme is responsive to children's current and emerging interests. Children's active exploration through play and engagement in their learning is supported by attentive parent educators.

Children participate enthusiastically in a varied range of planned and spontaneous activities. They direct their own learning with an emphasis on fun, learning, choice. They create their own challenges and problem-solve independently. Frequent trips into the local community and beyond, enrich children's experiences and extend the curriculum. A positive and nurturing tone is evident.

The service’s philosophy is an expression of what families want for their children. It reflects the playcentre philosophy of parent-led education, learning through play and the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Assessment, planning and evaluation have been strengthened. A learning goal is identified for each child and reviewed regularly. Adults have useful guidance for programme planning. They are enabled to plan and provide programmes that respond to children's interests, strengths and next steps in learning. Continuing to strengthen these practices, to show how adults have extended children's learning, should assist them to reflect children's progress over time.

There is a growing awareness of the importance of providing a culturally responsive programme, this is acknowledged through relationships, policies and practices. A next step is for adults to strengthen their use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

The association Māori representative of Puriri Whakamaru o Taranaki, supports centre members to gain further understandings of te ao Māori and this aspect is developing well as an integral part of the curriculum. Association and centre leaders should use strategic planning and internal evaluation to ensure the good practice occurring is sustained and continues to be built on.

Self review is a well-managed process that is focused on improvement. Spontaneous review is used to reflect on aspects of practice. There has been significant development in the understanding of planned review. It is now timely for members to implement this learning and use review and evaluation to identify how well their practices improve outcomes for children.

The centre support person provides written reports that generally affirm environmental developments and programme practices. These reports should more deliberately focus on outcomes for children and next steps for centre members to improve teaching and learning. This should include a focus on providing centre members with evaluative feedback that assists them to sustain and further enhance the good practice already occurring.

Appraisal for centre supporters requires strengthening. The process should include: more focused goals that build their capability; and more regular and targeted feedback and feed forward about practices that enhance outcomes for children and their families. 

Key Next Steps

The association should assist playcentre members to:

  • continue to build knowledge and capability to undertake internal evaluation practices

  • deepen and embed understanding of te ao Māori within learning experiences.

The association should:

  • improve appraisal for the centre support people to support individual needs and identify professional development to support them in their leadership roles

  • build centre support staff knowledge and capability to undertake effective internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hawera 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. 

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

8 February 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

Hawera

Ministry of Education profile number

50018

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

39

Gender composition

Boys 20, Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

7

29

3

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2016

Date of this report

8 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

November 2010

Education Review

August 2007

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.