Victory Playcentre - 29/02/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Victory Playcentre is one of 14 parent-led centres that operate under the umbrella of the Nelson Playcentres Association (the association). Strategic and policy direction for centre operations is provided by association personnel. They also work in collaboration with centres, taking responsibility for education, property and equipment and providing training for members. Association liaison officers provide professional advice, guidance and support to centres. The association office administrator undertakes the role of licensee.

The centre is community orientated and operates seven mixed-age group sessions each week, two of which are afternoon sessions. The Monday afternoon session specifically caters to Japanese families. A Supporting Parents Alongside Childhood Education (SPACE) session is available for new parents on Friday afternoons. Supporting parent learning is a strength. Parents are able to undertake playcentre training for which they gain recognised qualifications.

Supervision teams and other parents work well together. Parents take an active role in children’s play. The Monday afternoon session features a high number of Japanese families. Session leaders provide well for the needs of children and their families.

Children interact well with each other and all adults. They are caring, positive and friendly. Older children frequently help their younger peers. Play is settled and children are happy and secure.

The programme strongly supports the values and aspirations held by centre members. Thoughtfully organised and resourced learning areas reflect playcentre philosophy. Teachers promote children's strengths, interests and emerging dispositions. Trips and excursions, in the community, provide experiences to extend children’s knowledge and learning.

Acknowledgement of family’s cultural diversity is evident in the well presented indoor environment.

Team leaders identify improving assessment, planning and evaluation and strengthening formal self review as areas for development and review. ERO’s evaluation agrees with these and also identified that implementation of appraisal could be further strengthened.

Future Action

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

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Victory 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 atVictory 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

Victory Playcentre operates under the guidance of the association. Association personnel provide guidance and support to centre members for the continuous improvement of teaching and learning practices. This includes:

  • the objectives outlined in the strategic plan which set the expectations for quality learning experiences, clear communication with members and streamlining of operation and administration systems
  • a set of robust policies that guide centre practice that are regularly reviewed and updated
  • an extensive range of workshops and professional development offered in response to team goals as well as training modules
  • liaison officers who play a key role in the association by providing advice and guidance to centres
  • support for children with moderate to severe special needs through the provision of a special needs resource person and access to funding to support identified children in centres

Te Roopu Whānau o Whakatu, a group of association families, to support individual centres with a range of initiatives to further the learning and development of Māori children and their whānau at playcentre.

Areas of strength

Programme The programme strongly supports the values and aspirations of playcentre philosophy including the provision of 16 areas of play. Teachers recognise children's strengths, interests and emerging dispositions. Provision is made for imaginative role play. Trips and excursions provide experiences to extend children’s knowledge and learning.

There is good support for children’s developing literacy and number skills. Team leaders and parents regularly read to and with children and children enjoy reading on their own. Strategies and activities are available to extend the learning of four year olds.

Programme and evaluation displays show children’s participation in learning and adult responses to emerging interests. Children’s profile books are easily accessible. They provide a record of children’s involvement in centre activities. Stories are personalised with photographs of children’s participation. Art work with anecdotal comments is included, with the stage of development identified.

Environment A carefully considered range of suitably resourced activities is provided both inside and out. These promote self choice for children. There is a good flow of play between the outdoor and indoor environments.

Outside, climbing equipment provides challenge and promotes children’s developing physical skills. Children plant and tend vegetable gardens. In the attractively presented and resourced sandpit area laminated signage acts as a prompt for parents, giving ideas for developing oral language.

Within the environment, displays, books, games and puzzles reflect aspects of te ao Māori and promote New Zealand’s bicultural dimension.

Interactions Children interact well with each other and all adults. They are caring, positive and friendly. Older children frequently help their younger peers. Play is settled and children are happy and secure. They listen well, joining in learning conversations with adults. These discussions enrich vocabulary and offer ideas to extend play.

Team leaders and parents work well together responding effectively to the interests and physical needs of the children, especially infants and toddlers. Adults take joint responsibility for children and reinforce expected behaviours. They engage with children at their level and work alongside them to extend play, understanding and to encourage curiosity.

Children and their families are well transitioned into the centre. New families are supported to develop relationships and friendships. Supervision team members are available at the beginning and end of sessions to exchange information. Transition to school is well managed through reciprocal visits to the local primary school.

Management Well-developed strategic plans guide centre operations. Major goals and actions to support the achievement of these are documented. Some areas for self review are identified in these plans.

Support for parent learning is a strength. Parents are able to undertake playcentre training for which they gain recognised qualifications.

Members are developing understandings of review for improvement. Some reviews have contributed positively to improved planning and environmental resourcing.

Areas for development and review

Team leaders have identified that there is a need to:

  • increase child and parent contributions to learning stories
  • strengthen formal self-review processes.

Using children’s and parents learning stories more effectively, as part of assessment, should strengthen future planning.

In addition ERO identified that:

  • appraisal processes have been strengthened to include input from the association liaison officer and a peer in addition to self reflection. Further development to include the use of set criteria to inform self reflection (by the centre with support from the association) is likely to support ongoing improvement
  • strengthening the annual plan to link objectives with clearly defined outcomes, identifying specific strategies, persons responsible and timeframes, should make the process more robust and provide greater direction for members
  • it is timely to consider the presentation and placement of wall displays and ways to more clearly reflect the cultures of children attending the centre, especially the large number of Japanese children.

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Inclusion of Children with Moderate to Severe Special Needs

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • transitions ensure the continuing well-being, learning, and development of children with moderate to severe special needs
  • children with moderate to severe special needs are supported to be confident and capable learners
  • the service is inclusive of children with moderate to severe special needs.

Although there are no children with moderate to severe special needs currently enrolled in this service there have been in the recent past. The learning needs of these children have been well provided for.

Areas of strength

The centre is well placed to receive children with special needs. Centre members know that association funding and support is available. Adults demonstrate an understanding of how programmes may be modified to respond to children’s identified needs.

Parents of children with special needs previously enrolled speak highly of the support given and understanding shown to them during their time at the centre. These parents have shared information with team leaders and other parents so they can better support the children.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Victory Playcentre completed an ERO CentreManagement Assurance 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.

5. Future Action

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

 

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

 

About the Centre

Type

Sessional Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Roll number

37

Gender composition

Girls 19,

Boys 18

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā, 12,

Japanese 21,

Māori 2,

Other ethnic groups 2

Review team on site

November 2011

Date of this report

29 February 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review July 2007

Education Review December 2004

Accountability Review June 1998

29 February 2012

To the Parents and Community of Victory Playcentre

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

Victory Playcentre is one of 14 parent-led centres that operate under the umbrella of the Nelson Playcentres Association (the association). Strategic and policy direction for centre operations is provided by association personnel. They also work in collaboration with centres, taking responsibility for education, property and equipment and providing training for members. Association liaison officers provide professional advice, guidance and support to centres. The association office administrator undertakes the role of licensee.

The centre is community orientated and operates seven mixed-age group sessions each week, two of which are afternoon sessions. The Monday afternoon session specifically caters to Japanese families. A Supporting Parents Alongside Childhood Education (SPACE) session is available for new parents on Friday afternoons. Supporting parent learning is a strength. Parents are able to undertake playcentre training for which they gain recognised qualifications.

Supervision teams and other parents work well together. Parents take an active role in children’s play. The Monday afternoon session features a high number of Japanese families. Session leaders provide well for the needs of children and their families.

Children interact well with each other and all adults. They are caring, positive and friendly. Older children frequently help their younger peers. Play is settled and children are happy and secure.

The programme strongly supports the values and aspirations held by centre members. Thoughtfully organised and resourced learning areas reflect playcentre philosophy. Teachers promote children's strengths, interests and emerging dispositions. Trips and excursions, in the community, provide experiences to extend children’s knowledge and learning.

Acknowledgement of family’s cultural diversity is evident in the well presented indoor environment.

Team leaders identify improving assessment, planning and evaluation and strengthening formal self review as areas for development and review. ERO’s evaluation agrees with these and also identified that implementation of appraisal could be further strengthened.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service 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.

 

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central 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.
  • National Evaluation Topics – This strand contributes to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.
  • 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.