Sprouts Manawatu 27 22/08/2013

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Education Review Report: Home-Based CareSprouts Manawatu 27

Sprouts Manawatu 27 operates in Palmerston North. It is one of eight home-based services operated by the Sprouts organisation. A regional manager and two coordinators are responsible for the provision of home-based care, implementing the curriculum for children and for the ongoing professional growth of educators. A new general manager has recently been appointed and changes of personnel have occurred within the leadership team.

This review was part of a cluster of eight home-based early childhood education and care service reviews in the Sprouts organisation. The review evaluates the quality of education and care provided by a sample group of educators and the quality of support provided by the Sprouts management. This is the service’s first ERO review.

The philosophy of Sprouts Manawatu 27 is clearly seen in practice. Children learn in a home-based environment. They experience a wide range of opportunities and experiences to support them to become capable and confident learners. Warm and responsive relationships foster their emotional security.

The weekly playgroup is a strength of the service. Children settle quickly and play together happily. There is some spontaneous use of te reo Māori during the playgroup. Staff and ERO agree this is an area for further development across the whole service.

Partnership with parents is evident. Educators are very responsive to individual children’s needs and family practices.

Strategies to build the leadership capability amongst staff have potential to improve outcomes for children. Self review is developing and new systems have been introduced to support leaders and coordinators to maintain consistent practice amongst educators in the service. ERO affirms this approach.

ERO and management have agreed that the next steps for development include strengthening educators’ practice in assessing children’s learning and in identifying hazards in the environment.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again within three years.

2 The Focus of the Review

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.

The Quality of Education

Background

Sprouts Manawatu 27 operates in Palmerston North. It is one of eight home-based services operated by the Sprouts organisation. A new general manager has recently been appointed and changes of personnel have occurred within the leadership team. This is the service’s first review.

This review was part of a cluster of eight home-based early childhood education and care service reviews in the Sprouts organisation. The review evaluates the quality of education and care provided by a sample group of educators and the quality of support provided by the Sprouts' management.

Areas of good performance

The philosophy of Sprouts Manawatu 27 is clearly seen in practice. Children learn in a home-based environment. They experience a wide range of opportunities and experiences to support them to become capable and confident learners. Their efforts and achievements are praised and celebrated. Educators know children well. Warm and responsive relationships foster children’s emotional security. Their interests are extended during regular group sessions, local outings and through additional resources provided by coordinators.

The weekly playgroup is a strength of the service. The inclusive and child-centred environment supports belonging effectively. Children and infants settle quickly and play together happily. There is some spontaneous use of te reo Māori during the playgroup. Managers and coordinators have identified this as an area for further development across the whole service. ERO affirms this decision.

Partnership with parents is evident. Positive steps are taken to respect and acknowledge the aspirations held by parents and whānau for their children. Educators are very responsive to individual children’s needs and family practices. Journals are a rich source of information for parents on their children’s activities.

The recent change in the organisation has been well managed. Coordinators and educators are supported to grow their practice through a range of professional learning opportunities. Collaborative ways of working are fostered with everyone involved in the service. Self review is developing. Managers and coordinators have taken steps to strengthen their understanding and practice. ERO affirms this approach.

Areas for development and review

Educators’ practice with regard to evaluating children’s learning is developing. Managers and coordinators should continue to support educators to develop their practice in assessing children’s learning.

Sprouts Manawatu 27 provides appropriate procedures to support children’s health and wellbeing. These are clearly communicated to educators and monitored regularly by the visiting coordinator. To ensure that high standards of safety are maintained at all times, systems to support educators to identify hazards in the environment need strengthening.

3 Management Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Before the review, the management and staff of Sprouts Manawatu 27 completed an ERO Home-Based Education and Care Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum standard
  • premises and facilities standard
  • health and safety practices standard
  • governance management and administration standard.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they 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 will review the service again within three years.

Joyce Gebbie
National Manager Review Services
Central Region (Acting)

22 August 2013