Category Archives: ERO Review

More rambles in the life and times of an Early Childhood Centre Manager: Self Review

I am stoked to hear our Kei Tua o te Pae ( Assessment in Early Childhood Education) training is going to recommence next week. It stalled back in March because our tutor unfortunately became ill.

I have also heard the Ministry of Social Development has approved my funding application to run the School Holiday programme. I still don’t know to the tune of how much yet but I am hopeful – The last holiday programme ran at a loss because we did not secure funding in the last round.

I had an incredibly intense staff meeting last week which involved me literally pouring information over the teaching staff as fast as I could before they could escape at 7 oclock. The first one made a beeline for the door at about 6.45 and it was all down hill from there. I managed to convey a number of important messages before they bolted, in particular pointing them to ERO’s green book which nicely lists all the performance indicators for the delivery of a quality educational programme. The lists include descriptions of what the children would be observed doing as well as what the teachers should be doing.

In preparation of ERO’s visit, inspection of recent ‘Learning Stories’ has revealed that those teachers that have adopted the template I produced back in April? are at last assessing children’s learning more fully and are able to plan for these children based on their individual interests and dispositions. Gone (she says hopefully) are the meaningless colourful scrapbooks of old which provided no continuity of planning.

The focus of the Governments ERO reviews in ECE this year is ‘Self Review’ – Most of my job is self review and it is not until quite recently that I have begun formally documenting it. Topics I have reviews this year include:

Assessment (Learning Stories) Here is the documentation of the process. self-review-profiles1

As I am trying not to work so much in the weekends I will end this post, however I hope to post an exemplar of a good Learning Story here next week and talk more about the performance indicators as listed by ERO.

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Preparation for the ERO Review & Children’s Learning questioned

Yes indeed, I have just come through an MoE relicensing palava for Montessori 1 and an OSCAR approvals review with CYFS for the after school and holiday programme only to receive the news that the Early Childhood Centre Mont 1 is to be reviewed by ERO next month!

It has been three years since our last review so we knew it was coming, but next month!!! Core blimey, I’ve got a trip to Tonga planned next month. And on top of that my daughter has just come down with Glandular fever.

It is three weeks to the school holidays and the Min of Soc Development still hasn’t decided which OSCAR programmes it is going to fund in this country this year. We have the best programme we have had for ages and we might have to pull the plug on it which would be a shame. We have retained our CYPS approval, with every policy checked, scrutinised, re-written, every staff member police checked, reference checked, scrubbed and polished. I found the CYPS approvals process to be a little disturbing to be honest. All the focus seems to be on our paperwork and not at all about the facilities or experiences we provide for the children.

Anyway such is life in the beurocracy. I have been doing a lot of reading and came across this quote by Carlini Rinaldi (2003)

The young child is the first great researcher. Children are born searching for and, therefore, researching the meaning of life, the meaning of self in relation to others and to the world. Children are born searching for the meaning of their existence…..the meaning of conventions, customs and habits we have, and of rules and the answers we provide.

Do you think this desire to search for meaning continues into adulthood? or do we change somewhere along the way and eventually expect someone else to tell us what it is? How much do you think our education system’s emphasis on assessment shapes how we learn? or what we learn, or why we learn?

The important outcomes of an (early childhood) education include the development of:

  • confidence and competence as a learner as the result of active exploration;
  • confidence and competence as a communicator as the result of making meanings known
  • a sense of continuity and belonging as a result of effective relationships and communication between home and (the ECE centre) the educator
  • a sense of wellbeing and contribution as the result of effective engagement with (ECE) education experiences that challenge and stimulate children to learn, think and grow in confidence.

In the words of ERO: “Children are more likely to be successful in their later formal education if they have been fortunate enough to be involved in high quality early childhood education”.

If this is true, then why is access to high quality early childhood education not compulsory in NZ?? and only available to the fortunate??

Why do so many of our school leavers leave school illiterate and enumerate?

(is that a word?)