Quality of early childhood service review
New ERO review reports give parents a clear signal about the quality of early childhood education.
The Education Review Office is making it easier for parents to find out about the quality of an early childhood service.
As part of its new approach to reviewing early childhood services, ERO has introduced four different review return times. Each one is connected to an overall judgement about how well placed a service is to promote positive outcomes for children. The better placed a service is to promote positive outcomes, the longer the time between education reviews.
Diana Anderson, Acting Chief Executive and Chief Review Officer for ERO, says that the changes are about giving a clear judgement and making sure that ERO and the Ministry of Education use their resources where they are needed the most.
“Early childhood is a growing and diverse sector. The four different return times give us the flexibility to spend more time in early childhood services that need support, and less time with those that consistently provide high quality early childhood education,” says Mrs Anderson.
Previously, early childhood services were reviewed every three years, with ERO returning within 12 months to services with which they had concerns.
ERO has developed criteria to support the four judgements. The criteria are available publicly and make it clear what ERO expects for a service to be considered very well placed.
Shorter and easier to read education reports are also part of ERO’s new approach. The outcome of the review will be immediately obvious as the report will start with the overall judgement.
“We want parents to have access to good information about early childhood services,” says Mrs Anderson. “As an independent evaluation agency, we review hundreds of early childhood services each year. Not only do we get to see a wide variety of early childhood services, but we also aim to report what we found in a way that helps parents make a decision about early childhood education for their family.”
Other significant changes to the early childhood reviews include an increased focus on a service’s self review – what the service knows about the impact their service has, how they know this and what they do with that information. ERO also wants to be sure that early childhood services are helping priority learners – Māori, Pacific and children with special learning needs. Children up to the age of two are also a priority for ERO.
*ERO has separate review procedures for kōhanga reo. Home-based education and care services and hospital-based education and care services will still be reviewed under the 2002 procedures.