Massey childcare centre is a not-for-profit early learning centre. It provides children and families of staff and students from the university with a high-quality, well-priced, conveniently located service.
Leaders and kaiako are embracing an internal evaluation to identify improvements in the care of children. This is a welcome development and supports them to reflect on their practice with a research lens.
Tara McLaughlin is based in Costa Mesa, CA. She works for Toyon Associates, a healthcare reimbursement company that employs 39 people. She has a background in HR and is a C-Suite level executive. Her job responsibilities include overseeing the company’s human resources functions.
Snr Const McLaughlin leaves behind her husband Sean and sons Harry and Flynn. She also worked with NSW Police Legacy, a charity that supports past and present police and their families in times of need. Her death has been met with widespread sadness. A Facebook post on the organisation’s page has received thousands of comments in tribute to her life and service.
The authors would like to thank the children, their whanau and the Early Childhood Education Centres for their participation in this study. This research was approved by the Massey University Human Ethics Committee (Northern A, 15/36). The consent form was signed by all participating children and their parents. The research was financially supported by BestStart Educare.
A New Zealand born and bred writer of fantasy adventure novels, Gifkins is also an Early Years tutor and research coordinator at Massey University. Her research interests include intentional teaching with a social justice and gender equity lens. She teaches children in childcare, kindergarten and home-based services and is passionate about the importance of meaningful relationships with infants and toddlers.
The centre’s teachers use their understanding of the Community of Practice model to support children’s inquiries. This enables them to develop a deeper understanding of their teaching practices and how they contribute to children’s learning. The teachers’ courageous analysis of their video-recorded enquiry interactions has strengthened and deepened their understandings.
The centre has two sections, Pukeko and Kiwi, for infants and toddlers up to three years old. Each section is self-contained and has multiple double doors that lead to outside play areas, doubling the space available for inside and outside activities. The staff love their new ‘home’ and say the children are adjusting well to their new environment.
Linda Clarke is a senior tutor and research coordinator in ECE at Massey University. She has taught in a wide range of early childhood services and her current research is exploring intentional teaching with a focus on social justice and gender equity.
Karyn Aspden is a lecturer in ECE at Massey University. Her career began as a teacher in various early childhood services, then moved into initial teacher education and her current research is focused on toddler pedagogy and social-emotional learning.
All participants in this study were fully informed about the aims of the research, any potential demands and discomforts involved and had the opportunity to withdraw their participation at any time. This research was approved by the Massey University Human Ethics Committee (Southern A, 15/36).
The ECE Parents Council
The ECE Parents Council is a group of parent representatives who serve on the District Preschool Planning Council. They work to identify specific community needs, outstanding concerns and current issues that impact the preschool program. They also help to prioritize these issues and determine the best ways to address them. They can also help to provide the resources and support necessary to implement high-quality preschool services.
ECAC members should also participate in the development of a comprehensive community needs assessment (CNA) that asks detailed questions with usable information to obtain a thorough understanding of the most pressing issues in the district. They should also work with the district leadership team to develop a District Operational Plan, which includes an annual budget for the preschool program.
Kaiako and leaders are developing a culture of evaluation that focuses on continuous improvement. This includes establishing internal evaluation processes, such as observation and reflective dialogue. The results of these activities have strengthened, deepened and affirmed the teachers’ understandings of the teaching practices they use with their infants and toddlers.