The Education Review Office (ERO) says in a national report just released that kindergartens, childcare centres, and playcentres are mainly doing well in helping children to develop social competence, emotional wellbeing and an understanding of appropriate behaviour.
Of the 310 early childhood centres evaluated on this during their regular scheduled ERO reviews in 2010, 83% were judged to have a curriculum that was operating successfully to help children develop social and emotional competence.
Slightly more kindergartens (89%) than childcare centres (85%) and playcentres (76%) included in the evaluation were rated as having ‘highly effective’ or ‘mostly effective’ curriculum practices to support children developing social and emotional competence, and understanding of appropriate social behaviour.
Fourteen percent of centres had ‘somewhat effective’ curriculum practices and 3% with practices that were ‘not effective’, and reviewers considered these were due to:
- educators’ limited understanding of the centre’s policy expectations especially around providing children with positive guidance;
- teacher/educator turnover; and
- lack of professional leadership and support.
Other issues identified were:
- educators not being responsive to children’s needs and having poor quality interactions with them;
- children’s limited access to resources resulting in behaviour problems; and
- poor management by educators of group times.
The report was completed by ERO last year and publicly released today. It states that in a few services the quality of curriculum was such it was likely to be harmful for children. It is not mentioned if, or what, action ERO or other agencies took at the time to assess whether individual children were experiencing harm, and if so, what action had been taken to stop this from happening and then, getting assistance for the children and families.