Waiatarua Playcentre

Education institution number:
22013
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
15
Telephone:
Address:

911 West Coast Road, Waiatarua

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1 Evaluation of Waiatarua Playcentre

How well placed is Waiatarua Playcentre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Waiatarua Playcentre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Waiatarua Playcentre is licensed for 30 children, including 15 under the age of two years. It offers two mixed-age sessions and a SPACE (Supporting Parents Alongside Children's Education) session for parents and babies. The centre operates as a parent cooperative and is part of Playcentre Aotearoa.

Programmes for children are underpinned by the Playcentre philosophy of whānau and children playing and learning together. Playcentre members recognise parents as first educators of their children. They aim to support each other to provide the best environment for children to learn and grow, and to build relationships within the community. Adult education programmes are offered to all parents who enrol their children at Playcentre. Qualifications gained through these programmes are required for sessions to receive funding.

All current centre members are new to the centre since ERO's 2015 review. They are committed to improving their adult education levels as new courses become available.

ERO's 2015 report identified areas for development relating to operational processes and curriculum provision. Current members are working to develop these aspects of their practice.

The new regional structure for Playcentre Aotearoa came into effect in June 2019. Under this new structure regions are responsible for establishing effective management systems to support each centre. This support includes personnel that regularly visit to carry out administrative tasks and model effective practice in teaching, programme planning and evaluation.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the Playcentre Aotearoa, Northern North Island Region.

The Review Findings

Children are settled and demonstrate a sense of belonging at the centre. They confidently make decisions about their play. Children benefit from an attractively presented learning environment that is spacious and well resourced.

Infants and toddlers are encouraged to explore play areas that have been thoughtfully arranged with these young children in mind. All children benefit from the mixed-age setting and the opportunities for interactions with their peers and other adults.

Parents/whānau are positive and responsive to children's ideas and requests. They support play through resources and conversations that prompt children's exploration. Children's learning records show their participation in centre sessions and experiences. Adults are building their knowledge of how to write about children's interests and strengths.

A distributed leadership model involves centre members taking on roles and responsibilities that contribute to centre operations. There is a strong culture of inclusion and support amongst members. Strategic and annual plans guide the centre's future direction. An internal evaluation process guides the review of resources and the environment and contributes to improvements.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for centre members are to:

  • develop collaborative approaches for assessing, planning and evaluating the curriculum provided for children

  • begin to include te reo and tikanga Māori, to reflect the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand

  • build members' understanding of how to use internal evaluation to identify ways to improve outcomes for children.

The regional manager and support personnel agree that key next steps for the region include:

  • providing targeted support for centre members to establish effective strategic and annual planning, with links to the long-term goals Playcentre Aotearoa

  • implementing and embedding the revised Playcentre adult education programme

  • evaluating the effectiveness and impact of the personnel who are employed to support centres

  • establishing effective programme planning and evaluation processes that support and extend the learning of all children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Waiatarua Playcentre completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

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

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to health and safety. Centre members should ensure that:

  • medication records include evidence of parent acknowledgment that medication was administered.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education & Care Services 2008, HS8

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

20 August 2019

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Waiatarua, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

22013

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

14

Gender composition

Girls 7 Boys 7

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
other ethnic groups

13
1

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

20 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2015

Education Review

July 2012

Education Review

June 2009

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children

Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children

Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children

Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.

1 Evaluation of Waiatarua Playcentre

How well placed is Waiatarua Playcentre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Waiatarua Playcentre is a family cooperative and is licensed for 30 children, including 15 up to the age of two years. It operates in a Playcentre building in a native bush setting in the Waitakere Ranges. The Playcentre philosophy of whānau and children learning together guides centre operations. Centre whānau value the way that Playcentre promotes social opportunities for children and families.

The centre is part of Te Akoranga Playcentre Association, which provides Playcentre’s adult education programme, frameworks of policies and procedures, and support personnel. The centre’s representatives at Association level support and guide the centre’s bicultural practices. Currently the national Playcentre organisation is in the process of a comprehensive restructure. This is likely to change the current structure of Te Akoranga Playcentre Association.

The centre offers three-hour, parent-led play sessions four days a week. The centre is used for adult education sessions attended by trainees from centres in the Association. The centre also hosts two SPACE (Supporting Parents Alongside Children's Education) sessions for first time parents, run by the Association.

Since the 2012 ERO report centre members have made good progress in improving the quality of curriculum planning to focus on children’s individual interests.

This review was part of a cluster of five playcentre reviews in the Te Akoranga Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children are happy and settled, and benefit from having their parents with them at the centre. They are encouraged to explore and create independently, and are able to express themselves well. Younger children are developing confidence to interact with and trust adults other than their parents.

Adults provide children with choices in indoor play experiences and a sheltered area is used to offer a range of outdoor activities. Good consideration has been given to separating the active and quieter curriculum areas. Comfortable spaces are available for mothers needing to tend to their babies. Children see themselves at play in photograph displays. Notice boards reflect the centre’s commitment to a bicultural curriculum. Centre members agree that they could improve the environment by providing better storage for equipment and resources.

Parents/whānau work collaboratively to plan for children’s interests and learning needs. They also have strong links with the local community. Recently more experienced whānau have left the centre as their children go to school. Newer members are becoming more aware of learning programmes, policies, procedures and systems as they complete Playcentre training. Some are beginning to take on leadership roles. Responsibilities are clearly outlined and there is sound guidance and support from the Association. Paid Association workers give extra support during two sessions.

The curriculum is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, and the Kei Tua o te Pae assessment model. ‘Children learning through play’ is a major principle in the centre’s curriculum. Learning through exploration, creativity, construction, language, culture and the environment guides the curriculum. Association support is helping parents to extend children’s learning experiences.

Recording children’s learning is being developed as parents increase their knowledge and skill through Playcentre training courses. They agree that they could strengthen the evaluation of children’s learning to ensure they provide a good quality curriculum for all children.

Emergent, shared and sustainable leadership is developing. Centre decisions are made through consensus. Through Association support, policies have been re-organised and a new concise self-review process has been introduced. Centre members should now embed these good management systems so they are understood by all members.

Key Next Steps

The Association leaders and centre members agree that key next steps include:

  • re-establishing sustainable management and leadership processes to guide the centre’s operations
  • developing a centre specific strategic plan that clearly documents strategic priorities and provides guidance for future centre members
  • continuing to build centre members’ knowledge about Auckland’s diverse cultures and increase their capacity to respond to this diversity.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Waiatarua Playcentre completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

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

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)
  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)
  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Waiatarua Playcentre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

30 October 2015

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Waiatarua, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

22013

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

19

Gender composition

Girls 11

Boys 8

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

2

15

2

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

30 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2012

 

Education Review

June 2009

 

Education Review

March 2006

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children

Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children

Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children

Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.