Tuakau Playcentre

Education institution number:
25218
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
11
Telephone:
Address:

Cnr Henderson & Jellicoe Avenues, Tuakau

View on map

1 Evaluation of Tuakau Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Centre members have established cooperative, positive and inclusive relationships amongst adults and children that contribute to a settled environment. They would now benefit from stronger support from the Counties Playcentre Association (CPA) to further build their capability to plan and implement a programme that is responsive to the needs of older children. In addition members require further support to ensure that association expectations and regulatory requirements, particularly for health and safety, are consistently met and sustained.

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

Background

Tuakau Playcentre is a long-established, parent-cooperative early childhood education service. It is situated near the centre of Tuakau township and offers sessions for up to 30 children from birth to school age, five mornings a week. These sessions are planned and overseen by two employed supervisors who take responsibility for different sessions. Through the centre's philosophy, parent members aim to provide a quality early childhood learning environment, incorporating a cooperative family/whānau experience.

The playcentre is one of 17 centres in the Counties Playcentre Association (CPA). The New Zealand Playcentre Federation and the CPA provide governance oversight for the centre. This includes strategic direction, management support, documentation and adult education programmes. In addition, the centre receives regular visits from association personnel whose role is to provide advice, guidance and support to centre members. The New Zealand Playcentre Federation is currently undergoing restructuring, and this has implications for CPA governance actions in the future.

In response to recommendations in the 2013 ERO report, CPA and centre leaders developed an action plan for increasing numbers of parents participating in playcentre training, improving transitions to school, and strategic planning. This plan has provided the centre with a clear strategic approach to centre development and improvement. Since then members have made some progress with increasing participation in parent education and improving transitions to school. There continues to be an urgent need for the association to provide effective support for this centre during a time of centre development, with a particular focus on meeting regulatory requirements.

This review was part of a cluster of six playcentres in the Counties Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children and adults participate together in a well-balanced programme that features both child-initiated and adult-led activities. All children enjoy making choices from a wide range of equipment and materials in 16 areas of play. Literacy learning is well supported by experiences that integrate opportunities for children to write and draw in the context of play, an appropriate range of books, and opportunities to share well-known songs and stories. The strengths of this observed programme are:

  • opportunities for children to sustain their play through flexible routines

  • creativity linked to children’s interests

  • children's confidence to express their ideas and opinions to interested adults

  • children developing their leadership, social skills and friendships in a mixed-age setting

  • parents contributing their knowledge and interests to enrich the programme.

Members would benefit from making use of Ministry of Education resources and exemplars to support their developing understanding of planning processes, practices and bicultural assessment.

Older children are confident to take leadership roles, engage in complex dramatic play with their peers and make meaningful contributions. There is a need to plan for further experiences that provide challenge and add complexity to play for children as they near school age.

Children up to the age of two years benefit from a whānau-based centre where mothers can maintain home routines for care, including quiet times for breastfeeding. They enjoy a recently developed, well-designed and attractive area that responds to their specific needs. Children are active explorers, well-included alongside their older siblings and peers. Babies and toddlers are treated with respect and kindness by adults and children. The indoor and outdoor environments provide them with appropriate challenge and interest. Positive interactions and flexible routines are contributing to a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging for children and adults.

Māori children and whānau participate in an early childhood service that values a shared leadership approach and a cooperative learning environment. There are some members who model the use of te reo Māori n meaningful ways. Adults have developed and displayed a pepeha for each child. There are resources and activities that promote respect for te ao Māori, Papatūānuku and sustainability. While the CPA has an appropriate Treaty of Waitangi policy, their bicultural advisory committee is not currently functioning.

Members have established a respectful, inclusive and welcoming culture for children and their families/whānau. They provide continuity of experiences as children transition between their homes and the centre. Adults know children well and support them to maintain their language, culture and identity while at the centre. Families bring a range of useful experiences and knowledge to contribute to the programme. Members work as a collaborative team, and many commit to attending playcentre training. These aspects have supported members to:

  • meet a number of the intended goals of the action plan leading to centre improvement and development

  • maintain positive links with the wider community, including the nearby school

  • sustain the service with a consistent roll.

Centre leadership has been through a time of change. Members are supported to respond to the intent of the philosophy by an enthusiastic centre president and other experienced leaders. They have worked well to develop and foster emergent leadership through positive role modelling and ongoing support. This positive approach to developing leadership is resulting in increased participation in playcentre training and a cooperative contribution from members to day-to-day organisation.

Key Next Steps

As identified in the 2013 ERO report, the association needs to provide more effective support for quality assurance, self review, planning and assessment.

Important next steps for ongoing development are the implementation of systems and processes for:

  • effective self review leading to centre improvement

  • quality assurance, including health and safety practices that meet regulatory requirements

  • continued improvement with assessment and planning practices that respond to children's strengths and interests

  • revitalised centre support in the area of bicultural practice, including researching and integrating the history of local hapū and iwi into the programme through meaningful experiences.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

ERO further recommends that CPA:

  • continues to access support for Tuakau Playcentre for professional learning and development that focuses on strengthening self review

  • develops strategies to ensure that its centre members are kept up-to-date with obligations and expectations in relation to current regulatory requirements and policies.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tuakau 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to governance and management and health and safety. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • develop, document and implement an annual plan

  • ensure daily hazards are identified and made safe: cover electric sockets accessible to children, ensure chemicals and harmful substances are not accessible to children, prevent children's unsupervised access to the adult toilet area, secure out-of-sight areas that are not supervised by an adult at all times.

  • secure heavy objects that might fall

  • hold and document regular earthquake drills

  • implement a system of regular appraisal for paid employees

  • police vet for anyone appointed to work during normal opening hours.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7, 8, HS6, 8, 12, 17. Section 319, Education Act 1989]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

30 June 2017

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

Tuakau

Ministry of Education profile number

25218

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

37

Gender composition

Boys 19 Girls 18

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Tongan
Other European

5
27
4
1

Review team on site

February 2017

Date of this report

30 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

December 2013

Education Review

December 2010

Education Review

May 2007

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.

1 Evaluation of Tuakau Playcentre

How well placed is Tuakau 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

Tuakau Playcentre provides for up to 30 children and their families in a small rural Franklin township. It is cooperatively managed and programmes for children are implemented by the families who are centre members. The centre offers three general sessions each week when children attend with their parents, and an extended session for a small group of children over the age of three. The playcentre philosophy of whānau and children learning together underpins centre operations.

Tuakau Playcentre is one of 17 centres in the Counties Playcentre Association, which provides a management and policy framework for centre operations. Liaison workers and other elected Association officers provide support for centres. Association members deliver the playcentre adult education programme to help whānau build their understanding about children’s learning.

Since ERO’s 2010 review, some experienced centre members have moved on and the roll has been gradually rebuilt. Many families are new to playcentre. The majority of parents involved in implementing sessions are participating in playcentre adult education courses. They appreciate the support they receive in their parenting and educator roles.

This review was part of a cluster of 8 playcentre reviews in the Counties Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

The relationships amongst families and the high ratio of adults to children contribute to a nurturing environment where children and their families feel a sense of belonging and community. The shared knowledge that adults have about their children helps them to provide interesting and varied learning experiences.

Children enjoy a positive, well resourced learning environment. There is a settled and welcoming atmosphere and children are encouraged to develop social skills and relationships. Toddlers follow older children’s lead and are able to join in their activities.

Children choose from the wide variety of activities and play spaces and are well supported by adults. The large outdoor areas provide many opportunities for physical challenge. A recently developed ‘bicultural’ garden offers an inviting, natural area for children to explore and includes features that reflect the centre’s history and community. It would be worthwhile for the centre to work with the Association’s bicultural development team to explore the concepts contained in Ka Hikitia, the Ministry of Education’s strategy for fostering success for Māori children.

The centre has a useful process for assessment, planning and evaluation. Some centre members are skilled at writing learning stories and model this assessment practice for others. Centre members are considering ways to build on this foundation to better plan for and record children’s learning progress over time.

The centre benefits from enthusiastic, energetic leadership with a focus on providing well for children and their whānau. All centre members are encouraged to become involved in centre management and have opportunities to develop leadership skills. The centre employs ex playcentre members with Course 3 training to support programme implementation and to help newer members with their training.

Good systems are in place for centre management. Informal self review is ongoing and contributes to improvements, especially in the environment. More formal, in-depth self review is still developing. The centre’s strategic vision and plan, and supporting action plans are in the early stages of development. Centre members are considering ways to make planning and self review more useful, meaningful and manageable and to keep outcomes for children at the forefront of their decision making. Increasing the visibility of planning and review documents and practices should help to develop shared understandings amongst newer members.

Association management practices are well established. Self review involves centre members, and contributes to decision making. A strategic review is currently underway, with a view to streamlining Association systems and practices and making them more manageable for playcentre members. This review could also consider how the association can provide earlier, more focused support for centres that are facing challenges. Liaison workers should consider ways to help centres establish effective strategic and annual planning, and strengthen their self-review practices. Monitoring and supporting the quality of programmes in centres should be a more central aspect of the liaison worker role.

Key Next Steps

Centre members and ERO agree that next steps for the centre, in order to build on current practices that effectively promote positive outcomes for children, include:

  • continuing to develop adults’ skills in supporting children to think, reason and solve problems independently
  • refining planning for children’s learning to help adults respond to what they learn about children interests and capabilities throughout the week
  • identifying best practice in supporting children as they approach transition to school and including these practices in all sessions that children attend
  • strengthening strategic and annual planning and self-review processes to support ongoing centre growth and development.

Recommendation

As a result of this cluster of reviews ERO recommends that the Counties Playcentre Association access support from the Ministry of Education and the NZ Playcentre Federation to help them to refine the Association’s structure, systems and practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tuakau 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 Tuakau Playcentre will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

9 December 2013

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

Tuakau, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

25218

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

38

Gender composition

Boys 26

Girls 12

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Cook Island Māori

31

6

1

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2013

Date of this report

9 December 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2010

 

Education Review

May 2007

 

Education Review

January 2004

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.