Arohena Playcentre

Education institution number:
31002
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
13
Telephone:
Address:

Pukewhau Road, Arohena

View on map

1 Evaluation of Arohena Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Arohena Playcentre requires further development to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Arohena Playcentre requires further development so that Playcentre Aotearoa, leaders and parents ensure compliance with all health and safety licensing requirements, as outlined in the Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008.

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

Background

Arohena Playcentre is licensed to provide mixed-age sessional education and care for 25 children in two mornings a week. This includes 10 children up to the age of two years. At the time of this review, there are 21 children enrolled and six identify as Māori. The centre is located in a rural area, adjoining Arohena Hall and close to the local school. The playcentre and school have well established links and regularly participate in combined events together. Families attending consist of permanent local residents and some from more seasonal farming backgrounds.

Since the June 2016 ERO report, the New Zealand Playcentre Federation has restructured by amalgamating all associations to form Playcentre Aotearoa. Arohena Playcentre is part of the Central North Island Region and is supported by a regional manager and support persons.

Whānau and families share responsibility for the curriculum. Day-to-day operation is undertaken by session support personnel and centre-elected office holders. A centre support worker and centre administrator regularly visit playcentres to provide professional guidance, strengthen practice and promote improvement.

The Playcentre Aotearoa philosophy, ‘whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together’, is to empower parents and children to learn, play and grow together. The centre philosophy places priority on children initiating their own play, supporting emergent leadership, creativity and fun in a mixed-age setting.

Progress is ongoing in relation to the areas identified in the June 2016 ERO report relating to assessment of children’s learning, and the provision of literacy and numeracy for older learners.

This review was part of a cluster of eight reviews in the New Zealand Playcentre Federation (NZPF) Central North Island Region.

The Review Findings

Arohena Playcentre is providing a welcoming and inclusive service, supporting children and young families within a remote, rural area. There is strong community support for the well-resourced playcentre.

Members report that the relative isolation of the area is a barrier to engaging in adult education workshops. Some adults have started the playcentre introduction course and the centre is supported by members holding sufficient qualifications for the centre to open.

To ensure consistency and further grow practice for children, support is required in:

  • the assessment and planning of children's learning

  • positive guidance strategies to support children's social competence

  • knowledge on how to better support priority learners including Māori, children of Pacific heritage, those from other cultures and those with additional learning needs.

ERO identified several areas of non-compliance, some of which have been sufficiently addressed since the onsite stage of this evaluation. A more robust system to monitor health and safety is required, however. There is also a need for all members to actively supervise children at all times, including when children are eating and going to the bathroom.

Playcentre Aotearoa should continue to build members' knowledge and understanding of new policies and procedures to ensure licensing requirements are upheld.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Arohena 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 found a significant area of non-compliance related to:

  • the supervision of children's eating.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS22].

In order to improve compliance practice, there is a need to:

  • develop a consistent approach to positive guidance strategies

  • continue to become familiar with processes for referring children with additional needs to external agencies where required.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C10, C13].

Since the on-site phase of the review, members have provided ERO with evidence of action taken to address the following: the lighting and room temperature in the sleep room (PF12, PF35); documentation related to the current Fire Evacuation Scheme approved by New Zealand Fire Service (HS4); there is an updated excursion policy and process [HS17]; regular lockdown drills are carried out and recorded [HS8]; and children have safe independent access to toilet facilities [PF20].

Development Plan Recommendation

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

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

3 April 2020

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

Arohena, King Country

Ministry of Education profile number

31002

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

21

Gender composition

Female 11 Male 10

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

6
14
1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+ Based on funding rates

0-49%

Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2019

Date of this report

3 April 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

March 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 Arohena Playcentre

How well placed is Arohena 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

Arohena Playcentre is a parent-led centre that experiences strong community support. It is located in attractive rural surroundings next to Arohena School. The centre aims to offer a service where parents are involved in providing quality early childhood education for children.

The playcentre operates under the umbrella of King Country Playcentre Association to provide education and care for children from birth to school age. Centre members receive ongoing support and advice from a centre support staff member employed by the association. The centre provides two morning sessions weekly. It is licensed to for 25 children to attend, including a maximum of 10 children up to two years of age. At the time of this ERO review, 17 children were enrolled, of whom six are identified as Māori.

The centre caters for a diverse community of parents, who are mostly employed to work on local farms. Parents share responsibility for centre management and leadership. Since the 2012 ERO review, parents have continued to complete playcentre education courses that enhance their understanding of children's learning and their role as parent educators. Bicultural perspectives have been considerably strengthened. Self review has had a greater focus, and has led to the playground being extended and improved. The centre has also continued to be involved in community events.

This review was part of a cluster of four playcentre reviews in the King Country Playcentre Association

The Review Findings

Children benefit from the positive, family-like culture of the centre. They are involved in a wide range of interesting and inviting activities and experiences for play and learning. They enjoy playing alongside others, developing friendships and extending their social skills. Children aged up to two are included in the programme. Their mothers and whānau are well supported by other adults, who enjoy interacting with babies and young toddlers.

Parents work alongside children who are encouraged to follow their interests. Children's oral language is supported by conversations, as parents listen to their ideas and prompt their thinking and problem solving. Literacy and numeracy are natural parts of the programme. Children particularly enjoy books read to them at morning tea time, and have easy access to equipment and resources that help them to explore their ideas.

Parents benefit from their participation in playcentre activities and events as they become part of the playcentre and wider district community. They receive up-to-date information about the nutritional needs of children that helps them to make informed choices about their children's food. Children's health and wellbeing is promoted through parents' provision of healthy food for morning tea and the active play encouraged in the redeveloped outdoor playground.

The centre has a strong commitment to including aspects of Māori as an integral part of the programme. The skills of parents who are fluent speakers of Māori contribute to the natural integration of te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme. Adults have provided costumes and equipment for children's waiata and kapa haka performances within the centre.

The centre has a close relationship with Arohena School that supports children's transition from the centre. Playcentre children visit the school and attend school events, and senior school students visit the centre as part of their studies.

Children each have an individual portfolio containing regular entries that identify children's participation and learning during their time at playcentre. They document a variety of activities and events, in and beyond the centre. Some examples show the development and progress of their learning and interests. Experienced parents contribute to some portfolios.

Parents plan and evaluate the programme for each term. They recognise the benefits of allowing children to lead, follow their interests and choose their own activities. At the end of each session the programme is evaluated by the supervision team to provide direction for the next session's activities.

Strong leadership is provided by centre and community personnel. The centre president has undertaken training that has given her an understanding of playcentre philosophy and policy. A long-serving community volunteer provides support to develop the environment and its focus on meeting the social and educational needs of parents and their children. Leaders have taken a sensitive approach, which has encouraged parents to undertake playcentre parent education courses. The association supports this process through the provision of on-site talks and assistance with course work.

The centre's strategic plan reflects the goals of the association and developments within the centre. The centre has extended the number of families attending the centre to improve its sustainability. There has been an emphasis on developing the parent cooperative culture of the service and the capacity of new members to contribute their skills. Centre members need to continue to encourage each other to be involved in centre decision making as they grow in their understanding of children's early learning.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation and the King Country Playcentre Association continue to provide good quality governance and management for this centre. The association provides comprehensive policies and guidelines, and employs a centre support person, who assists families to operate the service in the best interests of children and their parents and whānau. The benefits of

this support would be made more evident if a process was introduced to provide formal reports on the quality of centre programmes.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the centre agreed that next steps for development include:

  • adding written annotations on children's art work that record their ideas and stories and recognise how their skills are developing

  • for older children, writing assessments of their progress in developing early literacy and numeracy skills in individual portfolios.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

9 June 2016

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

Arohena, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

31002

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

17

Gender composition

Boys 9 Girls 8

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

6

11

Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

9 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

March 2009

Education Review

February 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.