Playschool Waikato 1

Education institution number:
Service type:
Homebased Network
Not Applicable
Total roll:

Ground level 72 Apollo Drive, Albany, Auckland

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1 Evaluation of Playschool Waikato 1

How well placed is Playschool Waikato 1 to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Playschool Waikato 1 is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Playschool Waikato 1 is one of eleven networks offering home-based education and care that operate under the governing body Playschool Education Ltd (the organisation). The main office is in Auckland and provides operational and professional support for the kaiako (teachers) nationally.

A programme coordinator, who is a qualified early childhood teacher, regularly visits all children in the network and supports kaiako to implement Playschool requirements.

The organisation offers a variety of education and care options. Families can choose between au pairs, whānau members or 'granny nannies'. While a lot of care takes place in children’s own homes, some care is available in educators' homes. Playschool also recruits au pairs from overseas to live with families and work with their children. Playschool Waikato 1 is licensed to cater for 80 children from birth to school age. There are currently 28 children on the roll.

At times the education and care of children is complemented by attendance at a local early childhood service. The organisation promotes continuity in learning experiences through linking to the seasonal and culture celebrations, such as Matariki, that occur in the wider community.

This is the service's first ERO report. Reviews undertaken in the Playschool organisation in 2017 identified the need to introduce and embed new operation manuals, increase involvement of educators in curriculum decisions, and strengthen the bicultural programme. Good progress is evident.

This review was one of five reviews in the Playschool Education Ltd networks.

The Review Findings

Documentation shows that children are provided with a variety of learning experiences that are reflective of the home-based context. This includes making good use of local community resources. The value of learning through play is strongly promoted.

Programme coordinators regularly visit each child and kaiako in the home where the care takes place. They provide good support to the kaiako to think creatively about resources and experiences to engage children in learning through play. Additional resources are also provided to complement the in-home curriculum.

The organisation provides comprehensive documentation to guide kaiako to understand and implement a home-based programme. This includes guidance about meeting regulatory requirements, child development and curriculum implementation. The programme coordinator actively supports these processes during regular home visits. Maximising this approach to create a learning opportunity for kaiako should assist in supporting better professional practice.

Guiding documentation has recently been revised and demonstrates the organisation's commitment to implementing a bicultural approach. At times the programme coordinator integrates te reo Māori into visiting teacher records. Further strengthening and embedding of bicultural practice, including the use of te reo Māori, is required.

Kaiako and the programme coordinator regularly observe children’s play and use this information to identify additional activities that support this interest. To strengthen assessment practice the programme coordinator should, through the planning process:

  • more deliberately involve parents

  • model how to effectively set learning goals and clearly identify children's progress over time.

Greater reflection of Māori children’s culture, language and identity through assessment and curriculum planning should provide a stronger platform for promoting educational success for Māori.

Kaiako are responsive to infant care requirements and provide opportunities to nurture their physical development.

Appraisal is improvement focused and occurs at all levels of the organisation. A clear process is followed which is informed by current best practice. The organisation should more accurately reflect the process followed for qualified teachers in policy guidelines. The appraisal cycle could be further strengthened by using the Teaching Council’s annual appraisal summary sheet.

The organisation has implemented a systematic process of self review. This has supported the refinement of appraisal documentation, the educators' manuals and children’s portfolios. The programme coordinator uses the self review process to improve aspects of practice and identify inquiries for their appraisal. A key next step is for the organisation to build knowledge and capability to use internal evaluation effectively as a tool to promote continuous improvement.

Key Next Steps

ERO and management agree that the key next steps for the service are to:

  • strengthen the bicultural curriculum and strategies used to promote education success for Māori as Māori

  • further develop assessment for learning practice

  • align the appraisal process with the policy and incorporate the Teaching Council's annual overall summary sheet

  • continue to build understanding and use of internal evaluation as a tool to promote improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Playschool Waikato 1 completed an ERO Home-based Education and Care 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

10 October 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 Home-based Education and Care Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 80 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Males 14, Females 14

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

10 October 2019

Most recent ERO reports

No previous ERO reports

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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

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.