Murchison Playcentre

Education institution number:
65212
Service type:
Playcentre
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
21
Telephone:
Address:

Waller Street, Murchison

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1 Evaluation of Murchison Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

Murchison Playcentre is one of 78 playcentres in the Upper South Island region. It operates three morning sessions each week and is licensed for 30 children, including up to 15 aged under two years. Many families are new to the service and Playcentre philosophy.

At the time of the May 2015 ERO review the centre was one of 13 administered by the Nelson Playcentre Association, under the umbrella of The New Zealand Playcentre Federation Inc. In June of 2019, the 32 associations nationwide amalgamated into one new entity, a charitable trust, Playcentre Aotearoa, (the organisation). Nelson playcentres are now managed as part of a regional hub of the new organisation.

A centre support worker (CSW), employed by the organisation, regularly visits the playcentre and provides professional advice and feedback to strengthen the programme for children. A centre administrator (CA) works with members to support compliance with regulations. Day-to-day management is the role of centre-elected office holders. One paid session facilitator with recognised levels of training provides support for the implementation of the daily programme for two days each week, with a third session supervised by members.

Playcentre philosophy recognises the importance of parents working together, alongside their children, to support their self-initiated play and promote their learning.

The 2015 ERO report identified self review, bicultural practice and building members' capacity as areas for improvement. In addition the Nelson Playcentre Association had several key next steps to address.

This review is one of four in Playcentre Aotearoa, Nelson region.

The Review Findings

Members have worked collaboratively to identify agreed values that underpin their experience and children's learning at playcentre. Valued outcomes are strongly reflected in the programme.

Children have free access to a wide range of high quality learning materials. The centre is thoughtfully resourced to provoke children's and their parents' interest and participation. The outdoor play space is well equipped to support adventure and challenge. Children are viewed as competent learners and enjoy the opportunities provided. Many demonstrate independence and are able to sustain their play for long periods.

Adults provide good support for children to investigate, socialise, make their own choices and have fun. Creativity and self-expression are fostered. Aspects of literacy, mathematics and science are introduced through play. There is good provision for toddlers. Children are settled, confident and happy learners who display a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing at playcentre.

The curriculum is child initiated and led. Positive learning outcomes are well fostered. Adults listen carefully and respond respectfully to children's ideas. Thinking and problem solving are promoted.

A bicultural perspective is developing with aspects of te ao Māori woven into the programme. Māori values are considered important. A next step is for members increasingly to include the use of te reo Māori in their everyday interactions with children and each other.

A core group of experienced members effectively supports operation and the involvement of others. A strong sense of community is evident.

Self-review is valued and improvement focused. Developing shared understandings of internal evaluation amongst members is a next step to support sustained practices and inform decision-making about change and improvement.

Nelson-based CSWs are receiving targeted professional learning and development from the organisation linked to regional priorities for improvement. A more constructive approach to CSW support for centres, including reporting that is more responsive to needs, is in the early stages of implementation.

An appraisal process is in place to support the development of the CSW and session facilitators' practice. Implementation of the process should be strengthened to ensure there is sufficient rigour in goal setting, observations of practice and feedback. The CA should have the opportunity to participate in an appraisal process and targeted training opportunities. Useful professional development underpins playcentre development, philosophy and the learning that matters at Murchison Playcentre.

New policy guidelines, developed by the organisation, have now been adopted at centre level. When fully implemented these should promote a shared understanding of the Playcentre expectations and accountabilities.

Implementation of internal evaluation has been strongly supported by the regional manager. In this centre, understanding and use of this improvement-focused approach is at a very early stage.

The restructure of Playcentre operation is being carefully worked through to support a new and more sustainable future for the organisation. The regional office provides a range of valuable support including a new role designed to redistribute the management of compliance and administration. There is also improved assistance for members to implement curriculum, internal evaluation, adult education, and manage marketing and property matters. Leaders report that recent changes are already resulting in increased collaboration between centres and interest in Playcentre philosophy.

Key Next Steps

ERO and regional leaders agree that the organisation should continue to prioritise:

  • support for the CSW and session facilitators to promote members' understanding of programme planning and evaluation, curriculum implementation and internal evaluation

  • development of CSW support and reporting

  • review and further development of the appraisal process for the CSWs and session facilitators.

The continuing focus on developing leadership, growing a sense of community, parent participation and collaboration should continue.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Murchison 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

31 March 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

Murchison

Ministry of Education profile number

65212

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

22

Gender composition

Male 13, Female 9

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

1
19
2

Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2

1:1

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

31 March 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

April 2012

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 Murchison Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Murchison Playcentre is well placed because of the ongoing support it receives from the Nelson Playcentre Association to improve the quality of children’s learning and centre operations.

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

Background

Murchison Playcentre operates under the guidance of the Nelson Playcentre Association. The playcentre is a parent cooperative. Parents are encouraged to be involved in all aspects of the programme and centre operation. A feature of Nelson Playcentres is the provision of a whānau room. These rooms are well used by parents to rest, socialise, care for very young children and participate in training.

The playcentre operates four morning sessions a week. Nearly all parents or grandparents stay and participate in the session.

The centre is located on the grounds of Murchison Area School. It maintains close links with the wider community and fundraising is well supported.

Since the 2012 ERO review, the centre has improved health and safety by renovating the kitchen and ensuring that resources are secured in an earthquake. Little progress has been made in meeting the other recommendations in the ERO report. These recommendations related to improving child assessment and programme planning.

In July 2014, there were major changes to the supervision team and membership of the parent group. The supervision team and parents are in the early stages of developing their leadership roles and understanding the ways that playcentre operates.

This review was part of a cluster of 14 reviews in the Nelson Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

The playcentre provides a friendly, relaxed environment for children and families. Parents and grandparents are actively involved with the children and their learning throughout the programme.

Children are active explorers and spend their time in play and activities that interests them. The centre provides a good range of resources in the indoor and outdoor areas that are easy for children to access.

The children, supervisors and parents have a good relationship with the area school. They regularly visit the school and participate in class programmes and school events. The centre provides a good range of literacy and mathematics resources that are used by children of all ages.

The supervisors and parents regularly participate in professional development and the parent training programme.

Key Next Steps

The association, supervisors, parents and ERO agree that the centre needs significantly more help from the association to operate effectively as a playcentre. This includes:

  • strengthening leadership, developing roles and responsibilities and pride of ownership in the playcentre
  • developing a better understanding of and improving the use of self review, child assessment, programme planning and evaluation
  • continuing to promote the inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori and pride in being Māori in the programme
  • developing strategies to support children and families who may attend the centre for only a short time before their families move to other places.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that the Nelson Playcentre Association provides significantly more support to Murchison Playcentre. This is the only early childhood centre in an isolated and rural area. ERO requests an action plan and regular progress reports to show how the centre is improving children’s learning and centre operations.

Nelson Playcentre Association

The playcentres, with support from the association are increasing their interest in te reo and tikanga Māori, and getting to know Māori parents and their aspirations better. The re-establishment of Te Rōpū, a special group for Māori parents, is beginning to grow Māori parents’ confidence and pride in being Māori.

Playcentre environments are inviting, attractively presented, well resourced and spacious. Good use is made of self review to ensure the wide range of equipment and resources are regularly updated and build children’s creativity, confidence and resourcefulness. Centres often have a strong focus on literacy, mathematics and science.

Families are valued and provided with considerable support in their parenting role. Parent-education courses are held during playcentre sessions and the majority of parents attend. A high percentage of parents are progressing quickly through the education courses.

Children and parents are well supported by experienced and long-serving supervision team members, who have also been or still are playcentre parents. Supervision team members provide considerable support to parents to understand and put into practice:

  • the playcentre philosophy
  • cooperative ways of working and sharing responsibilities
  • the best ways to promote the learning and development of infants, toddlers and children.

Individual centres are well supported by the association executive and the liaison officers who have a good knowledge of children’s wellbeing and learning, and playcentre operation. They are committed to making playcentres work well for families.

The association and centres have a good range of policies and procedures to guide the day-to-day operation of individual playcentres. The liaison officers use their extensive knowledge of playcentre to ensure the centres provide high standards of health and safety, are well maintained and activities are well presented and interesting for children.

There continues to be significant change occurring in the structure of governance and management at association and federation levels.

Key Next Steps for the association

The association executive and ERO agree that the key next steps for the association to continue to provide positive outcomes for all children include:

  • sustaining and strengthening of Māori perspectives in the curriculum and supporting Māori children to experience success as Māori
  • developing ways to ensure that children of Pacific heritage and other cultures maintain connections to their cultural identity and language
  • establishing an ongoing, well understood self-review process that monitors progress in achieving the strategic goals and improving learning and teaching
  • reviewing and strengthening the appraisal process for liaison officers and supervisors to ensure all children experience high-quality learning
  • establishing strategic direction for the organisation that clearly shows the association's priorities for its long-term development and sustainability.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

11 May 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

Murchison

Ministry of Education profile number

65212

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under two

Service roll

25

Gender composition

Girls 22;

Boys 13

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Dutch

2

22

1

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

11 May 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

March 2012

 

Education Review

August 2007

 

Education Review

February 2005

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.