Bucklands Beach Ohui-a-Rangi Playcentre - 18/03/2014

1 Evaluation of Bucklands Beach Ohui-a-rangi Playcentre

How well placed is Bucklands Beach Ohui-a-rangi 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.


Bucklands Beach Ohui-a-rangi Playcentre Playcentre in East Auckland is a well established centre with close connections to the local community. The centre caters for children up to six years of age and offers four general sessions each week. Learning programmes are implemented by parents/whānau who are also playcentre members. Paid supervisors facilitate an additional ‘Big Kids’ session for older children.

The centre has a history of very good ERO reports. Members have responded positively to recommendations in the 2010 ERO report. Self-review has been effectively used to improve communication systems and to support the extension of children’s interests. Since 2010, members have increased opportunities for older children to plan for and lead learning experiences. Strategies to promote children’s literacy learning have also been strengthened.

The centre is one of 16 playcentres in the Tamaki Playcentre Association, which provides a management and policy framework to guide centre operations. Liaison officers and other Association staff provide support for centres, including adult education programmes to encourage children’s learning.

The Association is currently undergoing a structural review to streamline its systems, policies and practices and ensure the long-term sustainability of the organisation. A key priority is to empower playcentre members to take an active role in the governance of the organisation at the Association level.

This review was part of a cluster of six playcentre reviews in the Tamaki Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children are highly engaged in the centre programme. They enthusiastically explore a wide variety of stimulating learning experiences and particularly enjoy the physical challenges provided. Children benefit from a relaxed, friendly tone which supports their sense of belonging. They confidently communicate their ideas to adults and are well supported to manage their social relationships with other children. Infants are fully involved in the programme provided.

High quality interactions between members and children support children’s learning. Use of openended questions prompts children’s thinking and investigation. Literacy and numeracy learning is skilfully integrated into play-based experiences. Members continue to develop confidence in using te reo Māori.

The programme is strongly based on children’s interests and ideas. Members support these interests by introducing new and exciting experiences for children. Individual and group learning opportunities are valued. Older children have regular opportunities to take responsibility for, to and independently direct, their own learning.

Very good systems are in place to build members’ understanding of effective planning and assessment processes. Members capably communicate with each other to build on children’s learning across different sessions. They could now increase their focus on identifying the impact of the programme on children’s progress over time.

A special feature of the centre is the strong sense of community spirit. This is based on building support networks for centre members both within and outside of the playcentre environment. Experienced members take on buddy roles to support newer members. Members could now reflect on ways to continue to build the capability of buddy mentors through training and shared discussions about best practices.

Leadership approaches promote collaboration and teamwork. Office holder roles are shared to keep the workload manageable and to build the capacity of a wider group of members. Each person’s contribution is valued. Well established and sustainable management systems are evident. Very good quality self-review systems support ongoing improvement. A useful long-term strategic plan has been developed. These practices contribute to a united responsibility for, and sense of ownership of, all aspects of centre operations.

Association management practices are well established. A current strategic review is focused on streamlining association systems, policies and practices to make them more manageable and to build the operational knowledge of playcentre members. Members report that the Association is very responsive to requests for support and guidance to manage the centre. The Association could now consider how staff can support other centres to strengthen their strategic planning and self review practices. Guiding the improved quality of programmes in other centres should be a more important aspect of the liaison officer role.

Key Next Steps

To build on current high quality practices that effectively promote positive outcomes for children members could:

  • strengthen culturally responsive practices for the benefit of all children
  • evaluate the impact improvements made are having on adults and children.

Tamaki Playcentre Association Information

The cluster review of six playcentres within the Tamaki Playcentre Association has identified areas of governance and management for the Association to address. These include:

  • re-establishing performance management systems for all employed staff
  • documenting strategic and annual planning systems for the association as a whole
  • clearly documenting a cycle of review and evaluation to support ongoing development and improvement at the association level.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bucklands Beach Ohui-a-rangi 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 Bucklands Beach Ohui-a-rangi Playcentre will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

18 March 2014

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


Bucklands Beach, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 25

Boys 19

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Sri Lankan

Other European







Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

18 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2010


Education Review

August 2007


Education Review

May 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.