Bucklands Beach Ohui-a-Rangi Playcentre - 29/08/2018

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 is a well established parent-led cooperative. It is licensed for 30 children, including 15 children up to two years of age. The centre offers five morning sessions each week. The Tuesday session is for older children and is facilitated by paid supervisors and volunteers.

The centre's philosophy acknowledges parents as first and best teachers, promotes learning through play, and acknowledges that children learn best in the context of their families and community.

The centre has a stable roll with families from the community continuing to enrol. Maintaining the roll remains a strategic focus for the centre. The regular SPACE (Supporting Parents Alongside Children's Education) programme provides an introduction to Playcentre for parents with babies under one year of age. Parents also receive useful information about early learning and development. Some parents from SPACE choose to enrol their children in Playcentre sessions.

The 2014 ERO report found that children communicated their ideas confidently and were well supported to manage social relationships. Adults extended children's interests through exciting learning opportunities. These effective practices have been sustained. Areas for development included cultural responsiveness, evaluating the impact of improvements made, and building the capability of buddy mentors. The centre continues to make good progress in these areas.

Playcentre Aotearoa is in the process of restructuring, moving from 32 Associations to six regional offices. The Auckland region includes 45 centres from the former Auckland, Tamaki and Counties Playcentre Associations. A regional manager oversees governance, management and administration and has a team of staff to support individual centres. Centre whānau and regional staff are in a period of transition. Regional staff are helping whānau as they adapt to new systems and responsibilities.

This review was part of a cluster of six Playcentre reviews in the Auckland region.

The Review Findings

Families display a strong sense of belonging and children are secure, settled and happy. A well-developed sense of community is evident. Children make choices about their play and move freely from indoors to outdoors. Thoughtfully provided resources, well-arranged areas of play, and a challenging and aesthetically designed natural outdoor environment are some of the strengths of this centre.

Adults work collaboratively to support each other and the children's learning and wellbeing. A welcoming atmosphere, and responsive and respectful interactions are features. Strong relationships provide opportunities for families to connect and form friendships. Adults support children to think and problem solve through effective questioning.

Centre members are intentional in ensuring that they support the learning of all age groups. A separate play space and appropriate resources are available for children under two years of age. Parents can access quiet and comfortable spaces to feed infants as needed.

Centre members have developed a shared understanding of bicultural practices. They incorporate waiata and te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in everyday practices. Some assessments incorporate te reo Māori. More experienced members should continue to support others to increase the consistency of bicultural practices.

Families with English as an additional language are supported with documenting assessments and are invited to share their language and culture. New members report that they are well supported to integrate into centre life.

Centre members record children's learning and progress in well-presented individual portfolios. The 'notice, recognise, respond' framework is used effectively by some members to document children's learning stories. To achieve consistency of practice, members should continue to support each other to record children's progress and learning over time.

Centre members meet regularly to plan programmes. These discussions occur in daily session evaluations and termly planning meetings. The planning is ongoing and builds on children's interests. Planning would be improved by members reflecting on the effectiveness of their role in adding complexity to children's play.

Internal evaluation is relevant, meaningful and focuses on improving outcomes for children. To strengthen this process, members should set evaluative questions and measurable indicators to assess the impact of the changes made on children's learning.

The strategic plan provides good guidance for ongoing development. Developing an annual plan that aligns with strategic goals and evaluating the progress in achieving these goals are next steps.

Effective leadership from office holders, the 'buddy system' and an induction process helps to familiarise new members with the Playcentre philosophy and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Collaborative leadership provides opportunities for all centre members to extend and share their knowledge and skills. Newly appointed regional personnel are making progress building on existing systems and establishing regional management structures for supporting centres. Centre support workers are guided by regional centre support coordinators. Systems are being developed for monitoring the quality of programmes for children, adult education levels, and health and safety requirements.

The regional management team takes responsibility for specific tasks relating to the effective operation of individual centres. The team is aware of the unique strengths and needs of each centre and provides professional leadership to sustain improvement, growth and the focus on fostering positive learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre members agree that to improve the quality of programmes for children, they should continue to:

  • regularly reflect on their practices to help them add further complexity to children's play and learning

  • strengthen the quality of planning and evaluation.

In order to improve and strengthen practice, the regional leaders should continue to:

  • revisit the commitment to Te Tiriti partnership, and to increase bicultural understandings and the integration of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori in centre practices

  • clarify and upskill centre support roles

  • build regional office capability to embed new adult education programmes and qualifications

  • improve the understanding and use of internal evaluation as a tool to guide practices

  • develop, evaluate and report against regional long-term and annual action plans that align with goals for improvement at national and regional levels

  • embed the new Playcentre structure and systems and evaluate how effectively they support all children, including Pacific children and children with additional needs.

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 three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

29 August 2018

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 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 19 Girls 16

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent Led

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

29 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2014

Education Review

December 2010

Education Review

August 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.