Cornwall Park Playcentre - 22/11/2016

1 Evaluation of Cornwall Park Playcentre

How well placed is Cornwall Park 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.


Cornwall Park Playcentre is located in the grounds of Cornwall Park in Hastings. The centre is open for four morning sessions a week. It is licensed for 28 children, including 15 children up to two years of age. Parents stay with their children.

The centre is managed as a parent cooperative with support from experienced personnel from the Hawkes Bay Playcentre Association (the association).

Members support each other and learn together. All parents have, or are working towards a playcentre qualification.

The association has addressed the areas for development identified in the January 2014 ERO report. It has defined the roles and responsibilities of the executive committee to provide better support for individual playcentres. Procedures for the employment of paid staff have been developed and implemented. These include police vetting and appraisal.

This review was part of a cluster of seven in the Hawkes Bay Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Playcentre's philosophy of children and their whānau learning together through play is highly evident. Children benefit from positive relationships with each other and centre adults, which supports their sense of belonging.

Children lead their own play and are actively engaged in a range of learning activities linked to their interests, strengths and needs. Access to a good range of open-ended resources enables them to explore, investigate and engage in creative play.

Literacy, mathematics and science are integrated into activities. Children's language development is fostered. Regular visitors and excursions into the community provide additional learning opportunities.

The curriculum is linked to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and is underpinned by the playcentre philosophy. Members have developed a system for recording children's individual interests.

A well-considered approach is in place to document children's learning. Their achievements are identified and used to inform decisions about next steps. Experienced members provide effective support for new members to write learning stories.

Profile books are an attractive record of children's participation and engagement in learning while attending playcentre. Their physical development and milestones are celebrated.

Members with young children are supported and able to attend to the needs of their infants in the caring and nurturing environment.

Children requiring additional learning support and their parents are well catered for. Members actively seek ways to meet their learning needs to enable them to participate and engage in the programme. When required, they collaborate with external agencies.

A commitment to implementing bicultural practices is evident. Te ao Māori is reflected in the environment and routines. Puriri Whakamaru o Heretaunga is an association initiative which provides support to Māori whānau attending playcentre, and guidance to individual playcentres, to strengthen their understanding of te ao Māori.

Members work collaboratively to support each other to take on leadership roles. Emergent leadership is fostered. They have strengthened systems and processes to support parents to gain a playcentre qualification.

A framework for appraisal of paid team members has been developed. The association continues to support the playcentre with its implementation.

Members' understanding of self review is continuing to develop. There is an established framework which guides the process and is resulting in change and improvement. The focus should now shift from investigating what the centre is doing, to evaluating how well children are learning. This information should strengthen decision making about improvement.

The association has put in place sound systems and processes to provide ongoing centre support until the national restructure of playcentre has been completed.

Key Next Steps

Members and ERO have agreed that there is a need for parents, with the support of the association, to continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

22 November 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

28 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 15, Girls 6

Ethnic composition



Other ethnic groups




Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

22 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2014

Education Review

September 2010

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.