Cust-West Eyreton Playcentre - 08/08/2019

1 Evaluation of Cust-West Eyreton Playcentre

How well placed is Cust-West Eyreton Playcentre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Cust-West Eyreton Playcentre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

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


Cust-West Eyreton Playcentre operates as a parent cooperative under the governance and management of the Playcentre Federation, Upper South Island Region. This centre is licensed for up to 25 children, including 10 children under two. The centre is open three mornings a week. The Wednesday programme operates as an outdoor nature session to explore the wider community.

The playcentre employs a coordinator. Parents are rostered to help at each session. The Upper South Island Region employs a centre support person and an administrator who regularly visit the playcentre to support the parents and coordinator.

The centre's philosophy places a strong emphasis on the important role of parents in their children's learning and wellbeing. It identifies the significance of play for children to become confident and capable learners and leaders. It states that the centre should be visible in the wider community and have a 'strong sense of belonging to its community'.

At the beginning of 2019, a new centre coordinator was appointed. The parent cooperative has made good progress to meet the recommendations in the 2014 ERO report. This includes

  • a strong parent cooperative being established

  • internal evaluation has improved and is more useful

  • bicultural understandings and inclusion in the programme have increased.

The parent cooperative has still to make connections with the local Māori community and make use of external support for this area of the ECE curriculum.

This review was part of a cluster of eight playcentre reviews in the Playcentre Federation, Upper South Island Region.

The Review Findings

Children are confident, respectful and inclusive of others. Adults effectively use a range of strategies to help children develop good social, listening and participation skills. Tuakana teina is evident in the interactions of older children with younger children.

Children are successful learners who know what they want to learn, where to seek support and the resources that they need. Adults encourage children to lead the learning. They regularly involve children in decisions about the programme. They often include children in evaluating what they have learnt and where improvements to learning and safety could be made. Parents empower children as learners by asking searching questions, joining their play as learning partners and promoting problem solving strategies.

Te reo and tikanga Māori are increasing in the programme. Internal evaluation has been used appropriately to identify where improvements can be made to improve the programme. To continue to improve their skills, knowledge and understanding of Māori language and culture the parent group should build relationships with local Māori. They should also participate regularly in professional development for this area of the curriculum.

Children's transition to school is well managed and appropriate for each child. Parents and children help to decide what skills, knowledge and understandings each child will develop further to ensure a smooth transition to school. The playcentre maintains a close relationship with the local primary school.

Children under two-years-old are well integrated into the programme. Appropriate resources are easy for them to access. The number of adults participating in each session ensures that children are well supported in their learning and physical wellbeing.

Assessment, planning and programme evaluation successfully involve parents and children and shows the:

  • indepth knowledge parents share about individual children

  • wide range of experiences and activities provided

  • close links between home and centre learning.

An increasing shared knowledge of the processes for assessment and planning should enable parents to be more involved in goal setting, evaluating learning outcomes, and capturing children's learning progress over time.

Internal evaluation is well used to collaboratively identify issues to increase understanding and make improvements. The parents now need to ensure they have a single process that is well understood by all members of the cooperative. More emphasis should also be given to the learning outcomes for children as a result of the improvements made.

The strategic plan is in the early stages of development. Goals have been identified and the change that could be expected if the goals were met. A process to monitor progress and to identify outcomes for children and adults has yet to be completed. This development should also help to make closer links between internal evaluation and the strategic plan.

The adults work effectively as a parent cooperative. Parents are valued for the skills and knowledge that they bring to the playcentre. Decision making and the operation of the playcentre involves all adults. Strong support from the Upper South Island Region and parents' commitment to the playcentre parent education programme ensures the playcentre philosophy is upheld. Best practices are evident in the programme and the operation of the playcentre.

Key Next Steps

The Upper South Island Region, the playcentre and ERO agree that the key next steps for the parent cooperative to continue to improve outcomes for children include:

  • increasing parent understanding and knowledge of Te Whāriki 2017 to improve assessment planning and programme evaluation processes and practices
  • strengthening internal evaluation by ensuring that the process is well understood by all parents and builds evaluation capacity
  • making links with local Māori to continue to increase the use and understanding of te Ao Māori in the programme
  • continuing to develop and implement strategic planning to provide direction for continuing to improve outcomes for children.

Upper South Island Regional Governance

There continues to be significant change occurring with the playcentre's governance and management at regional and federation levels.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Cust-West Eyreton 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 Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

8 August 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 Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 15, Girls 9

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

8 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

February 2012

Education Review

May 2008

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.