Greenpark Playcentre - 28/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Greenpark Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Greenpark Playcentre is a parent-led education and care service located in Tauranga. It caters for children from birth to school age and operates three mixed-age morning sessions per week. The playcentre is licensed for 30 children including up to 15 under the age of two years. The current roll of 33 children includes 13 who identify as Māori.

During 2018 the New Zealand Playcentre Federation transitioned from operating with 32 regional associations to become one national body with six regional offices. In the central North Island six associations have merged into a regional hub renamed Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island Region that now includes 95 playcentres over a large geographic area. During this transition there is some overlap between associations and the new national regional systems and processes. At Greenpark Playcentre the two co-presidents are supported by a committee of parent members. A session supervisor and a centre administrator are provided by governance.

Through their national philosophy the playcentre places emphasis on whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together. They empower adults and children to play, work and grow together and value and affirm parents as first and best educators of their children.

Greenpark Playcentre has a positive reporting history with ERO. Since the last ERO review in 2015, there has been improved understanding and use of te reo Māori and the bicultural curriculum has been implemented. Children’s voice is more visible through the programme, however assessment and internal evaluation remain areas to work on.

This review was part of a cluster of five playcentre reviews in the Central North Island Region.

The Review Findings

Effective and respectful learning partnerships are promoted to build on children’s interests and strengths. Children experience positive and meaningful learning interactions with their parents and other adults. Learning opportunities are promoted through sustained and uninterrupted play. Children experience many choices in their play and are confident to make their own decisions. Children under the age of two years enjoy calm and responsive learning. The environment has been deliberately set to allow for the very young to follow their interests and explore at their own pace. It is age appropriate and allows for free movement, fostering curiosity and independence. Children are seen as confident, independent learners and explorers.

Children effectively lead their own learning through a curriculum that is inclusive and accessible for all learners. Their learning is supported through an extensively equipped and attractive environment that is child focused and responsive to their knowledge and skills. Rich opportunities for problem solving, risk taking and challenge are highly promoted. Literacy and mathematics are effectively and authentically woven throughout the programme. Planning is a collaborative process, discussed and evaluated at the end of each session. Assessment for learning follows children’s participation in the programme. A next step is to strengthen assessment by reflecting individual children's language, culture and identity and capture progress over time. Children experience a curriculum where their interests and strengths are followed and celebrated.

The bicultural curriculum has been developed to promote aspects of te reo Māori, waiata and karakia which is heard throughout the programme. Tuakana teina relationships are promoted through authentic interactions and intentions. Places of local significance are valued and Māori myths and legends promoted. Children experience the unique bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Experienced and knowledgeable leaders are providing effective support for new members with a focus on building capability and succession planning. They have established a positive culture for learning through the philosophy and vision. Recent elections have seen two co-presidents elected and all roles and responsibilities are filled within the playcentre. A session supervisor is employed to support and model good practice to members and is a strong advocate for the playcentre. A collaborative approach to leadership is promoted through a commitment to sustainability within the playcentre committee. An internal evaluation framework has been implemented. There is a need to embed the process of self review to further promote change and improvement. Children benefit from leaders who advocate for the playcentre and are focused on positive learning outcomes.

The Playcentre Aotearoa overarching strategic plan and individual annual plans guide the playcentre direction and focus on building capability through parent education programmes. There has been regular communication and support between the association and regions through the restructure. Existing policies and systems support centre operations until new systems developed by Playcentre Aotearoa are implemented. The playcentre philosophy and vision are clearly documented and strategic goals set, now there is a need to measure the impact and outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Leaders need to ensure:

  • there is a shared understanding and knowledge of the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. This will further support the assessment of children’s learning, making their progress visible over time

  • the visibility of individual children’s language culture and identity throughout assessment and the programme

  • internal evaluation is documented and embedded to further promote change and improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

28 February 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

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 20 Girls 13

Ethnic composition



Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

28 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2015

Education Review

November 2011

Education Review

September 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.