Havelock North Playcentre - 30/11/2016

1 Evaluation of Havelock North Playcentre

How well placed is Havelock North 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.


Havelock North Playcentre is located in the township of Havelock North. The centre is open for four morning sessions a week. It is licensed for 29 children, including fifteen up to two years of age. Parents stay with their children. A whānau session operates one afternoon per week during Terms 1 and 4. This provides an opportunity for siblings and extended whānau to return to playcentre.

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 centre has a history of implementing practices that reflect its commitment to sustaining the environment.

The association has addressed the areas for development identified in the February 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

The playcentre philosophy of children and their whānau learning together through play is highly evident.

Children are treated as competent and capable learners. They are able to follow their interests, lead their own learning and engage in play for sustained periods of time. They are well supported to take risks, explore, investigate and be creative. Literacy, mathematics and science are well integrated into the programme. The emphasis on environmental sustainability and having fun are evident in children's play.

The thoughtful placement of resources provides children with choice and is suited to the needs of different age groups. Older children support younger children in their play.

The programme is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and the Playcentre philosophy. Building members' knowledge and understanding of Te Whāriki and how to document children's learning is ongoing. Parents notice and recognise children's emerging interests and plan activities and resources accordingly. They now need to focus more on how well they are responding to children's learning to inform decisions about planning over time.

Individual profile books are attractive and valued by children and parents. They capture and celebrate children's involvement and engagement in centre activities.

A commitment to implementing bicultural practices is evident. Te ao Māori is reflected in the environment and routines. Members have identified the need to continue to strengthen practices that support Māori and Pacific learners. Puriri Whakamaru o Heretaunga is an association initiative which provides support to Māori whānau attending playcentre, and guidance to individual centres to strengthen their understanding of te ao Māori.

Children's time at playcentre is formally celebrated as they move on. Continuing to strengthen relationships with local schools should help to promote experiences that assist children and their families as they move to school.

A strong sense of belonging and wellbeing is promoted through supportive and reciprocal relationships among parents and children. They readily engage with external agencies to promote children's participation and engagement in learning.

The playcentre is responsive to its members in seeking ways to support them to gain a playcentre qualification. Emergent leadership is fostered. A review of management roles and responsibilities is currently underway to support improved operation.

A framework for the 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. An established framework guides the process. It effectively informs decisions about what the centre is going to do. The focus should now shift from looking at what the centre is doing to evaluating how well practices that support positive outcomes for children are being promoted.

The association has 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 Havelock North 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 Havelock North Playcentre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

30 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


Havelock North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

29 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 14, Boys 13

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

30 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

February 2014

Supplementary Review

December 2011

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.