Kaikoura Playcentre - 09/08/2017

1 Evaluation of Kaikoura Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further

Well placed

Very well placed

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


Kaikoura Playcentre operates under the guidance of the Canterbury Playcentre Association. It is a parent cooperative with parents encouraged to be involved in all aspects of the playcentre programme and management.

Kaikoura Playcentre operates three morning sessions a week. It has a close relationship with the adjoining primary school. Many of the families work in the tourist industry or local farms and often live in the area for a short time. The playcentre provides a meeting place for families with young children.

Parents have made significant progress in meeting the recommendations in the 2013 ERO report. They have established close partnerships with the wider Maori community. Te reo and tikanga Maori are well integrated into all aspects of centre operations. The association has strengthened its relationship with the playcentre and is providing more regular and ongoing support. This has improved the quality of parent involvement in the playcentre and learning opportunities provided for children.

This review was part of a cluster review of ten playcentres in the Canterbury Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children are well supported to be confident, motivated and independent learners. They purposefully select activities and resources from the well-presented and inviting learning environment. Adults effectively extend children's learning by their involvement in the play. They let children take the lead and make good use of questioning, clarifying and suggestions to make learning meaningful and challenging.

Children are respected, valued and included. Adults use a range of effective ways to involve children in decisions for their wellbeing, learning and the playcentre. This helps children to confidently share their ideas and seek the opinion of others.

Te Ao Maori is successfully interwoven into all aspects of playcentre life. The parents have established strong partnerships with the local Marae and the Department of Conservation. Maori beliefs, values and tikanga are actively sought and embedded into the programme, celebrations and relationships. Children are proud of New Zealand's bicultural heritage and have high expectations that their world will include the two cultures equally.

Children with diverse needs and their families are well supported, valued and included in the programme and the playcentre. Parents of these children share their expertise and use this to successfully guide the ways other adults work and support the children in the programme. Children with diverse needs know that they belong and are important members of the playcentre family.

Infants and toddlers are active and confident explorers. They fully participate in the programme and are well supported by the parents and older children.

Parents make effective use of assessments and programme planning to know about individual children, their interests and what helps them learn. Parents value the knowledge that they all bring and find ways to use this knowledge to promote the learning of all children. More consistency in goal setting for children, use of teaching strategies and evaluating the outcomes for children would strengthen the usefulness of assessment and evaluation further.

Parents are actively involved in all aspects of playcentre operations. They effectively use association personnel, systems, guidelines and practices to provide a good foundation for centre operations. They also make very good use of the playcentre parent training programme and benefit from the regular visits from the centre support and education teams. Internal evaluation is well established and is regularly used by parents to identify what is going well and where further improvements can be made.

The centre support and education teams provide efficient and timely support and guidance for the playcentre. The parent education programme has become more accessible to parents. Noticeably more parents are participating in all levels of the training and are making good use of this new knowledge in the playcentre. The centre support team is successfully sharing useful knowledge and practices across the centres.

The Canterbury Playcentre Association has made significant progress since the 2014 ERO cluster review. It has implemented a strategic plan that effectively identifies goals, plans and progress. The association has high expectations for every child to experience high quality education and all parents to be actively involved in parent education and the management of playcentres. It has established some very useful systems and practices to ensure sustainability and improvement of the organisation and the playcentres. This includes effective evaluation and monitoring of the quality of education for parents and improved outcomes for children.

The key next step for the association is to review how well the individual playcentre's philosophies are meeting the changing contexts of the playcentres.

Key Next Steps

The association, parents and ERO agree that the key next steps for Kaikoura Playcentre are to:

  • improve consistency in assessment and planning
  • extend internal evaluation to focus more on outcomes for children
  • more regularly monitor, evaluate and report progress in achieving the strategic plan goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

9 August 2017

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 NO 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:   18

Girls:    11

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%      50-79%              80%
Based on funding rates


Under 2

Reported ratios of staff



Better than minimum

to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

9 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2013

Education Review

April 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 Nga Pou Here:

Pou Whakahaere — how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children

Pou Arahi — how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children

Matauranga —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 whanau.

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 Maori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Nga 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.