Kaniere Playcentre - 18/08/2016

1 Evaluation of Kaniere Playcentre

How well placed is Kaniere 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. 


Kaniere Playcentre is parent led and provides five morning sessions each week for children up to school age. Children come from a range of ethnic backgrounds. It is licensed for up to 45 children and operates from purpose-built facilities next to the local school. The sessions are run by paid team leaders and playcentre members who are gaining playcentre qualifications by being involved in adult-education training provided by the association.

It is one of nine playcentres within the Buller/Westland Playcentre Association. Three of these playcentres operate as certified playgroups. The Association consists of a core group of dedicated, paid and elected members. It provides a framework for centre management and operations, as well as parent-education programmes and personnel to support centre members.

The Buller/Westland Playcentre Association is experiencing a time of change as all playcentre associations throughout New Zealand merge with the New Zealand Playcentre Federation to reduce duplication and make cost savings. This restructure will mean significant changes at the local association level.

The 2012 ERO report noted a number of areas for review and development including planning, assessment and evaluation. Some progress has been made in improving these, however these are areas to continue to develop. The efforts of the playcentre have been appropriately focused on managing the significant changes in office holders and playcentre parents. The priority for the playcentre over the past two years has been on building the education of parents with a core group working towards training to ensure ongoing sustainability.

This review was part of a cluster of five playcentre reviews in the Buller/Westland Playcentre Association. 

The Review Findings

Children play in a settled and calm environment where parents work alongside their children and join in their play. The playcentre provides support for parents with young children and opportunities for adult friendships as well as children's friendships. The playcentre has well-resourced indoor and outdoor areas. Very young babies are well supported by their parents.

The programmes the team leaders and centre members provide for children are underpinned by the overarching playcentre philosophy of whānau and children learning together in an enjoyable and nurturing learning environment. With the changes in the parent group, the next step is for the playcentre to review its philosophy to ensure it reflects this group's values, beliefs and agreed desired learning outcomes for their children.

Children benefit from a programme where they are supported to make choices, develop self-help skills and independence. The adults have purposeful conversations with children and help them make connections between home and playcentre and the local community. Parents contribute their strengths and skills to the programme. Children's learning is enriched by a range of experiences including:

  • regular baking
  • gardening and outings into the community
  • creative and dramatic play
  • exploration and physical play.

The playcentre has an annual action plan which outlines key priorities for the smooth operation and improvements to the playcentre. This includes keeping the focus on training to ensure there are enough parents with qualifications to enable them to run the centre. There are a good number of parents in training and the playcentre has a focus on roll growth and sustainability. The community is supportive of the playcentre, including supporting its extensive fundraising efforts.

Recent professional learning and development provided by New Zealand Playcentre Association has helped team leaders and parents improve assessment and planning for children's learning. Since March the session daily diary shows a greater focus on planning activities to support learning and continuity of children's learning. The professional learning has also helped the adults enrich the way science and music are provided for children during sessions. The centre has a framework for self review but this needs further development to be useful. Self review should be guided by an evaluative question and indicators of best practice. Aspects of the programme and centre practice that make the most difference for children's learning should be reviewed.

The Buller/Westland Playcentre Association has a strategic plan to help guide the association work. This, along with each playcentre's annual action plan, should be more formally monitored. Currently the association provides a policy framework for all the playcentres. This will change as the playcentres merge under Playcentre Aotearoa next year. Some policies and procedures within the association need immediate development to give better guidance to playcentres. 

These include:

  • developing robust guidelines and procedures for internal evaluation (self review)
  • embedding the learning from recent Playcentre Federation professional  learning
  • developing clearer guidelines for assessment, planning and evaluation
  • ensuring each playcentre's philosophy includes its community's shared values, beliefs and desired outcomes for its children.

Key Next Steps

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation, the current Buller/Westland Playcentre Association, playcentre team leaders and parents need to continue to:

  • further develop the Kaniere playcentre philosophy
  • improve and embed assessment and evaluation practices, including the daily diary to have a greater focus on learning
  • strengthen bicultural practices and the celebration of the cultures of individual families
  • further develop self review
  • find ways to monitor progress against the strategic and annual plans to show how well these are supporting and contributing to the Association's and the Playcentre Federation's vision and goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

18 August 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

45 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls:  30

Boys:  26

Ethnic composition

Latin American


Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent Led

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

18 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2012

Education Review

March 2008

Education Review

May 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.