Kohukohu Playcentre - 02/11/2017

1 Evaluation of Kohukohu Playcentre

How well placed is Kohukohu 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.


Kohukohu Playcentre is adjacent to Kohukohu Primary School and is licensed for 20 children, including 10 up to two years of age. The centre is run as a parent cooperative and offers three sessions each week for families from surrounding rural areas.

The centre is the only early childhood service in the Kohukohu area. Its roll has decreased as families have moved out of the area. At the time of this review the centre was not receiving funding for its sessions. The Association is working closely with centre members to increase levels of Playcentre training. Requirements for funding were likely to be met soon after this review.

The Playcentre philosophy of whānau and children learning together and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, underpin centre operations. The centre's philosophy acknowledges Te Tiriti o Waitangi and biculturalism. Most of the 10 children currently enrolled are Māori.

The 2013 ERO report noted that adults worked collaboratively, and that programmes supported children to learn through inclusive mixed-age play. These quality practices continue to be evident.

The centre is one of five in the Far North Playcentre Association. The Association provides a management and policy framework, and centre support personnel. Playcentre Aotearoa is in the process of a national restructure. The Far North Association is now part of Playcentre's northern region and a new regional manager has been appointed. Some support personnel will be based at a Whangarei office.

This review was part of a cluster of three reviews in the Far North Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Parents/whānau provide a welcoming and safe environment for children. Their interactions with children are respectful and responsive. They are focused on supporting children’s play. Children are settled and happy. They have a sense of security and belonging, as the key adults involved in their play and learning are whānau.

Children make choices about their play. Parents provide challenges for children and encourage them to explore the environment and the available activities and resources. Children move freely into the large outdoor area throughout the session. Their outdoor and nature play promotes an appreciation of the natural environment.

Areas of play are well defined and a separate play space is available for infants when needed. Members ensure that this area is calm, and that the pace of play allows children to take their time to explore resources. Children play well on their own or in small groups, often for prolonged uninterrupted, periods.

Children are confident and are good at initiating conversations with each other and with adults. They engage in interesting and imaginative conversations. Adults support children’s ideas and encourage creativity. They provide good support for children's language development. Literacy, science and maths concepts are included in meaningful ways as children play.

Association support, good leadership approaches and mentoring help new members to settle quickly into shared roles. Some experienced parents/whānau provide good models of learning stories in children's portfolios. Parents/whānau plan programmes in response to children's interests.

The Association currently has effective governance and management practices. A voluntary executive committee takes responsibility for specific management and centre support tasks. Good systems help them to monitor the quality of programmes, adult education levels, and health and safety requirements. The management team provides professional leadership to help centres respond to changes, particularly as they transition to the new national and regional structures.

Key Next Steps

Centre members agree that to improve programmes for children and support centre development, they should:

  • enhance the bicultural programme so that it becomes more meaningful in practice

  • strengthen their assessment of children's learning, programme planning and evaluation

  • review policies and procedures to ensure they are reflected in practice

  • develop long-term strategic planning to support sustainability and build on internal evaluation processes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

2 November 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 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

20 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 5 Boys 5

Ethnic composition



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

September 2017

Date of this report

2 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2013

Education Review

October 2009

Education Review

November 2006

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.