Lincoln Playcentre - 20/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Lincoln Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Lincoln Playcentre is one of the Playcentre Association services within the Upper South Island Region. It is licensed for 25 children, including up to 20 aged under two. Most families attend the centre one day a week. The centre is open four mornings a week and offers a separate session one afternoon a week for infants and their parents called "Babies Can Play".

At the time of this review the Centre Support Person had not long been assigned to the centre and is beginning to get to know the parents and children. The leadership responsibility for the daily programme is shared by two centre coordinators.

The Playcentre philosophy is based around parent/child partnerships within the education setting. The underlying belief is that children reach their full potential most successfully when parents/whānau understand their development and take part in their child's learning.

Playcentre parents have made some progress addressing the recommendations of the last ERO report. These included responding to children's learning, self-review processes and practices, and bicultural development.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from positive, affirming relationships between them, the parents and the playcentre leaders. The centre is well resourced and well organised. Children can choose from a range of activities and experiences selected to ensure children of all ages have the opportunity to participate and learn. Younger children attend the sessions with their parents. Many of the resources align with the children's interests and home lives. Children also make excursions into the community to further extend their link to the wider world.

Parents use a range of ways to communicate with one another and keep everyone informed. The coordinators regularly share learning and development information with parents. Information and guidelines are also displayed around the centre to guide parents to know what to do when supervising in the sessions, and what the expectations are.

Māori children have opportunities to see and learn about Māori culture. Parents use some phrases in te reo Māori regularly. The daily routine includes waiata and karakia. The next step is to include bicultural practice and commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership in the centre philosophy. This involves a planned approach to development so that children continue to learn and become familiar with their unique New Zealand heritage.

A useful planning system using a reflections' notebook supports the children's learning and development. Parents notice what children do and how they interact within the centre environment and with each other. Parents then consider ways to respond in order to promote or extend children's learning.

Parents meet regularly to reflect on aspects of the programme and discuss improvements. They have completed one self review with a useful format to guide the process. Internal evaluation is in the early stages of development.

Key Next Steps

Review and update the centre philosophy to better show the service's key learning priorities and to show the value of bicultural development and the inclusion of bicultural perspectives.

Continue to develop:

  • assessment, programme planning and evaluation to strengthen the focus on children's learning
  • the bicultural programme and the integration of Māori perspectives in the programme
  • develop and implement internal evaluation processes, and widen the scope of reviews.

Ensure the performance appraisal system is completed for the playcentre co-ordinators.

Upper South Island Regional Governance

There continues to be significant change occurring with the playcentre governance and management at association and federation levels. The 2014 ERO report recommended more effective and sustained governance support for the playcentre regarding:

  • developing bicultural practice
  • assessment and planning
  • strategic and annual planning for future development
  • leadership.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lincoln 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.


ERO discussed the need to continue the review of policies and ensure practices align with these. ERO recommended that risk management plans for excursions be strengthened and the medicine administration form be revised to reflect best practice. 

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Lincoln Playcentre will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard
Director Review and Improvement Services Southern
Southern Region

20 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

25 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 31 ; Girls 23

Ethnic composition

Other Ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

20 February 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

June 2007

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.