Macandrew Bay Playcentre - 04/04/2019

1 Evaluation of Macandrew Bay Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Macandrew Bay Playcentre is open for two morning sessions for children from birth-to-school age. Most parents attend with their children. Children attend for one or two days each week. Most children continue at playcentre until they transition to school. The playcentre is on the grounds of the local school. It is a long-established playcentre with a good ERO reporting history.

Since the November 2014 ERO review, the playcentre has had significant changes, and challenges, such as a major flood. There have been several different educators/facilitators and changes in the membership and structure of the parent council that oversees the day-to-day running of the centre. This now has three subcommittees, each with specific responsibilities. The new structure is enabling wider parent involvement.

Macandrew Bay Playcentre is one of 47 in the recently formed South Island Southern Region (SISR) hub. The SISR is part of the New Zealand Playcentre Federation (NZPF). A centre support worker from the SISR regularly visits. The playcentre organisation is nearing the end of an extensive restructure and review. From 2019, playcentres will be part of a national group known as Playcentre Aotearoa.

This review was one of four SISR playcentres.

The Review Findings

Positive relationships between adults and children contribute to a strong sense of whanaungatanga. Children are confident and settled in their play and interactions, and adults provide a supportive and affirming context for learning. Adults work in a collaborative way to ensure children’s interests, needs and preferences are quickly responded to.

There is a strong focus on children's and adults' learning. Parents set relevant individual goals for their child that are displayed and discussed, collectively all parents contribute to every child's learning. Learning stories often note strategies to extend a child's learning and increasingly show progress over time. Group planning and experiences support adults to learn from one another about their role as educators.

Children benefit from a good range of activities and experiences. The programme is child-led, balanced with adult provocations. Children are beginning to become familiar with New Zealand’s bicultural heritage and te reo Māori. This is an area that requires ongoing strengthening.

The philosophy provides a useful guide to the beliefs that underpins practice. A next step is to identify key priorities for children’s learning.

The high ratio of adults to children makes it possible for children to have many one-to-one interactions with adults. Children engage in sustained play alongside adults and with their peers. Children aged up to two are well supported in their learning, development and wellbeing.

Parents are increasingly using internal evaluation to review aspects of the playcentre operation and programme. This has led to some positive improvements. The facilitator is supporting parents to deepen their understanding and use of effective and manageable evaluation.

The facilitator and more experienced parents' model and support others to become more confident in their role as parent educators.

NZPF have developed and are implementing, a clear national and regional management structure. Some of the new roles have had a very positive impact at centre level, with parent council members valuing the increased support they receive.

Of particular significance are:

  • the centre administrator role which provides sound monitoring of health, safety and compliance

  • the centre support worker who visits regularly to share best practice and monitor the quality of learning and teaching

  • the role of a facilitator, available at every session, to role model good practice and empower parents to implement effective early childhood education for their children.

Key Next Steps

The parents and leaders at the playcentre agree that their next steps are to embed new systems and ensure that the positive changes are maintained. This includes continuing to:

  • build parent involvement in playcentre operations, education and in assessment, planning and evaluation of children's learning
  • strengthen Māori perspectives and te reo Māori in the programme
  • review the playcentre's annual and strategic goals and keep these to the fore
  • seek the support of the NZPF to improve the learning environment.

The next steps for the SISR are to:

  • refine and embed the new NZPF structure, systems and processes, including monitoring and lines of reporting

  • continue to develop and strengthen the NZPF and individual playcentre internal-evaluation processes and practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Macandrew Bay 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.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

4 April 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

19 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 10, Girls 5

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

Facilitator and parent-led programme (with range of playcentre qualifications)

Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

4 April 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

June 2011

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.