Mamaranui Playcentre - 11/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Mamaranui Playcentre

How well placed is Mamaranui 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.


Mamaranui Playcentre is a well-established rural centre located north-west of Dargaville. The Playcentre is governed and managed cooperatively by centre members, who support each other in their parenting and educator roles.

The centre offers one session per week for up to 30 children, including 12 under two years of age. Children enrolled are mainly from farming families. The centre's roll fluctuates and members struggle to maintain the roll to licensed capacity. At present there are 12 children attending the centre.

The Playcentre philosophy affirms parents as valued and best educators of their children. Sessions are guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Members are committed to this philosophy as it promotes social opportunities for children and their families.

The centre has a history of positive ERO reports. Strengthening assessment and planning processes identified in the 2015 ERO report have been addressed. Promoting the Playcentre model, particularly with whānau Māori, is an ongoing goal. Centre members have made significant upgrades to the internal environment. The Waharoa is a highly valued addition to the entranceway.

The centre is part of the newly established Northern North Island Playcentre Region. Regional systems support centre members to manage their centres and to provide educational programmes for their children.  Playcentre personnel also provide training programmes for parents/whānau to achieve Playcentre qualifications.

This review was part of a cluster of nine reviews in the Northern North Island Playcentre Region.

The Review Findings

Children show kindness and respect for others. Friendships between children are evident as they explore. They demonstrate the whanaungatanga and the sense of belonging the environment promotes. Their communication skills are well supported.

Children are engaged and respond with enthusiasm to the programme. They play in an attractive, spacious and well-resourced environment. Children enjoy a variety of activities and make their own play choices. Babies have a calm, safe space to crawl and explore. Young children have opportunities to climb and develop their turn taking and physical capabilities.

Members provide a play-based programme that reflects the Playcentre philosophy. Programme planning and assessment is focused on responding to children's individual and group learning interests.

The centre is led by an experienced early childhood educator. She models good practices to build the teaching capacity of other members. Assessment portfolios record each child's learning journey with a focus on positive learning outcomes for the children.

Respectful and supportive relationships contribute to the sense of community. Members value the diversity of the cultures in the centre. These could be more visible in the programme.

Regional leaders have a strong commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. They are building links with local kaumātua and promote bicultural partnerships. Whānau Māori are invited to join Te Roopu Whakaaro Kotahi. The inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori is an integral part of centre practices that affirm Māori children’s cultural identity and success as Māori.

Some bicultural practices are evident in the centre. Recent membership in the region's Kāhui Ako l Community of Learning, prioritises te reo Māori across it membership. The centre, along with the support worker, will continue to build the capability of members to use te reo, tikanga Māori practices and include Te Ao Māori within the programme.

Members are developing internal evaluation systems. Current processes focus on making decisions about areas for improvement. Recent reviews have resulted in improving resourcing and upgrades to the environment.

Members are committed to the success of the centre. Experienced members support newer members to develop their confidence and skills as educators. Leadership roles are promoted and encouraged. Continuing education for all members is an ongoing commitment and priority.

The regional structure is replacing individual Playcentre Associations. Newly appointed regional personnel are making good progress building on existing systems and establishing effective regional management structures for supporting centres. Centre support workers are guided by regional centre support coordinators. Systems are being developed for monitoring the quality of programmes for children, adult education levels, and health and safety requirements.

Key Next Steps

Centre members acknowledge that the next key steps are to:

  • increase the bicultural understanding and integration of te reo and tikanga Māori through professional development

  • highlight children's cultural identity in their learning records

  • develop shared practices and expectations on how best to extend children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

11 May 2018

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


Mamaranui, Dargaville

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 7 Boys 5

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

11 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review


Education Review


Education Review


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.