Manawaru Playcentre - 14/02/2017

1 Evaluation of Manawaru Playcentre

How well placed is Manawaru 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.


Manawaru Playcentre is a sessional centre providing education and care for children from birth to school age. The centre is a parent cooperative and is licensed for 25 children, including up to 14 under two years of age. It is one of 13 centres governed by the umbrella organisation, Thames Valley/Coromandel Playcentre Association (TVCPA) affiliated to the New Zealand Playcentre Federation.

Since the 2013 ERO review a new team of parents have been elected to undertake the management of the centre. The environment has been upgraded including a new kitchen area. Greater numbers of parents are undertaking study in the association's courses, which is contributing positively to children's learning, and promotes an environment where parents work together to enact the playcentre philosophy. Children and adults are well supported and empowered to work, learn and grow together.

The playcentre has responded well to the areas for review and development in the 2013 ERO report. They have formalised self-review systems with the support of association personnel and strengthened assessment and planning processes. Newly developed internal review systems are focused on identifying areas to further develop and improve.

This review was part of a cluster of three playcentre reviews in the Thames Valley/Coromandel Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children and their families learn and play in a friendly, welcoming environment. Parent members have established a positive centre culture, which strongly promotes their children's sense of belonging. Respectful and positive relationships successfully promote a settled homely atmosphere that supports play and learning.

Families effectively share leadership roles and responsibilities for the day-to-day running of the playcentre. More experienced members willingly share their knowledge empowering others in their role as the first educator of their children.

Many parents have taken good advantage of the educational opportunities provided by (TVPA) and undertaken playcentre training. Child learning portfolios and the centre's programme planning is greatly enhanced through the collective knowledge of adults who work collaboratively. They successfully plan and provide authentic and rich learning opportunities for the diverse interests and ages of children.

Internal evaluation practices have been improved and are supporting the playcentre to systematically inquire into the quality of education and care they provide. Parents have future plans to further develop assessment practices, and to build their capacity and understanding of local history and tikanga Māori processes.

The mixed-age group setting encourages the leadership of older children who contribute to the learning of infants and toddlers. Children are empowered to share their talents and strengths with others and through social and self-initiated play they learn from others. Children engage in sustained learning in a physically and emotionally safe environment.

Children enjoy the freedom to explore and investigate the well-prepared environment. It provides extensive choice and is equipped with high quality resources. They confidently socialise and interact with one another and adults, and are able to revisit and build on their existing skills, dispositions and knowledge.

Key Next Steps

ERO and Playcentre families agree that:

  • Parent members should use self-review practices to help them identify ways to integrate local history and tikanga Māori into the programme. This is likely to further enrich learning outcomes for all children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

14 February 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

25 children, including up to 14 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 14

Boys 11

Ethnic composition







Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

14 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

March 2014

Education Review

October 2010

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.