Mangapapa Playcentre - 12/12/2017

1 Evaluation of Mangapapa Playcentre

How well placed is Mangapapa 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.


Mangapapa Playcentre in Gisborne is one of seven early learning services administered by the Tairawhiti Playcentre Association (the association). It offers three mixed-age sessions per week for up to 25 children, including 15 aged up to two years. Of the 25 children enrolled, eight are Māori. Families come from diverse backgrounds with a wide range of skills and life experiences. They are expected to attend with their children at playcentre.

The board of governors, made up of elected members of the association, oversees the operation of centres. Guidance and support for members is provided by a liaison officer employed by the board. A paid supervisor leads sessions and assists members to meet operational requirements.

Playcentre philosophy emphasises the importance of families growing and learning together. Members of Mangapapa Playcentre seek to foster children’s independent action, confidence, and positive, creative interactions. There is a particular focus on the values of empathy, mindfulness, courage and inclusiveness.

The February 2014 ERO report highlighted the need for members to strengthen planning, the quality of strategies to support children’s learning, support for transition to school, and cultural responsiveness, particularly for Māori children. The need for the association to strengthen its governance and management support was also highlighted in the December 2013 ERO reviews of the Tairawhiti playcentres.

At the time of this ERO evaluation, the New Zealand Playcentre Federation is in the process of restructuring the organisation of its services. There is uncertainty about the details of this process, both nationally and locally resulting in some issues for members.

This review is one of two reviews of playcentres in the Tairawhiti Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Valued outcomes articulated in the philosophy statement are supported by the organisation for learning, and members' interactions with children.

Children are encouraged to make their own decisions about their participation. Adults follow their leads providing encouragement and support for their investigations and ideas. Sustained free play, fun and creative self-expression are promoted. Children are confident, motivated and settled. ERO endorses members' plan to undertake a review of the philosophy in action to provide assurance that valued outcomes are being promoted as intended.

The playcentre is well resourced to support a variety of learning experiences and interests. Highquality materials and equipment promote children's involvement in the key learning areas of literacy, mathematics, science, the arts and physical play.

Provision for children aged up to two years is well considered. Flexible equipment and the organisation of materials support their participation. A protected play space is available should it be needed for non-mobile infants.

An improved approach supports children and their families make the transition to primary school. Valued learning outcomes underpinning the playcentre programme are likely to assist the children to be ready, willing and able to make the transition. Members should continue to seek ways of sharing information about individuals with new-entrant teachers.

Members are inclusive and welcoming. A collective culture is in place. Experienced members show high levels of commitment to their playcentre roles, working cooperatively and sharing the leadership role to ensure requirements for operation are met. The community's diversity is acknowledged and celebrated.

The environment and aspects of daily sessions reflect a commitment to integrating a bicultural perspective in the programme. Waiata and karakia kai are everyday additions. Some members use te reo Māori with confidence. There continues to be a need for the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to be more strongly acknowledged and strategically planned for at both governance and centre level.

Members' approach to planning for learning is systematic and well organised. Parents' views about their children's needs are considered. Long-term goals are identified for individuals and shared with all. Parents are encouraged and supported to record their children's learning in profile books. Emerging interests are noted and responded to in daily planning. Links to the goals and strands of the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, are identified. In order to strengthen the quality of planning, members should:

  • continue to increase the focus on what children are learning, rather than the activities they are doing

  • identify intentional strategies to extend children's learning, showing in portfolios how progress has been facilitated. Strengthening the evaluation of children's long-term goals should make progress more visible

  • increase the acknowledgement of bicultural partnership, and families' languages, cultures and identities in learning records.

The supervisor provides good support for members to implement a learning programme and operation that meets Ministry of Education requirements and promotes positive outcomes for children. A suitable appraisal process and professional development opportunities assist her to improve her practice. Her work makes a significant contribution in the sustainability of centre practices.

Members are reflective and collaborative in decision making. An evaluation framework has been introduced. However, understanding and use of internal evaluation is at an early stage. Members have yet to effectively identify robust indicators of good practice and evidence to support development decisions. They should consider linking planned self review to strategic priorities to help facilitate progress in meeting goals.

This centre has benefited from significant professional support provided to the association's playcentres through a Ministry of Education initiative. As a result, the quality of key aspects of operation has improved. However, due to uncertainty around the timing of the Federation's restructuring process, some elements have not been sustained. In the interim, the association should ensure:

  • the timely review of policies occurs

  • all association employees continue to benefit from appraisal

  • a formal reporting process is implemented to provide assurance at board level that all requirements, in relation to employment of staff, are consistently met

  • an interim process is in place to ensure association records are able to be accessed and retrieved at all times.

Key Next Steps

In order to support sustainability of, and ongoing improvement to, practice and operation, priorities should be for members to:

  • continue to strengthen planning for learning

  • work on developing shared understanding of internal evaluation to support decision making.

The board of governors should ensure practice that reflects the intent of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is strategically planned for at all levels of the association.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mangapapa 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.

In order to improve current practice the service provider should ensure that:

  • interim measures are put in place to provide assurance that all legislative requirements are met and key documents can be accessed and retrieved at all times.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

12 December 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 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 13, Girls 12

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

12 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

November 2010

Supplementary Review

November 2008

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.