Manurewa Playcentre - 01/12/2017

1 Evaluation of Manurewa Playcentre

How well placed is Manurewa 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.


Manurewa Playcentre is a parent-led early childhood education service and one of 14 centres in the Tamaki Playcentres Association. The centre provides five morning sessions each week for children up to school age, including one 'Big Kids' session for children over three years old. The centre currently has 33 children enrolled. They reflect the culturally diverse Manurewa community.

Programmes for children are underpinned by the overarching Playcentre philosophy of whānau and children learning together in a fun, nurturing environment. High levels of parent involvement in training enable them to be the kaiako (teachers) who guide the learning children enjoy. The 'Big Kids' session is led by two paid kaiako.

Tamaki Playcentres Association provides a framework for centre management and operations, as well as parent education programmes and personnel to support centre members in their leadership, educator and parenting roles. Te Kimiora o Tamaki, the association support group for whānau Māori, provides members with advice and guidance regarding their bicultural practices.

Playcentre Aotearoa, the national organisation, is currently in the process of a comprehensive restructure. A regional hub will be established to provide governance, management and parent education support for Playcentres in central, east and south Auckland. While this will mean significant changes at the local Association level, it is expected that support for individual centres will be maintained or strengthened.

ERO’s 2014 review noted the quality of relationships and the responsive curriculum that parents provided. Te reo Māori and other home languages were used well, and children were keen to be involved in learning experiences. These strengths continue to be evident. Areas for development included the use of internal evaluation to enhance general sessions, reflect on children's learning over time, and develop learning focused strategic goals. Centre members continue to work on these strategies.

This review was part of a cluster of three reviews in the Tamaki Playcentres Association.

The Review Findings

Manurewa Playcentre is well supported by experienced centre members who warmly welcome new families, and celebrate the diverse cultural knowledge and languages that families bring. Centre members have a strong commitment to te reo and tikanga Māori, which are integrated through play, routines, displays and practices. Whānau are enriched by the focus on the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Children show a sense of belonging and wellbeing in the centre.

Children are settled and engaged learners. They initiate their own play, at times working cooperatively with others, but often happy to explore independently. They are confident in the presence of familiar adults, and have fun with their caregivers. The challenge for kaiako is to more deliberately interact with the children other than their own, to enhance social relationships and the depth of learning experiences.

Infants and toddlers are well cared for, and encouraged to be involved in the play programme. Kaiako have responded to the challenges of catering for a mixed age group, by providing a quiet corner where appropriate resources are readily accessible for babies. Older children are learning to deepen their explorations through the 'Big Kids' session, which also supports their transition to school.

Parents/whānau consistently encourage children's learning. They plan resources and activities that reflect current programme themes, and respond well to children's individual interests. As kaiako, they foster learning by prompting children with questions, and engaging them in meaningful conversations. Kaiako together evaluate each session, recording what they have noticed about children’s play and plan strategies to support learning at subsequent sessions. Assessment portfolios provide valued records of children's experiences at Playcentre. Kaiako could increase the focus on individual learning interests, and link learning stories to more clearly record children's progress.

Children enjoy a well-resourced and accessible learning environment. Organised spaces and interesting equipment encourage children to make choices and follow their interests. Kaiako have established several science resource boxes, but identify this as an area they want to develop further to extend children's learning.

Parents/whānau maintain very good management and communication to ensure all families are informed, and able to contribute. They make decisions collectively at regular meetings, and share responsibility for the centre's maintenance and operation. A useful strategic plan guides the centre's development.

Centre members have continued to develop their internal evaluation practices. Their reviews have become useful evaluations that respond to changing needs, and contribute to centre development. Members plan to further develop the scope of these internal evaluation processes.

The Association has worked diligently to prepare centres for the imminent structural changes to the national organisation. Leaders have implemented many strategies and systems to develop good quality practices across the centres, and established cluster support groups to foster sustainability. The Association has provided positive guidance in relation to changes in Playcentre training programmes, and pre-empted national changes to centre operations with paid administration support for every centre.

Leaders acknowledge the need to update some association policies to incorporate the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act and recent changes in Health and Safety legislation. The Association is committed to promoting Te Whāriki 2017 in all centres in coming months, and continues to provide strong support for meaningful bicultural practices.

Key Next Steps

Centre members agree that key next steps include:

  • further developing assessment to focus on the individual child's strengths and interests, and more consistently analyse children's learning experiences

  • ensuring that session evaluations encourage all kaiako to contribute to discussions

  • establishing relationships with local schools to support children's transition to school

  • continuing to strengthen internal evaluation practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

1 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


Manurewa, South Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 18 Girls 15

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent led

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

1 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2014

Education Review

December 2010

Education Review

August 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.