Manutuke Playcentre - 18/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Manutuke Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Since the February 2014 ERO report the Tairawhiti Playcentre Association (the association) has built their internal capacity to provide clear direction and targeted support for Manutuke and other playcentres in the association.

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


Manutuke Playcentre is one of eight early childhood centres administered by the Tairawhiti Playcentre Association that oversees governance operations. A board of governors provides guidance and support for members. A liaison officer is employed by the board to visit playcentres and monitor how centres are meeting legislative requirements.

The playcentre is located 14 kilometres from Gisborne, in the rural township of Manutuke. It operates one mixed–aged session each week for a maximum of 25 children, including 12 children up to two years of age. Currently there are seven children on the roll. A qualified teacher is paid to work alongside the parents to lead the programme provided.

The February 2014 ERO report identified that significant improvement was needed, particularly in the following: an understanding of assessment, planning and evaluation; the bicultural curriculum; the consistency of effective teaching practice; and self review. Key next steps were identified for the association, that focused on ensuring the centre was effectively governed and managed.

Playcentre members and the board of governors at the association received targeted support through a Ministry of Education funded programme, Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO). The Playcentre Federation has also provided ongoing professional development related to the key next steps.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the Tairawhiti Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Playcentre members have made some progress to develop an understanding of self review, group planning and integrating the use of te reo Māori throughout documentation. They have participated in professional learning and development to further their understanding of self review, and assessment, planning and evaluation.

Adults take an active role in supporting their own, and at times, other children in their play and learning. Infants and toddlers play alongside their peers and are at times involved in sustained play. The environment is attractively presented with a wide range of accessible resources to support children’s developing independence. Adults are warm and welcoming and their practice promotes a sense of belonging.

Excursions into the community provide an extension to the programme. These outings provide opportunities for children to develop an understanding of the living world.

The February 2014 ERO report found that opportunities to extend children’s thinking were often missed. Some progress is evident in this area. Adults should continue to draw on a wider range of strategies to extend children’s thinking and add challenge.

The philosophy promotes child-initiated play, expresses a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and encourages parents to share in the responsibility for the education of their children. These statements provide the platform for a well-rounded programme for children.

The bicultural curriculum requires further development. Adults use te reo Māori during routine times. However, the use of Māori language should be integrated throughout the curriculum. Te ao Māori is beginning to be evident in aspects of the programme. Continued development is required to offer a curriculum that reflects the centre philosophy. The association has identified that a next step for them is to provide more strategic guidance to playcentres in promoting success for Māori children as Māori. ERO's evaluation affirms this planned development.

Assessment, planning and evaluation continue to require development. As a next step members should include regular entries in the children’s profile books that clearly identify significant learning for the child, plan to extend learning and provide evidence of how children responded to help show continuity of learning.

Progress is not sufficient in members’ understanding of self review and evaluation. Spontaneous review is used to reflect on aspects of practice. A key next step should include the association supporting members to better their understanding of the purpose and use of self review to ensure the evaluative process identifies how well practices support children’s learning.

Adults understand the implications of the changes required to meet the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. The Playcentre Association has provided initial guidance in this area.

The board of governors demonstrates leadership in supporting playcentres in their understanding of legislative requirements. Monitoring of these in the playcentres has been supported through the appointment of a liaison officer. In addition the association has developed:

  • an operational manual, that provides policy guidance for members
  • appointment procedures
  • a system for police vetting
  • an appraisal process for employees
  • an approach for reviewing and evaluating the services’ guiding documents and ongoing developments.

The association has identified a next step is to develop an internet safety policy. ERO agrees that social networking and appointment policies should also be developed.

Key Next Steps

The association should assist members to address the key next steps to:

  • develop an understanding of the cycle of assessment, planning and evaluation
  • strengthen the bicultural curriculum
  • build their understanding of the purpose and use of self review.

The association should:

  • provide greater strategic direction for centres in promoting success for Māori children as Māori
  • develop policies for social media and staff appointments.


ERO recommends that the association supports Manutuke playcentre members to develop an action plan that outlines how they will address the key next steps identified in this report. ERO will monitor progress against the plan.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Manutuke 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.

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to curriculum and legal accountabilities.  To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following area:

  •  assessment, planning and evaluation
    [Licensing Criteria for Education and Care Services 2008, (C2,)]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The timing of the next ERO review of Manutuke Playcentre will be dependent on the progress the playcentre makes in relation to the action plan.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

18 February 2016

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 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 2, Boys 5

Ethnic composition


Other ethnic groups



Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

18 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 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.