Maungaturoto Playcentre - 15/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Maungaturoto Playcentre

How well placed is Maungaturoto 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.


Maungaturoto Playcentre is a semi-rural centre that operates as a parent cooperative. Centre practices are based on the Playcentre philosophy of families learning and growing together. Adults provide educational opportunities for their own and other centre members' children.

The centre is licensed for 30 children, including 12 up to two years of age. The centre is open for two sessions each week. Children attending come from Māori and Pākehā families.

The 2013 ERO report suggested that members evaluate programmes to identify children's learning and focus evaluation more on improving outcomes for children. With a recent turnover of members, the centre has justifiably prioritised their focus on inducting new families into Playcentre.

Since 2013, the roll has fluctuated considerably. Centre members recently upgraded the centre building and have successfully promoted the centre as a place to meet other families and participate in parent and child-led learning programmes. The roll has steadily increased to 18 children who attend sessions at least once a week.

The centre is part of the Northland Playcentre Association. The Association is the umbrella organisation for 22 centres in Northland, many of which are semi-rural. The Association provides systems to help members manage their centres and support their children's learning. It also provides adult education programmes for Playcentre qualifications. As part of a current Playcentre Aotearoa national restructure there will be a new regional manager and new centre support roles.

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

The Review Findings

Children enjoy exploring the learning environment, alongside their parents and whānau. They are developing confidence interacting with other children and adults other than their parents.

Currently, the centre has two experienced and qualified members. The Association centre support worker (CSW) is working hard to induct new families and encourages them to begin adult education courses. New centre members are keen to learn and are accelerating their way through the courses. Increased training levels will enable families to run sessions independently of the Association.

The CSW supports members to understand systems, policies and procedures, and advises about the appropriate set-up of learning environments. She also models positive interactions with children and demonstrates good teaching practice.

Centre members regularly record stories about their children's learning in individual portfolios. As they build their knowledge about early childhood education, they could increase the extent to which portfolios contain information about children's learning and how adults plan to extend this learning. They could also more consistently record children's individual and group interests and plan daily programmes to build on these interests.

The centre's secretary is currently filling the role of president and has provides leadership in decision making. New members have committed themselves to taking leadership positions, and are quickly learning about related responsibilities that enable the centre to continue operating.

The Association management team takes responsibility for specific tasks relating to the efficient operation of Playcentres. They actively foster emergent leadership to sustain the Association and centre viability. The Association provides good support to help Playcentres remain well placed to provide positive learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre members agree that key next steps for them include:

  • continuing to work collaboratively to achieve the best learning outcomes for children

  • developing systems to ensure that children with special learning needs are well supported.

To help strengthen operations in all Northland centres, new regional support personnel should consider ways to:

  • determine the best strategies to encourage centre members to take greater responsibility for all aspects of centre operations, including assessment, programme planning and evaluation

  • continue to increase emphasis on and financial support for the Kaiāwhina role in supporting centre members' bicultural understanding and proficiency

  • strengthen members' understanding of the need for succession planning and close alignment between strategic and annual plans for ongoing improvement, as well as operational plans for day-to-day management and maintenance

  • support centre members to recognise their role as facilitators of children's learning, social competence and independence. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Maungaturoto 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 practices, centre members should:

  • provide additional fencing to enclose an area of the playground

  • ensure that loose sand on the concrete area is swept up daily to prevent children and adults slipping.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Steffan Brough

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

15 June 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 


Maungaturoto, Northland

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

Boys 10 Girls 5

Ethnic composition





Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

15 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

September 2013

Education Review

July 2010

Education Review

February 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.