Methven Playcentre - 14/02/2020

1 Evaluation of Methven Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Methven Playcentre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.


Methven Playcentre is located in the rural and tourism town of Methven. It is licensed for 20 children and operates three morning sessions a week from 9.00am - 12.00pm. Children from birth to school age attend the centre with their parents.

The centre operates as a parent cooperative under the governance and management of Te Whānau Tupu Ngātahi o Aotearoa – Playcentre Aotearoa. The playcentre employs two centre supervisors. Playcentre Aotearoa employs a centre support person and an administrator who regularly visit the playcentre to support the parents and supervisor.

The centre serves as a hub for families to promote socialisation and friendships. It has close links with the local school and community.

The centre has recently joined the Opuke Kāhui Ako|Community of learning.

This review was part of a cluster of three playcentre reviews in the Mid Canterbury Cluster.

The Review Findings

Children and their families experience a strong sense of belonging in a welcoming and inclusive centre strengthened through the many links and connections to their local community. These links have contributed to the development of a strongly connected and embedded broad, localised curriculum that has positive outcomes for children.

Children enjoy the spacious, well-resourced centre. They have easy access to resources and equipment. This enables them to make their own choices and lead their own learning. The centre is set up purposefully in themed spaces. Infants and toddlers have a safe area which is equipped with age-appropriate learning equipment. They are also carefully included in the activities and programme with older children.

The programme is responsive to the interests, needs, strengths and dispositions of the children attending. Children's learning goals are used to shape the programme. Individual and group learning is well planned and clearly visible, enabling parents and children to revisit. Children benefit from a settled, calm and engaging environment. They confidently interact with adults and their peers in a respectful and caring way.

Assessment and planning practices show how support workers and parents are effectively challenging children's physical skills and growing their understanding of the local community and the world around them. Learning stories show clear links between children's learning goals, Te Whāriki (the early childhood curriculum), and parents' aspirations. Children's progress over time is clearly evident in the learning stories.

The centre's strategic and annual plans are well considered and guide centre practices. Playcentre Aotearoa has learning programmes in place so adults can better support and engage with their child. A high number of parents have taken advantage of this and have completed playcentre qualifications. Aspects of self-review/internal evaluation are developing and have led to improved centre operations and outcomes for children. Internal evaluation could be further strengthened with continued support from the centre support worker.

Playcentre Aotearoa has a well-established philosophy that acknowledges and values parents as the first educators of their children. It provides a broad range of support for playcentres including nation-wide training courses and personnel who liaise with and assist centres. The effective implementation of a recently reviewed policy and procedure framework will help parents and whānau to ensure that children have safe and healthy learning environments while at playcentre.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for the playcentre parents, with the support of the centre support worker are to continue to strengthen:

  • parents' and support workers' understanding and use of internal evaluation

  • the centre philosophy, so that valued outcomes for children are identified

  • the inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme and in interactions between adults and children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Methven 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services
Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

14 February 2020

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

20 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 20

Female 13

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

14 February 2020

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

November 2016

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

March 2009

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.