Morrinsville Playcentre - 23/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Morrinsville Playcentre

How well placed is Morrinsville 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.


Morrinsville Playcentre is located in the town of Morrinsville, within the farming district of Waikato Tainui. The centre is licensed to cater for 25 children including 15 up to the age of 2. At the time of the ERO review there were 35 children on the roll including 4 identified as Māori. The centre provides 4 mixed age sessions each week which include 16 learning areas of play.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation and the Waikato Playcentre Association (WPA) continue to provide effective governance, strategic direction, management support and adult education programmes for the centre. This support and training is underpinned by the WPA philosophy 'Whānau tupu ngātahi - families growing together'.

The association’s strategic commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi is evident in its bicultural leadership model. High value is placed on productive partnerships with Māori whānau, and funding is made available for related professional development. The association’s high quality response to Ka Hikitia has resulted in clear expectations, and a systematic and sequential approach to building members’ understanding, confidence and competence in te Ao Māori.

An experienced and committed Centre Support Worker provides guidance and shares best practice with centre members and their families.

Since the 2013 ERO review, centre members have made significant progress with curriculum design development and the inclusion of Maori perspectives in the centres programme and its environment.

Significant improvements to buildings and grounds include:

  • a new adventure playground
  • a well-planned wilderness area
  • an enlarged sandpit with a multifunctional storage facilities.

This philosophy is highly evident in the playcentre.The recently reviewed philosophy aims to provide a nurturing and stimulating environment where parents are the educators of their tamariki. The centre fosters tuakana/teina relationship building amongst children.

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

The Review Findings

The centre leaders are experienced and have recently implemented a number of systems, processes and clear expectations for the efficient and smooth running of the centre. The centre caters for a number of families from diverse cultures who are confident to speak their language and share their culture to enrich the programme. A high proportion of centre members participate in play centre courses and ongoing training that support the high quality of teaching and learning in the centre.

The centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children and their whānau and families. Leadership is collaborative and has established a caring and welcoming culture that is strongly supportive of each other. All members take shared responsibility for:

  • centre management and organisation
  • supervising sessions and responding to the learning and caring needs of all children
  • planning and evaluation of the programme for groups and individual children
  • ongoing training and professional development.

Children enjoy ready access to a wide range of high quality equipment and materials. Children are encouraged to make choices and use equipment in ways that extend their learning and play. Adults know children well and work alongside them to affirm their successes and offer positive suggestions and guidance.

Learnings of the natural sciences and Papatūānuku in real life context is a particular strength of this programme. Children are developing their awareness and understanding about sustainability and environmental concepts. Adults use rich language in their conversations with children and foster their growing knowledge about literacy and number in the context of play. Children are benefitting from routines and responsive relationships with adults who are interested in their well-being.

Mothers largely take responsibility for the care and nurture of infants and very young children. Centre members are supportive and provide primary care when required to enable mothers to spend quality time with older siblings. An outcome of this is infants are relaxed, calm and settled at the centre.

The centre has established appropriate relationships with specialist agencies to meet the identified needs of children on the roll. This has resulted in some significant progress in learning and development for these children.

Aspects of childrens learning and development are documented in attractively presented individual profile books and centre displays. Experienced centre members model and mentor new parents to enable them to effectively plan activities that extend childrens learning through play.

Māori children and their whānau are affirmed in their culture. Whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, tikanga, tuakana/teina and ako relationships are evident in this centre. The Waikato Playcentre Association provides effective governance. The roopu Puriri Whakamaru consults and advises about work in developing productive partnerships with whānau Māori. The centre environment reflects

the interest and commitment that centre members have to build their confidence and competence to practise te reo Māori in meaningful contexts through:

  • waiata - song
  • karakia – prayer
  • whakanui tangata – affirms and celebrate children’s success and progress
  • korowai - acknowledges graduation ceremony of childrens transition from playcentre to school.

Centre leaders have a good understanding of self review. They have useful frameworks to guide this process. Self review is contributing to centre sustainability and ongoing development and improvement.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre members agree that:

  • strengthening ways to build relationships with schools should further enhance transitions to school for children and families
  • the curriculum would be enhanced by researching pūrakau (stories) and places to visit that are of historical significance to local iwi. This should continue to build understanding of te reo and tikanga Māori and strengthen children’s sense of culture, identity and belonging
  • continuing to embed new systems and processes for centre organisation should contribute to centre sustainability.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

23 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 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 16 Boys 19

Ethnic composition



Other Ethnicities




Review team on site

December 2015

Date of this report

23 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2013


Education Review

October 2009


Education Review

October 2006

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.