Mosgiel Playcentre - 22/10/2014

1 Evaluation of Mosgiel Playcentre

How well placed is Mosgiel 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.


Mosgiel Playcentre is situated in Mosgiel, opposite a school. The playcentre is open five mornings a week and provides programmes for up to 25 children aged from birth-to-six years. It is a parent cooperative and is one of 35 playcentres within the Otago Playcentre Association (OPA).

A feature at this playcentre is the educators who have worked together for many years. They bring a wealth of experience and support to the playcentre. Parents work alongside them as helpers in the sessions. The parents are exploring ways to encourage new families to join the playcentre as many of the existing families will move on as their last child starts school. Children and their families are well supported as children move on to school.

Mosgiel Playcentre has a positive reporting history with ERO. This review builds on those previous positive findings.

This review was part of a cluster of 12 playcentre reviews in the Otago Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a wide range of interesting experiences, including visitors to the centre. They have interesting outings within the community, such as to the local library and the Outram Glen, the park and the local school. These experiences help children establish a strong sense of belonging to their local community.

Children are learning about healthy eating and healthy lifestyles, including physical activity and caring for a playcentre garden. They are well supported to develop early literacy skills, including age appropriate attempts to write.

As part of a national review, ERO also investigated how well the centre supported children’s early mathematical learning. ERO found that adults are aware of mathematics learning through play and when children show an interest or strength in mathematics they find ways to support mathematical learning.

ERO observed nurturing, trusting relationships between adults and children in the playcentre.

This is evident in the way adults:

  • talk with children about things meaningful to them, such as holidays, and their play
  • work closely with the children and join in their play
  • extend the children’s skills, interests and thoughts
  • support children to take turns and encourage older children to include younger children in their play.

ERO observed a calm and unhurried pace that allowed children to be focused in their play. Children make choices about what they want to do and where they want to play. Play equipment is attractively arranged for children to be independent and spark their interest.

Children’s learning is well documented in profile books. These are a comprehensive and up-to-date record of children’s experiences and learning and show that educators effectively recognise and respond to children’s learning.

Self-review processes are well established and the parent council and education team use the findings effectively to make improvements that result in positive outcomes for children. A recent example is the well-planned self review which has led to the development of useful guidelines and support for children as they move to school.

The parent cooperative, who share the running of the centre, have useful systems that lead to the efficient operation of the centre.

Key Next Steps

The educator and parents have identified their key next steps are to:

  • make Māori perspectives more evident in their philosophy, environment and practices
  • continue to find ways to involve parents in assessments.


The Otago Playcentre Association is facing challenges and uncertainty as the Playcentre Federation and the training it provides undergoes a period of restructuring. During this time, the association has made it a priority to focus on the daily operations of the playcentres. This includes:

  • managing an association-wide system for all aspects of health, safety and compliance
  • ongoing provision of playcentre training.

ERO found that the association needs to:

  • strengthen the appraisal process for all employed personnel
  • ensure that association policies provided to the playcentres are regularly reviewed
  • be more responsive and timely to training needs to enable playcentres to meet licensing and employment requirements.

Each playcentre has the ongoing support of a centre advisor. This includes:

  • regular visits to provide informal and formal feedback and encouragement
  • helping parents know what to do to meet the licensing requirements.

Centre advisors should find ways to make best practice common practice across the association, for example, through effective self review and planning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

22 October 2014

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 10 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls: 15

Boys: 12

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnicities





Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

Must attend with parent


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

22 October 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

July 2011


Education Review

February 2008


Education Review

November 2004

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.