Mt Albert Playcentre - 03/06/2020

1 Evaluation of Mt Albert Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Mt Albert Playcentre operates in a building with large, well maintained grounds, close to an urban council reserve. The centre is licensed for 30 children, including up to 15 children under two years of age. It is managed as a parent cooperative and opens for three sessions each week. Parents/whānau are kaiako for their children.

Centre practices are based on the Playcentre philosophy of families learning together. The centre's philosophy affirms parents as valued and best educators of their children. Sessions are guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. There is an expectation that te reo and tikanga Māori are included in sessions.

Since the 2014 ERO review, centre members have maintained good practices and continued to provide good quality programmes for children. In response to the 2014 report, members have focused on strengthening bicultural practices. There have been changes in centre membership. Most members are currently enrolled in Playcentre adult education courses.

The new Playcentre Aotearoa structure is now fully operational. It provides a sound management framework and support personnel to help parents/whānau to manage their centres. Playcentre Aotearoa administers centres’ funding and provides adult education programmes for parents/whānau to achieve Playcentre qualifications.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the Playcentre Aotearoa Auckland region.

The Review Findings

Children engage in a child-led, play-based programme. Kaiako support child-initiated play and affirm children in the choices they make. They provide an interesting and very well resourced learning environment that invites and sustains children’s engagement in play, learning and creative expression.

Children demonstrate a strong sense of belonging. They are caring and considerate of others and develop positive social skills. Children join in mixed-age play, which allows them to support and learn from each other. Kaiako affirm all children as unique competent learners and are responsive to their ideas and interests. Children play cooperatively, engage in group activities and demonstrate an enthusiasm for learning.

Supportive and friendly relationships between families support children to respect and value others. Children with additional learning needs are warmly included and the cultural diversity of the community is acknowledged and celebrated. Kaiako have a strong commitment to embedding bicultural practices in all aspects of the curriculum and centre operations. They consciously include waiata, te reo and tikanga Māori through the session.

Kaiako are highly supportive of each other in the education and care of all children at the centre. They ensure all ages of children can participate in a wide variety of learning experiences. Infants benefit from nurturing, individualised care and access to all areas of the centre. Toddlers can explore and be independent and are quickly reassured when necessary. Older children are self-managing and have leadership opportunities.

Centre members have adopted planned approaches to implementing the Playcentre Aotearoa policy framework. Experienced kaiako support newer centre members in understanding the Playcentre philosophy, centre expectations and taking on centre leadership roles. There is a strong commitment to Playcentre adult education. All members have a voice in centre management and decision making is by consensus. Internal evaluation is used to reflect on centre practices and leads to improvements for children and their families. It is now timely to strengthen internal evaluation.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for kaiako/centre members are to continue to:

  • make the continuity of children's learning more visible in assessment, planning and evaluation documentation

  • continue to deepen the use of te reo and integration of tikanga Māori in the programme

  • develop shared understandings about, and strengthen processes for, internal evaluation for improvement.

Key next steps for development in the Playcentre Aotearoa Auckland region include:

  • strengthening the use of internal evaluation to measure the effectiveness of systems and practices across the region.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mt Albert 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

3 June 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


Mt Albert, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 19 Girls 7

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
other ethnic groups


Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

3 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

May 2012

Education Review

January 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.