Newmarket Playcentre - 17/08/2017

1 Evaluation of Newmarket Playcentre

How well placed is Newmarket 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.


Newmarket Playcentre is a well established centre, which operates as a family cooperative. It is one of 16 centres in the Auckland Playcentre Association.

Centre practices are based on the Playcentre philosophy of families learning and growing together. The centre offers five sessions per week for up to 25 children, including up to 15 under the age of two. In addition, the Association operates two SPACE sessions each week at the centre, for new parents and their infants.

Since the 2013 ERO report the centre has maintained effective management practices, extended children's leadership and strengthened internal evaluation. They have also strengthened planning and evaluation and introduced a new Child Education officer role, to ensure that programmes remain focused on children.

The Association continues to provide a sound management framework and support personnel to assist centre members in managing their centres. It administers centres’ funding and provides an adult education programme for parents/whānau to achieve Playcentre qualifications.

The Association management team has a strong commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi bicultural partnerships with whānau Māori. There is an expectation that adults and children will gain an understanding of te reo and tikanga Māori.

Playcentre Aotearoa is in the process of a national restructure. As a result, it is expected that a new regional manager and centre support personnel will be appointed towards the end of 2017.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the Auckland Playcente Association. 

The Review Findings

Responsive and caring relationships contribute positively to children’s emotional wellbeing and sense of belonging. There is a culture of support and respect for children and their families. Parents/whānau enrich children's conversation as they affirm and build on the children’s strengths. Infants benefit from nurturing, individualised care and access to all areas of the centre. Toddlers can explore, make discoveries, be independent and are quickly reassured when necessary. Adults work together collaboratively in the care and education of all children at the centre.

Children learn in a well resourced, attractive environment that acknowledges children’s interests, meets the needs of the mixed-age group and fosters curiosity and exploration. The outside area is well equipped and offers a variety of physically challenging activities. Children’s creative expression through art, music and dance, is valued and enthusiastically supported. They have many opportunities to use literacy, mathematics and science as part of their play. Children engage in sustained purposeful play, have fun and are developing a positive attitude to learning.

Children are confident and capable learners. Their leadership and problem-solving skills are encouraged as is their sense of empathy and responsibility. They engage in self-chosen activities and older children play cooperatively. Children develop friendships and skills for working in a group.

Centre members are keen to continue to deepen and enhance their bicultural practices, which are an integral part in this centre's practice.

Centre members have sound programme planning systems that reflect Playcentre philosophy and link to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Assessment information shows children engaged in play and group experiences. Session evaluations inform planning and assist with continuity of learning. A variety of adults contribute to children’s individual assessment portfolios, which show how learning has developed over time.

Strong leadership and sound management systems contribute to the ongoing sustainability of the centre and continued high quality practices. Experienced centre members mentor and support newer members in understanding Playcentre philosophy, centre expectations and how to support child-initiated play. All members have a role in centre management through consensus decision making. Internal evaluation and strategic planning are undertaken collaboratively, and information is shared in a variety of ways.

The Association management team takes responsibility for specific tasks relating to effective operations. The team is aware of the strengths and needs of each centre and provides strong professional leadership to sustain improvement and growth. Individualised and effective support helps each centre to continue fostering positive learning outcomes for children. The management team works collaboratively with centres as they respond to change, including the national restructure.

Key Next Steps

Centre members agree key next steps are to:

  • continue to enhance bicultural practices

  • explore ways to record in learning stories and programme evaluations, how children make decisions about and lead their own learning

  • continue to support new members to recognise learning in the context of play and in Playcentre adult education programmes.

To enhance practices in all Auckland centres, the new regional manager and support personnel should consider ways to support centre members to:

  • increase their bicultural understanding and integration of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori

  • improve their understanding and use of internal evaluation as a tool to guide and improve practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Newmarket 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 Newmarket Playcentre will be in four years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

17 August 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 


Remuera, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 17, Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Other European


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

17 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

June 2010

Education Review

June 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.