Ohaupo Playcentre - 23/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Ohaupo Playcentre

How well placed is Ohaupo 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.


Ohaupo Playcentre is a semi-rural playcentre whose families come from a wide geographical area, including the surrounding rural towns and outskirts of Hamilton. Since the previous 2013 ERO review, there has been a complete turnover of families. This has resulted in the attendance of a majority of younger children under 3, and the closure of the older children’s session. The centre is now open two mornings a week and is licensed for 30 children including 15 under 2 years. There are 29 children on the roll including one child who is identified as Māori.

A new experienced and knowledgeable centre support worker (CSW) has been recently appointed. She is encouraging a strong focus on adult education to upskill new parent members. The centre’s strategic plan sets a clear direction for improvement and there are effective systems and clearly documented procedures to guide practice. The centre is well supported by the Waikato Playcentre Association (WPA).

The playcentre philosophy states that children initiate play with adults who support children’s learning, and value their play and creativity. This philosophy was clearly evident in the playcentre environment where children and their families were warmly welcomed, and children were happily engaged and supported in their learning and play.

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

The Review Findings

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

The playcentre provides support for families by building strong connections with home and members of the local community. Children experience a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging. They benefit from encouragement and support from their own and other parents/grandparents, and reciprocal relationships with other children of mixed ages. Children were observed to be settled, engaged in their play, and independently accessing appropriate resources and equipment within the centre environment.

Interactions among adults and children are positive and affirming of children’s learning and play. Parents model oral language for children. They guide children’s creative and investigative activities, and foster their literacy and numeracy skills. Adults promote children’s social competencies by managing their behaviour positively. Children with special behaviour and learning needs benefit from shared strategies that help guide their interactions. Some te reo Māori was heard and this could be further extended amongst parents and children.

The centre’s natural outdoor environment is spacious and well equipped to promote exploration, physical challenge and experimentation. Children enjoy riding bikes and carts, using the climbing equipment and swings, and playing with sand and water. Parents and grandparents are currently encouraging children’s interest in the natural world and gardening.

The playcentre curriculum is child centred and child led. Parents follow children’s interests, and extend and enrich their learning experiences through excursions into the wider community. Children’s learning experiences are recorded in individual and group learning stories in well-presented portfolios and on the centre walls. There are some examples of good quality narratives that make links to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and acknowledge the children’s learning and their next learning steps.

Knowledgeable and capable centre leaders set clear guidelines for new parent members. Roles and responsibilities are well defined and there are clear expectations about what is required during sessions. End-of-session evaluations and spontaneous self review occur regularly and the centre parents agree that these need to be further developed to better reflect children’s learning outcomes.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation and the 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 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 Maori.

A long-standing kaiawhina continues to support centre members to develop their understanding of te ao Māori and their confidence to integrate this knowledge in the context of playcentre philosophy.

Key Next Steps

Playcentre members, the CSW and ERO agree that next steps for further development include:

  • extending conversations with children to further encourage their oral language, inquiry and problem solving skills
  • continuing to build capability in writing learning stories that identify children’s learning and their progress and development over time
  • deepening the breadth and depth of self review to include areas of the curriculum and learning outcomes for children
  • continuing to extend and promote te reo and tikanga Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ohaupo 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 Ohaupo 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

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 16 Boys 13

Ethnic composition





Review team on site

December 2015

Date of this report

23 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2013


Education Review

November 2009


Education Review

October 20016

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.