Onerahi Playcentre - 06/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Onerahi Playcentre

How well placed is Onerahi 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.


Onerahi Playcentre operates as a parent co-operative. It offers two sessions each week for children from birth to school age from the surrounding semi-rural community. Parents/whānau who enrol their children are committed to the Playcentre philosophy, which is based on child initiated learning in a mixed-age setting. Parents/whānau are valued as the first and best educators of their children.

All centre members take on roles and responsibilities that contribute to the running of the centre. This structure offers opportunities for emergent leadership.

Since the 2012 ERO review there has been a significant change in centre membership and leadership. A qualified early childhood teacher has taken on the role of supervisor for this year. Parents/whānau who are new to the centre are completing Courses 1 and 2 and are moving onto Course 3 in the Playcentre adult education programme. They have willingly taken on leadership roles.

The centre is part of the Northland Playcentre Association, which provides governance and management support for 31 Playcentres in Northland. The Association provides systems and adult education programmes to help members manage centres and support their children's learning. A centre support worker (CSW) regularly visits each centre. The Association also provides education support for five Playcentres in the Far North.

Playcentre Aotearoa is in the process of a national restructure. 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 10 Playcentre reviews in the Northland Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children respond positively to opportunities to learn alongside trusted adults. They explore their interests in a safe and nurturing environment. Children sustain their creative play and have fun with the support of parents/whānau.

Parents/whānau respect each child’s uniqueness and individuality. They engage with all children to build on their interests and develop relationships with other families. Oral language is modelled well by parents/whānau who use te reo Māori incidentally in their instructions and conversations with children.

The learning environment is attractive and well resourced. Members have a variety of complementary strengths and skills. They provide a range of interesting activities to link with the natural world. Children have access to indoor and outdoor play, and experience a full range of learning opportunities.

More experienced centre members provide support for newer parents/whānau to continually develop their roles as parents and educators, and to learn about their own and other children. They are committed to the Playcentre adult training programme and are keen to develop centre members' collective capabilities.

With the capable leadership of the supervisor, centre members work as a team to ensure that sessions are well organised and managed. Programme planning is increasingly evident in the day-book and is visible on the walls for parents and children to revisit. Children's individual portfolios showing each child's learning journey are in the early stages of development.

The centre support worker (CSW) is aware of the strengths and needs of the centre. Her support helps members to foster positive learning outcomes for children. The CSW provides good leadership to sustain improvement and growth. Centre members appreciate that the CSW is available to answer their questions and share information that adds to their collective knowledge.

The Association continues to provide a sound management framework to assist members in managing their centres. Centre members' leadership and increased participation in adult education courses help to sustain the Association and centre viability. The governance board works collaboratively to share information with centre members as they respond to changes, including the national restructure.

Key Next Steps

Next steps for centre members are to continue to:

  • focus portfolio assessment records on each child's individual learning journey
  • build capability through Playcentre courses and internal evaluation that guides ongoing improvement and strategic management.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

6 October 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 


Onerahi, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      7
Girls       6

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent led

Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

6 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

May 2010

Education Review

May 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.