Paeroa Playcentre - 13/10/2016

1 Evaluation of Paeroa Playcentre

How well placed is Paeroa 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.


Paeroa Playcentre is located in the rural township of Paeroa. It is licensed to provide two sessions a week for 30 children including up to 14 children under the age of two years. At the time of this ERO review there were 23 children enrolled, including seven identified as Māori. The centre's philosophy of child-initiated play is evident in practice. Parents, caregivers and whānau take responsibility for all aspects of centre operation and play an active part in promoting the holistic wellbeing and development of their children. Diverse cultures are well supported and the language and identity of each child is acknowledged and respected.

Paeroa Playcentre is affiliated to the New Zealand Playcentre Federation and is one of 13 centres governed by the umbrella organisation known as Thames Valley/Coromandel Playcentre Association (TVCPA). The centres in this association cover a wide geographical area which presents challenges for both the governance/management body and individual centres.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation and TVCPA continue to provide good quality governance and management. The association provides comprehensive policies and guidelines, and employs a liaison officer who effectively assists families to operate the service in the best interests of children and their parents and whānau.

Since the previous Education Review in 2013 the TVCPA has under gone a complete restructuring. It has employed key personnel to undertake the day-to-day management of the association and centres. This change has allowed the governance board to plan more strategically, effectively manage their finances, property, personnel and health and safety requirements.

Paeroa Playcentre has a positive reporting history with ERO and has responded well to areas for development identified in the 2013 report.

This review was part of a cluster of four playcentre reviews in the Thames/Valley Coromandel Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children, parents and whānau benefit from a welcoming, inclusive and family-like culture at the playcentre. This fosters a strong sense of belonging, and encourages parents and whānau to take an active role in their children's learning. New centre leaders are building relationships that are respectful, and which reflect the shared parent leadership model promoted through the playcentre movement.

Children choose freely from a wide range of activities in the indoor and outdoor learning areas. Children are developing as competent, confident learners. They follow their own interests, and are supported by caring adults to explore and investigate.

The programme is responsive to children's interests and integrates early skills and concepts in literacy. Children actively participate in storytelling, and are encouraged to express their ideas through creative and imaginative play. Areas of play such as carpentry, construction, baking activities and the extensive range of puzzles facilitates this learning. Children learn through play in meaningful contexts that reflects their home and rural community life.

The outdoor environment is spacious, attractive, well planned and inviting for children. It offers many opportunities to appreciate and explore the natural and physical world. Parents set up equipment to meet children's interests, provoke curiosity and provide physical challenges for all age groups. Children cooperate to redesign the environment to sustain their interests and further their play and learning.

Babies and toddlers are included in all aspects of the programme. They benefit from warm, caring relationships with all adults. Mothers' wellbeing is supported as they nurture and care for their babies, and as they enjoy the company of other parents and whānau. Babies and toddlers have easy access to an environment that is well resourced and encourages exploration, movement and intellectual stimulation through seeing, touching and hearing new things. This inclusive programme enables babies to develop their social and communication skills.

All adults are engaged in playcentre education programmes that empower them to be well-informed, first educators of their children. The high ratio of adults to children ensures quality learning conversations with adults who listen and extend children's vocabulary, and use open-ended questions to further develop children's oral language and communication skills.

New centre leaders have created a culture where children are first and foremost valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning. Emergent leadership is fostered and new members are well supported to take on roles and responsibilities. The parent support network is an integral part of the playcentre culture. The liaison officer provides inspiration and motivation. This approach is contributing to professional leadership about teaching and learning. There are opportunities to share good practice from other centres and support for members undertaking new roles and responsibilities.

Key Next Steps

Centre members need to continue to review and develop the planning and evaluation process, and build on the good examples in the centre that show how parents are extending their children's learning by adding complexity to their ideas and interests over time.

Parents need to strategically plan to build their knowledge and confidence to increase the level of te reo and tikanga Māori practices into the programme. This should enhance outcomes for Māori children and their whānau, and support other children to develop an appreciation, understanding and empathy for the bicultural heritage of New Zealand.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

13 October 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


Paeroa, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 14 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 16 Girls 7

Ethnic composition







Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

13 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 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.