Paeroa Playcentre - 19/03/2020

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

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

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


Paeroa Playcentre is licensed to provide mixed-age sessional education and care for 30 children two days a week. This includes 14 children up to the age of two years. At the time of this ERO review, there are 13 children enrolled, including half from range of ethnicities.

The Playcentre Aotearoa philosophy, ‘whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together’, is to empower parents and children to learn, play and grow together. Alongside this the centre philosophy is to welcome each family into the Playcentre to learn, play and build lasting friendships.

Since the October 2016 ERO report, the New Zealand Playcentre Federation has restructured by amalgamating all associations to form Playcentre Aotearoa. Paeroa Playcentre is part of the Central North Island Region and is supported by a regional manager and support persons.

Whānau and families share responsibility for the curriculum. Day-to-day operation is undertaken by session support personnel and centre-elected office holders. A centre support worker and centre administrator regularly visit playcentres to provide professional support, strengthen practice and promote improvement.

This review was part of a cluster of eight reviews in the Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island Region.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from reciprocal and trusting relationships with familiar adults. There are opportunities for tuakana teina learning in the mixed-age setting, where older and younger children learn from one another. Adults support children's oral language development in learning conversations. Centre families are welcoming and inclusive. Leaders are developing relationships with local schools, and information available supports families to transition their children to school. Children have easy access to resources, encouraging exploration. Literacy, science, mathematics, creativity and learning about the natural world and sustainability are interwoven in daily experiences. Children are encouraged to be confident and independent learners.

The rich curriculum is driven by the knowledge and interests that the children and families bring with them. Trips into the local community and visitors to the centre enrich the programme. Māori and Pacific children are supported to achieve success as their parents and whānau bring their language, culture and identity with them into the centre. The bicultural curriculum has been supported by professional development, including visits and resources provided by the local iwi. A recently upgraded space for infants and toddlers is comfortable and suitably resourced, providing heuristic, natural and sensory play. Children develop a strong sense of belonging.

Children's learning is well represented in individual portfolios and wall displays. Children's emergent interests during the session are responded to. Portfolios reflect home life and the knowledge and skills children bring with them. Planning and evaluation of learning requires strengthening to result in a more intentional approach to teaching and learning. This would be further supported by adults gaining more knowledge of the learning outcomes of the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whāriki.

A shared leadership approach, including joint decision making, promotes positive learning outcomes for children. Leaders have focussed on the centre's sustainability, maintaining operations with a fluctuating number of parents. Internal evaluation has been strengthened and the new process adopted should now be embedded, with a focus on outcomes for learners. Further alignment between the annual and strategic plans should support members to monitor their progress against their goals. Leaders should continue to work with the centre support worker to embed new systems and processes, including self review and the annual plan.

The revised parent education programme is becoming more accessible to centre members. At this centre members are engaged in adult education and are involved with a local cluster of playcentres, sharing ideas and knowledge. Appraisal processes for session support staff have recently been strengthened to better evaluate performance in relation to specific roles and responsibilities, identify professional learning and development needs and focus on achievement of goals.

The national restructuring process continues to require significant attention and support to implement an extensive range of systems and processes. Regular communication from Playcentre Aotearoa seeks to keep parents informed of progress, changes and upcoming requirements. National policies and procedures have recently been introduced and parents are in the process of aligning practices to these. Ongoing support is required to enable parents to understand and implement these procedures to meet licensing requirements.

Key Next Steps

The key steps for Paeroa Playcentre leaders and members are to strengthen:

  • knowledge and use of the learning outcomes of Te Whāriki and the intentional planning and evaluation of children's learning

  • the alignment of the centre annual plan to the strategic goals

  • internal evaluation, with a focus on learning outcomes for children.

Playcentre Aotearoa should continue to build knowledge and understanding of policies and procedures to ensure licensing requirements are upheld.

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.

Actions for compliance

Since the on-site phase of the review, members have provided ERO with evidence of action taken in relation to:

  • the outdoor playground soft-fall surface addressed to meet licensing requirements, poisonous plants were removed and hazardous materials in the shed are no longer accessible for children (HS12)

  • items that could topple or fall and cause injury were secured or removed (HS6).

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

19 March 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


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

Male 11 Female 2

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

19 March 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2016

Education Review

April 2013

Education Review

June 2010

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.