Parklands Playcentre - 29/08/2019

1 Evaluation of Parklands Playcentre

How well placed is Parklands Playcentre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Parklands Playcentre operates as a parent cooperative under the governance and management of the Playcentre Federation, Upper South Island Region. This centre is licensed for up to 25 children, including 10 children under two. The centre is open four mornings a week and offers a separate session one morning a week for infants and their parents called 'Babies can play'.

The playcentre employs two coordinators. Parents are rostered to help at each session. The Upper South Island Region employs a centre support person and an administrator who regularly visits the playcentre to support the parents and coordinator.

The centre's philosophy places a strong emphasis on providing a nurturing and supportive environment where adults and children play and learn together. Bicultural practices and cultural diversity of families is valued. The centre places importance on children being able to play, being creative and following their own interests to foster their learning and wellbeing.

The parent cooperative has made good progress to meet the recommendations in the 2014 ERO report. Assessment and planning, internal evaluation, and strategic planning have improved and become more useful. There are clear links between the philosophy, strategic plan, internal evaluation and the parent education programme.

This review was part of a cluster of eight playcentre reviews in the Playcentre Federation, Upper South Island Region.

The Review Findings

Children are confident, competent and happy. They are well supported in their learning by caring adults who know each child well as a learner.

Children are inclusive, considerate and social. Adults are welcoming and show genuine interest in all children. They effectively use their collective knowledge of children to ensure all children are well supported and nurtured.

Children under two-years old are particularly well supported by all adults and children. Toddlers are actively encouraged to select and try activities under the close supervision of responsive and caring adults.

Te reo and tikanga Māori are becoming well integrated into the programme and all aspects of centre operations. Carefully planned and implemented approaches ensure all adults are involved and cultural knowledge and understandings are built on regularly. Children and parents are proud of New Zealand's bicultural heritage and share responsibility for continuing to improve its inclusion in the centre.

Assessment, planning and evaluation are well understood and used by the adults. Systems are simple and clear. Processes are in place to help new parents participate and learn from more experienced adults. Children's learning and the ways adults extend learning are clearly documented and show progress over time. The adults are in the early stages of collecting and using parent aspirations for their children's learning. Children's home cultures are not yet clearly visible in assessment, planning and evaluation.

The philosophy clearly states the vision, the shared values and beliefs of the parent cooperative for children's learning and wellbeing. Achievement of this vision is closely linked to strategic goals, internal evaluation and parent participation in the education programme. It is clearly evident in the programme that the coordinators, parents and caregivers work effectively together to achieve the shared outcomes for children's learning and wellbeing.

Coordinators and parents have made effective use of the Playcentre Federation's internal evaluation processes and parent education programme to implement an internal evaluation process. This process is well understood and implemented by the adults. An internal evaluation has been successfully completed on how effectively the adults respond and support play. As a result, assessment and planning have improved and parents are more engaged in extending children's learning. This review is the first to be completed using this internal evaluation process. Adults now need to embed the process of internal evaluation into all aspects of centre operations.

Strategic planning goals are clearly based on what needs to happen to achieve the centre's philosophy and vision. Progress to achieve strategic goals is regularly discussed and documented. The next step is to identify the outcomes for children's learning and wellbeing, particularly in relation to achieving the philosophy vision, values and beliefs.

Key Next Steps

The Upper South Island Region, the playcentre and ERO agree that the key next steps for the parent cooperative to continue to improve outcomes for children include:

  • strengthening assessment, planning and evaluation by including parent aspirations for their children and home cultures

  • embedding internal evaluation processes

  • extending the strategic plan to include outcomes for children resulting from achieving the plan goals.

Upper South Island Regional Governance

There continues to be significant change occurring with the playcentre's governance and management at regional and federation levels.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Parklands 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

29 August 2019

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

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 13, Girls 11

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

29 August 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

July 2014

Education Review

January 2011

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.