Parua Bay Playcentre - 20/11/2013

1 Evaluation of Parua Bay Playcentre

How well placed is Parua Bay 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.


Parua Bay Playcentre is part of the Northland Playcentre Association. The playcentre operates as a parent cooperative, in which parents and whānau take responsibility for their children’s education and for centre operations. Northland Playcentre Association personnel provide support and organisational frameworks for adult education programmes and centre management.

The playcentre is open three days a week, providing open sessions for children up to six years of age. Since ERO’s 2010 review, a lot of new members have become involved with the playcentre. Many have completed Course 1 training and some continue to upgrade their training levels.

This review was part of a cluster approach to reviews of eight playcentres within the Northland Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children demonstrate a sense of wellbeing and belonging. They are very well-supported by members to make choices for themselves and to play independently. Infants move confidently away from trusted adults to explore their environment. Review of the programme for infants has resulted in a place space that is stimulating and responsive to the requirements of these younger children.

Toddlers and older children benefit from a programme that is responsive to their interests. They enjoy mixed-age play opportunities. Adult-planned activities are skilfully integrated into the session to promote children’s interest and participation. Literacy is promoted in a variety of meaningful ways. Adults regularly read to children, including babies, and encourage their enjoyment of books.

The spacious and well-resourced environment provides children with many creative and imaginative experiences. They enjoy regular access to an attractive outdoor area. Members could consider how to more effectively use the building as a resource for learning, by displaying photographs and samples of children’s work.

Members are developing ways to write about children’s experiences at the playcentre. Individual portfolios are attractive records of children’s involvement in the programme. Some experienced members clearly identify the learning that is happening in play situations.

Collaborative management of the centre is evident. A new group of enthusiastic members is working to re-establish a strong membership base. The group plans to guide future direction of the centre by utilising self-review and long-term planning templates provided by the playcentre association.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre members agree that key next steps include:

  • planning programmes to extend learning and to identify children’s progress over time
  • documenting self-review that focuses on improved outcomes for children
  • evaluating progress against annual and long-term goals to support ongoing improvement
  • continuing to encourage members’ involvement in training.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

20 November 2013

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


Parua Bay

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

Girls 14, Boys 13

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā







Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2013

Date of this report

20 November 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

March 2010


Education Review

February 2007


Education Review

March 2004

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.