Peria Playcentre - 16/11/2017

1 Evaluation of Peria Playcentre

How well placed is Peria 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.


Peria Playcentre is situated in the grounds of Peria School and serves the surrounding rural community. It offers two sessions each week for up to 23 children, including a maximum of eight under two years of age. Children generally stay at the centre until they transition to school. Half of the families home-school their older children.

Centre members work collaboratively to manage centre operations and provide learning programmes for children. An adult education programme and regular workshops enable whānau to achieve Playcentre qualifications and support them in their parenting and educator roles.

The centre is one of five in the Far North Playcentre Association. The Association provides a management and policy framework, and centre support personnel. Playcentre Aotearoa is in the process of a national restructure. The Far North Association is now part of Playcentre's northern region and a new regional manager has been appointed. Some support personnel will be based at a Whangarei office.

In addition to their commitment to the Playcentre philosophy of parents and children learning together, centre members have a focus on environmental sustainability and the local community.

ERO's 2013 report noted children's confidence and independence and their sense of wellbeing and belonging at the centre. Good practices included adult interactions that supported children's learning. Shared leadership and good management systems were also recognised. Key next steps included continuity of learning between sessions, strategic planning and the involvement of all parents/whānau in supporting children's learning. There has been some progress in these areas and centre members continue to make improvements in the learning environment.

This review was part of a cluster of three reviews in the Far North Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

The Playcentre philosophy is evident in practice. Relationships between parents/whānau and children are responsive and respectful. Children settle well with familiar adults, and are confident and creative in the centre environment. They initiate conversations with adults and each other, and lead imaginative play ideas.

Adults respond to children's interests and support their language development. They weave literacy, music, mathematics and science concepts into conversations and play experiences. Bicultural practices are also integrated in programmes and centre management practices. A strong partnership with the school supports smooth, flexible transitions to the local school.

Individual children's portfolios provide a record of their involvement in the programme. The daily diary records activities provided, children's participation, and possible next steps and opportunities for further learning experiences. It would also be valuable to record parents'/whānau reflective discussions about how well they have responded to and supported each child's interests and learning.

The environment offers challenges, and natural resources are well used to support play. Children make independent choices as they play and use resources flexibly, seeking adult support as needed. A review process has helped parents/whānau to improve some well defined areas of play. A small, separate area is available for infants when needed.

Centre members have a shared understanding about emergent and collective leadership and they support new members. Collaborative, sustainable management practices are well established. Parents/whānau have a shared understanding about the purpose of internal evaluation. The strategic plan provides a guide for current and future centre members. An annual plan is used well to review progress towards goals. The Association support worker helps parents/whānau with their Playcentre training and programme improvements.

The Association currently has effective governance and management practices. A voluntary executive committee takes responsibility for specific management and centre support tasks. Good systems help them to monitor the quality of programmes, adult education levels, and health and safety requirements. The management team provides professional leadership to help centres respond to changes, particularly as they transition to the new national and regional structures.

Key Next Steps

Centre members agree that next steps to enhance provision for children include:

  • strengthening strategic planning so long-term goals and strategies are clear and easily monitored

  • continuing to strengthen assessment, programme planning and evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

16 November 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

23 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 9 Girls 4

Ethnic composition

Pākehā other

10 3

Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent led

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

16 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

October 2009

Education Review

November 2006

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.