Pleasant Point Playcentre - 21/10/2014

Evaluation of Pleasant Point Playcentre

How well placed is Pleasant Point 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.


Pleasant Point Playcentre is a parent-operated playcentre in the rural town of Pleasant Point. It is one of two early childhood centres in the town. Children play together in a mixed-age setting. The roll is stable. What happens for children is in line with the beliefs about children’s learning held by the NZ Playcentre Association.

Parents stay and play with their children. An educator leads the learning each morning. The playcentre is open five mornings a week. Most parents have had some formal playcentre training. The centre has a strong sense of community and is developing closer links with its two local primary schools.

Since the last ERO review in 2011, some issues have been addressed. The aspects of health and safety have been improved. There has not been significant progress in developing a bicultural curriculum for children.

This review was part of a cluster of two playcentre reviews in the South Canterbury Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a very well resourced and organised indoor and outdoor environment. They happily play in these inviting spaces. The range of resources children have access to is extensive and well maintained. Children under two years are well provided for. They play well alongside older children.

Children and adults show a strong sense of belonging to their playcentre. Adults support one another well. ERO observed very positive and respectful interactions between all of the adults and children. Adults were attentive and caring towards the children.

Children settled quickly and showed high levels of involvement in their play, some for sustained periods. They have a wide range of interesting experiences within and beyond the playcentre. Excursions into the local environment are linked to areas of focus within the playcentre programme.

Educators promote children’s learning well. They extend children’s learning and provide high quality modelling for parents. The educator ERO observed showed great skill in building children’s learning and independence. All of her conversations with children had a building learning focus. Children’s literacy and mathematics development was fostered through exploration. Children’s activities were deliberately set up to build on their previous learning.

The playcentre has effective overall systems for managing its operations.

Key Next Steps

The playcentre educators and parents should be better supported by the South Canterbury Playcentre Association to:

  • develop and monitor a strategic plan which reflects the play centre’s identified priorities

  • improve the playcentre parents’ understanding and implementation of self review as a means of making improvements

  • strengthen the playcentre’s bicultural programme.

ERO found very little documented evidence of planning for individual children’s learning. The educators and parents need to find ways to effectively plan next steps for individual children’s learning. Through evaluation, they should show the progress children have made over time.


The South Canterbury Association provides sufficient support to enable the centre to satisfactorily address the above key next steps.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pleasant Point 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.

ERO identified areas of non-compliance.

During the review ERO noted that there were items placed unsecured on high shelves. Some floor matting provided a tripping hazard. Some excursion risk-analysis documents were incomplete and required a more thorough analysis.

To meet the licensing criteria the service provider must ensure that:

  • furniture or equipment that could topple and cause injury or damage is securedLicensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS6.

  • whenever children leave the premises on an outing or excursion an appropriate management of the risk is undertaken Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS17.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Pleasant Point Playcentre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

21 October 2014

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


Pleasant Point, South Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 22 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys: 15

Girls: 11

Ethnic composition

Māori NZ European/Pākehā

2 24

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

Parent Led Service. Educator with Playcentre Qualifications

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:1 (parents attend with children)

Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

21 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2011


Education Review

September 2007


Education Review

November 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.