Rahotu Playcentre - 07/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Rahotu Playcentre

How well placed is Rahotu 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.


Rahotu Playcentre is located in the rural boundary of Taranaki and operates as a community based service. The playcentre is situated at the local school and organises mixed age-group sessions for two mornings a week.

The centre caters for up to 30 children from birth to six years of age. There are 18 children enrolled, three of whom are Maori. The centre philosophy upholds holistic learning for children, wellbeing, play, and the importance of parents as children's first teachers.

The January 2014 ERO report, identified a number of areas where management was not compliant with regulatory requirements. Areas for improvement included: effective governance and management, professional leadership, self review, assessment, planning and evaluation, literacy and the integration of te ao Māori.

Since the previous ERO report, the Taranaki Playcentre Association has responded well to addressing the findings. Governance has been deliberate and strategic in decisions and actions to improve learning outcomes for children. Professional development was accessed to address and improve the areas identified. Internal evaluation, aspects of teaching and learning, interactions with children and reflection of te ao Māori have progressed. Areas of noncompliance have been rectified. An appointed centre liaison support person is guiding leaders and centre parents to extend and improve provisions. Centre leaders value this support for members.

Playcentre principles and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, underpin the centre curriculum and philosophy. Parents are committed to gaining Playcentre qualifications.

Rahotu Playcentre is part of an internal evaluation project focused on 'Strengthening Taranaki Playcentres'. This review, led by the Taranaki Playcentre Association, is aimed at building parent, family and community participation.

The Review Findings

Children at the centre enthusiastically engage in a curriculum that reflects playcentre philosophy and has links to Te Whāriki. A strong sense of belonging and connectedness with families and other children is evident. Learning experiences foster independence, self challenge, perseverance and self expression. Children are valued, celebrated and affirmed.

Children have opportunities to lead their own learning. Their interests and engagement inform the programme. They are viewed as confident, capable communicators.

The curriculum is informed by knowledge and understandings of te ao Māori. Literacy, mathematics and science development is woven through the programme. There is good support for social and language learning. Children are comfortable to discuss and share their ideas. Adults foster children's social emotional competence. There is an emphasis on nutrition and children are encouraged to make healthy food choices. Physical activity is promoted by outdoor spaces that actively engage children and support them to take risks in their learning.

Infants and toddlers are actively engaged in play. Confidence to explore is fostered through nurturing and caring relationships. The primary school has an interactive relationship with the Playcentre, with children participating in a range of social and cultural events. A considered transition process is in place.

Curriculum inclusion of te ao Māori has progressed and te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are integral to children's learning experiences. Māori children's culture, language and identity is validated and affirmed. Yearly visits to the local marae are established. A knowledgeable office holder leads developments in the bicultural programme. This progress has been supported by the Puriri W’akamaru o Taranaki role that was established by the association.

Taranaki Playcentre Association has focused on strengthening effective teaching and learning outcomes for children. This has supported adults' collaboration in assessing and planning for children's learning. The centre's planning wall enables adults to reflect and analyse emerging interests and participate in in-depth discussion. These practices inform planning. Portfolio learning stories are valued records of individuals’ participation and learning.

Parents are encouraged to undertake course training, to enable them to more consistently meet the supervision requirements. A shared understanding of playcentre expectations and responsibilities is developing. Rahotu Playcentre and the association have aligned goals and annual plans that inform operational decisions. Leaders have appropriately identified that adults should continue to commit to this training as a key priority.

Playcentre internal evaluation, to review the effectiveness of aspects of the programme, has been further developed. Review is a planned, responsive process based on evidence. Internal evaluation continues to be an area for further development to ensure enhanced quality and ongoing strengthened outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Leaders agree that the following key next steps for Rahotu Playcentre are to:

  • further develop assessment, planning and evaluation of individual children's learning

  • continue to develop internal evaluation practice. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

7 June 2016

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

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 11, Boys 7

Ethnic composition



Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

7 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

January 2014

Education Review

October 2010

Education Review

January 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.