Ranfurly Playcentre - 13/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Ranfurly Playcentre

How well placed is Ranfurly 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.


Ranfurly Playcentre is one of 47 playcentres within the New Zealand Playcentre Federation's newly-formed South Island Southern Region (SISR). This review was part of a cluster of nine reviews in the SISR Playcentres. The playcentre is located in Ranfurly. It has been serving the Maniototo community for over 50 years. It is open one morning a week. Up to 25 children from birth-to-school age attend with their parents. There are 28 children enrolled, five of whom identify as Māori. Attendance numbers fluctuate due to the seasonal demands of farming and long distances some parents travel to attend.

The weekly session is led by a voluntary educator with early childhood qualifications and parents who have a range of playcentre qualifications. Many of the parents are continuing to increase their levels of training. The playcentre aims to be fully parent-led by the second half of 2018.

In 2017, the playcentre was supported by a centre advisor with occasional visits and frequent communications from the Playcentre association. In 2018, as a result of the Playcentre Federation restructuring of the association, the playcentre now has regular allocated times for visits and receives ongoing support from a centre support worker (CSW) and a paid administrator.

A recommendation of the November 2014 ERO report was for the parents to support the ongoing sustainability of the playcentre, by ensuring that all parents share the workload and delegations to avoid overload. ERO found that this still needs to be a major focus for sustainability.

The Review Findings

Ranfurly Playcentre provides a welcoming environment for children and their families. The well-resourced facility provides interesting resources and activities to stimulate and engage infants, toddlers and young children. The area for infants is particularly safe and inviting. Infants benefit from the close attention of their parents and opportunities to socialise with other very young children.

The parents have created a positive culture that welcomes any child and their parent regardless of how often they attend. Children show a sense of belonging and confidence in their play. They choose their activities and are well supported by their own and other parents who work closely with them, extending their ideas and joining in their play.

Māori perspectives are visible in the resources and environment. The playcentre receives ongoing guidance for developing its bicultural curriculum from a rural community education coordinator. Māori children attend with their whānau and are well supported in the playcentre setting to know that their language, culture and identity are valued.

The parents are clear about the important curriculum priorities for the playcentre. These include for their children to relate well to others, develop skills, and be confident and happy. The next step is to link priorities to planning and Te Whāriki, and to later evaluate how well they have supported children to achieve these priorities.

The educator and parents have established a useful foundation for group and individual planning. The next steps are to:

  • help parents know what they can do to support each child's individual goals, with suggested ideas for experiences or ways they can help
  • evaluate the group and individual plans to know how well children have been supported in their learning.

Internal evaluation practices are appropriate for this service. The parents have focused on making improvements that are likely to enhance outcomes for children. As a group they are improvement focused. A small number of parents undertake most of the workload. It is important that all parents actively participate to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the playcentre.

At the time of this review the Otago Playcentre Association (OPA) was implementing the New Zealand Playcentre Federation new operating model, and was amalgamating with Southland and South Canterbury Playcentre Associations to become the South Island Southern Region. While the changes resulted in some disruption to the services provided to individual playcentres in 2017, the OPA are effectively managing the restructure with the resources available to them. Each playcentre now receives regular support from a paid administrator and a centre support worker. There are robust systems in the association for monitoring the progress and performance of individual playcentres and targeted support given when needed.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for parents with the support of the CSW are to:

  • continue to extend planning, assessment and evaluation practices
  • ensure that the valued outcomes and priorities for learning are clearly recorded and evaluated over time so they can be assured that all children are well supported in their learning
  • encourage all parents to support the ongoing sustainability of the playcentre, and collectively share the workload and delegations to avoid overload.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

13 June 2018

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

Girls: 16 Boys: 12

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

13 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

May 2011

Education Review

March 2008

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.