Riselaw Road Playcentre - 31/10/2018

1 Evaluation of Riselaw Road Playcentre

How well placed is Riselaw Road 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.


Riselaw Road Playcentre is one of 47 playcentres within the New Zealand Playcentre Federation's South Island Southern Region (SISR). The centre operates two days a week and is licensed for up to 25 children, including 10 under two year olds. Children from birth-to-school age attend the centre with their parents. The centre currently has a roll of 10.

The centre is located next to a former school that is being re-purposed. The educator and parents know their community well and have established and maintained connections with this community throughout a number of changes, such as in location and personnel.

Riselaw Road Playcentre's philosophy is informed by three principles: whānau tangata (community), āko (learning) and mana aotūroa (experiences). The centre acknowledges families' culture, beliefs and backgrounds as well as providing support for families. The centre's philosophy is that parents are the 'first, best and most enduring teachers'. Learning is reciprocal and is to be enjoyed through a 'rich learning environment' and opportunities outside the home.

The playcentre has employed an educator who is a qualified early childhood teacher. The day-to-day planning and operation of the centre is carried out by parents. The centre has regular visits and receives ongoing support from a Centre Support Worker (CSW) and a paid administrator.

This review was part of a cluster of two playcentre reviews within the SISR.

The Review Findings

Parents at Riselaw Road Playcentre have developed a philosophy which states that the centre will:

  • be a supportive community for parents and children
  • be a place of learning
  • provide a rich learning environment.

Children experience positive, supportive, respectful relationships with the adults at the centre. They are developing friendships with their peers and work and play alongside and with them during the sessions. Children are settled and appear to be familiar with each other and the environment. They have a strong sense of belonging at the centre.

Parents ERO spoke with said they appreciate the social and learning connection provided by the centre. They described the parent community as supportive and caring and like a family. All families who have children enrolled at the centre are undertaking training in child development, through a playcentre philosophy and lens. The trained educator is one of the professional development providers. She supports parents as they work through the levels of qualification. Almost all of the parents are engaged in this qualification.

The playcentre is well resourced and provides children with a range of play and learning opportunities inside and out. The programme is child-led and responsive to the wishes of parents for their child's development and learning. Each session is planned for according to the needs of the particular children attending that day. At the end of each session, parents and the educator meet to evaluate what went well, what children were interested in and what might be planned for the next session to further children's interest and learning. The records of learning are informative and generally show what adults are doing to extend children's learning. Some good examples of this could be used to grow the competence of others in planning and assessing their child's learning.

The playcentre has useful guidelines to support adults in evaluating the effectiveness of aspects of the centre. A plan shows that over time most important aspects of the centre will be evaluated. Because there is a regular turnover of parents (as their children arrive at the centre then leave for school) the evaluation process is always in development.

Riselaw Road Playcentre's strategic plan clearly identifies centre priorities, including providing a responsive and challenging curriculum, holistic learning, and parents becoming educators in bicultural practice. It is important that parents monitor their progress over time against the plan, and become more evaluative to determine what is working well and the direction they want to continue moving towards. The parents work well as a collective and there are good systems for ensuring the smooth operation of the playcentre.

The Otago Playcentre Association (OPA) has recently implemented the New Zealand Playcentre Federation's new operating model and is effectively managing the restructure. This has meant that RRP is now receiving regular support from a centre support worker and a paid administrator. There are robust systems in the association for monitoring the progress and performance of individual playcentres and targeted support is given where needed.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for the parents, with the support of the centre support worker, are to:

  • strengthen their self-review practice to include ongoing monitoring and evaluation of strategic goals over time
  • continue to grow their planning and assessment practices by sharing existing good practice
  • continue to develop a shared understanding and implementation of Te Whāriki into all aspects of the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

31 October 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

Boys: 1

Girls: 9

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

August 2018

Date of this report

31 October 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

July 2009

Education Review

February 2005

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.