Shannon & Districts Playcentre - 26/07/2016

1 Evaluation of Shannon & Districts Playcentre

How well placed is Shannon & Districts 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.


Shannon & Districts Playcentre is one of 19 administered by the Central Districts Playcentre Association (the association). This review is one of seven undertaken by ERO in the association’s playcentres during Term 2, 2016.

The centre is open for three mornings per week and caters for children from birth to six years of age. Responsibility for day-to-day operations is undertaken by centre-elected office holders. Professional advice and feedback to strengthen members’ practice is provided by a liaison officer employed by the association.

The playcentre is licensed for up to 25 children. This includes 15 children up to the age of two years. There are sixteen children enrolled, including six Māori children. The centre philosophy gives priority to child-led play and learning. Parents as first teachers are valued. Adults participate in training programmes that build their capability to guide teaching and learning.

Playcentres' philosophy statement, 'whānau tupu ngātahi – ‘families growing together’, reflects the value this organisation places on families and whānau working collectively to support children’s learning.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation is currently reviewing the organisational structure of Playcentre across New Zealand. The outcomes of this review may result in changes to operation at centre level.

An internal restructure of the association leadership has created new team roles and responsibilities at executive level. There have also been changes in the service provider contact, a recently-elected president, and new executive team members. Information sharing systems now include digital media to enhance ease of communication and foster increased support between playcentre teams.

The Review Findings

Children successfully lead their own learning in the play-based programme and actively participate in the centre's routines. High adult-child ratios enable interactions that are warm, responsive to children's interests and encourage their engagement. Literacy and numeracy are effectively included. Children and their whānau have a strong sense of belonging and the centre's philosophy of learning and growing together is clearly visible in action.

The inviting learning environment promotes independence and caters effectively for all ages. Children with diverse needs are well supported and there is relevant involvement of specialist agencies to assist whānau and the centre.

A fluent speaker of Māori is a strong role model for adults and children. Te reo Māori is highly evident at routine times. Whānau Māori are active in the leadership of the centre and members have identified that their next steps are to continue to:

  • integrate te reo me ngā tikanga Māori throughout the curriculum

  • build relationships with the local marae

  • increase parents' bicultural knowledge and practice.

The daily session template provides useful prompts to guide the documentation of planning and evaluation. Activities offered are based on children's current interests. Adults should more clearly document the significant learning that is happening, and evaluate how effectively they add complexity and challenge to extend children's learning.

Regular portfolio entries document children's participation in the programme. These include relevant information about their engagement with creative arts, mathematics, literacy and science experiences. Some progression of children's learning is recognised. A next step is to more consistently show their learning journey over time.

A recent audit by the liaison officer identified that urgent action was needed to review the centre's policies and procedures. A schedule has been developed and centre leaders have since begun the process. As the association develops new policies in line with recent legislation there is a need to communicate why these are relevant and how they are to be incorporated into practice at centre level.

Systems for internal evaluation are in the early stages of development. Members are aware of the need to develop their understanding and implementation of effective self review. A key next step is for the association to provide ongoing guidance and support to develop the internal evaluation capability of members.

Key Next Steps

At centre level, the priorities are:

  • ongoing improvement of assessment, planning and evaluation

  • to further develop understanding and implementation of internal evaluation

  • to regularly review policies and procedures.

The association should further develop:

  • systems to consistently respond to centre needs

  • understanding and implementation of internal evaluation

  • consistent and systematic appraisal for all employees

  • members' understanding of assessment, planning, evaluation.


ERO recommends that the association actively participate in and monitor the quality of support provided throughout the Playcentre restructure to ensure implementation of requirements that promote sustainability.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Shannon & Districts 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 Shannon & Districts Playcentre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

26 July 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

25 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

10 Girls, 6 Boys

Ethnic composition





Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

26 July 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

May 2010

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.