Takapau Playcentre - 10/11/2016

1 Evaluation of Takapau Playcentre

How well placed is Takapau 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.


Takapau Playcentre operates under the umbrella of the Central Hawkes Bay Playcentre Association (the association). It is located in the rural community of Takapau. The centre is open one morning per week for a maximum of 30 children, including 10 children aged up to two years.

The centre is managed as a parent cooperative with the support of experienced personnel from the association.

The previous September 2014 ERO report identified the need for the association to provide leadership for members to further develop assessment, planning and evaluation, the bicultural curriculum, support for educational success for Māori children, and self review. It also identified areas of non-compliance with the Ministry of Education Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Services 2008. These have been addressed.

Members have received targeted support through a Ministry of Education funded programme, Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO). As a result, the service developed an action plan that has resulted in improved centre practices and outcomes for children.

In addition, systems have been strengthened at association level which have contributed to improvements becoming embedded at the playcentre.

The Review Findings

The Playcentre philosophy is highly evident in practice. Children are supported within a child-led programme where there is a focus on developing their self-management and independence. They are seen as competent and capable learners.

The environment is well resourced. The calm, welcoming, nurturing and inclusive tone fosters children's curiosity, exploration and imagination. Adults support infants and toddlers to explore, make choices and master their own physical development. Respectful relationships between children and adults promote conversations and engagement in learning.

The programme is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. It is responsive to children’s strengths and interests, and parents' aspirations.

Extensive professional learning and development has contributed to greater understanding of assessment, planning and evaluation and agreed guidelines to support members to more effectively document children's learning. Continuing to strengthen this approach is a next step.

Profile books attractively document and celebrate children’s learning, development, engagement in activities, and aspects of life outside playcentre.

As a result of a planned review, there have been some deliberate actions taken to strengthen the bicultural curriculum. These include the use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, acknowledgement of children's cultures, languages and identities and strengthening relationships with the local kura and kohanga reo. Parents recognise the importance of continuing to build these practices and strategies to support Māori children and their whānau.

Children's transitions to school have been strengthened through members building relationships with the local school.

Targeted training has strengthened members' knowledge and understanding of self review. They are now ready to shift from focusing on reviewing what they are doing to evaluating how effectively the programme and their practices strengthen outcomes for children.

There are effective processes at association level that ensure police vetting and appraisal meet current licensing requirements. Improving the appraisal process to include observations of practice that support professional growth and development is a next step.

The association's governance role and responsibilities have been reviewed. The appointment of a liaison officer is providing valuable additional support to individual playcentres.

Key Next Steps

The association and playcentre leaders agree the next steps for improvement are to continue to:

  • further strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation

  • improve the appraisal process

  • build internal evaluation capacity and capability.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

10 November 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 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 7, Girls 6

Ethnic composition



Other ethnic groups




Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

10 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2014

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.