Takapuna Playcentre - 17/11/2017

1 Evaluation of Takapuna Playcentre

How well placed is Takapuna 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.


Takapuna Playcentre is a family cooperative. It is licensed for 30 children, including up to 15 under two years of age. The centre offers five mixed-age sessions each week in a building with large well maintained grounds adjacent to an urban council reserve.

Centre practices are based on Playcentre's philosophy of families learning together. The philosophy affirms parents as valued and best educators of their children. Sessions are guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. There is an expectation that te reo Māori will be used during the session.

The centre is one of 21 in the North Shore Playcentre Association. The Association provides a management and policy framework, and centre support personnel. Playcentre Aotearoa is in the process of a national restructure and the North Shore Association is now part of Playcentre's northern region. A new regional manager has been appointed, and support personnel roles and expectations are currently being confirmed.

Since the 2014 ERO report centre members have reviewed their documentation of children’s learning, and have implemented new planning and evaluation processes. They have improved learning environments and improved children's access to resources. Most centre members are currently enrolled in Playcentre training courses.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the North Shore Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children are confident, independent learners. They have a strong sense of belonging and ownership in the centre. Their creativity, imagination and curiosity are nurtured with sensitive adult support. Children show kindness and respect for others, are eager to learn and have fun. Their communication skills are well supported by adults, and the home languages of families from diverse backgrounds are valued. Children are capable learners with good social skills and self-esteem.

Children are well supported to learn through play in this well-resourced and attractive environment. Parents/whānau organise play areas to stimulate and sustain children's play and ensure that children of all ages can participate in a wide variety of learning experiences. The landscaped outside area provides good opportunities for physical challenge, exploration and investigation. There is a relaxed and welcoming tone in the centre.

Centre members are supportive of each other in the care and education of the children. Both adults and children demonstrate a joy in learning and sharing achievements. Children play cooperatively, show care and patience for younger children and have leadership opportunities. Infants are nurtured and relaxed, and toddlers can explore freely, and are reassured when needed. Older children are well supported as they transition to school.

Parents/whānau provide a play based programme that strongly reflects the Playcentre philosophy and is underpinned by Te Whāriki. They integrate literacy, numeracy and science in meaningful ways and regularly evaluate the programme.

There are good planning systems to guide the programme. Experienced centre members support newer members to discuss and document how children’s strengths and interests inform programmes. A variety of adults contribute to children’s individual assessment portfolios, which are used to revisit children’s learning and development.

Warm and responsive relationships between families contribute to the centre’s strong sense of shared purpose. The mutual trust that adults have supports them in parenting and educating their children. Centre members have high levels of interest and involvement in Playcentre training with a clear commitment to taking an active role in the operation of the centre.

Members’ contributions are valued and emergent leadership is encouraged. Experienced members share their knowledge and expertise with newer families. Their increasing knowledge about, and use of internal evaluation, supports a proactive approach to continuous improvement. A recent focus on science has resulted in its natural integration in all areas of the centre.

Centre members are strong advocates for children's rights, and they believe all children have individual strengths. They promote equity and inclusion for children with additional needs. Centre members are aware of and promote children's emotional and physical wellbeing in a child-focused programme.

The Association management team has strong commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to having a bicultural partnership with Māori whānau. This commitment is evident in Association operations and in centre support. Centres can access funding to help them build confidence with bicultural practices. Whānau Māori are invited to join Roopu Mahi Ngātahi o Puāwai. Centre members include te reo and tikanga Māori through the programme and are keen to strengthen their bicultural practices.

The Association currently has effective governance and management practices. A voluntary executive committee takes responsibility for specific management and centre support tasks. Good systems help them to monitor the quality of programmes, adult education levels, and health and safety requirements. The management team provides professional leadership to help centres respond to changes, particularly as they transition to the new national and regional structure.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for centre members are to:

  • develop records that more clearly reflect the depth of children’s thinking and continuity of learning

  • strengthen internal evaluation to more clearly focus on improving outcomes for children

  • strengthen bicultural practices and enhance the integration of te ao Māori through the programme

  • explore further opportunities for child leadership.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

17 November 2017

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


Takapuna, Auckland

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 18 Boys 10

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent led

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

17 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2013

Education Review

September 2007

Education Review

May 2004

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.