Takarunga Playcentre - 07/03/2014

1 Evaluation of Takarunga Playcentre

How well placed is Takarunga 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.


Takarunga Playcentre, in Devonport, is a well established centre that runs as a parent cooperative. Centre practices are based on playcentre philosophy of families learning and growing together. The centre is open for five sessions per week and caters for children from birth to school age. On the day of the review there were just six children attending a special session for four year old children.

Families of children attending come from many different countries, making this a culturally rich environment. Parents report that the centre offers valued opportunities for children and their families to establish friendships and networks.

The centre has had a very positive ERO reporting history. Since the 2010 ERO report the centre has continued to operate efficiently and effectively.

The centre operates as part of the North Shore Playcentre Association. The association is the umbrella organisation for 21 playcentres situated in North Auckland. Many of these centres are semi-rural. The association manages and distributes funding to the centres and provides a training programme for parents/whānau to achieve playcentre qualifications. It also has good systems to support centre members to manage the playcentres and to provide educational programmes for children. The association is currently reviewing many aspects of its operations to help reduce the administrative workload for its members.

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

The Review Findings

Takarunga Playcentre is very well placed to provide positive learning outcomes for children.

Children benefit from an inclusive environment that helps them to gain confidence when relating with children and adults other than their parents. Infants and toddlers benefit from interacting with older children and multiple adults. A well resourced environment offers a wide range of possibilities for children’s creative and exploratory learning. Regular use of the adjoining Mt Victoria reserve and excursions in the local Devonport area grow children’s awareness of their local world.

Curriculum programmes promote children’s active participation in learning. They focus on developing children’s curiosity, problem-solving skills and social competence. A well designed programme offers older children experiences to participate in group learning in preparation for their transition to school. This programme offers more focused, interactive learning connected with the family session programmes.

Centre members’ commitment to the playcentre philosophy is evident as they work cooperatively in planning and implementing a child-focused programme. Adults’ shared sense of purpose and clear delegation of roles enable sessions to focus on promoting children’s learning. Continual self review helps to ensure that sessional programmes are connected and responsive to the interests and developmental needs of different age groups.

Children have opportunity to learn about multiple languages and cultures. Centre members and the association have a strong commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to building both adults’ and children’s familiarity with te reo and tikanga Māori. A bicultural partnership with Māori whānau is evident in association operations.

The centre is very well managed. Parents are encouraged to be involved in centre administration and to contribute to decision-making. Adults support and encourage each other in their parenting and education roles. Systematic and responsive reviewing and planning processes guide the management of the centre. Committee members’ enthusiasm and commitment promotes continuing centre growth and improvement.

The association management team takes responsibility for specific tasks relating to the function of the association. Management team members are committed to and enthusiastic about their involvement in playcentre. They actively foster emergent leadership to help sustain the association and demonstrate the professional leadership necessary to help the association respond to change, make decisions and manage issues as they arise. The North Shore Playcentre Association provides effective support to help this centre remain very well placed to provide positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

ERO is confident in centre members’ capability to promote positive outcomes for children’s learning and development through ongoing self review. ERO recommends members continue to monitor the effectiveness of centre practices and identify future improvements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Takarunga 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 Takarunga Playcentre will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

7 March 2014

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service


Devonport, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

29 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 16

Boys 13

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Cook Island Māori

Latin American


Other European









Review team on site

October 2013

Date of this report

7 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2010


Education Review

March 2008


Education Review

October 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.