Te Akau & Districts Playcentre - 11/12/2012

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Te Akau & Districts Playcentre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children. Enthusiastic parents work effectively together. They use their parenting and teaching skills to manage the operation of the centre and provide good quality education and care for children.


Te Akau & Districts Playcentre is a parent cooperative located in the rural district of Te Akau, catering for 16 children from birth to school age, one morning a week from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm. The centre operates under the umbrella of the Waikato Playcentre Association (WPA) who provides governance, management and educational support. The WPA communicates effectively with centre members and supports them as educators of their children.

Since ERO’s last review in 2006, the playcentre has responded positively in addressing the recommendations in this report. Currently the centre is operating under a transitional licence. Parents have made significant progress in working towards completing outstanding issues resulting from the Ministry of Education relicensing visit. An experienced and valued centre support worker (CWS) is employed by the association to assist the centre to meet administration and regulatory requirements.

The centre’s philosophy aims to achieve ‘happy children and parents having fun, working and learning together, to become confident and competent individuals’.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in six early childhood education services within the Waikato Playcentre Association umbrella organisation.

The Review Findings

Children and their families experience a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing. Children learn and play in a positive, safe environment where they feel they have a place. Parents know their own and other children well and are responsive to their strengths and interests. They share information and learning through wall displays and end of session evaluations. The programme provides opportunities for:

  • child-initiated learning experiences that allow children to choose their own activities from a range of good quality resources
  • positive social opportunities for children to learn about cooperating with others
  • oral language, literacy and mathematical experiences through meaningful play
  • exploration in the outdoor environment
  • successful transition to the adjacent school supported by positive relationships between the centre and school.

Parents work effectively together and share responsibility for the education programme and administration of the centre. They are encouraged by experienced members to develop their leadership skills by taking on management roles and responsibilities, and participating in centre decision making. Parents have established a warm caring culture in which children are affirmed and their successes celebrated. Relationships among parents are based on mutual respect with the focus on catering for the child and their families.

Members are involved in professional development provided by the Waikato Playcentre Association (WPA) in self review and assessment practices to support and enhance their knowledge and skills. There are links to Te Whāriki (the NZ Early Childhood Curriculum) that are evident in planning and some learning stories. Models of individual children’s portfolios show children’s learning and participation in the programme.

ERO agrees with the priorities identified by the centre. Parents:

  • are conscious that they need to more consistently record children’s learning and strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation practices
  • have identified the Te Ao Māori dimension needs to incorporate te reo and tikanga Māori in the curriculum. This was identified after a reflective centre self review process.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Te Akau & 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

11 December 2012

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

Boys 10

Girls 6

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

NZ Māori



Review team on site

September 2012

Date of this report

11 December 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

November 2006

December 2002

September 1997

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.