Titoki Playcentre - 15/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Titoki Playcentre

How well placed is Titoki 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.


Titoki Playcentre is a well established centre in the grounds of Mangakahia School. It operates as a parent cooperative and centre practices are based on the Playcentre philosophy of families learning and growing together. Learning programmes are implemented by parents/whānau who are also centre members.

The centre has recently celebrated its 50th Reunion with the community and parents/whānau. The newly completed nature area and outdoor playground were features of the reunion. Annual changes on local dairy farms results in regular roll fluctuations. Despite these changes, the roll has grown to 21 children. The centre now offers two general sessions each week.

Since the 2013 ERO report, centre members have made good progress. Centre members are more aware of documenting, planning and evaluating sessions based on children’s learning needs and interests. This development has increased newer centre members’ confidence and helped them to plan well for sessions.

The centre is part of the Northland Playcentre Association. The Association is the umbrella organisation for 22 centres in Northland, many of which are semi-rural. The Association provides systems to support members to manage their centres and support their children's learning. It also provides adult education programmes for Playcentre qualifications. As part of a Playcentre Aotearoa national restructure there will be a new regional manager and new centre support roles.

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

The Review Findings

Children are settled and interact comfortably in mixed-age play. They support and encourage each other to achieve goals in their play. Children can learn at their own level and pace. They are able to manage routines and learn self-management skills to prepare them for going to school. Children are encouraged by adults' positive approaches that support them to manage their own behaviour.

Centre members are highly responsive to children’s home and centre interests and skilfully support children’s exploration and investigation. They focus on children's interest in nurturing native plant life, the vegetable garden and insects, and include natural resources in the programme.

Adults work alongside children and promote oral language in meaningful conversations. They write and make good use of stories about their children's learning, and evaluate the programme at the end of each session to plan the next session. Centre members could also consider ways to sustain improvements in their use of te reo Māori and practices that reflect the dual heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Members have opportunities to learn about and lead in different areas of responsibility. They are assisted by the Association when required. Internal evaluation helps to ensure positive outcomes for children and would be beneficial to inform a long-term plan and annual plan.

The Association management team takes responsibility for specific tasks relating to the efficient operation of Playcentres. They actively foster emergent leadership to sustain the Association and centre viability. The Association provides support to help Playcentres remain well placed to provide positive learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre members agree that their key next steps are to continue:

  • sustaining and extending their bicultural practices, including the use of te reo and tikanga Māori

  • emphasising the value of adult education programmes for new parents, caregivers and whānau

  • developing long-term strategic planning

  • with existing processes to support diversity and children with additional learning needs.

To help strengthen operations in all Northland centres, new regional support personnel should consider ways to:

  • determine the best strategies to encourage centre members to take greater responsibility for all aspects of centre operations, including assessment, programme planning and evaluation

  • continue to increase emphasis on and financial support for the Kaiāwhina role in supporting centre members' bicultural understanding and proficiency

  • strengthen members' understanding of the need for succession planning and close alignment between strategic and annual plans for ongoing improvement, as well as operational plans for day-to-day management and maintenance

  • support centre members to recognise their role as facilitators of children's learning, social competence and independence. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Steffan Brough

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

15 June 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 


Titoki, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 12 Girls 9

Ethnic composition







Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

15 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

September 2013

Education Review

August 2009

Education Review

August 2006

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.