Wainui Playcentre - 29/01/2018

1 Evaluation of Wainui Playcentre

How well placed is Wainui Playcentre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Key aspects of practice require development. The centre is not operating effectively as a parent collective. The supervisor needs support to better manage requirements for operation and development of the learning programme for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Wainui Playcentre in Gisborne is one of seven early learning services administered by the Tairawhiti Playcentre Association (the association). It offers three mixed-age sessions per week for up to 25 children, including 15 aged under two years. Of the children enrolled, five are Māori. Families are expected to attend with their children at playcentre. At the time of this review the majority of children enrolled were aged three and under.

The board of governors, made up of elected members of the association, oversees the operation of centres. Guidance and support for members is provided by a liaison officer who is employed by the board. A paid supervisor leads sessions and assists members to meet operational requirements.

Playcentre philosophy emphasises the importance of families growing and learning together. Members of Wainui Playcentre seek to foster learning through exploration and play. Children are encouraged to be creative and supported to problem solve. Adults are supported to use te reo Māori and to be inclusive and respectful of all languages.

The February 2014 ERO report highlighted the need for members to: improve assessment, planning and evaluation; review policies; and improve culturally responsive practices. These have not been sufficiently addressed. The need for the association to strengthen its governance and management support was also highlighted in the December 2013 ERO reviews of the Tairawhiti playcentres.

At the time of this ERO review, the New Zealand Playcentre Federation (the Federation) is in the process of restructuring the organisation of its services. There is uncertainty about the details of this process, both nationally and locally. This has resulted in issues for members. Some practices have been put on hold at centre level. This has caused issues in relation to the storage and retrieval of some working documents.

This review is one of two reviews of playcentres in the Tairawhiti Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

The playcentre provides opportunity for young families to meet in the local area. The education programme, leadership roles and the operation of the centre need further development to enable accountabilities and association expectations to be effectively met.

Free play, fun, self-expression and independence are promoted. Children enjoy the learning experiences provided. A next step is to undertake a review of the new philosophy in action to provide assurance that valued outcomes are promoted as intended.

The playcentre is well resourced to support a variety of learning experiences and interests. Highquality materials and equipment promote children's interest and involvement in the key learning areas of literacy, mathematics, science, the arts and physical play. Children playing with peers have opportunity to explore, take risks and practise new skills. This is especially evident in the outside areas.

Resource provision for children aged up to two years is well considered. Resources and a suitable play space are available specifically for the use of younger infants.

The playcentre has a good relationship with the adjacent primary school. Reciprocal visiting has occurred. Members should now consider developing information to further support families' understanding of the transition-to-school process.

The environment and practices are developing to reflect an awareness of bicultural perspectives. There continues to be a need for commitment to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to be more strongly acknowledged and strategically planned for at both governance and centre level.

Planning for learning across the centre is at an early stage of development. While members are planning activities around a group focus, assessment and evaluation practices are not yet in place. Practice that is inclusive of children's strengths and interests, and strengthens their dispositions to learn is a priority for development.

An evaluation framework has been used to record decisions about aspects of the programme. However, understanding and use of internal evaluation for accountability and planning future developments is at an early stage.

Strategic priorities have been identified. Aligning strategic goals to annual planning, and planned self review should assist the centre to further develop.

Centre operation has improved as a result of a Ministry of Education initiative. However, due to uncertainty around the timing of the Federation's restructuring process, some elements have not been sustained.

Key Next Steps

In order to support sustainability of, and ongoing improvement to, practice and operation, priorities should be for centre members to develop:

  • an improved approach to assessment planning and evaluation for learning

  • shared understanding of internal evaluation to support decision making

  • collective membership input into the education programme, leadership role, and operation of the centre

  • improved long-term planning that is inclusive of child outcomes.

The board of governors should ensure practice that reflects the intent of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is strategically planned for at all levels of the association.

In the interim, awaiting Federation decisions, the association should ensure:

  • timely review of policies

  • all association employees continue to benefit from appraisal

  • a formal reporting process is implemented to provide assurance at board level that all requirements, in relation to employment of staff, are consistently met

  • an interim process is in place to ensure association records are able to be accessed and retrieved at all times.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Wainui 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to health and safety, and curriculum. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • daily checking of hazards to children
  • planning, implementing and evaluating an appropriate curriculum
  • updating police vetting requirements
  • ensuring excursion plans are fully implemented prior to trips out of the premises
  • recording of emergency evacuation activities.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres.2008 HS 12, C43 1, GMA 7a, HS 17, HS 7]

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Wainui Playcentre will be within two years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

29 January 2018

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

25 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 18 Girls 14

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

29 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

October 2010

Supplementary Review

November 2008

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.