Waitara Playcentre - 05/07/2019

ERO’s judgement

Regulatory standards



Premises and facilities


Health and safety


Governance, management and administration

Not meeting

At the time of the review, ERO identified areas of non-compliance with regulatory standards that are an unacceptable risk to children.


Waitara Playcentre is one of 428 parent-led early learning services governed by Playcentre Aotearoa.

The August 2017 ERO report identified that centre members needed support to improve their understanding of the legislative and regulatory requirements of a licensed early learning service.

Summary of review findings

The programme for children reflects the Playcentre philosophy of parent-led education, learning through play and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Children experience relationships that are positive and nurturing. Centre members are involved in activities with their own and others’ children.

The playcentre’s strategic and annual plan guides daily operation. Policies and procedures are reviewed by centre members, contributing to the development of the service.

A centre support worker is employed by Playcentre Aotearoa to provide professional advice and feedback to promote improvement. Governance and management need improving to meet legislative requirements and further support centre operation.

Actions for compliance

ERO found areas of non-compliance in the service relating to the Governance, Management and Administration criteria:

  • ensuring suitable human resource management practices

  • developing an annual budget that guides financial expenditure

  • ensuring all children’s workers who have access to children are safety checked in accordance with the Children’s Act 2014.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7, GMA7A, GMA9]

Since the onsite stage of the review, the service has provided ERO with:

  • an annual budget that guides financial expenditure

  • a current police vet record for the person in the non-teaching position.

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of Waitara Playcentre. ERO will not undertake a further review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets regulatory standards.

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review of Waitara Playcentre will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

5 July 2019

Information about the service

Early Childhood Service Name

Waitara Playcentre

Profile Number



Waitara, North Taranaki

Service type


Number licensed for

26 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2

1:2 - Better than regulatory standards

Over 2

1:3 - Better than regulatory standards

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 10, Female 14

Ethnic composition

Māori 6
NZ European/Pākehā 17
Asian 1

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

5 July 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2017

Education Review

April 2014

Education Review

November 2010

General Information about Assurance Reviews

All services are licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The legal requirements for early childhood services also include:

Services must meet the standards in the regulations and the requirements of the licensing criteria to gain and maintain a licence to operate.

ERO undertakes an Assurance Review process in any service:

  • having its first ERO review – including if it is part of a governing organisation

  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’

  • that has moved from a provisional to a full licence

  • that have been re-licenced due to a change of ownership

  • where an Assurance Review process is determined to be appropriate.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements. Before the review, the staff and management of a service 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.

As part of an Assurance Review ERO assesses whether the regulated standards are being met. In particular, ERO looks at a 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 certification; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

As part of an Assurance Review ERO also gathers and records evidence through:

  • discussions with those involved in the service

  • consideration of relevant documentation, including the implementation of health and safety systems

  • observations of the environment/premises, curriculum implementation and teaching practice.