Hororata Playcentre - 02/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Hororata Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Hororata Playcentre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Hororata Playcentre operates under the guidance of the Canterbury Playcentre Association. The playcentre is a parent cooperative with parents encouraged to be involved in all aspects of the playcentre programme and management.

Hororata Playcentre operates two morning sessions a week. It is located in a community hall and is the main tenant of the hall. The community is deciding whether to repair or rebuild the hall due to damage caused during the 2010 Canterbury earthquakes.

The playcentre provides a meeting place for families with young children, and is well supported by the local community.

Since the 2012 ERO review, the parent group has made good progress in improving the usefulness of child assessment, programme planning and internal evaluation. Minor improvements in these areas should further improve their usefulness.

This review was part of a cluster review of nine playcentres in the Canterbury Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children are confident, happy and very engaged in their learning. They are well supported by parents who join in their play, listen to their ideas, offer suggestions and encourage them to problem solve.

Parents make very good use of their knowledge of each child to extend their learning. The wide range of activities and resources are well used by children and parents to increase children's knowledge, skills and understandings. Good use is also made of the wider community to increase the range of children's learning experiences.

Children are well supported in their transition to the local school. Teachers and parents have a good understanding of the school and early childhood curriculum, and the best ways to help children confidently engage in school programmes. Children regularly visit the school and build close relationships with a school buddy who plays and works with them in different school contexts. School children often visit the centre to share their learning.

Infants and toddlers are happy and active participants in the centre programme. Adult share responsibility for all children. They build close relationships with infants and toddlers and ensure they are well supervised and nurtured. Older children willingly allow toddlers to join their play and make good use of these opportunities to solve problems and be creative.

Children and parents enjoy positive and inclusive relationships. They value the contributions that they each make. Te reo and tikanga Māori is evident in the environment, wall displays and the affirming and accepting relationships.

Playcentre parents make very good use of association systems, procedures and practices to involve all parents in the programme and the operation of the playcentre. The parent education programme is actively promoted and well supported. The association and playcentre leaders make the programme available at times that best suit parents. This has helped to increase participation. Parents more advanced in the training programme, willingly share their knowledge and guide new parents to develop skills and confidence in assessment, planning and internal evaluation.

The playcentre's strategic plan is closely linked to the association goals and clearly identifies the priorities and progress.

The Canterbury Playcentre Association has made significant progress since the 2014 ERO cluster review. They have implemented a strategic plan that effectively identifies goals, plans and progress. The centre support and education teams have been structured to provide more efficient and timely support and guidance for the centres. The parent education programme has become more accessible to parents. Noticeably more parents are participating in all levels of the training and are making good use of this new knowledge in the centre. The support team is successfully facilitating the sharing of useful knowledge and practices across centres.

The association has high expectations for every child to experience high quality education and all parents to be actively involved in parent education and the management of the centres. They have established some very useful systems and practices to ensure the sustainability and improvement of the organisation and the centres. This includes effective evaluation and monitoring of the quality of education for parents and improved outcomes for children.

The key next steps for the association are to:

  • review how well the individual playcentre philosophies are meeting the changing contexts of centres

  • implement appraisals for the members of the centre support team to align more closely with centre needs and association expectations.

Key Next Steps

The association, parents and ERO agree that the next key steps for the playcentre include:

  • strengthening assessment and planning by focusing more on teaching and learning

  • extending internal evaluation to focus more on outcomes for children

  • increasing te ao Māori in the programme with particular emphasis on Māori children experiencing success as Māori

  • continuing to help families from other cultures share their culture to benefit all children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hororata 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 appraisal. To meet requirements the association needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • implement a system of regular appraisal for members of the education support team.

[Regulation 47 (GMA7) Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008] 

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Hororata Playcentre will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern/Te Waipounamu

2 March 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


Hororata, Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 12; Girls 2

Ethnic composition





Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

2 March 2017

Most recent ERO reports 

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

May 2019

Education Review

December 2005

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.