Play and Learn Clarks Beach - 16/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Play and Learn Clarks Beach

How well placed is Play and Learn Clarks Beach 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.


Play and Learn Clarks Beach is privately owned, and one of three Play and Learn education and care centres. It is located south west of Auckland overlooking the Manukau Harbour. The centre caters for children from birth to school age in a mixed-age setting. The licence allows for 39 children at any one time, including five up to two years of age.

Through the philosophy, respect, authentic relationships, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, self-belief, risk taking and resilience are valued as important for life-long learning in the 21st century. Real–world experiences and significant time spent in nature-based learning are also integral to the philosophy.

The centre owner, a qualified and registered early childhood teacher, provides management oversite of her centres. A model of shared leadership for this centre was introduced in November 2016. The centre is staffed with mostly qualified and fully registered early childhood teachers.

The Review Findings

The centre's curriculum is highly responsive to all children’s interests, questions and learning needs. Child, teacher and family relationships promote children’s belonging, wellbeing and positive sense of self as confident and capable learners.

Assessment practices build children’s identity as learners. Children’s learning journals reflect their participation and learning in rich curriculum opportunities. Assessment is well documented and analysed in ways that enable teachers to respond effectively to individual children's strengths and interests. The centre’s online digital platform has strengthened parents' access, and contribution to children's assessment and planning.

Consistent and effective teaching practices respond to and extend children’s learning. Teachers provide extensive opportunities for children to make sense of the natural, social and physical world. There is purposeful integration of literacy and mathematics in contexts that are meaningful to children. Teachers demonstrate particular strength in supporting children’s oral language development.

Positive transitions into, within and beyond the centre are well supported through reciprocal partnerships between families, children and teachers. Teachers know children well and value parents’ insights about their children. Young learners up to two years of age form strong and secure attachments with their teachers. They have full access to the curriculum in a family-like, mixed-age setting. Teachers actively support the inclusion and participation of children with additional learning needs.

Environments for learning are highly effective in building children’s understanding of the wider world, desire to learn and try new things. Children confidently explore and are fully involved in a wide variety of learning experiences. Teachers skilfully support children’s problem solving, experimentation, perseverance and resilience.

Key Next Steps

It is now timely to review the shared leadership model. The centre owner and teachers need to develop shared and agreed understandings, and clearly defined expectations for teachers working in this model of professional leadership.

The centre has a strategic priority to ensure culturally safe and inclusive practices. Teachers need to continue to grow their understanding and practices in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi and a bicultural curriculum. This development should enhance opportunities for Māori and other children to understand the significance of the Māori language and culture of Aotearoa.

Self-review is well-established. A next step is to develop teachers’ understanding of strategic internal evaluation for improving learning outcomes for all children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Play and Learn Clarks Beach 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 Play and Learn Clarks Beach will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

16 February 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


Clarks Beach, South Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

39 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 27

Boys 24

Ethnic composition

Other European


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

16 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

May 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.