Playhouse Early Childhood Centre - 28/03/2018

1 Evaluation of Playhouse Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Playhouse Early Childhood Centre 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.


Playhouse Early Childhood Centre is one of three privately owned services. It offers full-day or school-hour sessions for children from six months to five years of age. The centre is licensed for 49 children with up to 14 under two years of age. A full time cook provides meals for children.

Respect is at the core of the centre's philosophy, underpinning the centre's values of responsive, nurturing relationships and a sense of belonging. The philosophy acknowledges children as competent and capable learners, and values partnership with parents/whānau. Staff are committed to building a close knit community through regular visits to the local park and gardens, and an ongoing relationship with local schools and the two sister centres.

Flooding in 2017 has impacted on the centre's property and community. Staff relocated to two different temporary premises for seven months, and returned to a renovated and refurbished centre. The converted two-storied house is divided into two areas. Children under two (Pipi) are downstairs, and older children (Paua) are upstairs. The multipurpose outdoor 'garden room' and the infants' separate covered deck, overlook the shared outdoor environment.

The owner works closely with centre leaders on the strategic direction. This is monitored through the strategic and annual planning process. The centre manager is responsible for centre operations and administration. She works closely with the head teacher who leads the curriculum. The centre has low staff turnover and ongoing professional support with its sister centres, who share a pool of experienced relieving teachers and professional mentors.

ERO's 2014 report identified the need to develop bicultural practice and internal evaluation for ongoing improvement. Leaders and teachers have responded very well to these areas along with rebuilding strategic priorities.

The Review Findings

The philosophy is very well enacted in the centre. Children confidently enjoy their learning environment, accept challenges and risks, and form friendships. Children are inquisitive about the world around them, and express themselves respectfully in conversations. They are independent and initiate their own learning.

The centre's curriculum is highly responsive to children's interests, and promotes their right to make their own choices and decisions. Learning experiences are adapted to suit children's different stages of learning. Literacy and numeracy are integrated in meaningful ways. Leaders are looking at different ways to strengthen curriculum documentation to more clearly reflect how teachers cater for children's interests and developmental needs.

There is very good provision for infants. Quality primary care and sensitive oral language development enable children under two to form secure attachments, and learn about care towards each other. Teachers provide a calm, nurturing environment that respects children's space and time to explore the environment.

The centre's commitment to the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand is evident in increasing efforts to use te reo, waiata, and tikanga Māori. Pacific children benefit from positive relationships and the promotion of their home languages. Children participate in and enjoy cultural celebrations.

Teachers allow children to develop uninterrupted play, and routines are unobtrusive. They are confident in their knowledge about early learning and child development. Assessments of children's successes and achievements are documented meaningfully in children's individual portfolios. Well managed transitions into, through and out of the centre are documented in children's individualised transition plans.

The centre is well led and managed. Very good leadership through rebuilding the centre has promoted resilience in children, staff and parents. It has also strengthened partnerships with parents/whānau. The performance management system is focused on building teachers' practice and ongoing professional learning. The influence of quality professional learning is evident in teachers' practice. Teachers value and use internal evaluation processes to make relevant centre improvements. There are very good systems and processes for monitoring health and safety practices.

Key Next Steps

Leaders plan to strengthen curriculum planning to:

  • show how teachers intend to follow children's interests
  • record children's learning in relation to the strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum
  • identify specific learning outcomes and teachers' practices to support children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Playhouse Early Childhood Centre 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 Playhouse Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

28 March 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


Green Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

49 children, including up to 14 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 31 Girls 31

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

28 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

December 2007

Education Review

March 2004

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.