Active Explorers Central City - 01/04/2015

1 Evaluation of The Playroom Centre

How well placed is The Playroom Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


The Playroom is a privately owned centre for the full-time education and care of children from three months to five years of age. Three separate programmes are provided to meet the wellbeing and learning needs of children at different age levels. The centre is licensed for 67 children at any one time with up to 22 under two year olds.

The licensee is the centre manager and supervisor and is assisted by two other centre leaders. Staffing has remained stable since the centre opened in 2009. An ongoing focus on collaborative relationships and support has continued to develop.

Children from an increasingly diverse range of cultures attend the centre from across Christchurch. They are provided with nutritious meals each day. The centre is involved in a local education cluster that is focused on improving learning outcomes for children.

Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, is integrated into the centre’s philosophy and learning programmes. The centre has responded well to some aspects of the previous ERO review in 2012. Centre leaders are aware that further development is needed in other areas identified for improvement in that report, such as appraisal and self review.

The Review Findings

The centre’s philosophy focuses on providing a wide range of opportunities for children to learn and grow in different ways through play, discovery and exploration. ERO observed good examples of this philosophy in action.

Leaders and teachers have reviewed the curriculum since the previous ERO review. This has led to ongoing improvements in the way individual children’s learning and interests are being identified, extended and recorded in their profile books.

Children under two years of age receive very good-quality care and education. ERO observed interactions that provided nurturing, calm and sensitive support for these younger children. Children in this programme also benefit from resources, activities and teaching approaches that stimulate and encourage them to become curious and active participants in the world around them.

Key features of other centre programmes observed by ERO include:

  • child-led learning being consistently promoted and supported
  • a useful range of interesting learning resources that were easily accessible for children
  • mostly child-focused and purposeful interactions with children
  • confident, competent children enjoying their time together and with their teachers.

Transition processes into, within and out of the centre, contributes to children’s wellbeing and sense of belonging. Centre leaders and teachers use a variety of approaches to build positive relationships and provide consultation opportunities for parents and whānau.

Since the previous ERO review, leaders have expanded some aspects of self review. The centre manager has identified, and ERO agrees, that further development and improvement is needed.

The centre is at an early stage of extending bicultural practices into programmes, practices and planning. A new appraisal system and a review of the outdoor areas have recently begun.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that the main next steps for ongoing improvement include:

  • strengthening self review
  • ensuring that assessment practices are used consistently to recognise children's cultural identity, evaluate children's learning progress over time, and identify and respond to children's next learning steps
  • reflecting the centre’s commitment to bicultural practice in the centre philosophy, planning, programmes and teaching practices.

In addition to this, ERO identified the need to:

  • ensure that there is an annual high-quality performance management process for centre leaders, using external expertise where appropriate
  • ensure that there is a clearly identified process for monitoring the quality of teaching and learning across each room, including making sure that all interactions provide positive support for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Playroom 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 The Playroom Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

1 April 2015

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

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

67 children, including up to 22 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 50

Boys 51

Ethnic composition




Other Ethnicity





Percentage of qualified teachers

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 2015

Date of this report

1 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2012

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.