Aramoho Playcentre - 11/12/2019

1 Evaluation of Aramoho Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Aramoho Playcentre requires further development so that Playcentre Aotearoa, leaders and parents ensure compliance with all health and safety licensing requirements, as outlined in the Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008.

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


Aramoho Playcentre is licensed to provide mixed-age sessional education and care for 27 children three days a week. This includes 12 children up to the age of two years. At the time of this review, there were 26 children enrolled.

The Playcentre Aotearoa philosophy, ‘whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together’, is to 'empower parents and children to learn, play and grow together'. Alongside this, the centre philosophy promotes positive relationships with adults and children all supporting each other to provide a high-quality service that is welcoming to all.

Since the February 2017 ERO report, the New Zealand Playcentre Federation has restructured by amalgamating all associations to form Playcentre Aotearoa. Aramoho Playcentre is part of the Lower North Island Region and is supported by a regional manager and support persons.

Whānau and families share responsibility for the curriculum. Day-to-day operation is undertaken by session support personnel and centre-elected office holders. A centre support worker and centre administrator regularly visit playcentres to provide professional support, strengthen practice and promote improvement.

The previous ERO report identified areas for development for the association and the playcentre. These included: internal evaluation; planning for learning; appraisal processes; transition to school; Te Tiriti o Waitangi-based implementation; and practices that support sustainability of operation. These continue to be progressed.

This review was part of a cluster of 11 playcentres in the Lower North Island Region.

The Review Findings

Building all members' understanding of self-review for accountability to ensure all legislative requirements are met is a key next step. Members should be supported by Playcentre Aotearoa to build knowledge and understandings of policies and procedures and support systematic monitoring of these to ensure licensing requirements are upheld.

Children are confident explorers who lead their learning experiences in well-resourced indoor and outdoor areas. Children's self-care is fostered. Educators use a range of strategies to support their learning. Infants and toddlers grow and learn through one-to-one interactions that are nurturing, positive and respectful.

A framework guides assessment, planning and evaluation well. Planning for individual children highlights their strengths, preferences and interests. An online platform is promoting more input from members. Portfolios include learning narratives of children's current learning experiences and some progress. Increasing educators' depth of knowledge and understanding of planning for learning is needed.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are visible in the centre environment with posters, maps, kupu Māori and photos displayed. A next step is to include te ao Māori through the planning and assessment practices.

Review for accountability and improvement is ongoing. A new review framework has been introduced and is in the initial stages of implementation. A next step is for educators to further extend their knowledge, practice and use of evaluation with the focus on positive learning outcomes for children.

The revised parent education programme is becoming more accessible to centre members. At this playcentre several educators have accessed professional learning to build their capability. There is a strong focus on increasing membership, encouraging adult education and supporting new members into centre roles.

Appraisal processes for session support staff have recently been strengthened to better evaluate performance in relation to specific roles and responsibilities, identify professional learning and development needs and focus on achievement of goals.

The national restructuring process continues to require significant attention and support to implement an extensive range of systems and processes. Regular communication from Playcentre Aotearoa seeks to keep parents informed of progress, changes and upcoming requirements. National policies and procedures have recently been introduced and parents are in the process of aligning practices to these. Ongoing support is required to enable parents to understand and implement these procedures to meet licensing requirements.

Key Next Steps

At playcentre level, priorities are to continue to:

  • ensure members' participation in education programmes

  • strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation implementation

  • develop understanding and use of internal evaluation for improvement

  • include te ao Māori throughout the planning and assessment processes.

Playcentre Aotearoa should continue to build knowledge and understanding of policies and procedures, and systematic monitoring of these, to ensure licensing requirements are upheld.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Aramoho 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 health and safety practices and premises and facilities.

To meet and improve current compliance practice Playcentre Aotearoa should ensure the service:

  • undertakes the assessment and management of risk for all excursions outside of the licensed premise

  • implements a process for adults to record administering of medication to children (other than their own) while at the service

  • has documented records related to hazard checks, accidents, fire and earthquake and emergency records

  • premises supports effective adult supervision of the children.
    Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS17, HS 28, HS12, HS 27, HS8, PF1

Since the onsite stage of the evaluation, the centre has provided:

  • evidence that three monthly fire and earthquake drills are carried out (HS8).

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

11 December 2019

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


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

27 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 17, Female 9

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

11 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2017

Education Review

May 2014

Education Review

November 2010

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.