Beach Haven Playcentre - 08/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Beach Haven Playcentre

How well placed is Beach Haven Playcentre 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.


Beach Haven Playcentre is an early learning service governed and managed cooperatively by centre members, who support each other in their parenting and educator roles. Centre members offer three parent-led sessions per week for up to 26 children, including 15 under two years of age.

Members also provide a weekly Big Kids Club for older children to support their transition to school. In addition, the SPACE NZ Trust (Supporting Parents Alongside Children's Education), offers one session each week at the centre for a group of parents and their infants.

Beach Haven Playcentre is a well-established centre. There is strong commitment to the Playcentre philosophy of learning through play that supports positive outcomes for all children. The sessions are led by a duty team of parents who have appropriate Playcentre qualifications.

While roll numbers and qualification levels fluctuate, a number of families have had extended involvement with the Playcentre over many years. Parents support one another and make new members very welcome. They have a clear commitment to promoting bicultural learning experiences and value their community's cultural diversity.

The centre's strengths identified in ERO's 2014 review have been sustained. Further improvements have resulted from members' shared priorities, parent education and ongoing internal evaluation. Key goals are to encourage family involvement, support the holistic wellbeing of parents and children, and provide programmes that engage and challenge all children.

The centre is part of the newly established Northern North Island Playcentre Region. Regional systems support centre members to manage their centres and to provide educational programmes for their children.  Playcentre personnel also provide training programmes for parents/whānau to achieve Playcentre qualifications.

This review was part of a cluster of nine Playcentre reviews in the Northern North Island Playcentre Region.

The Review Findings

The Playcentre philosophy of learning through play is highly evident. Members support each other and their children well. Children engage in the programme and are able to lead their learning. Members provide a wide range of enjoyable learning opportunities that encourage children to be confident, creative, and physically active. Respectful relations between parents and children support problem solving, curiosity and oral language development.

The parent-led mixed-age sessions benefit the development of tuakana/teina relationships. Infants and toddlers can join in with older children who include them in most areas of play. Quiet areas and sleeping spaces are available when needed. The centre is well resourced to support learning for all ages, although further consideration could be given to extending construction and imaginative play, particularly for older children.

Members are positive about the weekly Big Kids Club session. They appreciate the skills of the paid supervisor to motivate and engage four year olds, and support their transition to school. Children from other local Playcentres are able to attend these sessions, in which they are encouraged to negotiate with others and contribute to planning the programme.

Systems for leadership are well established and understood. All members are able to take on roles and responsibilities, and are valued for their willingness to contribute. New information is shared and communication has been strengthened though the use of social media. Members valued the support of the Centre Support Worker during their recent review of the curriculum.

Parents take pride in documenting children's learning journey. They display well written narratives for individual children that inform their planning meetings. These personalised learning stories add considerable relevance to children's own portfolios. Members are enthusiastic about these recent initiatives, and the potential for exploring more complex challenges in the programme.

Positive partnerships with parents and whānau are important to members. An holistic wellbeing approach is central to how outcomes for both children and parents are evaluated. Caring and considerate decision making ensures that the individual needs of all children, and their physical and emotional wellbeing, are understood and prioritised.

Regional leaders have a strong commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. They are building links with local kaumatua and promote bicultural partnerships. Whānau Māori are invited to join Te Roopu Ngātahi o Puāwai. The inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori is an integral part of centre practices that affirm Māori children’s cultural identity. Members value the support of whānau from the nearby marae for strengthening their commitment to bicultural partnership.

The regional structure is replacing individual Playcentre Associations. Newly appointed regional personnel are making good progress building on existing systems and establishing effective regional management structures for supporting centres. Centre support workers are guided by regional centre support coordinators. Systems are being developed for monitoring the quality of programmes for children, adult education levels, and health and safety requirements.

Key Next Steps

ERO and Playcentre members agree that further developments could include:

  • continuing to broaden and refine the new planning and assessment model aligning it, where appropriate, with children's dispositional learning outcomes

  • reviewing, in a planned and consultative manner, the centre philosophy in relation to the revised early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki 2017.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Beach Haven 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

8 June 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


Beach Haven, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

26 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 15 Girls 13

Ethnic composition



Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Playcentre requirements

Over 2


Playcentre requirements

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

8 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

August 2007

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.