Belfast Playcentre - 08/03/2013

1. Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Belfast Playcentre is developing its capacity to promote positive outcomes for children.


Belfast Playcentre is one of 46 centres administered by the Canterbury Playcentre Association. The association’s education and centre support teams guide parents to operate the centre. The parents’ cooperative is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the centre. The centre operates for three morning sessions each week for children aged from birth to school age.

The centre has made considerable progress since the 2009 ERO review. Since that time, the programme has improved, resources have increased, the roll has grown and parents have become more actively involved in the playcentre.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in four early childhood education services within the Canterbury Playcentre Association umbrella organisation.

The Review Findings

Children are happy, settled and confident in the programme. The coordinator and parents use a range of effective approaches to help children build positive relationships with other parents and each other.

Children are well supported to select from the wide range of activities and resources and to follow their interests and ideas. Adults actively encourage children to make choices and take the time children need to develop their ideas and explore the environment. The next step is for parents to extend the ways they work with children to extend their thinking and problem-solving skills.

The coordinator actively promotes te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme. She places a strong focus on Māori values to strengthen relationships in the centre. Parents are beginning to make links to te reo Māori in the child profile books and their interactions with children.

Parents have made good progress in making sure the child profile books have regular entries, are attractive and provide a good record of the child’s time at the centre. The centre’s self review has identified that parents need to record more about children’s learning and how they can support this learning.

This includes developing plans to increase parents’ knowledge and skills about how to record children’s learning and progress in their profile books.

The playcentre association support person provides effective leadership and guidance that is building capacity, knowledge and confidence among parents. The centre coordinator provides considerable support to parents to meet the needs of all families. Parents are developing a shared understanding of playcentre and working as a cooperative to benefit children’s learning.

The association provides a well-developed organisational framework for centre operations. An increasing number of parents at the centre are participating in the association’s parent education programme. This is helping to improve the quality of education for children and their families. To continue this, the association will need to continue to provide considerable additional support to ensure workloads are manageable and current improvements are sustained.

2. Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the management of Belfast 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:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

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.

3. Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

Information about the Early Childhood Service


Belfast, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 6 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 9; Girls 8

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā


Other ethnicities




Review team on site

December 2012

Date of this report

8 March 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

August 2009

June 2008


General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.


Individual ERO school and early childhood service reports are public information and may be copied or sent electronically. However, the Education Review Office can guarantee only the authenticity of original documents which have been obtained in hard copy directly from either the local ERO office or ERO National Office in Wellington.