Burwood Playcentre - 05/03/2019

1 Evaluation of Burwood Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Burwood Playcentre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

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


Burwood Playcentre is one of the Playcentre Association services within the Upper South Island Region. It is licensed for 25 children with up to 12 aged under two years. The centre is open five mornings a week. A coordinator has overall responsibility for the daily programme. The centre assigns other roles and responsibilities to parents who work together with the coordinator to provide education and care for the children attending. A centre support worker provides regular guidance to the coordinator and parents.

The Playcentre philosophy is based around parent/child partnerships. The underlying belief is that children learn through play and are provided with a range of experiences to choose from that promote learning.

Playcentre parents have made some progress addressing the recommendations of the last ERO report. Recommendations included making children's learning and progress more visible, with better use of learning information about children to inform the centre programme.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from the positive relationships they have with each other and with the adults at the centre. The positive interactions between children and adults encourage cooperation and create a pleasant environment for play and learning. Children make good use of the equipment and the wide range of good quality resources available to them both indoors and outside. Parents respect children's choices and learning preferences. Strong, responsive and respectful relationships are formed with each family, supporting children's sense of belonging. Children have some opportunities to venture out of the centre on excursions to strengthen their connection with the local community.

The coordinator uses a range of ways to communicate with parents and keep everyone informed. She is leading the implementation of a useful assessment and planning system that is helping parents provide a programme that supports and extends children's interests and learning. Session members reflect together on each session, recording what they have noticed about children's play to plan subsequent sessions. Information and guidelines are also displayed around the centre to help parents know what to do and what the expectations are. Assessment portfolios provide ongoing opportunities for the observation of children's experiences regarding playcentre activities.

Māori children have opportunities to see and learn about Māori culture. Waiata and karakia are used in the sessions in meaningful contexts. Parents value bicultural development. They have begun to work on ways to build bicultural practice into learning programmes. They also need to consider including bicultural practice and their commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership in the centre philosophy.

Parents are invited to take the lead with internal evaluation. Reviews have led to improvements in parents' knowledge and this in turn has helped parents provide better learning opportunities for children. A recent review on sustainability has had a significant impact on parents and children by building awareness and deepening their appreciation of the natural world.

Key Next Steps

The centre's parent group and ERO's evaluation have confirmed that the key next steps are to continue to develop:

  • the centre philosophy to better show the service's key learning priorities

  • a plan to implement bicultural practices and include Māori perspectives in the programme

  • understandings of children's learning and how this is captured in assessment, programme planning and evaluation

  • internal evaluation processes.

Upper South Island Regional Governance

There continues to be significant change occurring with the playcentre governance and management at association and federation levels. Previous ERO reports in playcentre reviews in this region have recommended more effective and sustained governance support for playcentres with regard to:

  • developing bicultural practice
  • assessment and planning
  • strategic and annual planning for future development
  • leadership.

During this review it was noted that there is the need for a review of some of the centre policies.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Burwood 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.


ERO discussed the need to continue the review of policies and ensure that centre practices align with these.

ERO recommended that risk management plans for excursions be strengthened to reflect best practice.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

5 March 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

25 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 15 ; Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Other ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2019

Date of this report

5 March 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

August 2012

Education Review

April 2009

Education Review

October 2005

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 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.