Clyde Playcentre - 17/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Clyde Playcentre

How well placed is Clyde 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.


Clyde Playcentre is located in the town of Clyde in Central Otago. It provides five morning sessions each week for children aged from birth up to school age. One of the sessions is primarily for older children. Some families travel long distances to attend and so some families attend only one or two sessions a week. The playcentre is led by a paid supervision team. At the time of this review there were changes within this team. A parent council has oversight for the day-to-day management and operation of the service.

Clyde Playcentre is one of 25 within the Otago Playcentre Association (OPA). The Association consists of a core group of dedicated paid and elected members. To support members it provides a framework for management and operations, parent education programmes and personnel.

The OPA is experiencing a time of change as all playcentre associations throughout New Zealand merge with the New Zealand Playcentre Association (NZPF) to reduce duplication and make cost savings. The restructure is resulting in significant changes at an association level.

Since the 2014 ERO report, the team has made good progress in key identified areas, particularly in improving planning, assessment and evaluation systems.

This review was part of a cluster of four playcentre reviews in the Otago Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Parents at Clyde Playcentre, with the encouragement of the supervision team, are becoming increasingly involved in the programme and in their children's learning. This involvement and the sense of belonging in the playcentre are contributing to positive outcomes for children. They are supported to be confident in the programme and make choices based on their interests. Children benefit from having visitors to the centre and making trips into the local community.

The supervision team provides a strong and integrated bicultural programme that supports Māori children's language, culture and identity, and all children to learn about New Zealand's bicultural heritage. Children have many opportunities to hear and use te reo Māori, and experience aspects of te ao Māori.

Children benefit from responsive and respectful interactions with adults. Supervisors and parents support children to develop social skills through role modelling appropriate language and strategies. Children play well together and use their imagination. Children's learning is enriched through many planned and broad opportunities to:

  • develop their early mathematics and literacy skills

  • develop physical skills

  • experience different cultural celebrations

  • make links with the local school.

A weekly session by supervisors caters well to the learning needs of older children, and assists them in their transition to school. Children with diverse cultural backgrounds are given opportunities to learn about their cultures. The wellbeing and learning of infants is well supported by adults through close and nurturing relationships. Improvements made by supervisors and parents have led to an environment that caters better to the needs of infants, allowing for greater opportunities to explore in their own time and space.

The supervision team has developed useful systems for planning, assessment and evaluation for individual children. Parent aspirations for their child's learning are regularly sought and responded to. The next step is for supervisors to continue to find ways for all parents to contribute regularly to both their own and other children's assessment to show children's progress over time.

The supervision team and parents are improvement focused. They have made good use of spontaneous evaluation to make positive changes to improve the way they provide for children's learning. Leaders have improved internal evaluation practice after involvement in the NZPF professional learning. The next step is to ensure that effective internal evaluation practice is embedded and sustained within the playcentre.

The current philosophy has not been reviewed for some time and does not reflect the values or desired outcomes for learning of the current parent group. This needs to be reviewed in line with the OPA expectations.

There are high levels of parent involvement in the day-to-day programme and life of the playcentre. The parent council is responsive to community needs, focuses on roll growth and ongoing sustainability.

The playcentre benefits from ongoing support from the OPA. Centre advisors use effective internal evaluation to monitor how well centres are promoting positive outcomes for children. They identify the strengths and areas for support for each playcentre and report to the OPA. The OPA ensures that decisions are made that support the playcentre. Regular appraisals are carried out, however the appraisal process needs to be further developed to be effective.

The OPA is achieving its strategic goal to increase the numbers of parents who participate in playcentre training to ensure ongoing sustainability. The OPA regularly monitors progress towards the strategic goals and evaluates the effectiveness of strategies.

Key Next Steps

The playcentre supervisors and parents with the support of the Otago Playcentre Association need to:

  • review the playcentre philosophy

  • continue to strengthen internal evaluation practices

  • continue to strengthen individual and group planning, assessment and evaluation.

Key next step for the OPA is to ensure that the appraisal system continues to be developed and embedded.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Clyde 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.

To improve current practice, the OPA should ensure playcentre members use the most recent OPA policies and procedures to guide their practice.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

17 October 2017

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 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys: 25

Girls: 19

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent Led

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

17 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

July 2011

Education Review

February 2008

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.