Coatesville Playcentre - 30/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Coatesville Playcentre

How well placed is Coatesville 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.


Coatesville Playcentre operates as a family cooperative as part of the North Shore Playcentre Association. It is in a spacious building next to the Coatesville Primary School. The multi-generational Playcentre is a focal point for the growing, diverse and semi-rural community of Coatesville. It is licensed for 30 children including 15 children up to two years of age and is open for four general sessions and a Tamariki Nui, Big Kids session per week.

The Playcentre philosophy affirms parents as valued and best educators of their children. Sessions are guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. There is an expectation that te reo and tikanga Māori will be included during sessions. Recently the Association has undertaken to make professional development available, to support centre members in learning and using New Zealand Sign Language.

The North Shore Playcentre Association manages centres’ funding and provides a training programme for parents/whānau to achieve Playcentre qualifications. It also has good systems to support centre members to manage their centres and to provide good quality educational programmes for children. The national Playcentre organisation is currently undergoing a restructure. There will be a new regional manager and new centre support roles.

ERO’s 2013 report noted the commitment of centre members to work cooperatively to plan and implement a child focused programme. It noted members’ support for parent education courses and their strong emphasis on children learning through play. These good practices remain evident.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the North Shore Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children are engaged in and enthusiastic about their play. Their perspectives are valued and respected by adults. Children are aware of the routines in the centre and participate willingly in decision making. Many children have formed good friendships and are confident to explore together in an environment that promotes whanaungatanga, manaakitanga and a sense of belonging.

Children are surrounded by very good modelling of language and articulate their thinking and ideas confidently. Whānau provide a range of resources to support children’s learning and complexity in their play. Adults are considering how to promote more complexity and challenge for younger children in the programme.

Whānau work together to ensure consensus decision making guides the programme for children. They take an active role in their children’s education and the management of the centre. Members show a commitment to the Playcentre philosophy and support each other to complete parent education courses. Newer members are guided and supported to build their knowledge by experienced members.

An Association Centre Field Officer guides and supports whānau to implement the programme. Children’s learning plans are visible for all adults. Conversations throughout the day and an evaluation at the end of the session help whānau to determine future plans to maximise opportunities for children’s learning. Adults are inclusive and responsive to children’s choices and interest. They support children with special needs well. Individual assessment portfolios show children's interests and adults’ documentation of children’s learning and development. Whānau also make good links with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum in children’s learning records.

The Association management team has a strong commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to having a bicultural partnership with whānau Māori. This commitment is evident in Association operations and in the support provided for centres. Te ao Māori is visible in the centre and whānau encourage each other to include te reo and tikanga Māori throughout the programme. Centre members are keen to continue to share their good practices with other centres in the Association.

Experienced centre members provide effective leadership and work collaboratively to manage the Playcentre. They willingly share their knowledge and expertise with new parents and appreciate the strong support they receive from the Association. Internal evaluation is developing well through a process that is purposeful and leads to improvement. Centre members agree that they could include outcomes for children as part of their internal evaluation process.

The Association provides effective governance and management structures for the centres. There are good systems in place to monitor the quality of sessions, adult education levels, and health and safety requirements. The management team demonstrates the professional leadership necessary to help the centres respond to change, including the restructure of the national Playcentre organisation.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for centre members are to continue to:

  • embed new templates and tools that have been developed to refine planning, assessment and evaluation processes

  • evaluate how effectively the programme provides for infants and toddlers

  • strengthen strategic planning and evaluate progress towards long term and annual goals. 

To help enhance practices in all North Shore Playcentres, new regional support personnel should consider ways to support members to:

  • increase their bicultural understanding and integration of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori

  • improve their understanding and use of internal evaluation as a tool to guide and improve practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Coatesville 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 Coatesville Playcentre will be in three years.

Violet Tu'uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

30 June 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 


Coatesville, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 15 Girls 9

Ethnic composition

Pākehā Chinese

23 1

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

30 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

October 2013

Education Review

September 2010

Education Review

November 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.