Coromandel Playcentre - 14/04/2016

1 Evaluation of Coromandel Playcentre

How well placed is Coromandel 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.


Coromandel Playcentre is located in the small coastal township of Coromandel next to the local primary school. It is licensed to provide two sessions a week for 30 children including up to 13 children under the age of two years. At the time of this ERO review there were 24 children on the roll, including seven children identified as Māori. The centre's philosophy is evident in practice. Parents, care-givers and whānau take responsibility for all aspects of the running of the centre and play an active part in nurturing the holistic well-being and development of their children. Diverse cultures are welcome in this playcentre, and their culture, language and identity are acknowledged and respected.

Coromandel Playcentre is one of 13 centres governed by the umbrella organisation known as Thames Valley/Coromandel Playcentre Association (TVCPA) affiliated to the New Zealand Playcentre Federation. The centres in this association cover a wide geographical area which presents challenges for both the governance/management body and individual centres.

Since the previous Education Review in 2013 the TVCPA has under gone a complete restructuring. It has employed key personnel to undertake the day-to-day management of the association and centres. This change has allowed the governance board to plan more strategically, effectively manage their finances, property, personnel and health and safety requirements.

The centre has also made good progress in addressing the next steps identified from the previous ERO report. These were to further develop provision for babies and integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into the programme.

This review was part of a cluster of six playcentre reviews in the Thames Valley/Coromandel Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Thames Valley/Coromandel Playcentre Association provide effective and responsive governance and management for the centre. Children were happy, confident and engaged in their learning. There is a strong and trusting relationship between adults and children. Coromandel Playcentre is a long-established centre that takes pride in its intergenerational connections. Valuable community networks developed in the centre adds to a strong sense of belonging for children and their whānau. Whānau involve themselves in children's play, extending children's interests from session to session, and bring ideas and activities that add complexity to children's learning.

A special feature of this playcentre is the strong commitment parents have to their children's early childhood education. Parents extend their own good practises of teaching and learning by participating in parent education courses provided by the TVCPA organisation. Centre members continue to develop a broad, interesting and engaging learning programme for their children. Self- review related to their outdoor environment supported the development for a long concrete path where children can practise and refine their motor skills with the use of scooters and bicycles. Children are given the opportunity to develop self management and social skills such as practice, tolerance, patience, cooperation and to experience success.

Bicultural practices are evident throughout the learning programme where children and their whanau learn te reo and tikanga Māori alongside each other. An experienced whanau member provides guidance and expertise for centre members. Puriri Whakamaru o Hauraki provides external guidance and support for the centre around bicultural practises. Since the last ERO visit, the centre has embarked upon an extensive self-review about how to improve children's bicultural experiences and enjoyment in meaningful contexts for learning. It is timely for the play centre to embed these practices across the learning programme so all children benefit from rich bicultural learning experiences.

Babies and toddlers are well supported. ERO observed parents with their babies enjoying a calm and peaceful designated area. Stimulating activities were also observed where babies were playing alongside their parents. Fathers are positive role models in the centre and were fully engaged in children's learning. Grandparents and extended whānau also have a strong presence in the playcentre and are valued for the knowledge and expertise they bring to the learning programme.

An experienced, collaborative and knowledgeable leadership group provide effective guidance and modelling for centre members. Centre leadership has a wide range of members from new to very experienced who have found strength in sharing roles and responsibilities. A newly appointed and experienced liaison officer offers support and guidance for centre operations.

The centre has a strong focus on developing effective oral language that creates positive outcomes for children. All areas of play are visible and accessible to promote child-led play. Centre members and leaders have established a useful framework for planning and evaluation that gathers meaningful information about children's learning. Parents skilfully use what they notice about children's learning to evaluate and plan further experiences and opportunities. These are well documented and presented in individual learning profiles that children proudly share with their families. These profiles show increasing levels of understanding as adults participate in ongoing training. It is now time for parents to develop a process that documents children's learning overtime to show their development and progress.

Transitions to school are well supported. Recent self-review has resulted in the school adopting familiar playcentre practises and philosophies into their morning programme for new entrant children. This is resulting in positive outcomes for whanau and children.

Key Next Steps

Centre members and ERO have identified that members should continue to receive assistance to increase administration efficiency and centre operations.

It is important for adults to continue to seek support from Puriri Whakamaru o Hauraki to:

  • further support children to learn about the history of local hapū and iwi through meaningful experiences and stories
  • increase adults' knowledge of te reo Māori and include this in meaningful contexts during sessions
  • continue to build the confidence and competence of centre members to provide a programme that reflects the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

14 April 2016

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


Coromandel, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 13 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 17 Boys 7

Ethnic composition



Other European




Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

14 April 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

December 2009

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.