Diamond Harbour Playcentre - 22/08/2019

1 Evaluation of Diamond Harbour Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Diamond Harbour Playcentre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Diamond Harbour Playcentre operates as a parent cooperative under the governance and management of the Playcentre Federation, Upper South Island Region. It is licensed for 21 children, including 15 aged under two. The playcentre is open three mornings a week. A new session has recently begun operating, to cater for an increase in enrolments.

The playcentre employs a coordinator and parents are rostered to help at each session. During 2018, the centre operated as an unfunded playcentre for two terms until the coordinator gained parent education qualifications. The Upper South Island Region employs a centre support person and an administrator who regularly visit the centre to support the parents and coordinator.

The centre's philosophy emphasises the important role of parents in children's learning and wellbeing. The importance of building strong relationships between children, adults and families is also valued. The provision of a safe and supportive environment where children can play, learn and take risks is promoted.

Playcentre adults have made good progress towards addressing the recommendations of the 2012 ERO report.

This review was part of a cluster of eight Playcentre reviews in the Playcentre Federation, Upper South Island Region.

The Review Findings

Children and parents enjoy positive and affirming relationships. They know each other well from their regular contact at the centre and within the wider community. Infants, toddlers and young children play well with, and alongside, others. Children are happy and settled.

Children are confident, capable learners who lead their own learning. They are well supported by adults who are respectful and responsive to their interests and needs. Adults work effectively as a cooperative, sharing their skills, knowledge and interests with each other and the children. Older children support younger children to engage in their learning.

Children's learning benefits from a rich and well-resourced programme which is diverse, interesting and challenging. It encompasses their interests and links home and centre learning well. Good use is made of the local community and environment. This includes a strong relationship with the local school and kindergarten, which also supports children's easy transition into school.

Te reo and tikanga Māori are in the early stages of development in the programme. The centre now needs to further develop and embed bicultural practices across centre operations and in documentation. Pacific language and culture is another area that needs more acknowledgement and visibility in the programme.

The centre has a useful process for internal evaluation. A recent internal evaluation has resulted in improvements to the way children's learning is captured in assessment and planning. Adults now need to better document parent aspirations, home cultures and how children's learning will be extended by adults. They also need to strengthen internal evaluation by documenting strategies that have contributed to positive learning outcomes.

Key Next Steps

The Upper South Island Region, the playcentre and ERO agree that the key next steps are for the centre to:

  • better document parent aspirations, home cultures and how identified learning will be extended
  • ensure strategies of adults that have contributed to positive learning outcomes are identified and documented
  • extend the use of te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme and centre documentation
  • acknowledge and make Pacific language and culture more visible in the programme.

Upper South Island Regional Governance

There continues to be significant change occurring with the playcentre's governance and management at regional and federation levels.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Diamond Harbour 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

22 August 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

21 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 15; Girls 10

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

22 August 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

May 2012

Education Review

September 2008

Education Review

February 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

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.