Edgecumbe Playcentre - 20/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Edgecumbe Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Edgecumbe Playcentre is a parent-led education and care service located in the town of Edgecumbe in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. It caters for children from birth to school age and operates two mixed- age morning sessions per week. The playcentre is licensed for 30 children including up to 15 children under the age of two years. The current roll of 14 children includes four who identify as Māori.

During 2018, the New Zealand Playcentre Federation transitioned from operating with 32 regional associations to become one national body with six regional offices. In the central North Island six associations have merged into a regional hub renamed Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island Region that now includes 95 playcentres over a large geographic area. During this transition there is some overlap between associations and the new national regional systems and processes. At Edgecumbe Playcentre the president is supported by a committee of parent members. A role model, centre administrator and support worker are provided by the federation.

Through their national philosophy, the playcentre places emphasis on whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together. They empower adults and children to play, work and grow together and value and affirm parents as first and best educators of their children.

Edgecumbe Playcentre has a positive reporting history with ERO. Since the last ERO review in 2015, members have had training in internal evaluation and assessment, however this remains an area for development.

This review was part of a cluster of four playcentres in the Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island region.

The Review Findings

Children experience positive and meaningful interactions with parents and other adults as their first teachers. Their rights are clearly evident and learning is fostered by a range of teaching strategies. Positive relationships are promoted and support children's wellbeing and belonging. Children benefit from partnerships with parents that value and affirm their learning experiences.  

A well-resourced and attractive environment is deliberately set with provocations that invite learning. Oral language is well supported through open ended questions, which promotes thinking and reasoning. Children lead their own learning and are confident to make choices and decisions through risk-taking and challenge. Children under the age of two years enjoy a calm and responsive learning space. The area is age appropriate and allows for free movement, fostering curiosity and independence. Members are responding appropriately to very young children’s non-verbal cues. Children are seen as confident, competent learners and explorers.

Intentional planning guides session design which is responsive to children’s needs. Planning is discussed and identified at the end of sessions during evaluations and reflections. Literacy, mathematics and science are woven authentically through play. Trips and excursions into the community support meaningful and authentic learning. Assessment practice is developing. To further strengthen consistency in assessment, language, culture and identity needs to be more visible in children's portfolios. A strong culture of support for all members is in place, and long-serving members role model good practice and this supports positive outcomes for children.

Te reo and te ao Māori are visible in resources, the environment and heard throughout the learning programme. Tuakana teina relationships are encouraged and promoted in play. Visits to local marae and places of significance supports children's understanding of the bicultural heritage of New Zealand.

Leadership has effectively established a positive culture for learning. There is a collaborative approach to leadership. A long-serving qualified president provides continuity for members and an employed role model, promotes good practice to members. Office holder's roles are filled within the playcentre and an informal succession plan is in place to build the capacity and capability of members. The vision, mission and philosophy are well designed and effectively promoted. An internal evaluation framework guides change and improvement. Children benefit from experienced leaders who are focused on positive learning outcomes.

The Playcentre Aotearoa overarching strategic plan, philosophy, vision and individual annual plans have been implemented and guide the playcentre direction. There is a focus on building capability through recently reviewed and improved parent education programmes. Regular communication between the Playcentre Aotearoa and regions through the restructure support business as usual. Existing policies and systems guide centre operations until all new systems developed by Playcentre Aotearoa are implemented nationally. The federation is committed to offering more accessible localised training to respond to the needs of the community.

Key Next Steps

To support the many new members there is now a need for leaders to offer mentoring and guidance to ensure:

  • consistency of assessment practices are in place
  • individual child's language, culture and identity is more visible through assessment.

Ongoing support for members to increase their knowledge of the early childhood curriculum Te Whariki and assessment and planning of children’s learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services
Central Region

20 February 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

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls                       8
Boys                      6

Ethnic composition



Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

20 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

March 2012

Education Review

March 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.