Edgecumbe Playcentre - 26/05/2015

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

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


Edgecumbe Playcentre is a well-established, parent-led education and care service located in Edgecumbe. It caters for children from birth to school age and operates two mixed-age, family sessions each week. The centre is licensed for 30 children including 15 under two. The current roll of nine includes three children who identify as Māori.

Under new leadership, and assisted by an experienced association supervisor, the playcentre has been able to increase its roll, following a period of low numbers. There is now improved centre organisation and greater engagement of families.

Parent members have responded positively to the areas for review and development identified in the 2012 ERO review. They have organised and enhanced the outdoor and indoor play areas, improved assessment, planning and evaluation processes, and encouraged more parents to engage in course work. The centre has a positive ERO reporting history.

Families and visitors are warmly welcomed to the centre and become quickly engaged in the friendly and supportive culture established by centre leaders and parents.

The New Zealand Playcentre Association provides overall guidance, support and strategic direction for the local association and centres. The playcentre philosophy, 'whānau tupu ngatahi – families growing together', is strong in this centre and links the umbrella organisation with each centre, empowering parents to lead the education for their children.

This review was part of a cluster of eight playcentre reviews in the Eastern Bay of Plenty Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children and parents enjoy their time at Edgecumbe Playcentre. The positive, friendly atmosphere supports them to develop friendships. Children are learning positive social skills and are involved in play and exploration, often for extended periods of time. They are learning self-managing skills through centre routines. Meal and snack times encourage responsible self-care and allow children to choose when to participate.

Active physical, creative and dramatic play is a strong feature of the programme. It is sustained by the well-structured outdoor environment, which offers opportunities for safe challenge and risk taking. Children can access equipment to support their activities from a range of good quality equipment and resources.

Parents act as educators, and as nurturing adults committed to children’s wellbeing. Most are undertaking playcentre adult education programmes to enhance their understanding of early childhood learning and development. Parents support one another to supervise the play areas and share responsibility for each other’s children. ERO observed examples of parents extending play through their interactions as they participated responsively alongside children. Parents could further extend children’s learning by adding greater complexity to their play.

Centre members promote and display resources that reflect links to Māori culture. Many resources encourage children to revisit their earlier experiences, fostering their oral and visual language. Literacy is also fostered through readily available books. Children’s mathematics skills are promoted through puzzles, and a variety of activities involving measurement and quantity.

The programme is planned to respond to children’s choice of activities. The sessions are evaluated daily to identify children’s interests, make links to the Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and to note further possibilities for extending activities or learning. Children’s individual portfolios contain photographs and learning stories written by more experienced parents, to show children’s engagement in activities.

Strong and well-informed leadership is offered by an experienced parent role model. Aspects of leadership are shared among centre members new to the centre. This allows parents to grow in their understanding of the requirements for successful centre operation, and assists them in managing changes of membership. Centre members are committed to sustaining the service for the benefit of the local community. They have been proactive in addressing recent property maintenance issues, and are improving the comfort and security of the centre for children and adults.

The Eastern Bay of Plenty Playcentre Association effectively supports and promotes parent membership and is proactive in participating in local events and activities. There are clear policies and procedures that guide centre operations and practices. Guidelines for self review, assessment, planning and evaluation, and playcentre workshops help parents establish strategies and practices that ensure positive educational outcomes for children.

At the time of this ERO review the national association was in the process of considering changes to its organisation. This is likely to present both challenges and opportunities for further development and centre-based improvement.

Key Next Steps

Parents are increasing their understanding and use of self review as a way of making improvements to the quality of education and care for children. They recognise that a next step is to strengthen and deepen the quality of self review in order to build more sustainable improvement. Consideration should be given to:

  • adapting the current systems, such as parent surveys and annual evaluations, meeting agendas, and daily evaluations sheets, to include reflections relating to self review
  • recording and documenting self review in annual planning and meeting minutes, and evaluating how it has led to better outcomes for children and parents
  • strengthening assessment practices such as learning stories, term plans and session discussions to focus more on the individual child’s learning and development.

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.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

26 May 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service


Edgecumbe, Bay of Plenty

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 6

Boys 3

Ethnic composition





Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

26 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2012


Education Review

March 2009


Education Review

January 2006

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.