Feilding Playcentre - 09/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Feilding Playcentre

How well placed is Feilding 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.


Feilding Playcentre is one of 19 administered by the Central Districts Playcentre Association (the association). The centre is licensed to provide sessional education and care for 30 children, two sessions a week, in a mixed-aged setting. This includes provision for 20 children up to the age of two. At the time of this review there were 84 children enrolled and 16 identify as Māori.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation of which Central Districts Association is part, is undergoing a significant restructure that includes amalgamating associations. Playcentres will become part of a regional hub, supported by a regional manager and others.

The federation philosophy, 'whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together', is to empower parents and children to learn, play and grow together. Alongside this, the centre philosophy fosters an emergent, child-led curriculum.

Whānau and families are valued as the primary educators of their children. Curriculum planning and implementation is a shared responsibility. Each session is supported by a team of parent educators who hold Playcentre training certificates.

Centre support people visit playcentres to provide professional advice and support, and to strengthen practice and promote improvement. Responsibility for day-to-day operation is undertaken by centre-elected office holders.

The February 2015 ERO report of Feilding Playcentre identified areas for development for the association and the playcentre. These included: assessment, planning and evaluation practices; effective support from management; internal evaluation; reviewing the centre philosophy; and implementing te ao Māori through the curriculum. Limited progress in addressing these areas is evident.

The review was part of a cluster of 11 reviews in the Central Districts Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children show confidence and actively engage in activities in the well-resourced, play-based programme. They have time and space to lead their own learning. Members know children well. Infants and toddlers are appropriately supported to explore and make discoveries. Adults' practice is responsive to their preferences and interests.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are evident in the environment and through rituals. Members recognise the need to strengthen bi-cultural practice. They acknowledge that developing their understanding of te ao Māori to better support Māori learners is a next step. ERO's external evaluation confirms this development.

Regular portfolio entries document children's participation in the programme. These include relevant information about their engagement with creative arts, mathematics, literacy and science experiences. Some progression of children's learning is recognised. More consistently showing children's learning over time is a next step.

The daily session template provides useful prompts to guide the documentation of planning and evaluation. Activities provided are based on children's current interests. Adults should more clearly document the significant learning that is happening, and evaluate how effectively they support and extend children's learning.

Transition to school is supported through providing useful information about local schools and a leaving ceremony. There is a well-established, reciprocal relationship with the local school.

The centre is inclusive of children with additional needs. Established relationships and access to agencies is available, if support is required.

Planned internal evaluation is in the early stages of development. Spontaneous review occurs with positive changes made to improve the environment. A key next step is for the association to provide guidance and support to members to develop their internal evaluation capability and understanding to: inform decision-making; improve the quality of practice; and promote positive learning outcomes for all children. The centre philosophy requires review. This was a key next step from the 2015 ERO evaluation and has yet to be actioned.

Priorities and objectives are incorporated in the centre's strategic and annual planning. The association has a useful appraisal process. This is yet to be suitably implemented at centre level. As new policies and systems are implemented there is a need to communicate why these are relevant and how these are to be incorporated into practice at centre level. Support and guidance for session facilitators and members needs to be strengthened. The association needs to improve its monitoring to raise the quality and consistency of support provided to the playcentre.

Key Next Steps

At playcentre level, priorities are to:

  • review the centre philosophy

  • further develop understanding and use of effective internal evaluation

  • fully implement all aspects of assessment, planning and evaluation

  • promote educational success for Māori.

At the association/federation level, priorities are to continue to strengthen:

  • centre support that is consistently effective in identifying and responding to playcentre needs

  • implement meaningful appraisal for employees

  • understanding and implementation of effective internal evaluation

  • members' understanding of assessment, planning and evaluation practice.


ERO recommends that the new regional team actively monitor and evaluate the quality of support provided to playcentres.

The service, with association support, will provide ERO with an action plan that shows how the priorities for improvement will be addressed. ERO will request progress updates.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

9 May 2018

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 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 44, Girls 40

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

9 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

March 2012

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 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.