Harewood Playcentre - 16/07/2014

1 Evaluation of Harewood Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Harewood Playcentre operates under the guidance of the Canterbury Playcentre Association. The Playcentre is a parent cooperative with parents encouraged to be involved in all aspects of the programme and operation. Harewood Playcentre operates five morning sessions a week.

The playcentre is located in a hall that is shared with the community. Parents set up and pack away before and after each session. The centre has two long-term experienced coordinators.

The playcentre has been through some unsettling times as a result of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. The hall was frequently closed and the playcentre operated from a classroom in the adjoining Harewood School. Parents and children enjoy a range of activities inside the centre, and with students at the school.

Since the July 2010 review, coordinators and parents have improved child-led play and extended opportunities for children to use literacy in the context of play.

This review was part of a cluster review of seven playcentres under the Canterbury Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

The coordinators and parents provide a positive, friendly and welcoming environment. Parents relate well to each other, and to all children. Parents and children feel a sense of belonging and form strong friendships.

Children play well together. New families are made to feel welcome and are well supported into the playcentre way.

The inside and outside play areas are well organised, attractively presented with a good range of equipment and activities that interest infants and older children. The area for under two-year-old children has been improved. This includes more space, a mat and a good range of suitable toys for toddlers and infants.

Older children confidently make choices about their play. They lead their own learning and follow their interests. Parents and coordinators enjoy and encourage children’s imaginative play.

Children and parents enjoy interesting experiences inside and outside the playcentre, often joining Harewood School’s activities.

The coordinators and parents have made some progress identifying and including some bicultural perspectives into the centre’s environment and programme. The coordinators are attending professional development which is helping them to learn more about Māori culture.

The coordinators and parents are developing their understanding of self review.

Canterbury Playcentre Association

The association has effective systems and practices for monitoring health and safety, and parent involvement in the centres. The association’s support team visits assist centre staff to meet the association's expectations for the daily operation of the centre.

The association centre support team provides a vital link between the parents and the association. In centres where this link is strong, ERO found the centres received good quality targeted support. In these centres the coordinators and parents worked effectively as a parent cooperative. They had well defined roles and responsibilities and were able to provide evidence that the centre’s programme was extending children’s learning.

Key Next Steps for the Canterbury Playcentre Association

The association is undertaking major restructuring. A new manager was appointed in April 2014. The playcentre philosophy provides a good foundation for the association to build its vision and make the changes for the organisation and its centres. Plans to support the achievement of this vision have yet to be put in place.

Next steps for the association should include:

  • clearly documenting the association’s future goals, plans and progress
  • making clear links from the association’s strategic plans to centre plans, and association and centre self review
  • strengthening the support provided to centre support team members through more targeted professional development and robust appraisal
  • providing ongoing documented feedback from the centre support team to parent groups about the quality of teaching and learning.
  • Key next steps for the Harewood Playcentre

The playcentre association, coordinators and parent supervisors should review:

  • the purpose and usefulness of child profiles in relation to children’s assessment and programme planning
  • what is going well and next steps related to learning, teaching and improved outcomes for children
  • what success for Māori looks like for this playcentre
  • ways to develop emergent leadership to make sure the centre stays sustainable with future leaders.

The association and coordinators have acknowledged they are ready to develop goals and plans that link to self review, professional development and the coordinator’s appraisal. This will ensure progress and the improvement of the programme and learning outcomes for all children can be monitored and improved.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

16 July 2014

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


Harewood, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 29 Girls 23

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

South African




Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

16 July 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

July 2010


Education Review

April 2007


Supplementary Review

April 2004

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.