Herne Bay Playcentre - 05/10/2012

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Herne Bay Playcentre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children. Centre members have established sound systems for operating the centre effectively as a collective responsibility.


Herne Bay Playcentre operates under the auspices of the Auckland Playcentres Association. The association provides professional training, a framework of policies and procedures and support from association personnel to help ensure the smooth operation of the centre. Herne Bay Playcentre operates within the grounds of the local primary school.

The centre provides good quality sessional education and care for children in the shared care of their parents. The centre has a positive ERO reporting history with noticeable progress in improving centre systems and the quality of programmes to meet children’s learning needs.

Centre members base the operation of the centre on the clear and comprehensive Playcentre philosophy. The philosophy outlines the intentions of the service to provide safe, nurturing, play-based programmes led by the parent collective. Programmes reflect the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Members support transitions to school by encouraging children’s social competence and helping new members to settle into the centre. The Review Findings

Centre members enjoy respectful, friendly relationships. This enables them to work in partnership to provide programmes for their children. Members’ growing awareness of the value of their effective self-review processes is helping them to strengthen future planning for the centre.

A stronger focus on promoting parents’ engagement in and completion of Playcentre training has supported the professional growth of centre members. Members have agreed that parents would remain for all of their children’s preschool time. This has enabled children’s relationships with adults and other children, and members’ support for each other to strengthen over time. Members plan programmes together using well established systems based on what they know about children’s interests.

Children are confident and independent. They engage adults in conversations and trust that they will have their questions answered. Adults work closely with children. They follow children’s lead and extend their play and learning by asking questions and making suggestions. The programme includes a focus on science, numeracy and literacy which are interwoven incidentally as part of play. Children demonstrate a growing understanding of language, numbers and scientific concepts. The programme encourages children to challenge themselves and to take learning risks.

The association has supported its centres to strengthen members’ understanding of their responsibilities to provide a bicultural education for children. Herne Bay has begun the process of building adults’ ability to use te reo Māori with children and to adhere to tikanga. A recent association trip to a local marae, supported by prior education, was valued by members and contributed to improved understanding.

The centre’s environment is interesting and well planned. Members make good use of the available spaces to provide a wide range of activities and experiences for children.

Centre members and ERO agree on next steps for centre development, including the advantages of continuing to:

  • increase members’ understanding and use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori to recognise the bicultural heritage of New Zealand and support Māori children and their families
  • strengthen the use of children’s portfolios as a gauge of the effectiveness of programmes in supporting children’s learning over time, and to help adults to plan the programme.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the management of Herne Bay 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:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

5 October 2012

Information about the Early Childhood Service


Herne Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Sessional Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 12 aged under 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 23

Girls 12

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Samoan/New Zealand

Indian/New Zealand

New Zealand/Swiss








Review team on site

August 2012

Date of this report

5 October 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

January 2010

November 2005

October 2002

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.