Hinds Playcentre - 21/06/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Hinds Playcentre is one of eight playcentres managed by the Mid Canterbury Playcentre Association. The association provides the framework and support for the operation of the centre. The parents and supervisors are responsible for the daily management of the centre and the programme provided for children. High child to adult ratios are maintained at mixed -age sessions.

Hinds Playcentre provides good quality education and care for children. Supervisors and parents work well together. They provide stimulating programmes that are based around the children’s interests. They successfully link home and centre experiences and expectations to provide continuity in learning.

The supervisors and parents actively encourage children to make choices about their play and learning. They provide a good range of interesting activities and resources. The outdoor space reflects the children’s rural environment. It is large and well designed for exploration and imaginative and physical play. The supervisors and parents confidently share their skills and knowledge within the programme to benefit children and other adults.

Association personnel provide a good range of support and training to the supervisors and parents. They help parents ensure the centre maintains a high level of health and safety. They provide programmes and guidance to help supervisors and parents develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to successfully manage the centre and promote positive learning outcomes for all children.

ERO, the association managers and centre whānau agree that the next steps to improve children’s learning include:

  • making better use of child assessment and planning to show and plan for children’s learning
  • increasing understanding, knowledge and pride in New Zealand’s bicultural heritage among the children and their families.

Future Action

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

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. To reach these findings ERO evaluates:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how governance and management determines the service’s vision/philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how the leadership and capability of all involved, including educators, enhances positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is implemented to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning reflect diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of partnerships with whānau and self review. ERO evaluates how well placed the centre is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at Hinds Playcentre.

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


The playcentre philosophy states that the centre operates as a parent cooperative where parents are recognised as the child’s first and best educator. The family unit is valued, promoted and supported. Each child is accepted, nurtured and provided with a stimulating and creative environment. Te Tiriti o Waitangi is reflected in the centre environment and culture.

This review was conducted as part of a trial of ERO’s revised approaches to reviews in early childhood education services. The trial used a cluster approach for the reviews of eight playcentres within the Mid Canterbury Playcentre Association umbrella organisation.

Areas of strength

ERO observed children who were happy, confident and settled within the centre environment. The supervisor and parents are active partners in children’s learning. Home and centre experiences and expectations are well linked in the centre programme.

Children and parents warmly welcome each other. They enthusiastically share ownership of the playcentre values and its commitment to all children and families.

The supervisor and parents respect children and encourage them to make choices about their play and learning. They provide a wide range of interesting activities and resources. They give children the time and space that that they need to actively explore and develop their own ideas and understandings. Children participate in sustained and meaningful play individually and in small groups.

Infants and toddlers are well supported in the programme by adults and older children. Parents confidently and willingly take responsibility for other parents’ younger children. They carefully supervise, encourage exploration and introduce new activities. Older children willingly include younger children in their play.

The supervisor and some parents effectively extend children’s thinking and problem-solving skills through the use of a range of questions. The modelling of these good practices is helping newer parent helpers to also develop these skills.

The centre parents are well supported by the association to understand and use self review effectively to improve learning opportunities for children. Parents make good use of the playcentre parent education programme and association centre support to develop their knowledge and leadership skills.

Areas for development and review

ERO, the association managers and centre parents agree that the next steps to improve learning outcomes for children include:

  • identifying in assessment and planning documentation children’s learning and progress and the ways that parents support this learning
  • developing an understanding and inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori in consultation with families of Māori children and the wider Māori community

making closer links between the association and centre strategic plans, self review, supervisor appraisal and training to strengthen sustainability and capacity at all levels of the organisation.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Hinds 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 documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Future Action

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

21 June 2012

About the Centre


Hinds, Mid Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Full Licence, Sessional Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Playcentre roll


Gender composition

Boys 12; Girls 11

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

21 June 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Discretionary Review

March 2009

October 2005

May 2002