Hukerenui Playcentre - 06/11/2017

1 Evaluation of Hukerenui Playcentre

How well placed is Hukerenui 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.


Hukerenui Playcentre is located in the grounds of Hukerenui School. It offers three sessions each week for 21 children between birth and school age. There are two mixed-age sessions and a 'Big Kids' session for four-year-old children. In the past three years the centre has experienced a significant growth in membership. Many centre members are currently enrolled in Playcentre adult education programmes.

The Playcentre philosophy values parents/whānau as the first and best educators of their children. They take on roles and responsibilities that contribute to the running of the centre. This structure offers opportunities for emergent leadership.

Centre members have responded positively to areas for development identified in ERO's 2014 report. These areas included aligning long-term and annual plans with internal evaluation systems and continuing to increase adult education levels.

The centre is part of the Northland Playcentre Association, which provides governance and management support for 31 Playcentres in Northland. The Association provides systems and adult education programmes to help members manage centres and support their children's learning. A centre support worker (CSW) regularly visits each centre. The Association also provides education support for five Playcentres in the Far North.

Playcentre Aotearoa is in the process of a national restructure. It is expected that a new regional manager and centre support personnel will be appointed towards the end of 2017.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 Playcentre reviews in the Northland Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children at Hukerenui Playcentre are confident, creative and curious. Infants and toddlers have opportunities to explore, make choices and try out new activities. Older children play cooperatively and sometimes lead small group activities. They initiate imaginative play, learn about the natural world and experience physical challenge in a spacious outdoor area. Children participate with enthusiasm in pōwhiri, waiata and karakia.

Positive relationships between families foster a sense of community and shared purpose. Together, parents/whānau provide a play-based programme that is responsive to children’s interests. Adults listen to, and respond to children's ideas. They provide a range of learning experiences that promote investigation, innovation and hands-on learning. Adults recognise when to offer extra resources that affirm and foster children's sustained play.

Parents/whānau have developed good planning systems to guide the programme. Assessment information records children's individual interests and their participation in group experiences. Individual assessment and 'day-book' records include clear links with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Parents/whānau and school staff have developed shared understandings about positive ways to support young children's learning. These shared understandings contribute to a cooperative, mutual approach that nurtures children's wellbeing as they move onto school.

Centre members' enthusiasm for Playcentre training reflects their commitment to having an active role in their children’s education. Experienced members recognise they should continue to model effective practices, to build the capacity of all members to contribute to the curriculum and centre operations.

Members have made good progress towards their identified long-term and annual goals. They are capably managing the centre rebuild on a new site within the school grounds. Members have developed a robust internal evaluation system. They could now document how long-term and annual goals contribute to improved outcomes for children and families.

The centre support worker (CSW) is aware of the strengths and needs of the centre. Her support helps members to foster positive learning outcomes for children. The CSW provides good leadership to sustain improvement and growth. Centre members appreciate that the CSW is available to answer their questions and share information that adds to their collective knowledge.

The Association continues to provide a sound management framework to assist members in managing their centres. Centre members' leadership and increased participation in adult education courses help to sustain the Association and centre viability. The governance board works collaboratively to share information with centre members as they respond to changes, including the national restructure.

Key Next Steps

Next steps for centre members are to:

  • provide a curriculum that is increasingly responsive to the cultures and languages of all children, particularly Māori and Pacific
  • document assessment that shows the individual child's learning over time.
  • To enhance current practices in all Northland Playcentres, the new regional manager and support personnel should assist centre members to:
  • build their knowledge of te ao Māori, increase their bicultural understandings and promote ongoing education success for Māori children, as Māori
  • document and evaluate progress towards strategic goals
  • strengthen internal evaluation to guide ongoing improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

6 November 2017

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


Hukerenui, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

21 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 17 Girls 8

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent led

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

6 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2014

Education Review

May 2010

Education Review

February 2007

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.