Hunterville Playcentre - 09/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Hunterville Playcentre

How well placed is Hunterville 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.


Hunterville 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, four sessions a week, in a mixed-aged setting. This includes provision for 15 children up to the age of two. At the time of this review there were 32 children enrolled and four 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 regularly 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. A facilitator guides learning and teaching.

The March 2015 report of Hunterville Playcentre identified areas for development for the association and the playcentre. These included: assessment, planning and evaluation practices; effective support from management; appraisal; philosophy review; and implementing te ao Māori through the curriculum. Progress is evident.

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

The Review Findings

Children follow their interests and make choices from carefully considered activities. Adults facilitate learning through play in the well-resourced environment. Literacy, mathematics, science and physical opportunities are positive features of the programme. Excursions into the community enhance children's experiences.

Positive relationships amongst children, parents and whānau promote a sense of belonging and enjoyment. Children are affirmed as competent and capable. Infants and toddlers are appropriately supported to confidently explore. Adults' practice is responsive to their preferences and interests.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are promoted. Teachers use te reo Māori and children appropriately respond. Karakia, tikanga and waiata are woven through centre rituals and areas of play. The environment includes kupu Māori, posters, books and natural resources. Visits to the local marae further support the bi-cultural curriculum. Continuing to build strategies for promoting te ao Māori across the curriculum should strengthen members' responsiveness to Māori children's culture, language and identity.

There is an established process for assessment, planning and evaluation. Curriculum planning is responsive to children's developing interests. Parents work with the goals, dispositions and learning outcomes of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. They write about these in children's individual learning plans and portfolios. Support to further develop members' understanding of meaningful assessment and planning is ongoing.

Transitions in to the centre are thoughtfully considered by families. Children attend events at the local school. This helps them to successfully move on to their next learning pathway.

The centre is inclusive of children with additional needs. There is good knowledge of local agencies if strategies or support are required.

Professional development is building adults' understanding of internal evaluation. Members are aware of the need to further extend their knowledge, practice and use of evaluation for improvement.

The centre support worker is providing some effective guidance and relevant feedback to grow members' practice.

Suitable planning priorities and objectives are incorporated into the centre's strategic and annual planning. There is a strong focus on growing membership. Appraisal processes are in place and are useful in growing practice. Centre members affirm this process.

Key Next Steps

At playcentre level, priorities are to:

  • further develop understandings and use of effective internal evaluation

  • deepen understandings of children's culture, language and identity.

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

  • understanding and implementation of effective internal evaluation

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


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

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hunterville 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 Hunterville 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 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 18, Boys 14

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

March 2015

Education Review

January 2012

Education Review

December 2006

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.