Kaiwaka Playcentre - 16/11/2017

1 Evaluation of Kaiwaka Playcentre

How well placed is Kaiwaka 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.


Kaiwaka Playcentre is licensed to provide three sessions each week for up to 25 children from birth to school age. Programmes for children are underpinned by the Playcentre philosophy of parents and children playing and learning together and supporting children to become independent learners. 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.

ERO's 2013 report recommended improving self-review processes. The centre has experienced a change of families and centre structure since 2013. Parents are implementing new approaches as they learn more about them. The centre continues to attract families from the local community, and now has three group sessions each week.

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 are happy, settled and engaged. They are building friendships with each other. Children have access to a wide range of resources and move freely between the available activities.

The Playcentre philosophy is evident in practice. Parents follow children's lead. They provide resources, support the children’s decisions and nurture their independence. Some parents have good strategies for nurturing children's vocabulary, and supporting their play-based learning.

A daybook is used to record children's participation in the programme. Planning and children's individual portfolios include connections to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Centre members need to consider how they can increase the continuity across sessions, based on children's interests. This coherence would strengthen programme planning. Portfolios could more strongly reflect children's individual learning and development over time.

The programme includes good examples of bicultural practice. Māori resources are varied and accessible. Te reo Māori is used frequently during the session, and a karakia is sung prior to morning tea. Children's whakapapa is evident in their portfolios. Association workshops have helped to build parent/whānau confidence in using te reo, and some parents model good practice for others. Provisions such as these support the cultural background of Māori children, and help all children to become familiar with the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The centre's strategic goals are focused on continual improvement. A planned review of the outdoor area could include a focus on making the centre more inviting, and providing more physical challenges to help improve children's upper body strength. Playcentre adult education courses and guidance from the Association are continuing to increase centre members' confidence in managing the centre.

The centre support worker (CSW) team is aware of the strengths and needs of each centre. Individualised and effective support helps each centre to continue fostering positive learning outcomes for children. CSWs provide good professional leadership to sustain improvement and growth.

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

To enhance current practices centre members should work with the CSW to:

  • strengthen how well the programme supports children's ongoing learning

  • use programme evaluations to promote ongoing improvement and continuity of learning

  • strengthen internal evaluation by revisiting decisions made and outcomes for children's learning

  • provide more outdoor challenges to improve upper body strength.

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 educational 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 Kaiwaka 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 Kaiwaka Playcentre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

16 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 5 Boys 5

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent led

Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

16 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2013

Education Review

April 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.