Kumeu Playcentre - 22/08/2019

1 Evaluation of Kumeu Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Kumeu Playcentre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Kumeu Playcentre is situated in a rapidly growing, semi-rural and culturally diverse community. It operates three sessions each week for 30 children up to six years of age. The centre also hosts two SPACE (Supporting Parents Alongside Children's Education) programme sessions for parents and their babies. Many who attend these sessions later enrol for the Playcentre sessions.

Programmes for children are underpinned by the Playcentre philosophy of parents and children playing and learning together. Together, centre members have devised a set of values based on the Playcentre Aotearoa vision statement. These include supporting child-initiated play in a mixed-age setting, parents as first teachers, high adult-to-child ratios and honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Adult education programmes are offered to all parents who enrol their children at Playcentre. Qualifications gained through these programmes are required for sessions to receive funding.

ERO's 2015 report identified areas for development relating to operational processes and curriculum provision. Current members have worked to develop these aspects of their practice.

A new regional structure for Playcentre Aotearoa came into effect in June 2019. Regional staff are responsible for establishing effective management systems to support each centre. Support personnel visit centres regularly to carry out administrative tasks and model effective teaching, programme planning and evaluation practices for centre members.

This review was part of a cluster of six playcentre reviews in the Playcentre Aotearoa, Northern North Island region.

The Review Findings

Children settle quickly and respond positively to opportunities for choosing and leading their own play. They play cooperatively and confidently together, and with trusted adults. Children explore resources and the environment freely. They enjoy the variety of activities and experiences that adults provide. The programme is highly responsive to the interests and strengths of children of all ages. It includes a well-considered blend of adult-designed activities and children's creativity.

Parents/whānau support children in respectful and individual ways. They engage with all children, building on their interests and developing strong, nurturing relationships. Conversations with children are frequent. Experienced centre members model meaningful conversations to support those new to Playcentre.

The centre includes children with Māori and Pacific backgrounds and has a growing focus on including te reo Māori in programmes. Children sing waiata and karakia with enthusiasm. Centre members also embrace those families who choose Playcentre and who have English as an additional language. Celebrating special cultural festivals and hearing children's home languages helps families to learn about others' cultures.

Children's individual portfolios record their participation in the programme and their development over time. Planning for each child is in place. End-of-session discussion about what adults have noticed is also included in portfolios. Centre members should continue to develop this aspect of their work and particularly, the evaluation of children's learning over time.

Centre members work well as a collegial team to ensure sessions are well organised and managed. They have a strong focus on improving the centre's environment and programmes.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for centre members are to:

  • evaluate provision for children's learning with a focus on practices that challenge and extend children's thinking

  • continue to increase the inclusion of tikanga and te reo Māori throughout the learning programme

  • include more early literacy, oral language learning and mathematical concepts in meaningful ways as part of play.

The regional manager and support personnel agree that key next steps for the region include:

  • providing targeted support for centre members to establish effective strategic and annual planning, with links to the long-term goals of Playcentre Aotearoa

  • implementing and embedding the revised Playcentre adult education programme

  • establishing the effectiveness and impact of the personnel who are employed to support centres

  • establishing effective programme planning and evaluation processes that support and extend the learning of all children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kumeu 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

22 August 2019

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


Kumeu, Auckland

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 36 Boys 32

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
other ethnic groups


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

22 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2015

Education Review

September 2012

Education Review

June 2009

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.