Leamington Playcentre - 20/05/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Leamington Playcentre is well placed to sustain and promote positive outcomes for all children


Leamington Playcentre is an early childhood service run by a parent cooperative and operates under the umbrella of the Waikato Playcentre Association (WPA). It is situated near Cambridge in well-established, park-like grounds and provides learning experiences for children from birth to school age. The centre runs three sessions a week and has a current roll of 16 children, of whom 10 are aged two years and over. Five of the children are identified as Māori. In 2011 the Ministry of Education relicensed the centre under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations, 2008. The centre philosophy places importance on children and adults having fun while learning at play.

Since the 2010 ERO review a complete change in parent membership has occurred creating a challenge for the centre. New parents have responded positively by taking responsibility for specific roles and centre organisation. A good proportion of parents are participating in course work, centre training and leadership. A knowledgeable parent is supporting others to increase their knowledge and understanding of te reo and tikanga Māori. A significant improvement to the outdoor area has been the building of an adventure playground.

Review Findings

The centre is welcoming to children, parents and whānau. Positive and nurturing relationships are evident amongst adults and children and these contribute to a calm and settled atmosphere for learning. Interested adults take time to listen and respond to children and their successes and milestones are recognised and celebrated. Experienced members demonstrate knowledge and experience about children’s learning, model interactions with children and foster the learning of new members through supportive relationships and mentoring. There is a consistent approach to managing children’s behaviour positively.

The many babies and toddlers are cared for sensitively. The programme is flexible to meet their needs. Adults provide responsive nurturing and care.

Members plan and document a programme based on children’s identified strengths and interests. They notice, recognise and respond to children’s learning and document this in individual profile books and attractive centre displays. Children have ready access to a good range of equipment and materials. A variety of experiences is provided for children and there are meaningful links to the local community. There are many opportunities to develop their social skills. Toddlers benefit from learning alongside older children who model more complex levels of play.

Adults read to children and participate alongside them in their learning. Bicultural perspectives are evident in centre displays, and karakia before meals. Centre members' value and acknowledge the contribution that whānau bring to the service and express a willingness to build their own capability in te reo Māori.

There is an emphasis on the natural world as a result of children’s interests and the local environment. Positive and respectful relationships are evident amongst parents as they take responsibility for the care and learning of each other’s children.

Self review is both formal and documented in the minutes. Centre members have reviewed strategic planning to make it meaningful to current members, and progress is addressed at monthly meetings. There is a focus on attracting new families and improving equipment and resources.

Succession planning is evident. Experienced members support newer members to develop their confidence in leadership roles. A good proportion of members are involved in centre training. One father is committed to providing support for management of the property. Centre leaders make good use of annual planning and financial processes provided by the Waikato Playcentre Association to ensure centre sustainability.

WPA is providing effective governance for Leamington Playcentre. This is evident through support with documentation, policies and personnel. An experienced and knowledgeable centre support worker is guiding centre members as they establish a new team to manage the centre. The centre support worker visits the centre regularly and provides a centre report that identifies strengths and next steps for improvement.

Key Next Steps

Centre members would benefit from making better use of the relicensed criteria to identify goals for the strategic plan. They should be written in a way that is specific and measureable and have documented action plans and identified people with responsibility.

Members need to ensure that responsibilities for centre organisation are shared equally amongst all members for sustainability.

There is a need to enrich the curriculum to add complexity as children progress through the centre. Parents need to make more effective use of Te Whāriki as a developmental curriculum.

Families need to continue to build on their knowledge and understanding of te reo and te ao Māori and integrate this throughout the sessions. The centre should develop minimum expectations for all adults competency in the use of te reo Māori.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Leamington 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

20 May 2013

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

Boys 9 Girls 7

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā




Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Exceeds minimum requirements


Over 2


Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

20 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

February 2010

June 2006

June 2002

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.