Lincoln Playcentre - 07/11/2014

1 Evaluation of Lincoln Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


This playcentre operates under the guidance of the Canterbury Playcentre Association. The playcentre is a parent cooperative. The parents are encouraged to be involved in all aspects of the programme and centre operation.

Lincoln Playcentre has five morning sessions a week.

Since the February 2012 ERO review, the centre has identified the role of parents as a critical factor for increasing the retention of three and four-year-old children in the centre. The use of te reo Māori and inclusion of New Zealand’s unique culture in the centre programme remains an area for development.

A programme called ‘Babies Can Play’ is well supported by parents to introduce babies and parents to the playcentre programme, with the possible prospect of enrolment as children get older.

This review was part of a cluster of 11 playcentre reviews in the Canterbury Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Positive and caring relationships support parents and children’s interactions. Children are involved in making purposeful decisions about their learning, and are well supported by parents. Parents praise and encourage children’s efforts to share, cooperate with others in their play or play independently. Children have easy access to a wide variety of high-quality resources to support their learning.

Parents enthusiastically support each other and help others to grow their skills and confidence. The good communication between parents builds strong relationships and supports parents’ active involvement.

Parents are developing a good understanding of Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum and how it relates to children’s learning. Learning stories are well displayed. They provide good models for writing for parents and make helpful links to the attitudes that children are reflecting in their learning.

Self review is developing and is currently focused on recognising children’s learning. The centre is deliberately taking a more cautious approach so parents get to understand the process better.

An effective parent cooperative is building on and using the strengths and skills of parents to competently manage the centre. The use of duty teams and a buddy system ensures appropriate support for new parents.

The successful promotion of parent training by leaders has increased the number of parents who are completing courses beyond Course One. A weekly parent-led session is supporting the aim of building leadership in the centre.

Key Next Steps

The centre parents and ERO agree that the next steps for the centre include:

  • continuing to develop assessment and planning processes, particularly recognising and responding to children’s learning
  • developing self review by analysing and making sense of the information gathered, and planning and improving learning outcomes for children
  • a planned approach to promoting the unique bicultural context, history and language of New Zealand in the programme.

Canterbury Playcentre Association

This is the third cluster review of a number of playcentres that ERO has undertaken in collaboration with the association. Each of the previous cluster reviews have identified emerging strengths from all playcentres reviewed. This process has resulted in key next steps for the association to further support playcentres to improve learning outcomes for children.

The association has made some good progress in addressing the recommendations from the previous two cluster reviews. This includes:

  • supporting children’s transitions to school
  • re-establishing the centre managers’ appraisal system
  • improving feedback from the centre support team to parent groups about the quality of teaching and learning.

Further work is required to develop a stronger understanding of the government’s focus on priority learners so that the association can better support parent groups to respond to these children.

There continues to be significant change occurring in the structure of governance and management at association and federation levels. This has had a major impact on the association’s positive response to ERO’s recommendation from the previous cluster review, to document future planning.

Key Next Steps for the Canterbury Playcentre Association

During this cluster review the association has identified, and ERO agrees, that the next steps for the association include:

  • helping parent groups more effectively sustain the developments in bicultural practices and strengthening the focus on Māori achieving success as Māori
  • reviewing assessment and planning processes to help adults identify children’s learning and the ways that adults can help children with their learning
  • developing a clear understanding of the process of strategic planning at association level and sharing this with parent groups
  • continuing to support and grow emergent leaders in playcentres.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

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

26 children, including up to 10 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 34; Boys 22

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā



Reported ratios of adult to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

7 November 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

August 2011


Education Review

June 2007


Education Review

May 2004

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.