Lynmore Playcentre - 14/12/2016

1 Evaluation of Lynmore Playcentre

How well placed is Lynmore 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.


Lynmore Playcentre is located in Rotorua and caters for children up to six years of age. It is a parent led cooperative licensed for 30 children, including up to 20 children under the age of two years. At the time of this ERO review 36 children were enrolled, of whom one identifies as Māori. It currently provides sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings for children, parents and whānau.

The centre currently operates under the umbrella of Rotorua Playcentre Association. Lynmore Playcentre is one of 14 playcentres in the Rotorua Playcentre Association. The association provides a policy framework for centre management and operations, as well as parent-education programmes and personnel to support centre members in their work with children.

The Rotorua Playcentre Association is experiencing a time of change as all playcentre associations throughout New Zealand merge with the New Zealand Playcentre Federation. This restructure will mean significant changes at the local association level.

Lynmore Playcentre has recently reviewed its philosophy statement. The philosophy promotes belonging together - whānau kotahi, playing together - tākaro tahi and growing together - tupu ngātahi. Parents and whānau celebrated the 50th anniversary of the playcentre in 2016.

The 2014 ERO review identified that the centre required further development in a number of areas. This 2016 review process has identified progress in these areas. These areas include strengthening self review to support better learning outcomes for children, stronger assessment of learning and new parent understanding of learning interactions.

The Review Findings

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

Children experience a family-oriented learning environment where they are empowered to learn alongside their parents, other adults, and younger and older peers. Parents' intimate knowledge of their children means that they accurately identify and respond to developmental and learning needs. Parents work collaboratively to plan a programme that contains an appropriate mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities.

Children benefit from a rich range of experiences in a well-prepared environment that provides both choice and challenge. They are well supported to develop their social, physical and cognitive skills in a range of relevant and meaningful contexts. ERO observed a range of effective teaching practices that support children's learning and exploration. These include modelling, open-ended questioning to promote thinking and problem-solving. Children have opportunities to take risks in a safe environment and be involved in sustained play.

The mixed-age setting ensures infants and toddlers have many opportunities to be extended in their learning and exploration by older siblings and peers while at the same time remaining safe and secure in the care of their parents.

Te reo Māori and tikanga Māori are included as a normal and natural part of the session. This is an area that leaders agree could be further strengthened. This development should more effectively enhance all children's understanding of Māori language and culture and strengthen Māori children's pride and identity.

Effective systems support parents to assess children's learning and development, and to plan how to extend and add complexity. More experienced members share their knowledge and expertise to build the capacity of others and to ensure good practice is sustained. A strong culture of learning and development means that nearly all parents are involved in the ongoing professional development provided by the Rotorua Playcentre Association.

A recent review of the playcentre philosophy has resulted in a deeper understanding of, and a greater commitment to the playcentre approach for many of the parents currently involved. There is a shared vision about outcomes for children and supporting families and whānau. A range of effective communication systems are used to ensure parents are informed and feel included. Experienced leaders share their knowledge, promote a collaborative approach and support others into taking on responsibilities and leadership tasks. This approach means that current strategic and annual goals are likely to be achieved and current good practice can be sustained into the future.

Recently strengthened systems and processes for internal evaluation promote ongoing and sustained improvement.

Key Next Steps

In order to sustain and improve the current positive environment for children's learning, parents should give consideration to:

  • proactively managing the transition from governance under the Rotorua Playcentre Association to the new national body

  • strengthening the use of te reo and tikanga Māori in the centre with a particular focus on developing a systematic approach to Te Arawatanga. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

14 December 2016 

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 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 18 Girls 18

Ethnic composition







Review team on site

October 2016

Date of this report

14 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

November 2011

Education Review

August 2008

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.

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.