Mangapai Playcentre - 01/08/2019

1 Evaluation of Mangapai Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Mangapai Playcentre is licensed to provide education and care for up to 18 children, including 12 aged under two years, and currently operates two sessions per week. The centre operates as a parent cooperative and is part of the Playcentre Aotearoa national organisation.

Programmes for children are underpinned by the Playcentre philosophy of whānau and children learning together in a fun, nurturing learning environment. Whānau are recognised and valued as first educators of their children. 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.

The 2016 ERO report acknowledged children as competent, confident learners in a welcoming and inclusive environment. Good opportunities were provided for them to engage in physically active and challenging play, to problem solve and negotiate. These positive aspects have been maintained. Areas for continued development included internal evaluation, programme planning and bicultural practice. There has been some progress in these areas.

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 reviews in the Playcentre Aotearoa, Northern North Island Region.

The Review Findings

Children are settled and confident in the centre environment. They make choices about their play and engage in a wide range of experiences, indoors and outdoors. The spacious outdoor area and extensive gardens offer good opportunities for physically active play. Children have a positive sense of belonging as they explore and make discoveries alongside whānau.

Children's work is valued. Artwork is respectfully stored and available for children to revisit. These records provide a good record of children's development as they become more competent at expressing their thoughts and ideas on paper. Adults could now consider adding stories that accompany children's work to further support literacy development.

Children of all ages play together in a mixed-age setting that allows them to learn alongside older, more experienced peers and to nurture the younger children.

Te reo Māori is visible in the centre environment and heard in the use of karakia and waiata during session time. The Playcentre philosophy includes a commitment to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Centre members have identified that they would like to continue to strengthen their bicultural practice.

Adults are responsive to children's requests as they lead their own play and learning. They recognise children's individual communication styles and provide resources and language to support further learning. More experienced adults provide good role models as they support newer members.

Parents maintain individual portfolios of learning for their own children. Some also contribute learning stories to other children's portfolios. The progression of parents' learning is evident in these portfolios as they continue to engage in Playcentre adult education programmes over time. Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, is visible throughout these records.

Children's current interests are recorded at the end of sessions. Parents/whānau sometimes take these ideas for children's learning to their homes. Centre leaders are keen to establish connections and continuity of children's learning between the two sessions that are currently offered each week.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for centre members are to:

  • continue to refine and develop programme planning and evaluation processes

  • strengthen the evaluative aspect of reviewing centre programmes and processes

  • refine and strengthen strategic planning to more effectively guide the centre's future direction.

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

  • evaluating 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 Mangapai 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

1 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


Mangapai, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

18 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 7 Boys 7

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

1 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Education Review

October 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.