Mangapapa Playcentre - 26/08/2019

1 Evaluation of Mangapapa Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Mangapapa Playcentre is located in Gisborne. The centre provides three weekly morning sessions for 25 children, including 15 up to the age of two. At the time of this review, there were 20 children enrolled.

The centre is administered by Playcentre Aotearoa, Central North Island Region and is supported by a regional manager. National policies are in the process of being developed and distributed to playcentres for implementation. A newly employed centre support worker is beginning to regularly visit playcentre to provide professional guidance and support, strengthen practice and promote improvement.

The Playcentre Aotearoa philosophy, 'whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together', is to empower parents and children to learn, play and grow together. Alongside this, the centre philosophy promotes children developing confidence through allowing calculated risks, fostering independent action and decision, to support children develop the values of empathy, mindfulness, courage and inclusiveness.

Whānau and families are valued as the primary educators of their children and share responsibility for the curriculum. Day-to-day operation is undertaken by an employed supervisor and centre-elected office holders.

The December 2017 ERO report identified key next steps for ongoing development at Mangapapa Playcentre. These included: strengthening assessment for learning and understanding of internal evaluation to support decision making. These areas still require further development.

This review was part of a cluster of five playcentres in the Tairāwhiti area.

The Review Findings

Children, parents and extended whānau settle quickly into the daily programme. Positive and respectful relationships promote a strong sense of belonging and community. Attentive parents play and work alongside children to effectively model the values that underpin the philosophy. Children's independence, decision making and risk taking is appropriately fostered.

A collaborative approach to learning through play enables adults to support children to explore a range of resources and activities and respond to their emerging interests. Infants and toddlers experience an inclusive environment in which they actively explore their surroundings. Older children are respectful and nurturing of their younger peers. Tuakana teina relationships are well promoted.

The Playcentre value of 'parents as first and best educators' supports whānau Māori to define what educational success looks like for their children. Useful te reo Māori prompts, karakia and waiata are visible within the environment. As the roopu and regional structure rebuilds in the area, parents should seek ways to develop their understanding of kaupapa Māori approaches to teaching and learning to foster this.

The assessment and planning process has been strengthened to better identify children's strengths and emerging interests. The supervisor works collaboratively with parents to develop children's individual learning goals. A range of useful templates and a clear framework supports this process. A next step is to continue to strengthen the evaluation of how children's learning has progressed overtime in achieving the identified learning goals.

A regular cycle of policy review is in place. Parents are reflective of how changes in the environment impact on learning experiences for their children. Internal evaluation is in the beginning stages of development. Leaders should support the playcentre to strengthen this process by identifying what high-quality practice looks like, in line with the philosophy, to help guide decision making and evaluation of how well changes achieve this.

Through a time of change, members have taken a proactive approach to maintain systems and processes. The centre has accessed relevant information and have been supported by more experienced personnel with an ongoing emphasis on building capability. Robust procedures have been developed to guide members' understanding and implementation of the Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education & Care Services 2008 and Early Childhood Education Curriculum Framework.

Playcentre’s national restructuring process has significantly hindered the support and professional development provided to centre members. Regional personnel are in the early stages of rebuilding collaboration and support networks. National systems and processes are yet to be consistently implemented. There is a recent focus on building relational trust and a responsive parent education system to establish more effective operation. A key next step is for regional managers to ensure that expected levels of support are enacted for each centre.

The appraisal process is currently based on annual review of successes and challenges. This requires further strengthening to better reflect roles and responsibilities, building of capability and evaluation of performance aligned to outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

At playcentre level, priorities are to:

  • deepen understanding of children's culture, language and identity, particularly for Māori children

  • strengthen the use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori

  • continue to strengthen use of the assessment, planning and evaluation system

  • grow understanding and use of internal evaluation for improvement.

At the governance level (Playcentre Aotearoa), priorities are to:

  • continue to develop and implement national policies and procedures

  • ensure ongoing support and education is provided to centre members to grow understanding of quality early childhood education

  • strengthen the appraisal process for employed staff.


ERO recommends that the regional team actively monitors and evaluates the quality of support provided to playcentres to promote improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mangapapa 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

26 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Female 11, Male 9

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

26 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2017

Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

November 2010

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.