Maramarua/Kopuku Playcentre - 02/09/2013

1 Evaluation of Maramarua/Kopuku Playcentre

How well placed is Maramarua/Kopuku 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.



Maramarua/Kopuka Playcentre is a rural parent cooperative operating under the umbrella of the Counties Playcentre Association. It is licensed for 25 children from birth to school age. The roll consists of eight children, including three identified as Māori, who come from the surrounding rural area. The playcentre is located in the grounds of Maramarua School in the Thames Valley and benefits from a positive relationship with the school. At the time of this ERO review, the centre was about to be re-licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 2008.

The 2009 Supplementary ERO report stated that good progress had been made. Since this report there have been changes in the membership of families, and new office holders appointed. A liaison facilitator from the association attends meetings and supports parents. A recently appointed support worker guides parents and models interactions with children during morning sessions.

The association provides a comprehensive training programme for parents of children attending playcentres. It also provides administration support and a framework of policies and procedures to be implemented by the centres. The playcentre philosophy is based on that of the Playcentre Federation and places children, and parents as first teachers, at the heart of all operations.

Parents and association support personnel have worked hard to improve the playcentre environment and re-establish regular sessions and programmes for children. With continued support, parents now need to increase membership and develop an annual plan to guide future self review and improvement.

The Review Findings

Parents help children to access resources, extend their play, and manage themselves independently within the playcentre programme. ERO observed respectful and responsive interactions and conversations. Children experience flexible routines and are able to lead their own play, or engage in prepared activities that adults introduce.

All of the playcentre’s sixteen areas of play are available for children and presented in a colourful and literacy rich environment. Children’s sense of belonging is promoted through large photos of themselves and their families/whānau. In addition children’s creative work is attractively displayed and celebrated both on the walls and in their learning portfolios. Learning stories written by parents, describe children’s activities and play at home and during playcentre sessions. They are developing ways to identify what children are learning, and ways to extend and enrich their learning and play.

The co-presidents have been actively involved in acquiring playcentre course qualifications. They have established a welcoming and friendly atmosphere for children, parents and visitors to the centre and have begun to seek new members. They have benefitted from the support and role modelling of the playcentre association staff.

Parents, with the help of the support worker, have begun to review the vision for this playcentre to reflect the local context and provide direction for future improvement. In addition, the co-presidents have started to review policies and self review processes to better reflect the aspirations and goals of the present families. There are good systems to monitor health and safety. Effective support from the association provides opportunities for parents to further their training, and learn how to manage finances and other operations.

Key Next Steps

The next steps for the playcentre parents are to review the following aspects:

  • continue to develop the playcentre philosophy
  • complete the annual plan to show goals, targets and review of outcomes
  • establish a way of documenting  self review
  • continue to improve assessment, planning and evaluation
  • explore ways to enrich and extend children’s thinking during interactions and conversations
  • increase the use of te reo Māori in the programme
  • continue to develop and document the transition-to-school programme. 


ERO recommends that the playcentre association continue to work with parents to achieve the next steps outlined in this report. This is likely to build sustainability and support for the playcentre during times of membership change.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the management of Maramarua/Kopuku 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:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

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 Maramarua/Kopuku Playcentre will be in three years. 

Dale Bailey
National Manager Review Services
Northern Region

2 September 2013 

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 


Maramarua, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 4 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      4
Girls       4

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

2 September 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)


Supplementary Review

June 2009

Supplementary Review

September 2008

Education Review

May 2007

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.