Maungaraki Playcentre - 06/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Maungaraki Playcentre

How well placed is Maungaraki 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.


Maungaraki Playcentre is one of 17 centres administered by the Hutt Playcentre Association (the association). The association is made up of elected volunteer representatives from its member centres. It provides the parent committee at Maungaraki with governance and management support. A kaitautoko, a centre support person is employed by the association to provide guidance.

The Playcentre is licensed to provide mixed age sessional education and care for 29 children five days a week. This includes 15 children up to the age of two. An extended session 'tamariki nui' is held on Mondays. This primarily focuses on achieving the aspirations families and whānau hold for their older children.

Curriculum planning and implementation is a shared responsibility. Each session is supported by a team of parent educators who hold Playcentre training certificates. When necessary they employ a supervisor with the level of training that meets the legislated requirements for group supervision.

Almost all centre members are involved in the adult education training programme provided by the association. The centre has sustained good numbers taking advantage of this opportunity for active involvement in their child's education.

The service and the association have a positive reporting history with the ERO. Effective centre practice identified in the June 2013 ERO report has been sustained. Good progress has been made in responding to the areas identified as requiring development at the time of the previous ERO review.

This review was part of a cluster of eight in the Hutt Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children’s interests and learning are well supported by parent educators. The tamariki nui session provides many opportunities for children to lead their learning, make decisions, and sustain their play.

Children participate enthusiastically in a varied range of planned and spontaneous activities. The child initiated programme is responsive to children's current and emerging interests. A positive tone is evident.

Infants and toddlers are made to feel welcome and quickly establish a sense of belonging. They experience a curriculum that responds to their interests, needs, and special characteristics. Children with additional learning needs are well supported in the inclusive programme.

Literacy, mathematics and science are an integral part of children’s Playcentre experience. The inclusion of te ao Māori and acknowledgement of children's cultures languages and identities continues to evolve.

The Playcentre enjoys strong links with the local school and its community.

Maungaraki Playcentre's well enacted philosophy, strongly reflects the Playcentre philosophy of parent led education, learning through play and the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

There are good opportunities provided for children to learn about healthy eating, active movement and sustainable practices. The outdoor learning space promotes a range of positive physical challenges. Frequent trips in the community enrich children's experiences.

Assessment, curriculum planning and evaluation practices provide adults with useful information to help them plan programmes responsive to children’s interests, strengths and if required identified needs. Individual learning profile books celebrate children's progress, showing their developing skills, knowledge and attributes. Helpful strategies are in place to support parents who are new to documenting and recording children's learning.

The association is an improvement focused organisation committed to providing timely and relevant support for its member centres. The June 2013 ERO reviews found the support provided at the centre level by kaitautoko was appreciated and supportive. ERO also recognised that formalising this arrangement to provide a more effective approach to responding to the needs of individual centres was a next step for development. An evaluation of the effectiveness of changes to kaitautoko practice for improving outcomes for centre members and children is planned for.

At Maungaraki Playcentre, members are made up of a diverse group of enthusiastic parents and whānau who bring valuable skills and knowledge to their roles. The high levels of involvement of the centre's community and a sense of collective responsibility to children, provides a positive platform for learning. Well-developed systems support the smooth day-to- day running of the Playcentre.

The previous ERO report identified centre leaders would benefit from association support to further develop assessment, planning and self review practices. The dual purpose of self review for accountability and improvement is understood and increasingly guides ongoing decision-making. The association should continue to support the centre in growing these practices to contribute to effective internal evaluation.

Key Next Steps

The association:

  • must implement rigorous annual appraisal for the kaitautoko and identify professional development to support them in their leadership roles

  • should build kaitautoko knowledge and capability to undertake effective internal evaluation. This should include a focus on providing centre members with evaluative feedback that assists them to further develop aspects of the curriculum and centre practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Maungaraki 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.

Action for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to governance and management practices. To meet requirements the association needs to improve its performance in the following area:

  • fully implementing a system of regular appraisal.[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Maungaraki Playcentre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

6 May 2016

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


Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

29 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 31, Girls 27

Ethnic composition




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

March 2016

Date of this report

6 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

September 2009

Education Review

June 2006

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.