Miramar Playcentre - 13/07/2017

1 Evaluation of Miramar Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

With ongoing association support, Miramar Playcentre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Miramar Playcentre is one of 19 parent-led early childhood centres governed and administered by the Wellington Playcentre Association (the association). It is licensed to provide mixed-age sessional education and care for 30 children, four mornings a week. This includes provision for 18 children, up to the age of two, at any one time.

A council, of elected volunteer representatives from each of the association's member centres, oversees operation of the association at the governance level. Their work is assisted by an operations manager and general manager. An executive committee administers the adult education programme and tutors provide timely guidance and support for members. Responsibility for daytoday operations is undertaken by centre-elected office holders.

A centre support worker is employed to visit the centre and provide professional advice and feedback to strengthen practice and promote improvement. The support worker's more formalised role was developed after the 2014 ERO review identified the need for a more effective response to the needs of individual centres.

The association philosophy, 'Whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together', underpins practice and is articulated as empowering parents and children to learn, grow and play together. This guides the service's provision and practice for their learning community.

Curriculum planning and implementation, at Miramar Playcentre, is a shared responsibility. Each session is supported by a duty team of parent educators who hold playcentre training certificates. All centre members participate in the adult education programme provided by the association. The centre has improved its level of professional learning so all sessions are now led by qualified members, enabling parents to be actively involved in their child's education. 

Miramar Playcentre and the association responded proactively to the areas identified for improvement in the June 2014 ERO report. The centre reviewed its practices in relation to the values at the heart of its philosophy. Members have upskilled to better engage and support the purposeful learning of children.

The roll has increased and families with diverse cultural backgrounds add richness to the centre. Leaders have benefitted from association support to further develop a more bicultural perspective, their assessment, planning and self-review practices.

The centre has received targeted support through the Ministry of Education funded programme, Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) and from the association. Considerable work has been undertaken by members, in response to ERO’s recommendations, and progress is evident.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation, of which the Wellington Association is part, is planning a significant restructure for 2017. Playcentres will be grouped in regional hubs, supported by a regional manager and support persons.

The review was part of a cluster of ten in the Wellington Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children’s holistic development is enhanced through engagement in child initiated play-based learning. Te Whāriki and playcentre philosophy underpin centre practice. Developing assessment, curriculum planning and evaluation practices, provide adults with timely and useful information that help them plan meaningful learning experiences responsive to children’s interests.

Members are aware of the importance of maintaining continuity across all sessions, ensuring that all children’s learning needs are recognised and met. Individual learning portfolios celebrate children's progress, showing their developing skills, knowledge and attributes.

Well-chosen, age-appropriate equipment and effective session planning enable and support centre children of all ages to play and learn together. Up-to-two year olds are well provided for and responded to, as are all children.

The centre support person and duty teams provide effective leadership. Centre leaders model good quality practices. A sense of collective responsibility for children and high levels of community involvement are evident. Members are a diverse group of enthusiastic parents and whānau who bring valuable skills and knowledge to their roles. Well-developed systems support the smooth daytoday running of the playcentre. Children have a positive platform for learning.

Well-considered transition processes for children and parents new to the centre enable them to become part of the learning community. Parents are mentored by more experienced members who model an open collaborative approach. Successful transition to school is enabled through reciprocal information sharing between the centre and local schools.

A comprehensive internal evaluation was undertaken during 2014. This was to discover how well the association and centres included te reo me ngā tikanga Māori as part of a culturally rich, responsive curriculum. The inclusion of te ao Māori as an integral part of children's daily experience has been strengthened.

Members reviewed the centre’s bicultural practices again in 2016. They identified the need to upskill new members in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and support the learning of those from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Te reo Māori is included naturally in activities and play, and is visible throughout the centre. Building sustainability in bicultural knowledge and practices should provide continuity for the centre.

Internal evaluation for accountability and improvement is an identified area of focus for centre development. Strengthening these practices should guide centre direction and enable more strategic decision-making.

Key Next Steps

Association and centre leaders should strengthen and improve outcomes for children and families by continuing to strengthen bicultural perspectives and internal evaluation. This should ensure the good practice occurring is sustained and prioritised developments are achieved.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

13 July 2017 

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

30 children, including up to 18 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

18 Boys, 14 Girls

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

May 2017

Date of this report

13 July 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

September 2010

Education Review

January 2008

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.