Mornington Playcentre - 13/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Mornington Playcentre

How well placed is Mornington 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.


Mornington Playcentre is one of 47 playcentres within the New Zealand Playcentre Federation's newly-formed South Island Southern Region (SISR). It is open five mornings a week. Up to 25 children from birth to school age attend with their parents. The playcentre is located next to the local school. The families are from diverse cultural backgrounds. There is a core group of families who have been part of the playcentre for many years.

The sessions are led by two qualified educators and parents who have a range of playcentre qualifications. Many of the parents are continuing to increase their levels of training.

In 2017, the playcentre was supported by a centre advisor, with occasional visits and frequent communications from the Otago Playcentre Association (OPA). In 2018, as a result of the Playcentre Federation restructuring of the association, the playcentre now has regular allocated times for visits and receives ongoing support from a centre support worker (CSW) and a paid administrator.

The playcentre has made very good progress in addressing the recommendations of the 2013 ERO report.

This review was part of a cluster of nine reviews in the SISR Playcentres.

The Review Findings

Mornington Playcentre has a strong group of committed parents and educators. They provide stability and continuity of knowledge and practice that contribute to the smooth operation of the playcentre. Many of the families choose to have their children stay at playcentre until they start school.

Children enjoy the stimulating and interesting learning environments and benefit from the close attention of their parents and educators. Adults join in children's play and have meaningful conversations with them. They allow children to take the lead in their learning.

The educators and parents are exploring what learning is valued in the playcentre. They view children as being highly capable and competent. They provide a wide range of activities and experiences that provide choice and challenge. This includes, an "explorers" session where children and their families explore local bush and parks.

Māori children attend with their whānau. They are well supported by their own and other parents to know that their language and culture are valued and naturally presented in the programme. The parents identified that continuing to grow bicultural practice is an area for ongoing development.

Infants and toddlers are very well provided for. There are many interesting opportunities for learning and developing friendships, as seen in the thoughtful planning and resourcing for these age groups and tuakana- teina relationships with older children.

There are robust processes for assessment, planning and evaluation. The termly and daily programmes are based on the adults' careful observations of children's interests and learning. The adults plan meaningful strategies and experiences to extend their learning. Children's profile books show continuity of learning over time.

Internal-evaluation practices are used very well to make ongoing improvements to the programme and practices in the playcentre. The parents choose topics for internal evaluation that are likely to make the most difference to outcomes for children. They take collective responsibility for ensuring that internal-evaluation practices are manageable and sustainable.

The parents work very effectively together as a team to run the playcentre. They share the roles and responsibilities, providing many opportunities for emergent leadership. They have a useful strategic plan to guide the centre's direction.

At the time of this review, the Otago Playcentre Association was implementing the New Zealand Playcentre Federation's new operating model, and was amalgamating with Southland and South Canterbury Playcentre Associations to become the South Island Southern Region. While the changes resulted in some disruption to the services provided to individual playcentres in 2017, the OPA is effectively managing the restructure with the resources available to it. Each playcentre now receives regular support from a paid administrator and a centre support worker. There are robust systems in the association for monitoring the progress and performance of individual playcentres, and targeted support is given when needed.

Key Next Steps

The educators and parents have identified and ERO agrees, that the key next steps are to continue to:

  • explore what learning is valued in the playcentre and include these in the philosophy

  • strengthen aspects of bicultural practices, including the use and integration of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mornington 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 Mornington Playcentre will be in four years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

13 June 2018

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

Girls: 18

Boys: 16

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

13 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

July 2009

Education Review

March 2005

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.