Mosgiel Playcentre - 18/01/2019

1 Evaluation of Mosgiel Playcentre

How well placed is Mosgiel 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.


Mosgiel 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, mostly with their parents. The playcentre has close links with the adjacent primary school.

The daily sessions are led by a qualified educator and parents. Some families have been involved in the playcentre for a long time and some have educational backgrounds. A parent committee oversees the operation of the playcentre. Some members are very experienced in their roles.

In 2017, the playcentre was supported by a centre advisor, with occasional visits and frequent communication from the Otago Playcentre Association (OPA). In 2018, the New Zealand Playcentre Federation restructured the association. The playcentre now has regular visits and ongoing support from a centre support worker and a paid administrator. Playcentre representatives meet regularly with a cluster of other local playcentres to share and improve practices.

Mosgiel Playcentre's philosophy emphasises that the centre is a family-like community where parents learn and grow alongside their children. It states that children learn best in a mixed-age, safe, fun place, with a high adult-to-child ratio. It emphasises the importance of child-led, uninterrupted play and celebrating people's uniqueness. This philosophy was very evident in the playcentre practices, programme and interactions during the onsite stage of the review.

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

The Review Findings

Children show a strong sense of belonging to their playcentre. They confidently choose and direct their play and learning. They play well alongside and with each other and show sustained interest in what they are doing.

Children are very well supported by affirming and caring relationships. Adults know the children very well as individuals and as learners and know their families. This means that adults are very responsive to children's interests and make links between centre and home life in their play. Adults use incidental opportunities well, to challenge and extend children's language and learning.

The playcentre is very well resourced. Resources are well organised, readily accessible to children and invitingly presented. Adults have ensured that there are safe areas and resources appropriate for infants and toddlers, as well as resources to challenge and extend older children.

The quality of individual and group planning has improved since the last ERO review. Individual goals often focus on recognising and developing positive dispositions. Learning stories often link back to children's goals and increasingly describe the relevant learning. The present group plan, about caring for one's self, others and the environment, has been extended to increase the depth of learning. Linked to group plans, children enjoy a wide range of interesting experiences and activities. This includes regular trips, with a learning focus, into the local and wider community.

Consistent with the philosophy, the playcentre provides important support and learning for the adults. Parents assist each other in their role as children's first teacher, and provide extra support for families at times of need.

The playcentre is well managed and governed. Committee members have clear roles and responsibilities and follow sound governance practices. Adults are very reflective and show a strong commitment to providing the best for their children. Regular self review informs ongoing improvements.

At the time of this review, the Otago Playcentre Association had transitioned to the New Zealand Playcentre Federation's new operating model. It has amalgamated with Southland and South Canterbury Playcentre Associations to become the South Island Southern Region. While the changes led to some disruption of the services provided to individual playcentres, the OPA effectively managed 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

Mosgiel Playcentre and ERO have identified that the key next steps are to:

  • promote parent participation in the newly-developed playcentre qualifications
  • strengthen te ao and te reo Māori in the day-to-day programme
  • clarify the centre's priorities for children's learning
  • identify key strategic priorities and develop a useful strategic plan to guide centre direction.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

18 January 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 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls: 13 Boys: 18

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

18 January 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

July 2011

Education Review

February 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.