New Windsor Playcentre - 25/05/2015

1 Evaluation of New Windsor Playcentre

How well placed is New Windsor 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.


New Windsor Playcentre operates in the grounds of New Windsor Primary School in a multicultural residential suburb of West Auckland. The centre is licensed for 30 children with a maximum of 15 up to two years of age in a mixed age group. Recent increases in membership of New Windsor Playcentres have enabled the centre to be opened for a fifth session each week. One of these sessions is an ‘outdoor nature session’ when members take children to natural areas or walking tracks.

The centre follows the Playcentre philosophy and has also developed their own centre philosophy to guide their work with children. The centre aims to provide a child-led, holistic programme that supports children to become confident and capable learners.

New Windsor Playcentre has a history of positive ERO reports. Although the centre has at times, been short of trained members, the centre has continued to strive towards quality for their children. The Association supports members to engage with Playcentre adult education to increase the value of the teaching and learning programmes provided for children.

The centre is part of the Auckland Playcentres Association which provides Playcentre adult education, frameworks of policies and procedures and support from Association personnel. Each Playcentre contributes to the make-up of the Association and has representatives at Association level.

At present the Playcentre Federation is undertaking a restructure with the aim of maintaining the viability of Playcentres throughout New Zealand. This is likely to change the current structure of the Auckland Playcentres Association.

This review was part of a cluster of nine Playcentre reviews in the Auckland Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children are settled, engaged and confident in the centre. The programme provides opportunities for them to explore and to make choices about their play. While younger children play predominantly alongside other children, friendships between children are evident. Friendly and open relationships amongst adults provide good models for children.

Several parents/whānau attending the session are new to Playcentre. The centre is ably led by a few long serving members. More purposeful sharing of leadership roles would support newer centre members to have a greater sense of ownership of the centre.

Children respond positively to play opportunities offered to them. Some adults provide interesting and exciting activities in the programme. Children are confident to talk to adults. Parents are starting to engage children in conversations that prompt their thinking and invite their contributions.

Children frequently choose books to be read to them. This supports their growing vocabulary and understanding of language. Adults’ occasional use of te reo Māori with children and centre displays show members’ intention to reflect the Playcentre commitment to bicultural practices.

Adults arrange the environment to provide appropriate activities and play spaces to meet children’s interests and needs. For example, they provide a quiet space for non-mobile infants, as well as offering more challenging opportunities for older children in outdoor activities. Adults provide suitable resources and are developing the environment to be more inviting for children.

Parents/whānau work together in assessment and planning processes. All children have portfolios and parents regularly add learning stories to these. At the end of each session, adults evaluate the programme and share their knowledge about their own children. This would be a good time for parents to also discuss what children are learning and how adults can further support children’s interests.

The Association’s strategic plan provides a guide for governance and is regularly monitored. Management and governance processes are well established. The Association provides assistance for centres, and appropriate Playcentre training courses. It provides regular termly visits from a curriculum and programme supporter. Association office holders are highly committed to the Playcentre philosophy and to maintaining Playcentre as a valuable early childhood education option for parents/whānau.

Key Next Steps

Centre members identified key next steps include:

  • using children’s ideas more frequently in planning and evaluation.
  • encouraging centre members to engage with and complete Playcentre adult education courses
  • discussing together the boundaries for children’s behaviour so that consistent practices can be followed
  • strengthening bicultural practices in the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

25 May 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service


New Windsor, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 22 Girls 13

Ethnic composition







Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

25 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2012


Education Review

October 2008


Education Review

October 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.