North Beach Playcentre - 01/05/2020

1 Evaluation of North Beach Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

North Beach Playcentre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


North Beach Playcentre operates as a parent-led cooperative under the governance and management of Te Whānau Tupu Ngātahi o Aotearoa - Playcentre Aotearoa. The playcentre employs a lead coordinator who facilitates the sessions. Playcentre Aotearoa employs a centre support worker and an administrator who regularly visit the playcentre to support the parents and coordinators.

The playcentre operates four mornings a week. It is licensed for 24 children, including 10 children up to two years. Children play and learn together in the shared indoor and outdoor areas. Parents are rostered to help at each session.

The playcentre's philosophy emphasises the importance of play and creativity for children's development, and the belief that children should initiate their own learning challenges with adult support.

Since the 2014 ERO review, the coordinator and parents have made good progress towards meeting the key next steps. They have extended internal evaluation to include curriculum, children's learning and strengthened their knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori. They are continuing to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation.

This review was part of a cluster of four playcentre reviews in the Northern South Island Regional Hub of Te Whānau Tupu Ngātahi o Aotearoa - Playcentre Aotearoa.

The Review Findings

Children are settled and confident in the playcentre environment. They choose their interests from a wide variety of resources and activities. Children are well supported to extend their learning and creative play. Infants and toddlers have a safe space to explore easily accessed resources. They are very well supported to be involved in the playcentre's programme.

Parents purposefully follow children's play interests and the cues of infants and toddlers. They work with their own and other children. Parents talk with children about what they are doing, and some use a range of questions to further develop children's ideas. Parents regularly document children's interests and participation in the programme. With the support of the coordinator, they could now place a stronger emphasis on children's progress and learning in assessment portfolios and planning.

The parent group is supported by a collaborative lead coordinator who sensitively guides and builds parents' knowledge and skills. They are a welcoming and inclusive group who establish positive relationships with each other and children.

Te reo Māori is naturally incorporated into the programme. Some parents and the coordinator have very good levels of fluency. They support each other to gain confidence in the use of te reo Māori.

The playcentre has a newly-developed strategic plan that sets clear priorities. The centre is planning to evaluate the effectiveness of its implementation. Internal evaluation is becoming established and results in improvements for children and whānau.

Playcentre Aotearoa has a well-established philosophy that acknowledges and values parents as the first educators of their children. It provides a broad range of support for playcentres, including nation-wide training courses and personnel who liaise with and assist centres. The effective implementation of a recently-reviewed policy and procedure framework will help parents and whānau to ensure that children have safe and healthy learning environments while at playcentre.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for the playcentre include:

  • strengthening the emphasis on learning in assessment and planning by planning strategies to extend children's learning, and evaluating the effectiveness of learning and other strategies over time

  • continuing to weave te reo and tikanga Māori into the daily programme.

Key next steps for Playcentre Aotearoa and the Northern South Island Hub are to provide better support to playcentres in relation to planning for learning, internal evaluation, strategic planning, and health and safety practices including relevant risk assessment and management for excursions.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of North Beach 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

1 May 2020

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

24 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 19, Boys 19

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities


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

November 2019

Date of this report

1 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

February 2012

Education Review

July 2010

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.