Nuhaka Playcentre - 03/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Nuhaka Playcentre

How well placed is Nuhaka 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.


Nuhaka Playcentre is one of eight early childhood centres administered by Tairawhiti Playcentre Association, (the association) which oversees governance operations. A board of governors provides guidance and support for members.

The playcentre is located on the grounds of Nuhaka School. It operates mixed-age sessions one morning a week for a maximum of 18 children, including eight children up to two years of age. Of the 10 children enrolled, one child identifies as Māori. Parents cooperatively provide the programme and are assisted by an employed centre support person.

The February 2014 ERO report identified that significant improvement was needed, particularly in the following: assessment; planning and evaluation; the bicultural curriculum; the consistency of effective teaching practice; and internal evaluation. Key next steps were identified for the association which focused on ensuring the centre was effectively governed and managed.

Playcentre members and the board of governors at the association received targeted support through a Ministry of Education funded programme, Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO). The Playcentre Federation has also provided ongoing professional development related to the key next steps.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the Tairawhiti Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Since the February 2014 ERO report, the association has built their internal capacity to provide clear direction and targeted support for centres.

Playcentre members have made good progress in improving the consistency and quality of their teaching practice. They have participated in ongoing professional learning and development to further their understanding of effective teaching strategies, self review, the bicultural curriculum and assessment, planning and evaluation.

The philosophy promotes child-initiated play, expresses a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and encourages parents to share in the responsibility for the education of their children. This approach is evident in practice.

Children’s play and learning are extended by adults working alongside them in a play-based programme. Adults are attuned and responsive to emerging interests and supplement the environment further by providing additional resources. Children engage in sustained play. Where appropriate, excursions into the community are used to provide an extension to the learning programme.

Toddlers play and learn alongside their peers, actively participating in the programme provided. Members have made good progress in consistently using effective strategies to support and extend children’s play and learning. Routines are well established and through these children’s independence skills are fostered. Adults effectively support children’s social and emotional competence. Literacy is valued and promoted within the programme.

There is a commitment by members to provide a bicultural curriculum. The use of te reo Māori is integrated into the interactions with children, and aspects of tikanga Māori are practised. The association plans to provide greater strategic guidance for playcentres in promoting success for Māori as Māori. ERO's evaluation affirms this planned development.

Playcentre members have been responsive to the need to build their understanding of assessment for learning. This process is collaborative, with adults contributing to the portfolios of children other than their own. Narratives highlight children’s interests and are used to inform ongoing planning. While progress is evident, adults should continue to strengthen their understanding of analysis of learning. This should assist them to identify significant learning occurring for the child and plan accordingly.

A robust process for self review and internal evaluation is used to guide improvements. Throughout this approach children remain central when reflecting on and evaluating the changes made. Members should continue to strengthen this practice by collating the range of evidence required to support the evaluative judgements made.

Adults have an understanding of the implications of the changes required to meet the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. The Playcentre Association has provided initial guidance in this area.

The board of governors demonstrates leadership in supporting playcentres in their understanding of legislative requirements. Monitoring of these in the playcentres has been supported through the appointment of a liaison officer. In addition, the association has developed:

  • an operational manual which provides policy guidance for members
  • appointment procedures
  • a system for police vetting
  • an appraisal process for employees
  • an approach for reviewing and evaluating the services’ guiding documents and ongoing developments.

The association has identified a next step is to develop an internet safety policy. ERO agrees that social networking and appointment policies should also be developed.

Key Next Steps

The association should assist members to address the key next steps to:

  • clearly identify the significant learning for the child and use this to plan accordingly
  • gather specific evidence and use this to inform evaluative judgements made.

The association should:

  • provide greater strategic direction for centres in promoting success for Māori children as Māori
  • develop polices for social media and staff appointments.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

3 February 2016

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

18 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 7, Boys 3

Ethnic composition





Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

3 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2014


Education Review

October 2010


Education Review

June 2007

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.