Nuhaka Playcentre - 17/02/2014

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

Nuhaka Playcentre is governed by the Tairawhiti Playcentre Association (the association). This evaluation finds there are significant areas that require development. The association is administered by a board of governors. Recruiting and sustaining members on the board has been difficult and has resulted in many systems and processes not being kept up-to-date. As a result, the current level of support from the association is not sufficient to assist playcentre members to grow their practice to improve learning outcomes for children.

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


Nuhaka Playcentre is located in Nuhaka, outside of Gisborne. The centre offers supervised group sessions one morning per week for a maximum of 16 children, including six children up to two years of age. Given the low numbers of families participating in the centre, succession planning is required to ensure the future viability of the service.

At the time of this review a relatively low number of parent volunteers have higher level Playcentre qualifications. There has been significant turnover of membership. One parent volunteer has an appropriate qualification enabling the playcentre to meet funding requirements. The playcentre employs a paid supervisor.

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

The Review Findings

Nuhaka Playcentre requires significant support to further improve outcomes for children. 

Many of the policies and procedures informing centre operations are not current. The association should give priority to the review of policies, procedures and systems so that they support parents’ practice. This review should also assist succession planning.

The association should develop its knowledge and understanding of regulatory requirements to better support playcentre members. Guidance through such documentation should support parents' understanding and implementation of:

  • playcentre philosophy
  • legislative requirements
  • succession planning.

Parents take an active role in providing an inclusive environment that promotes children’s belonging. Individual family preferences are respected and accommodated. Infants and toddlers play and learn alongside older children. Responsive and respectful relationships are formed with families. Parents take an active role in their children’s learning.

Planning, assessment and evaluation of children’s learning require strengthening. Playcentre members have made progress since the October 2010 ERO report. Children’s interests are recorded regularly. Their portfolios are a reflection of their participation in the programme. Session evaluations identify experiences that children have been involved in. These could be improved by identifying learning and determining the next learning steps for individual and groups of children to inform future planning and assessment entries.

The playcentre members are in the early stages of developing their understanding of success for Māori as Māori. Whānau feel welcome at Nuhaka and take an active part in the session. Resources and excursions acknowledge te ao Māori. Adults’ use of te reo Māori has been the subject of reflection but is not yet well integrated into the programme. The playcentre is considering strategies to further develop its bicultural curriculum. ERO affirms this decision.

Opportunities to extend children’s thinking are not consistently acted upon. There is a need to support parents to discover more about children’s learning. Stronger support is needed from the association to help parents develop and sustain practice over time. This was an area for development and review in the previous ERO report.

Self review requires development. Members need support to understand how self review can be used to improve the quality of programmes for children.

The centre should meet its accountability in relation to the employment of staff by putting systems in place to ensure all employees are regularly appraised.

Key Next Steps

Association leaders should provide professional leadership and support its members to develop and improve:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation
  • the bicultural curriculum
  • the consistency of effective teaching practice
  • self review.

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.

Actions for compliance

In order to meet its agreed accountabilities, centre management must:      

  • police vet those who are required to be   .implement a system of regular appraisal  
  • hold a current annual building warrant of fitness
  • develop and maintain appropriate documentation and records which are regularly reviewed
  • meet all aspects of the curriculum standard
  • implement a procedure for monitoring children’s sleep
  • ensure the current fire evacuation scheme is approved by the New Zealand Fire Service
  • record all injuries that occur at the service
  • 1develop an appropriate record of outings.

Education Act 1989, s319D  Licensing criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008 GMA7, PF3 (2), GMA 6 (1), C2,C3,C4,C5,C7,C8 and HS9 (1), HS4,HS17, HS25 (1)

In order to meet its agreed accountabilities, governance and management must:

  • ensure the service is effectively governed and is managed in accordance with good management practices
  • develop a process for reviewing and evaluating the services operations.

Education (Early childhood services) Regulations 2008: R47, 1 (a) and (c)

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Nuhaka Playcentre will be within two years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

17 February 2014

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

16 children, including 6 aged up to 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 8, Boys 3

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups




Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

17 February 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

October 2010


Education Review

June 2007


Supplementary Review

June 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.