Omapere Playcentre - 22/05/2017

1 Evaluation of Omapere Playcentre

How well placed is Omapere 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.


Omapere Playcentre is licensed to provide three sessions per week for 30 children, including up to eight children aged under two years. The centre operates as a parent cooperative. Children currently attending are from Māori and Pākehā cultural backgrounds. They learn and play together in a mixed age group.

The centre is managed and led by two parents with Playcentre training, supported by a third very experienced Playcentre mentor. They work together to plan and provide programmes for the children, and to manage day to day operational requirements. A current focus is to lift membership of the centre.

The Playcentre philosophy affirms parents as valued and best educators of their children. Sessions are guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and the organisation is committed to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

A process has begun for Omapere Playcentre to become part of the Northland Playcentre Association. The Association provides systems to help members to manage the centres and support their children's learning. It also provides adult education programmes for Playcentre qualifications. As part of a national restructure of Playcentre Aotearoa there will be a new regional manager and new centre support roles.

This review was part of a cluster of three reviews in the Northland Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

The centre is welcoming and inclusive, and children play well together. Warm relationships are evident among the small group of children and adults currently attending. Good opportunities are provided for infants and toddlers to fully participate in the programme.

Experiences and activities are set up to engage children in a wide range of play areas. Responsive adults are highly tuned to children's interests and ideas. They deliberately promote complexity in play. Literacy, mathematics, and science are included in the programme in meaningful ways. Social play is promoted.

Te reo and tikanga Māori are evident in the centre environment and practices. Centre leaders acknowledge that they have good resources in the centre to extend their knowledge of te ao Māori.

A planning process has been established. Members record children's participation in the programme and identify their interests, strengths and abilities. They recognise that this process could be strengthened by consistently documenting planned responses to observations of children. This practice could support continuity in the programme, and promote more complex learning.

Children's portfolios reflect the Playcentre philosophy of valuing parents as first teachers. There are good records of children's learning over time. Learning stories celebrate each child as a member of a family and the wider Playcentre whānau. Relevant links are made between children's learning and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

A core group of three members lead the Playcentre with energy and enthusiasm. There is a real sense of teamwork. They show a strong commitment to ongoing learning in all areas of Playcentre operations including governance, management and curriculum. All contributions are valued. Good internal evaluation processes show that members think carefully about how to improve the effectiveness of the programme.

Northland Playcentre Association has initiated management systems that have contributed to the viability of Omapere Playcentre. These systems are helping members to continue providing positive outcomes for children's learning.

Key Next Steps

Centre members agree that to enhance outcomes for children they could:

  • use daily programme records to plan meaningful learning experiences in response to children's interests
  • continue to develop bicultural practices that reflect the dual heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

To strengthen operations in all Northland Playcentres, key next steps for the Association include supporting members to:

  • build upon recently established programme planning and assessment practices
  • develop programme evaluation by recording the impact of the programme on children's learning
  • evaluate progress towards long term and annual goals. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Omapere 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.

In order to improve practice, the Association and centre members should ensure that playground soft-fall surfaces meet required safety standards, and that steps are taken to minimise hazards in the environment.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Omapere Playcentre will be in three years. 

Steffan Brough
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

22 May 2017 

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 


Opononi, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls       4
Boys      1

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 2017

Date of this report

22 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

November 2012

Education Review

November 2009

Education Review

October 2006

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.