Omokoroa Playcentre - 28/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Omokoroa Playcentre

How well placed is Omokoroa 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.


Omokoroa Playcentre is located in the Western Bay of Plenty. It is a parent-led education and care service licensed to cater for 30 children including 15 up to the age of two years. The centre provides three mixed-age, morning sessions each week. The centre has a current roll of 28 children.

During 2018 playcentres are transitioning from operating as The New Zealand Playcentre Federation (NZPF) with 32 regional associations to a national organisation with six offices. In the central North Island eight associations have merged into a regional hub renamed Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island. This region includes 95 playcentres spread over a large geographic area. During the transition there is some overlap between association systems and new national approaches. At the time of this ERO review there was some uncertainty as new processes are established.

The governance management structure consists of a regional manager and a centre support coordinator who provide guidance and management for the playcentres. Responsibility for centre leadership is shared across centre members. A national professional learning and development team is in the early stages of planning for additional learning support to build members’ capability as first teachers of their children. A high proportion of members are in training, and a number hold higher levels of playcentre qualifications.

The centre aims to promote a service where adults and children can learn with and alongside each other in a family-whānau setting. Members value Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa and provide opportunities for sharing tikanga and te reo Māori together. Members see playcentre as an extension of home and maintain the paramount place of parents and whānau in making decisions about their children’s education and care.

The playcentre has a positive ERO reporting history. Good progress has been made in the areas for development identified in the 2015 ERO report related to strengthening assessment and bicultural practices.

This review was part of a cluster of six playcentres in the Western Bay of Plenty under the governance of Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island.

The Review Findings

Strong leadership supports positive outcomes for children's learning and wellbeing. Good use is made of the collective strengths members bring to their roles. Experienced members model good practice and mentor new families. Leadership provided through the Māori Roopu representative is supporting parents to implement te reo and tikanga Māori within the programme.

Members provide children with rich curriculum experiences. They prepare an environment that provides children with choice and supports them to lead their own learning. Te ao Māori perspectives, literacy and mathematics are naturally interwoven throughout sessions. Children engage in sustained and meaningful play.

Assessment and planning practices build on each child's identity as a successful learner, and includes children who need additional support. Children and their families enjoy looking through individual portfolios and revisiting their progress and achievements. Members meet after each session to plan further activities that extend and add complexity to children's learning. They share their aspirations for children's education, set strategic goals and monitor centre developments. Children are central to all decision making and internal evaluation practices focus on improving outcomes for children.

Trusting, reciprocal and respectful relationships promote a sense of belonging for children and their families. Members involve themselves in children's play and engage in rich learning conversations that build oral language and thinking skills. Children have many opportunities to develop their social competencies with other adults and their peers. Infants are well catered for. Members foster the wellbeing of children and support them to develop as capable and confident learners.

Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island is in the early stages of providing support for centres during a time of transition. Existing polices and systems are supporting centre operations until new systems developed by Playcentre Aotearoa are implemented. The strategic and annual plans are yet to consistently guide regional and centre direction. A particular strength is the Te Whare Tikanga Māori initiative, which promotes self-determination for Māori members through regular hui and targeted funding, and enacts the partnership aspect of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Key Next Steps

ERO has identified the need for Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island management to develop:

  • more robust quality assurance processes for internal evaluation practice and reporting systems to inform priorities, future direction and provide targeted support for its playcentres
  • a strategic approach to professional development in relation to Te Whāriki 2017.

Playcentre members' next steps for ongoing development are to:

  • continue reviewing the implementation of Te Whāriki 2017.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Omokoroa 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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance related to appraisal.

The current appraisal process does not meet Ministry of Education regulatory requirements. Governance needs to ensure suitable human resource management practices are developed, documented and implemented. [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7.]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

28 June 2018

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


Western Bay of Plenty

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 15 Girls 13

Ethnic composition







Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

28 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

September 2011

Education Review

September 2008

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.