Pamapuria Playcentre - 18/01/2019

1 Evaluation of Pamapuria Playcentre

How well placed is Pamapuria 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.


Pamapuria Playcentre operates as a parent cooperative and is licensed for 28 children, including 15 under the age of two years.

Programmes for children are underpinned by the Playcentre philosophy of parents and children playing and learning together. The vision of Pamapuria Playcentre members is to provide a language rich environment, support for children's developing social competence, and a programme that is responsive to children's interests.

The centre is part of the newly established Northern North Island Playcentre Region. Regional systems support centre members to manage their centres and to provide educational programmes for their children. Playcentre personnel also provide training programmes for parents and whānau to achieve Playcentre qualifications.

ERO's 2015 report identified a number of areas for development including strategic and annual planning, internal evaluation, supporting newer members to engage in Playcentre education, and continuity between sessions. There has been good progress in these areas.

This review was part of a cluster of 12 reviews in the Northern North Island Playcentre region.

The Review Findings

Children of all ages are relaxed and settled in the centre environment. They have good access to a wide range of learning resources and play together cooperatively and imaginatively. Children are confident approaching adults, knowing they will respond to their ideas and needs.

Parents work well to build trusting, supportive relationships with children and each other. They become partners in children's play. They are good role models for children's developing oral language and use effective strategies to guide the development of children's social competence.

The environment is spacious and well resourced. Parents maintain clearly defined play spaces that engage children and help them to sustain their play. The outdoor environment provides a good range of physical challenges for children. Parents could now consider ways they might provide more opportunities for children to develop their upper body strength in the playground.

Te reo Māori is very visible in the centre environment. Some centre members are skilled in using te reo in their interactions with children. Members recognise this as a continued area for development, alongside including tikanga Māori in activities and areas of play.

Children's portfolios are good records of their learning. They foreground learning dispositions, identify learning that is happening and show good links to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. In order to get a more holistic picture of children's learning, centre members could summarise information in learning stories over a period of time to identify future learning goals.

Throughout each session, parents record children's interests and learning. Connections can be seen between learning stories in children's portfolios and these daily recordings. Parents could now use this documentation to reflect on how they might bring more complexity to children's play and learning.

Good levels of participation in Playcentre training are building parent knowledge of effective ways to support children's learning through play. Improvement focused strategic and annual plans have been developed to support a united approach to the centre's future direction. Parents are choosing relevant topics for internal evaluation.

A distributed leadership model is evident in action. The philosophy of the Playcentre movement and of this centre are well enacted. A core group of parents are working together well to lead this centre forward.

The regional structure is replacing individual Playcentre Associations. Newly appointed regional personnel are making good progress building on existing systems and establishing effective regional management structures for supporting centres. Centre support workers are guided by regional centre support coordinators. Systems are being developed for monitoring the quality of programmes for children, adult education levels and health and safety requirements.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps for centre improvement include:

  • strengthening internal evaluation to ensure it is guided by evaluative questions and supported by research

  • strengthening programme planning by looking back through portfolios to plan how adults could bring more complexity to children's learning

  • continuing to strengthen adults' knowledge and use of te reo Māori and deepen their knowledge of te ao Māori.

The regional manager (acting) and support personnel agree that key next steps include:

  • implementing and embedding the revised playcentre training programme

  • establishing a framework to evaluate the effectiveness of centre support systems, roles and processes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

18 January 2019

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


Pamapuria, Kaitaia

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

28 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 9 Boys 7

Ethnic composition



Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

18 January 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2015

Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

October 2009

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.