Paparoa Playcentre - 06/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Paparoa Playcentre

How well placed is Paparoa 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.


Paparoa Playcentre is in a rural village and currently offers two sessions each week for 25 children from birth to school age. The Playcentre philosophy values parents/whānau as the first and best educators of their children. They take on roles and responsibilities that contribute to the running of the centre. This structure offers opportunities for emergent leadership.

Since the 2013 ERO report the centre has established contact with other rural centres to offer families the option of attending sessions at Paparoa in addition to time at their home centre. This connection has allowed some good information sharing in regards to documenting learning and completing administrative tasks. Paparoa's small membership includes some long-standing families and a number of more recent enrolments. Training levels amongst the families enrolled continue to build.

The centre is part of the Northland Playcentre Association, which provides governance and management support for 31 Playcentres in Northland. The Association provides systems and adult education programmes to help members manage centres and support their children's learning. A centre support worker (CSW) regularly visits each centre. The Association also provides education support for five Playcentres in the Far North.

Playcentre Aotearoa is in the process of a national restructure. It is expected that a new regional manager and centre support personnel will be appointed towards the end of 2017.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 Playcentre reviews in the Northland Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children are very relaxed in the centre environment. They eagerly involve themselves in the activities and experiences available to them. Parents/whānau follow children's interests and movements, offering resources and ideas to support or bring more complexity to their play.

Children have good access to a wide range of resources and the freedom to make choices. Parents/whānau are respectful of the time younger children need to observe before engaging in play. The outdoor area is spacious and offers a good range of physical challenges for children. There is a wide range of creative and imaginative play opportunities available for children indoors.

Parents/whānau model the use of rich language and vocabulary. Some incorporate words and phrases in te reo Māori in incidental conversations. Children have good opportunities to develop understandings of the links between English and te reo Māori that adults use. Karakia and waiata also feature in the programme.

Adults record children's interests during sessions and use this information to plan the following sessions. This results in some good continuity between sessions. Some of the children's portfolios contain information about their interests and those of their whānau outside of the centre.

Centre members have developed a strategic plan that informs an annual plan showing the actions to be undertaken to move towards strategic goals. The purpose of self review is well understood and has resulted in positive changes in the environment. Some capital expenditure is needed to improve facilities for centre members.

The centre support worker (CSW) is aware of the strengths and needs of the centre. Her support helps members to foster positive learning outcomes for children. The CSW provides good leadership to sustain improvement and growth. Centre members appreciate that the CSW is available to answer their questions and share information that adds to their collective knowledge.

The Association continues to provide a sound management framework to assist members in managing their centres. Centre members' leadership and increased participation in adult education courses help to sustain the Association and centre viability. The governance board works collaboratively to share information with centre members as they respond to changes, including the national restructure.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for centre members are to:

  • strengthen assessment records by increasing their focus on each child's learning experiences and outcomes
  • implement a system of programme evaluation
  • continue to develop their knowledge of tikanga and use of te reo Māori.

To enhance practices in Northland Playcentres, the new regional manager and support personnel should assist centre members to:

  • build their knowledge of te ao Māori, increase their bicultural understandings and promote ongoing educational success for Māori children, as Māori
  • document and evaluate progress towards strategic goals
  • strengthen internal evaluation to guide ongoing improvement. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

6 October 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 


Paparoa, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls       6
Boys      2

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent led

Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

6 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2013

Education Review

June 2010

Education Review

May 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.