Papatoetoe Playcentre - 29/08/2018

1 Evaluation of Papatoetoe Playcentre

How well placed is Papatoetoe 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.


Papatoetoe Playcentre is a well-established centre that operates as a parent cooperative. Centre members provide three sessions a week and cater for children from birth to school age. The centre is licensed for 30 children, including 15 up to two years of age. Families are able to choose which sessions they attend.

Centre practices are based on the Playcentre philosophy of whānau and children learning and growing together. Programmes are guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Children play and learn in a mixed-age group. Parents/whānau work together to plan and provide programmes for their children, and to manage day-to-day centre operations.

The centre has developed roles and responsibilities to guide centre members' practice and leadership. The leadership role is shared by two centre coordinators. Members work with the centre support worker (CSW) and a centre administrator (CA) to manage programmes and administration.

In the last year, the centre has lost some long-serving members. Centre members are striving to generate new membership. As a result of Playcentre restructuring, progress with adult education for new centre members has been delayed. Two support workers work with members during sessions and enable the centre to meet funding requirements.

Playcentre Aotearoa is in the process of restructuring, moving from 32 Associations to six regional offices. The Auckland region includes 45 centres from the former Auckland, Tamaki and Counties Playcentre Associations. A regional manager oversees governance, management and administration and has a team of staff to support individual centres. Centre whānau and regional staff are in a period of transition. Regional staff are helping whānau as they adapt to new systems and responsibilities.

This review was part of a cluster of six Playcentre reviews in the Auckland region.

The Review Findings

Children are trusting and contented in their play and relationships. They lead their own play, making choices from a good range of activities and experiences. Children gain skills using a variety of tools and materials as part of play. Their interests lead the programme, with adults providing opportunities for them to revisit previously enjoyed activities. Adults are flexible in following children's interests as they develop.

Children's friendships are evident in their meaningful conversations with adults and each other. Adults' responsive relationships with children lead to conversations that are beginning to be about children's learning. As a result, children have become accustomed to being supported in their play by a range of adults. Younger children are well supported to join in activities. Tuakana/teina relationships are evident, where older children model and take care of younger children.

Centre members have developed sound collaborative systems for working with children. They have discussed and agreed on strategies for supporting children's emotional and social development and now help children to manage relationships well. The consistency of parents' positive behaviour management affirms children's sense of themselves as valued members of the group.

Session members evaluate their work with children following the session, and set plans in place for the next time they will meet. A daily diary, added to by all members, provides some continuity to planning. A more thorough LEAP (learning, evaluation, assessment and planning) planning session is held once a term. Parents contribute written information about their children's interests and their own goals for their children's future learning. These are areas that centre members have identified as needing improvement.

Centre members are aware of the need to increase their use of te reo Māori on session and to increase their knowledge about tikanga Māori. There is some appropriate use of te reo in children's portfolios.

The CSW and CA provide positive and regular support for the centre. The CSW has encouraged members to undertake internal evaluation and to look closely at the impact of the programme on children's learning. Her support is a key to helping members to improve the quality of programmes provided for children.

Collaborative leadership provides opportunities for all centre members to extend and share their knowledge and skills. Newly appointed regional personnel are making progress building on existing systems and establishing 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.

The regional management team takes responsibility for specific tasks relating to the effective operation of individual centres. The team is aware of the unique strengths and needs of each centre and provides professional leadership to sustain improvement, growth and the focus on fostering positive learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre members agree that their next steps are to continue to:

  • evaluate assessment practices to consider how well children's portfolios provide a record of their learning progress over time and help adults to meet their needs, including providing more challenging activities for children nearing school age

  • strengthen the use of te reo and tikanga Māori

  • provide prompts for children's thinking, and opportunities for trial and error as part of learning

  • manage the recording of health and safety practices more regularly and effectively.

In order to improve and strengthen practice, the regional leaders should continue to:

  • revisit the commitment to Te Tiriti partnership, and to increase bicultural understandings and the integration of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori in centre practices

  • clarify and upskill centre support roles

  • build regional office capability to embed new adult education programmes and qualifications

  • improve the understanding and use of internal evaluation as a tool to guide practices

  • develop, evaluate and report against regional long-term and annual action plans that align with goals for improvement at national and regional levels

  • embed the new Playcentre structure and systems and evaluate how effectively they support all children, including Pacific children and children with additional needs.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

29 August 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


Papatoetoe, Auckland

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 7 Girls 3

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

Parent Led

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

29 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

August 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.