Paraparaumu Playcentre - 28/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Paraparaumu Playcentre

How well placed is Paraparaumu Playcentre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The Wellington Playcentre Association will provide targeted support to address the key next steps identified in this report.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Paraparaumu Playcentre is one of nineteen parent-led early childhood centres governed and administered by the Wellington Playcentre Association (the association). The playcentre is licensed to provide mixed age sessional education and care for 30 children, four mornings a week. This includes provision for 18 children, up to the age of two, at any one time.

A council of elected volunteer representatives from each of the association's member centres oversees the association at the governance level. This work is assisted by an operations manager and general manager. An executive committee administers the adult education programme. A centre support worker is employed to visit the centre and provide professional advice and feedback to strengthen practice and promote improvement. Responsibility for the day-to-day operation is undertaken by centre-elected office holders.

Each session is supported by a duty team of parent educators who hold Playcentre training certificates. Almost all centre members are involved in the association's training programme.

The association philosophy, 'Whānau tupu ngātahi-families growing together', is articulated as empowering parents and children to learn, grow and play together. This underpins practice.

The association have a positive reporting history with ERO. Internal evaluation and strategic planning were undertaken by association personnel, since the previous 2014 ERO reviews, to bring about changes to both the structural and organisational culture of the organisation. Clear boundaries between governance and management were expressed and changes made to improve support to individual centres. 

The June 2014 ERO report for Paraparaumu Playcentre, identified centre leaders would benefit from association support to further develop assessment, programme planning and provision of a bicultural curriculum through improved self-review practices. These continue to require attention at this playcentre. Implementing a bicultural perspective in the learning programme and understanding success for Māori children as Māori continues as an area to be addressed by centre members.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation, of which the Wellington Association is part, is planning a significant restructure for 2017 that includes amalgamating associations. Playcentres will become part of a regional hub, supported by a regional manager and support persons.

This review was part of a cluster of ten in the Wellington Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Overall Playcentre philosophy underpins centre practices. A positive tone is highly evident. Maintaining and strengthening relationships with children, families and whānau is an identified priority for adults. It is timely for members to review Paraparaumu Playcentre philosophy to build a shared understanding of aspects that are valued. This should include the learning families and children want to experience during their time at playcentre.

Children are engaged in child-initiated, play-based learning. They confidently make choices and decisions. Families' active engagement with children's learning has been an ongoing challenge. Experienced leaders share and model how to explore a range of appropriate learning activities. They have employed strategies that encourage greater parental involvement in developing children's social skills. Improvement is evident.

Individual learning portfolios celebrate children's progress capturing their developing skills, knowledge and social interactions. Members and the centre support person agree assessment, curriculum planning and evaluation practices continue to require strengthening to provide members with timely and useful information for children's ongoing learning.

Experienced members work well together. They actively support newer members with the processes and practices of the playcentre. Members are encouraged to continue to gain Playcentre qualifications.

Adults carefully consider how to prepare children as they leave playcentre to attend one of many local primary schools. Families participate in and enjoy a celebration process as children move from playcentre to school.

Children aged up to two years, play in mixed age sessions with a designated area for their care when needed. Parents are well supported to learn about very young children.

Some progress is evident in provision of a bicultural curriculum. An acknowledged next step is for members to further extend bicultural practices, then to consider and respond to what success for Māori children and Māori means in this early learning service. 

Some members have participated in Wellington Playcentre Association professional development on internal evaluation practices. This requires further understanding of the purpose and place of evaluation for accountability and for improvement. The association's continued support to develop processes for useful internal evaluation should promote ongoing, centre wide improvements.

Key Next Steps

Leaders, centre support person and ERO agree that key next steps for Paraparaumu Playcentre, with Wellington Playcentre Association support, are to:

  • develop shared understanding of processes for effective internal evaluation

  • build on assessment, planning and evaluation practices

  • extend practices that promote a bicultural curriculum and Māori children's success as Māori learners

  • review the centre philosophy.

An action plan that addresses the above key next steps will be monitored by ERO.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

28 June 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 18 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 14, Girls 11

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

28 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2014

Supplementary Review

March 2012

Education Review

October 2010

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.