Park Road Playcentre - 06/04/2018

1 Evaluation of Park Road Playcentre

How well placed is Park Road 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.


Park Road Playcentre is one of 19 administered by the Central Districts Playcentre Association (the association).

The playcentre is licensed to provide mixed age sessional education and care for 30 children, five sessions a week. This includes provision for 15 children, up to the age of two. At the time of the review there were 35 children enrolled and two identify as Māori.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation (the federation) of which Central Districts Association is part, is undergoing a significant restructure that includes amalgamating associations. Playcentres will become part of a regional hub, supported by a regional manager and others.

The federation philosophy, 'Whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together', is to empower parents and children to learn, play and grow together. Alongside this, the centre philosophy acknowledges each child as a unique learner.

Whānau and families are valued as the primary educators of their children. Curriculum planning and implementation is a shared responsibility. Each session is supported by a team of parent educators who hold either Playcentre training certificates or bachelor degrees in early childhood training. An employed Playcentre qualified facilitator supports children and families on session.

Centre support people regularly visit playcentres to provide professional advice and support, and to strengthen practice and promote improvement. Responsibility for day-to-day operation is undertaken by centre-elected office holders.

The March 2015 ERO report for Park Road Playcentre identified areas for development for the association and the playcentre. This included, continuing to grow the quality of members' practice in assessment, planning and evaluation and self review. Progress is ongoing.

The review is one of a cluster of 11 playcentre reviews in the Central Districts Playcentre Association

The Review Findings

Children’s active exploration through play and learning is well supported by attentive parent educators. A positive tone and inclusive practice are evident. Children’s social skills, development and confidence are nurtured. Respectful relationships enhance their sense of belonging and wellbeing.

The centre philosophy, reviewed in 2017, is an expression of what families want for their tamariki. It reflects the playcentre philosophy of child-led learning through play.

Literacy, mathematics and science activities are integral parts of a child's playcentre experience. Te ao Māori within the programme is well considered and continues to develop. The centre is inclusive of all children's cultures.

Well considered transition processes into the centre and onto school are in place.

Clear expectations for centre support people have been established. This includes building effective internal evaluation practice at the centre level. Improving practice to include reporting more deliberately on outcomes for children should assist both centre and association personnel to know how well planned actions improve outcomes for all.

Suitable planning priorities and objectives are incorporated into the centre's strategic and annual planning. There is an appropriate focus on growing membership. Annual appraisal of the programme facilitator occurs. She reports that this supports her development.

Internal evaluation is becoming established. Examples show an improved range of resources and activities for children's use and enjoyment as a result of these evaluations. A recently commenced review on assessment, planning and evaluation should support adults to better understand progression of children's learning. Members are aware of the need to further extend their practice and use of evaluation.

Key Next Steps

At playcentre level, the priorities are to:

  • further develop understanding and use of effective internal evaluation for improvement
  • fully implement all aspects of assessment, planning and evaluation.

At the association/federation level, priorities are to continue to strengthen:

  • centre support that is consistently effective in identifying and responding to playcentre needs
  • understanding and implementation of effective internal evaluation
  • members' understanding of suitable assessment, planning and evaluation practice.


ERO recommends that the new regional team actively monitor and evaluate the quality of support provided to playcentres.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

6 April 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


Palmerston North

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 19, Girls 16

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

6 April 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

December 2006

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.