Parklands Playcentre - 16/07/2014

1 Evaluation of Parklands Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Parklands Playcentre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Parklands Playcentre operates under the guidance of the Canterbury Playcentre Association. The Playcentre is a parent cooperative with parents encouraged to be involved in all aspects of the programme and operation. Parklands Playcentre operates three morning sessions a week.

Since the January 2011 ERO review, the centre has experienced considerable challenges that relate to the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. Despite these challenges the coordinators and parents have made good progress towards meeting the recommendations in the ERO report. The outside play area now provides more stimulating learning activities for older children. The coordinators have developed new systems for planning and assessing children’s learning and are beginning to include more bicultural perspectives in the programme and environment.

This review was part of a cluster review of seven playcentres under the Canterbury Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Parklands Playcentre strongly reflects the Playcentre philosophy. Children lead their own play, and create their own challenges, with adult support. Parents are actively encouraged and supported to take part in playcentre training. The coordinators and parents provide a positive, friendly and welcoming environment.

Parents relate well to each other, and to all children. Children play well together. The coordinators and other parents give considerable support to new families.

The coordinators have developed new ways to identify children’s interests and learning needs. This includes:

  • a display board that shows children’s latest learning interests
  • a display of children’s shared stories near the kai table at children’s height
  • planning meetings to reflect on children’s learning at the end of sessions
  • beginning to identify children’s ideas and opinions in learning stories.

The coordinators and parents are successfully identifying and including bicultural perspectives into the centre’s environment and programme. The coordinators have attended professional development which has helped them to learn more about Māori culture. They are beginning to use te reo Māori in session and are including it in children’s learning stories. The skills and knowledge of Māori parents and whānau are effectively used and valued. This helps to support other parents' confidence and children’s learning experiences.

Infants and toddlers have a strong sense of belonging. They play well with older children and confidently explore the environment.

A good range of activities and resources interest children and support them to develop literacy, numeracy and creative play.

Canterbury Playcentre Association

The association has effective systems and practices for monitoring health and safety, and parent involvement in the centres. The association’s support team visits assist centre staff to meet the association's expectations for the daily operation of the centre.

The association centre support team provides a vital link between the parents and the association. In centres where this link is strong, ERO found the centres received good quality targeted support. In these centres the coordinators and parents worked effectively as a parent cooperative. They had well defined roles and responsibilities and were able to provide evidence that the centre’s programme was extending children’s learning.

Key Next Steps for the Canterbury Playcentre Association

The association is undertaking major restructuring. A new manager was appointed in April 2014. The playcentre philosophy provides a good foundation for the association to build its vision and make the changes for the organisation and its centres. Plans to support the achievement of this vision have yet to be put in place.

Next steps for the association should include:

  • clearly documenting the association’s future goals, plans and progress
  • making clear links from the association’s strategic plans to centre plans, and association and centre self review
  • strengthening the support provided to centre support team members through more targeted professional development and robust appraisal
  • providing ongoing documented feedback from the centre support team to parent groups about the quality of teaching and learning.

Key next steps for Parklands Playcentre

The association, centre parents and ERO agree that the next steps include:

  • strengthening child assessment by more clearly identifying children’s learning, the role of the adult in promoting learning, and next steps for learning
  • developing the self-review process so that it can be more easily understood by parents, and outcomes for children can be achieved and evaluated
  • clearly documenting future goals, plans and progress to ensure the ongoing improvement of the programme and learning outcomes for all children
  • making closer links between coordinators’ appraisal, centre goals and learning outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

16 July 2014

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


Parklands, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 13 Boys 10

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other Ethnicities





Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

16 July 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

January 2011


Education Review

May 2007


Education Review

June 2004

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.