Pinehaven Playcentre - 03/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Pinehaven Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Pinehaven Playcentre is one of 17 centres administered by the Hutt Playcentre Association (the association). The association is made up of elected volunteer representatives from its member centres. It provides governance and management support for the parent committee at Pinehaven Playcentre. A kaitautoko, a centre support person is employed by the association to provide guidance.

The playcentre is licensed to operate five mixed-age sessions for a maximum of 28 children five days a week. This includes 15 children up to the age of two.

Almost all playcentre members are involved in the adult education training programme provided by the association. A considerable number of parents take advantage of the opportunity to be actively involved in their child's education. These numbers have been sustained over time.

Curriculum planning and implementation is a shared responsibility. Each session is supported by a team of parent educators who hold playcentre training certificates.

This review was part of a cluster of eight in the Hutt Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children's active exploration through play and their learning is well supported by attentive parent educators who rove and notice children's immediate learning needs. Respectful relationships between all positively contribute to children's strong sense of belonging.

The service's philosophy reviewed at the end of 2015, is an expression of what children do and what families want for their children. It appropriately reflects the playcentre philosophy of parent led education, learning through play and the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The philosophy is evident in practice. The inclusion of te ao Māori, and respect for the Treaty of Waitangi underpins the culturally responsive curriculum.

Children play well in groups. Members are skilled in knowing when to intervene and facilitate learning. Adults and children are valued for who they are and for how they contribute to the playcentre.

Adults have recently changed the environment to better cater for increasing numbers of infants. A designated area provides a safe and social space for these children and their families. Children aged up to two years old make choices about their play.

There are many opportunities for children to use a range of equipment that encourages physical movement. Movable equipment enables them to set their own challenges and achieve goals at their own pace. They participate in growing, tending and preparing fruit and vegetables to eat as an integral part of the programme.

Members welcome, engage with and support families from a range of ethnicities. All benefit from cultural practices that are deliberately woven into all aspects of the centre. Children's cultures, languages and identities are affirmed.

Children participate enthusiastically in a variety of planned and spontaneous activities. They are able to lead their own learning and benefit from the wide range of skills and interests of adults bring to the programme. Positive aspects of the programme and resulting activity are shared and recorded to support planning. Members continually encourage each other to guide and promote children's learning.

Assessment, curriculum planning and evaluation practices have improved. They provide adults with useful information to help them plan programmes responsive to children's interests, strengths and, if required, identified needs. Individual learning profile books celebrate children's progress, shows their developing skills, knowledge and attributes. Members have identified that strengthening the focus on extending children's learning is an area for ongoing development.

Centre members are actively involved in well-considered review and evaluation practices and processes. The outcomes support them to make evidence based improvements for children.

The association is improvement and focused and committed to providing timely and relevant support for its member centres. The August 2013 ERO reviews found the support provided at the centre level by kaitautoko was appreciated and supportive. ERO also recognised that formalising this arrangement to promote a more effective approach for responding to the needs of individual centres was a next step for development. An evaluation of the effectiveness of changes to kaitautoko practice in improving outcomes for centre members and children is planned for.

The August 2013 report identified that members should strengthen the approach to self review and assessment, planning and evaluation. Progress in these areas has been made.

Key Next Steps

The association should assist playcentre members to continue to:

  • develop assessment, planning and evaluation practices.

The association:

  • must implement rigorous annual appraisal for the kaitautoko and identify professional development to support them in their leadership roles

  • should build kaitautoko knowledge and capablity to undertake effective internal evaluation. This should include a focus on providing centre members with evaluative feedback that assists them to further develop aspects of the curriculum and centre practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pinehaven 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.

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to governance and management practices. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following area:

  • fully implementing a system of regular appraisal.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Pinehaven Playcentre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

3 June 2016

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


Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

28 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 30, Girls 26

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

April 2016

Date of this report

3 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

August 2009

Education Review

July 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.