Play To Learn Early Learning Centre - 07/04/2017

1 Evaluation of Play To Learn Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Play To Learn Early Learning Centre 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.


Play to Learn Education Learning Centre is privately owned and operated. It provides all-day education and care for children from birth to school age. The service is licensed for 40 children, including up to 10 under two years of age. There are 18 children who identify as Māori and four children are from other cultures. Since the 2015 ERO review a new centre manager has been appointed and there has been a complete change in the teaching team and other staff.

With support from ERO and the Ministry of Education, an action plan was developed and documented to address the following concerns identified in the 2015 ERO report. These relate to:

  • assessment, planning for and evaluation of children’s learning

  • identifying children’s emerging ideas, learning and interests and responding to these in ways that empower children

  • incorporating te reo Māori and other children’s languages, cultures and identities in the programme, environment and assessment portfolios

  • providing professional learning and development for teachers, and mentoring provisionally certificated teachers.

The Review Findings

The centre has responded positively to the issues identified in the 2015 ERO report. There is now clear evidence of significant improvements to the 2015 ERO key next steps. These include:

  • regular integration of te reo and tikanga Māori and other children’s cultures and identities into the programme, environment and portfolios

  • a language rich environment and meaningful interactions with children

  • a curriculum informed by assessment, planning, and evaluation that demonstrates an understanding of individual children’s learning

  • staff receiving ongoing professional learning and development support and mentoring for teachers, particularly provisionally certificated teachers.

The centre is well led by an experienced centre manager. All teachers are qualified with current practising certificates. Together with the centre owner, they have established a collaborative approach to centre development. Leaders, teachers, parents and whānau worked together to develop the centre vision and philosophy. This meaningful partnership reflects the centre’s commitment to whakawhanaungatanga and the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi. Together they are building a bicultural and multicultural learning environment that celebrates the identity and sense of belonging for all children.

Parents and their children are warmly welcomed into the centre. They enjoy a strong sense of belonging and they are supported by the respectful, caring relationships they experience with staff and peers. Māori culture, language and identity are valued through positive and affirming interactions. Children and their parents/whānau benefit from a holistic, caring and supportive environment.

Babies and toddlers experience relationships that are nurturing and supportive. Teachers are respectful of each child’s individual rhythms and preferences. Key teachers work with parents and whānau to create a settled environment for these very young children. Babies and toddlers are well catered for, free to explore, and learn in meaningful social and cultural contexts.

Children are confident learners. They trust adults to nurture their sense of self worth and be responsive to their needs, interests and strengths. The mixed-age group setting promotes tuakana-teina relationships and reciprocal learning. These positive relationships empower children to share their knowledge and strengths with others.

Staff have a wide range of skills, expertise, knowledge and experience, which they bring to the centre. Professional learning and development has strengthened teachers approach to children’s learning. They have good knowledge of current theory and development. Teachers effectively notice, recognise and respond to children’s interests, monitor their progress and evaluate their learning overtime. This process contributes to children enjoying a learning environment that values their ideas and interests.

Teachers are increasing their capability in te reo and tikanga Māori. Ongoing support and guidance is provided by teachers who are Maori and are fluent in te reo Maori.

Key Next Step

The centre has a holistic approach to self review in relation to the development of babies, toddlers and young children. Teachers should now consider the purpose of portfolios and how they contribute to, and celebrate children’s identity, learning and progress. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Play To Learn Early Learning Centre 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 Play To Learn Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

7 April 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

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 23 Girls 13

Ethnic composition







Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2017

Date of this report

7 April 2017

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

June 2015

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.