Play To Learn Early Learning Centre - 27/05/2020

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

Play To Learn Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Play To Learn Early Learning Centre is a privately-owned education and care service located in Te Rapa, Hamilton. The centre is licensed for 40 children, including 12 up to the age of two years. At the time of this ERO review there were 37 children enrolled, including 20 Māori children.

The centre has a separate area for children up to the age of two. There are daily opportunities for mixed-age play. The centre's owners are new since the previous April 2017 ERO report. They provide governance leadership and are supported by a centre manager who oversees daily operation. All teachers at the centre have a teaching qualification.

The centre's philosophy prioritises 'authentic respect for all diverse cultural backgrounds connecting as one people through shared whakapapa'.

The centre has responded very well to the key next steps identified in the previous ERO report, and is strongly focused on recognising children's identity, learning and progress in their portfolios.

The Review Findings

The centre's philosophy is highly evident in the curriculum. Leaders and teachers are developing an authentic, localised curriculum and learning opportunities for children. There is a strong bi-cultural focus, and tikanga and te reo Māori are naturally integrated in daily routines. Inclusive strategies support children's cultural heritage. Parents' aspirations for their children are well considered in programme planning and whānau are encouraged to contribute to children's learning. Children are well supported in their sense of identity and belonging.

Effective teaching practices support children's learning. The environment is settled and interactions between teachers and children are warm and respectful. Children, including those up to two years of age, are encouraged to self manage and follow their interests. Leaders and teachers provide individualised support in response to children with additional learning or behaviour needs. Teachers model oral literacy and use a variety of strategies to support non-verbal and verbal communication. Consistent assessment, planning and evaluation practices support and recognise continuity of children's learning. Children develop as competent and confident learners.

Leadership has developed a professional learning culture. The centre manager encourages emergent leadership and teachers benefit from targeted coaching and mentoring. There is a consistent framework for internal self review and teacher inquiries. Teachers access a range of professional learning opportunities to continue to develop their capability. They work collegially to share their practice. Children benefit from a centre culture that is underpinned by positive relationships for learning.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and teachers should further strengthen internal evaluation by including in the centre's self-review process an analysis of the impact of changes on outcomes for children.

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.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

27 May 2020

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


Te Rapa, Hamilton

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 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Males 19 Females 18

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other groups


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 2020

Date of this report

27 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2017

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.