Playschool 3 - 06/12/2013

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Playschool 3 is one of three networks operating as part of the Playschool home-based service in Auckland. The service provides education and care for children up to six years of age. Each network aims to provide enjoyable learning opportunities for children within a natural home environment. Home based educators (including au pairs and nannies) are supported to provide educational programmes for children by a team of coordinators who are qualified and registered early childhood teachers.

Children benefit from positive interactions with adults who care about them and respond to their needs and interests. They have opportunities to participate in a variety of learning experiences in homes, the wider community and at the service’s planned outings. These outings allow children to experience a wider curriculum and encourage the development of social skills.

Educators are well supported by regular visits from coordinators who model ways to further engage children in play. The service provides resources designed to provoke children’s curiosity and interest. Families are able to borrow equipment that supports the extension of children’s play. Coordinators maintain records that document children’s participation in the programme.

Effective communication and warm relationships contribute to a shared sense of belonging between children, families, educators and the service. Coordinators are particularly responsive to the cultural backgrounds of Chinese families. Service managers and ERO have identified the need to develop and implement bicultural practices that reflect the dual heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand, across the organisation.

The service has experienced significant growth since its establishment in 2008. Managers have developed an organisational framework to guide operations and practice. A process for self review has been established. ERO and service managers agree that self review could be used more effectively to promote quality outcomes for children.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children.  Therefore ERO will review the service again within three years.

2 The Focus of the Review

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children
  • the learning environment
  • the interactions between children and adults. 

The Quality of Education


Playschool 3 is one of three Playschool networks that operate throughout the wider Auckland area. The three networks are supported by six coordinators. Playschool 3 provides support for educators located mainly in west Auckland.

This is the first ERO report of the service since it was established in 2008. The service has experienced significant growth in that time. During the course of the review ERO visited 18 homes across the three networks. Management, parents, educators and coordinators all contributed to the findings of this review.

Areas of good performance

Relationships between adults and children are caring, respectful and child-centred. Coordinators model professional practices and develop warm, personal relationships with educators and families. They prioritise trusting relationships as a foundation for successful learning.

Au pairs, nannies, educators and coordinators know children very well and use this information to provide programmes that are based on children’s interests and stages of development. They respect different cultural perspectives regarding the role of play in children’s learning. Coordinators find ways to build educators’ understanding of the role of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, in children’s learning.

Coordinators work well together to enact the service’s philosophy. They collaborate and share ideas that will promote children’s learning. Educators value the input of coordinators in setting learning goals for children. Coordinators support educators to plan ways to support children to achieve these goals. Service managers have plans to provide a formal professional development programme for educators.

Open communication between parents, educators and coordinators is a positive feature of the network. Coordinators provide families and educators with ongoing support and guidance through visit notes, emails and phone calls. Families and educators value the knowledge and expertise of coordinators. 

Areas for development and review

Service managers and ERO agree that key areas for development are to:

  • develop shared understandings of how best to document and promote children’s learning through effective planning, assessment and evaluation practices
  • link coordinator appraisal systems to the Registered Teacher Criteria and set appropriate goals to develop their coordinator practice.
  • further develop self review processes to focus on education and improved outcomes for children
  • establish strategic and annual planning that identifies long term goals to guide service direction and reflect the service’s philosophy.

The service management acknowledges that developing bicultural practice is a priority. This includes increasing the extent to which management practices and educational programmes reflect and build understanding of te reo and tikanga Māori.

3 Management Assurance on Compliance Areas


Before the review, the management and staff of Playschool 3 completed an ERO Home-Based Education and Care Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum standard
  • premises and facilities standard
  • health and safety practices standard
  • governance management and administration standard.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance. To meet requirements the service must:

  • ensure that policies and procedures align with service practices and expectations
  • implement a system of regular appraisal for educators
  • ensure that procedures for monitoring children’s sleep are consistently implemented.

Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA 5, GMA6, HS 8. 

4 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children.  Therefore ERO will review the service again within three years. 

Dale Bailey
National Manager Review Services
Northern Region

6 December 2013 

About the Service 



Ministry of Education profile number


Service type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      42
Girls       40

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Cook Island


Review team on site

October 2013

Date of this report

6 December 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports