Pleasant Point Playcentre - 01/05/2019

1 Evaluation of Pleasant Point Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Pleasant Point Playcentre is a semi-rural, parent-led early learning service for children from birth to six years of age. It runs morning sessions five days a week. Sessions are co-lead by one of two paid facilitators, supported by parent volunteers. The playcentre is a member of the New Zealand Playcentre Federation (NZPF).

The playcentre's vision is for children and whānau to learn and grow together. The intended outcomes for children include a sense of belonging in the centre and local community, the ability to build positive relationships with other children and adults, and knowledge of and respect for the environment. Parents and facilitators aim to support this learning by having children experience positive relationships, learning through play, a focus on learning about and in the natural environment, and parents playing and learning alongside their children.

Since ERO's review 2015 review, there has been significant change in the governance of the centre. With the amalgamation of playcentres into the NZPF, governance of the playcentre has moved from the South Canterbury Playcentre Association to the Southern South Island Region (SSIR) of the NZPF. This organisation provides support for teaching and learning and other aspects of centre operations through the work of a centre support worker and administration officer, as well as access to a range of other specialist staff. Some progress has been made in the areas for development identified in the last review, however internal evaluation, assessment and planning and aspects of compliance remain as areas for ongoing improvement.

This review was part of a cluster of two South Canterbury playcentres in the SSIR.

The Review Findings

The playcentre curriculum is rich and broad and highly responsive to children's interests and developing capabilities. Children's interests and the strands of Te Whāriki (2017), The NZ Early Childhood Curriculum, are the basis of termly and weekly programme planning. The focus on learning about and being in the natural environment is highly evident. The curriculum promotes all children's active exploration and encourages them to wonder about, and build their theories about the world around them.

Aspects of Māori culture, language and knowledge are being thoughtfully integrated into daily learning programmes. This supports Māori children's sense of belonging and enables all children to build their knowledge and understanding of New Zealand's indigenous culture. The playcentre's commitment to delivering a bicultural curriculum could be more explicit in its philosophy.

Children's wellbeing and learning are effectively fostered through positive, responsive learning interactions with adults. Experienced facilitators model high quality intentional interactions with children that extend children's thinking and problem solving. Children, including very young children, are viewed as competent learners, and parents and facilitators respect and nurture children's initiative and independence. Parents are highly responsive to their own, and other children's, verbal and non-verbal communication.

The learning environment is used well to support the delivery of the programme and to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The indoor and outdoor areas are spacious and very well resourced. They provide well for choice and variety, and quiet and active play. Children and adults collaborate on decisions about how the spaces will be used and set up. Under two year olds are effectively supported to access and participate in play in all areas of the playcentre. A separate space is also provided for infants to rest, play and explore, uninterrupted by older children.

Assessment of and planning for individual children's learning is developing. Parents have met to build their understandings of how children learn. This includes how to be involved in planning for and capturing their children's learning over time. This is an area for ongoing development and parent education.

Internal evaluation is becoming better planned and is linked to the centre's strategic development goals. Parents are building their understanding of how to evaluate key aspects of centre practices and operations and ensure these lead to changes that improve outcomes for children.


NZPF has developed and is implementing, a clear national and regional management structure. Some of the new roles have had a very positive impact at centre level, with parent council members valuing the increased support they receive.

Of particular significance are:

  • the centre administrator role which provides sound monitoring of health, safety and compliance

  • the centre support worker who visits regularly to share best practice and monitor the quality of learning and teaching

  • the role of a facilitator, available at every session to role model good practice and empower parents to implement effective early childhood education for their children.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the playcentre parent council agree that to continue to improve current practice the key next steps are to:

  • continue to support parents to be involved in planning for individual children's learning by identifying specific learning outcomes and clear strategies for progressing children's learning against these

  • strengthen weekly and termly evaluation of group planning by focusing on the way learning experiences have supported intended learning outcomes

  • continue to build understandings of internal evaluation processes and ensure these draw on parent perspectives.

The next steps for the SSIR are to:

  • refine and embed the new NZPF structure, systems and processes, including monitoring and lines of reporting

  • continue to develop and strengthen the NZPF and individual playcentre internal evaluation processes and practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pleasant Point 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 the following areas of non-compliance:

The SSIR and Pleasant Point Playcentre parent council must ensure

  • the playcentre has a current Fire Evacuation Scheme approved by the New Zealand Fire Service (HS4 Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008)

  • that furniture, fixtures and equipment that could fall or topple are secured (HS 6 Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008)

  • that any windows or areas of glass accessible to children are made of safety glass; or covered by an adhesive film designed to hold the glass in place in the event of it being broken; or effectively guarded by barriers which prevent a child striking or falling against the glass (PF7 Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008).

To improve current practice the SSIR and Pleasant Point Playcentre parent council should:

  • ensure risk assessment and management plans for excursions include planning for emergencies.

Since the onsite stage of this review, ERO has received evidence that the playcentre has taken positive steps to address the fire evacuation and securement of furniture compliance issues.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

1 May 2019

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


Pleasant Point

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 8

Boys 27

Ethnic composition

Other ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

1 May 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

September 2007

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.