Point Howard Playcentre - 23/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Point Howard Playcentre

How well placed is Point Howard Playcentre 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.


Point Howard 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 Point Howard Playcentre. A kaitautoko, a centre support person is employed by the association to provide guidance.

The playcentre is licensed to operate mixed-age sessional education and care for 20 children four days a week. This includes 15 children up to the age of two.

Almost all members are relatively new to playcentre. Most parents take advantage of the adult education training programme provided by the association. This active involvement in their child's education is contributing to improved centre practice.

Curriculum planning and implementation is a shared responsibility. Each session is supported by a team of parent educators who hold playcentre training certificates. They also employ a supervisor with the level of training that meets legislative requirements for group supervision.

Point Howard Playcentre's June 2013 ERO report, identified a number of areas of practice requiring improvement. The association responded to this by supporting centre members to develop an action plan to address the concerns raised. These areas have been addressed.

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

The Review Findings

Children’s active exploration and learning through play is well supported by the attentive supervisor and parent educators. A positive tone and inclusive practice permeates the centre promoting children’s social skills, development and learning. Adults know the children well. Respectful interactions between adults and with children contribute effectively to children’s sense of belonging and wellbeing.

The service’s philosophy appropriately reflects the playcentre philosophy of parent-led education, learning through play and the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. A culture of care, respect and shared responsibility for leading children's play and learning is highly evident.

Children are physically active and curious explorers. They engage in a variety of well-considered activities and experiences. The service's youngest children are embraced and nurtured within a culture of care. Literacy and mathematics concept learning are an integral part of children’s early childhood experience. The inclusion of te ao Māori and all children's cultures, languages and identities in the curriculum continues to be developed.

Assessment, curriculum planning and evaluation practices 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. Adults are developing as highly reflective practitioners.

The association is an improvement focused organisation committed to providing timely and relevant support for its member centres. The June 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.

At Point Howard Playcentre the parent-led committee and 'supervision groups' are made up of a diverse group of enthusiastic parents and whānau who bring valuable skills and knowledge to their roles. The high levels of involvement of the centre's community and a collective responsibility to children, provides a positive platform for learning.

The June 2013 ERO report identified that centre leaders would benefit from association support to further develop strategic planning and self-review practice. Much work has been undertaken and this continues as a self-identified priority for development. The dual purpose of self review for accountability and improvement is understood and increasingly guides ongoing decision making.

Key Next Steps

The association should assist playcentre members to:

  • continue to formalise the centre's annual planning and self review to improve internal evaluation.

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 capability 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 Point Howard 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.

Action for compliance

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 Point Howard Playcentre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

23 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


Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

20 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 18, Girls 11

Ethnic composition




Other ethnic groups





Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

23 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

October 2009

Education Review

June 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.