Pukekohe Playcentre - 09/12/2013

1 Evaluation of Pukekohe Playcentre

How well placed is Pukekohe 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.


Pukekohe Playcentre is one of seventeen centres in the Counties Playcentre Association, which provides a management and policy framework for centre operations. Liaison workers and other elected association officers provide support for centres. Association members deliver the Playcentre adult education programme to help whānau build their understanding about children’s learning.

The playcentre is located in a semi-rural area of Pukekohe and offers five sessions per week for children from birth to five years old. A high percentage of centre members are undertaking playcentre training. This provides members with a good knowledge of children’s learning and development and ways to promote positive outcomes for children.

The playcentre philosophy of whānau and children learning together underpins centre operations. The centre has recently re-opened its Monday session.

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

The Review Findings

Children benefit from an attractive and well thought out child-centred environment. Children access resources confidently and enjoy cooperative and independent play. Provision for infants and toddlers has been a development priority for members and good use is made of the space developed to cater for infants’ exploration and play. Adults work alongside children to support their engagement.

The environment is welcoming and inclusive for families from all cultural backgrounds. Parents support each other in their parenting and educating roles and willingly sharing their expertise and knowledge with new parents. Portfolios are well displayed for parents and children to revisit and celebrate learning. Buddy systems help newer parents to confidently contribute to the positive learning environment for children.

Self review has been an increasing focus for the centre. Members have developed review practices and systems to better consider outcomes for children. They make good use of association procedures and policies to ensure the centre meets relicensing requirements. Members’ commitment to improving self review has resulted in an increased ability to meet the needs of children who require extra support, especially in the under two area.

The centre is efficiently led by the centre president who works in collaboration with members to effectively manage the centre. Strategic planning supports centre members to make relevant improvements.

Since the 2010 ERO review, there have been significant developments in implementing a bicultural curriculum. Waiata and the promotion of te reo Māori in the environment have been improved.

Association management practices are well established. Self review involves centre members, and contributes to decision making. A strategic review is currently underway, with a view to streamlining Association systems and practices and making them more manageable for Playcentre members. This review could also consider how the Association can provide earlier, more focused support for centres that are facing challenges. Liaison workers should consider ways to help centres establish more effective strategic and annual planning, and strengthen self review practices. Monitoring and supporting the quality of programmes in centres should be a more central aspect of the liaison worker role.

Key Next Steps

Centre members and ERO agree that the key next steps for the playcentre include:

  • promoting the value of playcentre to current and future members
  • strengthening the use of session evaluation for further planning
  • developing more culturally responsive practices
  • strengthening the assessment of children’s learning
  • making greater use of members’ expertise to help extend children’s learning.


As a result of this cluster of reviews, ERO recommends that the Counties Playcentre Association access support from the Ministry of Education and the NZ Playcentre Federation to refine the Association’s structure, systems and practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pukekohe 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Pukekohe Playcentre will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

9 December 2013

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


Pukekohe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 35

Boys 30

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Cook Island














Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2013

Date of this report

9 December 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2010


Education Review

June 2007


Education Review

January 2004

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.