Pyes Pa Playcentre - 20/07/2018

1 Evaluation of Pyes Pa Playcentre

How well placed is Pyes Pa Playcentre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Pyes Pa Playcentre requires support to develop curriculum, internal evaluation and health and safety systems.

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


Pyes Pa Playcentre is a parent-led, mixed-age service, situated in a rural area close to Tauranga. It is licensed for 25 children, including 10 up to the age of two years. At the time of this ERO review, 28 children were enrolled, including four of Māori descent, and a small number of other nationalities. The playcentre currently operates two morning sessions on Tuesday's and Friday's.

In 2018 playcentres are transitioning from operating as The New Zealand Playcentre Federation (NZPF) with 32 regional associations to a national organisation with six offices. In the central North Island eight associations have merged into a regional hub renamed Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island. This region includes 95 playcentres spread over a large geographic area. During the organisation transition there is some overlap between association systems and new national approaches.

The governance management structure consists of a regional manager and a centre support coordinator who provides guidance and management for the playcentres. A centre administrator and centre support worker were appointed in early 2018 to provide support and guidance for centre operations. A national professional learning and development team is in the early stages of planning for additional learning support to build members’ capability as first teachers of their children. Responsibility for centre leadership is shared across centre members. Two members share the president role and a number of other members have leadership roles within the centre.

Through their philosophy the centre aims to support children to learn through play and initiate their own learning. Children and adults learn together and experience a range of learning experiences, guided by children's interests.

The centre has a positive ERO reporting history. Since the last ERO review in 2015, the centre has made good progress with including te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme. A number of members have completed playcentre training. Assessment of children's learning and internal evaluation processes remain areas that need to be strengthened.

This review was part of a cluster of six playcentres reviews in the Western Bay of Plenty under the governance of Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island.

The Review Findings

Children demonstrate trust and enjoyment as they work with and alongside adults and other children. Infants and toddlers attend with their primary caregiver who nurture their wellbeing and belonging. The mixed-age setting supports tuakana/teina relationships where younger children learn from older children. Social competence and literacy including oral language skills are supported through conversations with adults and other children. The centre should continue to access support for children of whom English is a second language. Pacific children share their language, culture and identity with families in the centre. Strong relationships with the adjacent local school support transitions for older children.

Parents document aspects of children's involvement in the programme in individual assessment portfolios. More deliberate documentation of assessment for children's learning and progress is needed. In addition centre members need to use the New Zealand early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki to clearly identify and plan learning outcomes for children.

Experienced centre members work well with, and alongside others in a co-operative leadership approach. Succession planning for roles is managed informally and there is a need to develop clear roles and responsibilities for committee members. An important next step is to strengthen strategic and annual management plans. Leadership provided through the Māori Roopu representative is supporting parents to include te reo and tikanga Māori within the programme. Centre leaders have productive networks within the local community and the centre is a member of the local playcentre cluster group. Good communication and consultation networks have been established between members.

The Central North Island region is in the early stages of providing support for centres during a time of transition. Existing polices and systems are supporting centre operations until new systems developed by Playcentre Aotearoa are implemented. The strategic and annual plans are yet to consistently guide regional and centre direction. A particular strength is the Te Whare Tikanga Māori initiative, which promotes self-determination for Māori members through regular hui and targeted funding.

Key Next Steps

ERO has identified the need for Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island management to develop:

  • more robust quality assurance processes for internal evaluation practice and reporting systems to inform priorities, future direction and provide targeted support for its playcentres

  • a strategic approach to professional development in relation to Te Whāriki 2017.

In addition members need support to strengthen:

  • strategic and annual plans with specific and measurable goals and timeframes

  • curriculum assessment, planning and evaluation .

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pyes Pa 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

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to health and safety. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • ensuring that daily checking of equipment, premises and facilities to identify hazards are completed

  • ensuring that all practical steps are taken to ensure that noise levels do not interfere with normal speech and/or communication or cause any child attending distress or harm.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS12, PF13, HS15,]

ERO identified an additional area of non-compliance related to governance.

  • The current appraisal process does not meet Ministry of Education regulatory requirements. Governance needs to ensure suitable human resource management practices are developed, documented and implemented.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7].

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Pyes Pa Playcentre will be within two years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

20 July 2018

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


Pyes Pa, Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 20 Boys 8

Ethnic composition



Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

20 July 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2015

Education Review

March 2012

Education Review

March 2008

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.