Rangiora Playcentre - 09/04/2014

1. Evaluation of Rangiora Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


This playcentre operates under the guidance of the Canterbury Playcentre Association. The playcentre is a parent cooperative with parents encouraged to be involved in all aspects of the centre’s programme and operation. The playcentre philosophy is based on the belief that children reach their full potential when their parents understand their development and take part in the learning process. Adults with higher playcentre training take responsibility for coordinating the programme each session.

Rangiora Playcentre is open for four sessions a week for children up to six years of age and one session a week for infants and toddlers under two years of age. It operates in a purpose-built facility. Since the September 2010 ERO report, there has been a change of coordinators, improvements to the indoor and outdoor areas, improved planning and assessment and reviewed bicultural practices.

Most of the recommendations from the 2010 ERO report have been addressed. These include improved planning and assessment, a review of biculturalism in the centre and improvements to indoor facilities.

Significant change is occurring at association level including a review of the management and governance structure. This process has been supported by a useful and consultative self-review process and regular consultation with parents.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the Canterbury Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from the way adults build positive relationships and support children’s sense of belonging. Interactions between adults and children are positive and nurturing. Adults actively support each other and children. Extended whānau are welcomed.

Infants and toddlers are well included in the programme. Adults make sure children have good opportunities to interact with older children and that they take part in the full range of playcentre activities. A safe play area for young babies has been developed.

There has been a recent emphasis on responding more effectively to older children’s learning needs. This includes a greater focus on recognising and responding to their strengths and abilities and providing them with more leadership opportunities. Greater consideration has been given to developing ways that will support these children’s successful transition to school.

Children have good opportunities to make choices about how they play. The programme provides a wide range of play activities and appealing experiences that build on children’s interests. Adults regularly change resources to ensure the programme is interesting. They spend time playing alongside children and encouraging them to participate in activities that may be new to them.

The playcentre’s strong links with the local community extend children’s learning experiences. These include visits to a local school, excursions in the community and regular visitors to the centre, such as planned visits from the residents at a nearby rest home.

Coordinators demonstrate a good understanding of children’s skills and learning needs. Parent involvement in planning, assessment and evaluation has been strengthened through the effective support and guidance of the centre coordinators.

Parent involvement in the playcentre is growing. The parent group is building leadership through effective teamwork and the sharing of responsibilities and roles. The parent group use good processes to guide improvements to the programme and children’s learning.

Key Next Steps

The parent group and ERO agree that the following areas for development would help them to continue to improve the programme for children.

The coordinators have focused on building parents' confidence so they can contribute more to planning and assessing children’s learning. There has been a marked increase in the numbers of parents participating in these processes. However there are some practices that could be strengthened to improve children’s learning. These include:

  • supporting parents to record how they extend and build on children’s learning
  • strengthening the ways parents interact with children to extend thinking and problem-solving skills
  • supporting parents to plan and assess children’s learning.

Self review has led to a number of positive changes to practices that better support children’s learning. However the process to sustain ongoing improvement needs clear guidelines and procedures to support parents’ confidence and understanding about self review. For example the outcomes of the bicultural review should be more visible within the centre.

The programme that supports children’s transition to school has evolved over the last year as a result of self review. Despite the reluctance of schools to be fully involved, the centre could further strengthen the programme by looking at different ways to share children’s assessment information with schools.

There is significant change occurring in the structure of governance and management at association level. The recent review of governance and management has been supported by useful and consultative processes.

The association has identified, and ERO agrees, that the next steps for the association include association staff:

  • providing more documented feedback to parent groups about the quality of teaching and learning, with a particular focus on interactions
  • developing a stronger understanding of the government's focus on priority learners so that they can better support parent groups to respond more effectively to these children
  • helping parent groups more effectively sustain the developments in bicultural practices
  • providing more useful guidelines to parent groups about supporting children's transition to school.

In addition a system for the regular appraisal of Centre Support Team members should be re-established.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rangiora 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 Rangiora Playcentre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

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


Rangiora, North Canterbury

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 two

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 22

Girls 20

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā





Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

9 April 2014

Most recent ERO reports

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

September 2010


Education Review

March 2007


Education Review

April 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.