Rapanui Brunswick Playcentre - 11/12/2019

1 Evaluation of Rapanui Brunswick Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Rapanui Brunswick Playcentre requires further development so that Playcentre Aotearoa, leaders and parents ensure compliance with all health and safety licensing requirements, as outlined in the Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008.

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


Rapanui Brunswick Playcentre is licensed to provide mixed-age sessional education and care for 30 children three mornings a week. This includes 15 children up to the age of two. At the time of this review, there are 19 children enrolled.

The Playcentre Aotearoa philosophy, ‘whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together’, is to 'empower parents and children to learn, play and grow together'. Alongside this the centre philosophy promotes the development of 'persistence, curiosity, confidence, responsibility, trust and playfulness', while empowering children to make their own decisions about their learning.

Since the February 2017 ERO report, the New Zealand Playcentre Federation has restructured by amalgamating all associations to form Playcentre Aotearoa. Rapanui-Brunswick Playcentre is part of the Lower North Island Region and is supported by a regional manager and support persons.

Whānau and families share responsibility for the curriculum. Day-to-day operation is undertaken by session support personnel and centre-elected office holders. A centre support worker and centre administrator regularly visit playcentres to provide professional support, strengthen practice and promote improvement. A session facilitator is employed to assist with the operation of each session.

This review was part of a cluster of 11 playcentres in the Lower North Island Region.

The Review Findings

Members should be supported by Playcentre Aotearoa to build knowledge and understanding of procedures related to the requirements of excursions, emergency drills and plans and the systematic monitoring of these, to ensure licensing requirements are upheld.

Children lead their own learning through a curriculum that is based on their interests. They freely access a wide range of open-ended resources that promote creativity, encourage exploration and support physical development. Children are developing valued learning attributes promoted through the philosophy. They show persistence, curiosity and confidence, and demonstrate a sense of ownership.

The bicultural curriculum continues to develop. Children have opportunities to experience te ao Māori through routines, waiata and resources. Te reo Māori is increasingly used by parents during conversations and in documentation.

Parents and support staff have identified that strengthening their knowledge of Te Whāriki (2017), the early childhood curriculum, is a key next step. ERO's external evaluation confirms this. During this process they should consider ways to make further connections to areas of significance for Māori within the local curriculum.

Strong, trusting relationships are evident between all those involved in the service. Infants and toddlers take opportunities to learn alongside, and from, their older peers. A sense of community prevails and adults share responsibility for the learning of all children. Parents work collaboratively to provide a positive and inclusive environment.

A useful assessment, planning and evaluation framework is in place to support parents to notice, recognise and respond to children's interests and development needs. Parents' knowledge of children's home life informs planning and creates opportunities to integrate children's cultures, languages and identities. They should continue to strengthen assessment to regularly document the progress in learning over time.

Parents continue to develop their use of internal evaluation. It is undertaken regularly and leads to improvement of the curriculum. Further strengthening adults' understanding and use of evaluation should allow parents to better identify the impact of their actions on children's learning.

The revised parent education programme is becoming more accessible to centre members. At this playcentre many parents hold initial Playcentre qualifications and are yet to transfer to the revised programme. Further involvement in this programme should strengthen parents' understanding of and response to children's learning. Appraisal processes for session support staff have recently been strengthened to better evaluate performance in relation to specific roles and responsibilities, identify professional learning and development needs and focus on achievement of goals.

The national restructuring process continues to require significant attention and support to implement an extensive range of systems and processes. Regular communication from Playcentre Aotearoa seeks to keep parents informed of progress, changes and upcoming requirements. National policies and procedures have recently been introduced and parents are in the process of aligning practices to these. Ongoing support is required to enable parents to understand and implement these procedures to meet licensing requirements.

Key Next Steps

At playcentre level, priorities are to continue to:

  • build understanding of Te Whāriki to strengthen planning and the localised curriculum
  • develop assessment to document progress in children's learning over time
  • strengthen understanding and use of internal evaluation for improvement.

Playcentre Aotearoa should continue to build knowledge and understandings of policies and procedures, and support systematic monitoring of these, to ensure licensing requirements are upheld.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rapanui Brunswick 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:

  • assessment and management of risk for excursions, including determination of the adult: child ratio and documented approval of parents for this ratio
  • an annual review of the centre's emergency plan informed by evaluation of emergency drills. Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS17, HS7, HS8

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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

11 December 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



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

Female 11, Male 8

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

11 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2017

Education Review

April 2014

Education Review

November 2010

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.