Redwood Playcentre - 28/04/2014

1. Evaluation of Redwood Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Redwood 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. The parent committee makes good use of parents’ skills and has members who are experienced and knowledgeable about the playcentre philosophy and practices.

Redwood Playcentre operates five mornings a week. It is currently exploring ways of increasing the number of older children attending sessions.

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

The Review Findings

The playcentre philosophy is highly evident in the way this playcentre operates. A good number of parents are actively involved in the daily programme. Relationships among parents are nurtured and parents have a strong focus on supporting each other. The parent group is building centre leadership through effective teamwork and sharing of responsibilities and roles.

Participation in playcentre parent education courses is actively promoted. The centre is making good use of the knowledge gained by parents through these courses to raise the quality of education for children.

Children benefit from positive interactions with adults during the programme. These interactions are supported by affirming and responsive relationships that promote children’s sense of wellbeing and belonging.

Children’s learning is supported by adults who:

  • take time to build relationships with children other than their own and fully involve themselves in children’s play

  • ask useful questions to help children think and explain their ideas

  • encourage and support infants and toddlers to take part in all playcentre activities

  • help children extend their play by adding extra resources and equipment.

The playcentre programme provides good opportunities for children to follow their own interests and ideas, be leaders in their play, and be involved in indepth play for long periods of time.

Adults plan for a wide range of interesting learning experiences and activities based on what they observe children are interested in. They make good use of local resources, such as links with a local school and inviting visitors to the playcentre, to extend children’s experiences. The playcentre environment is well organised with a good range of play equipment and resources.

Since the September 2010 ERO review, there has been an increased commitment to, and visibility of, Māori perspectives in the programme and environment. Adults are now more knowledgeable about tikanga Māori, use more te reo Māori with the children and have a greater understanding of some Māori concepts such as Turangawaewae (our place in the world).

Self-review systems have been strengthened. Adults have clearer guidelines and are now using self review to reflect more deeply on practices and develop useful plans for centre improvement.

Key Next Steps

The parent group and ERO agree, that the following developments would help them to maintain and build on the best of current practices.

Programme planning and assessment practices need further development. Such development should include giving greater emphasis to identifying and responding to children’s learning in the activities they undertake.

Extending the playcentre’s long and short term development plans would help to better support parents’ commitment to ongoing centre improvement, focus actions and provide continuity as office bearers change.

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 it 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 Redwood 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.

In order to improve current practice ERO recommends that the parent group more closely monitors the implementation of the centre’s sun safe policy in regard to wearing sunhats.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Graham Randell National Manager Review Services Southern Region

28 April 2014

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


Redwood, Christchurch

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 19 Girls 16

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā



Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

28 April 2014

Most recent ERO reports

These are available at

Education Review

September 2010


Education Review

April 2007


Education Review

June 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.