Reporoa Playcentre - 28/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Reporoa Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Reporoa Playcentre is a parent-led education and care service located in the rural town of Reporoa. It caters for children from birth to school age and operates two mixed-age morning sessions per week. The playcentre is licensed for 30 children including up to 20 under the age of two years. The current roll of 27 children includes two who identify as Māori.

During 2018, the New Zealand Playcentre Federation transitioned from operating with 32 regional associations to become one national body with six regional offices. In the central North Island six associations have merged into a regional hub renamed Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island Region that now includes 95 playcentres over a large geographic area. During this transition there is some overlap between associations and the new national regional systems and processes. At Reporoa Playcentre, the president is supported by a committee of parent members. A centre administrator and support worker are provided by federation.

Through their national philosophy the playcentre places emphasis on whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together. They empower adults and children to play, work and grow together and value and affirm parents as first and best educators of their children.

Reporoa Playcentre has a positive reporting history with ERO. Since the last ERO review in 2015, members have focused on a commitment to developing a bicultural curriculum and implemented a more child-focussed approach.

This review was part of a cluster of four playcentres in the Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island region.

The Review Findings

Children are effectively supported through strong learning partnerships with their parents and other adults. A wide range of teaching strategies have been implemented to support children's learning. Positive relationships are encouraged and parents have a good understanding of their children’s preferences and learning styles. Children’s learning is promoted through a programme that follows their interests and strengths. Their rights are evident and flexible routines allow for engagement in uninterrupted play, and children are able to lead their own learning. Children are supported by their parents and other adults in their play.

Children under the age of two years enjoy a calm and responsive learning space. It is age appropriate and allows for free movement, and curiosity and independence are fostered. Members read and respond appropriately to very young children’s non-verbal cues. Community engagement is evident through relationships formed with the local school and community cultural festivals. Oral language development is well supported by adults through open-ended questions and providing opportunities for children to make discoveries. Children are encouraged to explore and inquire at their own pace.

Children are well supported in an extensively equipped environment. All curriculum areas are promoted and are inclusive and accessible for all learners. Literacy, mathematics and science are woven authentically through play and learning. Assessment for learning has recently been strengthened to promote links to the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki. Learning stories record children’s participation in the programme. Aspects of planning and assessment need further development to show progress of learning.

The mixed-age group effectively supports tuakana tiena interactions. Good support from local iwi has been implemented to provide bicultural knowledge to members. Te reo and tikanga Māori are integrated in the environment and daily programme. Children are developing an awareness and understanding of the bicultural nature of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Leadership effectively promotes positive and affirming relationships with members. Long-serving members are providing good leadership and a strong culture of support. All roles are filled within the playcentre, with knowledgeable experienced members and succession plans are in place. A local philosophy has been developed. It is well designed and shared to all members. Capacity building of members is a feature with deliberate support for new members. Internal evaluation has been developed and follows a specific framework. Consistency around how this guides change and improvement should be considered. Children benefit from experienced leaders who are focused on positive learning outcomes.

The Playcentre Aotearoa overarching strategic plan, philosophy, vision and individual annual plans have been implemented and guide the playcentre direction. There is a focus on building capability through recently reviewed and improved parent education programmes. Regular communication and support between the Playcentre Aotearoa and regions through the restructure supported business as usual. Existing policies and systems support centre operations until all new systems developed by Playcentre Aotearoa are implemented nationally. The federation is committed to offering more accessible localised training to respond to the needs of the community.

Key Next Steps

With the centre having many new members there is now a need for leaders to offer mentoring and guidance to ensure:

  • that internal evaluation processes are embedded to consistently promote improvement
  • consistency of planning and assessment practices to support the understanding of noticing, recognising and responding to children's learning showing progress over time
  • individual children’s language culture and identity is strengthened through assessment and the environment.

Management should place priority on providing ongoing support for members to increase their knowledge of the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

28 February 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 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 18 Girls 9

Ethnic composition



Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

28 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

September 2011

Education Review

August 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.