Richmond Playcentre - 16/11/2018

1 Evaluation of Richmond Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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


Richmond Playcentre is in the process of fully transitioning into being part of the new Top of the South Region of Playcentre Aotearoa. The playcentre is a long-established parent co-operative and is one of 13 in the Nelson-Tasman region. It provides three morning sessions a week for up to 30 children aged from 0 to 6 years and two sessions specifically for infants and their parents. It is situated next to the local school and other early childhood services.

Parents are encouraged to be involved in all aspects of the programme and playcentre operations. The sessions are facilitated by paid kaiako who hold playcentre and early childhood qualifications, and parents who are gaining playcentre qualifications. The new region has employed a Centre Support Worker (CSW) and a Centre Administrator (CA) to support whānau and kaiako.

Since ERO's 2015 review most parents are new to the playcentre. However, they have made good progress in addressing the recommendations in the 2015 ERO report.

The Review Findings

Richmond Playcentre has a welcoming family-like atmosphere where children and whānau have a strong sense of belonging. Since ERO's 2015 review there has been significant roll growth and many parents are participating in the Adult Education programme to gain playcentre qualifications. Parents' greater appreciation for the philosophy and learning opportunities provided at the playcentre has resulted in a number of parents choosing to keep their children at the playcentre until starting school.

Key aspects of the playcentre that are promoting positive outcomes for children include:

  • well-organised and resourced learning environments that provide choice and challenge

  • parents actively participating and sharing their strengths and skills to extend and stimulate children's interests

  • the ways that kaiako and parents skilfully extend children's learning through open-ended conversations

  • a child-led programme where children are actively encouraged to take risks, make choices, explore and be creative and expressive

  • an environment where everyone is seen as a learner with children and adults learning alongside one another.

Infants and toddlers benefit from nurturing relationships they have with their parents and other adults in the playcentre. Older children are encouraged to take on tuakana-teina roles with younger children. Infants and toddlers have full access to the whole programme, although there is a safe play area with age-appropriate resources as and when required.

The kaiako and parent group work well together to ensure the smooth running of the playcentre. For example, a clear strategic plan has been collaboratively developed to guide the direction of the playcentre. As a group, kaiako and parents are growing in confidence and making good use of some individual expertise to strengthen te reo Māori and te ao Māori perspectives in the programme. This work should be continued. Kaiako and parents seek external support and guidance where necessary, including support from Playcentre Aotearoa, to help children who require additional support in their learning.

Parents are developing skills and confidence in using self-review practices to know what is working well, what is improving and what needs to be done differently. Parents have identified that the impacts of improvements arising from self-reviews should be monitored over time.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps are for parents and kaiako to:

  • find ways to ensure all parents are actively involved in planning for their children's learning

  • review the philosophy to align with Te Whāriki (2017), the early childhood curriculum, and clearly state the playcentre's priorities for children's learning (valued outcomes)

  • ensure that strategic actions relate to outcomes for children and evaluate these to show how well these have contributed to improving outcomes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

16 November 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



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

Girls: 32

Boys: 26

Ethnic composition

Other Ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

16 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

March 2012

Education Review

August 2007

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.