Riselaw Road Playcentre - 30/01/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Riselaw Road Playcentre is building its capacity to promote positive outcomes for children


Riselaw Road Playcentre is on the school grounds behind the Carisbrook School Heights Campus. The uncertainty over the school merger process has made long-term planning difficult for the centre. In addition, the roll declined in the early months of 2012. In recent times a small but dedicated core of parents have emerged bringing renewed optimism and vigour to the centre. Several of these parents are undertaking Playcentre training and have taken on roles and responsibilities within the centre. The centre is open four mornings a week for children aged birth-to-five years. Once a week, the Otago Playcentre Association (OPA) operates a bilingual session at the centre.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in fifteen early childhood education services within the Otago Playcentre Association umbrella organisation.

The Review Findings

Children and their families have a strong sense of belonging and ownership at the Riselaw Road Playcentre. The children settle quickly to activities of their choice. The educator and parents know the children well. They have conversations that relate to the children’s interests and lives. Children are confident to approach and talk to adults and they enjoy their conversations with each other. They have strong friendships with one another.

Children play and learn in an indoor setting where there is a good range of resources and activities to encourage their decision making and creativity. They are supported to develop an awareness of early literacy and to hear and use some te reo Māori through karakia kai, waiata and simple phrases.

There have been property improvements, including new carpet, tables and outdoor asphalting.

Professional development in 2012 has had a focus on building the educator’s and parents’ understanding of how to lead teaching and learning at the Playcentre. They have used children’s ideas to help broaden their concepts of the world around them, for example, learning about where butter comes from.

Areas for development and review

Different planning formats have been trialled. However, with frequent changes to the parent group, many of these have not been sustained. The current planning format provides some direction for the educators and parents to focus on children’s learning. The centre advisor has identified that this format requires further review and development to be fully effective.

The next step is for the educator and parents to adopt a planning system that renews the focus on individual children. This would include:

  • gathering parents' aspirations for their children’s learning and identifying priorities for individual children’s learning
  • using this information to guide the programme and the information recorded
  • ensuring that, once it is established, the system is maintained.

Self review has not been a priority in this centre at this time. At the beginning of 2012 professional development had a focus on building an understanding of self review. However, with turnover of parents, this has not been continued. The parents and educator should become reacquainted with the information provided by the professional development programme to develop their knowledge of self review. A schedule of reviews needs to be developed and implemented to help the centre to improve and monitor how well they are providing for children’s learning.

The centre parents with support from the centre advisor, need to develop an action plan to show how it will meet the recommendations of this report.

Governance and Management

The Otago Playcentre Association (OPA) provides a comprehensive range of support to this and other Playcentres. This includes:

  • developing an action plan for all centres to be relicensed with the 2008 Regulations
  • managing an association-wide system for all aspects of health, safety and compliance
  • ongoing support for employment processes
  • targeted support for playcentres requiring additional assistance
  • ongoing provision of playcentre training.

The OPA executive and personnel hold regular meetings with a specific focus on each centre. They discuss best ways to support individual centres. Records from these meetings could be more specific about what support is provided and the difference it has made.

A strength of the OPA is the ongoing support provided by the centre advisors. The centre advisor effectively supports the parents and educators in developing their understanding of planning and assessment and self review.

Centre advisors should continue to build their knowledge and understanding of self review. They should use each centre's self review as evidence to assure the governors of the OPA how well the playcentre is promoting positive outcomes for children.

OPA personnel need to further develop their understanding of self review and use the findings of self review to assure themselves of the effectiveness of their strategic goals and all aspects of the OPA management and operations.

The OPA governors have a sound policy framework to support the Playcentre.


The educator, parents and centre advisor need to develop an action plan to address the areas for review and development identified in this report.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Riselaw Road 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.

ERO found an area of non-compliance in the centre. In order to comply with requirements the licensee must ensure that the educator and parents:

  1. implement an ongoing process of self review to ensure that the service maintains and improves the quality of its education and care. [GMA6: Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008]

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

30 January 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Playcentre - Sessional

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls: 5

Boys: 3

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Cook Island





Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

30 January 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

July 2009

February 2005

October 1999

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.