Russley Playcentre - 29/10/2014

1 Evaluation of Russley Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Russley 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 programme and centre operation.

Russley Playcentre has five morning sessions a week. ‘Babies Can Play’, a special programme for infants and their parents also operates from this centre.

Since the 2012 ERO review, the centre has made good progress towards meeting the recommendations in the ERO report. The commitment to including te reo and tikanga Māori has increased. Plans to help sustain the playcentre long term are being put in place.

This review was part of a cluster of 11 playcentre reviews in the Canterbury Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children learn in an environment that is stimulating and supports their learning and wellbeing. Parents have an in-depth knowledge of each child. They make good use of this information and their playcentre parent training to help children develop their language, problem-solving and leadership skills.

The children and parents are welcoming and inclusive of all children and families. Parents make sure families with children with special needs or from other cultures are well supported in the programme and the wider community.

The centre provides children with a wide range of experiences within the centre and the community. Children have access to an extensive range of resources to extend their interests and learning. Literacy and mathematics are evident in a variety of learning areas and activities.

Parents are increasing the inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori. They are making good use of playcentre parent training and members of the wider community to improve their knowledge and confidence. Centre plans reflect the parents’ commitment to improve this area of the curriculum for all children.

Good systems and practices are in place to help parents participate effectively in child assessment and programme planning. Centre training, led by the coordinator and other experienced parents, is closely linked to the playcentre association parent training. This helps to make assessment and planning relevant to parents.

The centre operates effectively as a parent cooperative. The parents have well-established systems and practices for the daily operation of the playcentre. They successfully encourage new parents to take leadership positions and participate in the parent education programme.

A programme called ‘Babies Can Play’ is effectively used to introduce parents to playcentre and enrol their children. Many of these families continue to send their children to playcentre until they transition to school.

Key Next Steps

The centre parents and ERO agree that their next steps include:

strengthening child assessment and planning by focusing more on the role of the adult in promoting learning and showing the development of children’s learning, particularly in mathematics

continuing to refine the long-term planning process and making closer links between goals, self review, and learning outcomes for all children.

Canterbury Playcentre Association

This is the third cluster review of a number of playcentres that ERO has undertaken in collaboration with the association. Each of the previous cluster reviews has identified emerging strengths from all the playcentres reviewed. This process has resulted in key next steps for the association to further support playcentres to improve learning outcomes for children.

The association has made some good progress in addressing the recommendations from the previous two cluster reviews. This includes:

  • supporting children’s transitions to school
  • re-establishing the centre managers’ appraisal system
  • improving feedback from the centre support team to parent groups about the quality of teaching and learning.

Further work is required to develop a stronger understanding of the government’s focus on priority learners so that the association can better support parent groups to respond to these children.

There continues to be significant change occurring in the structure of governance and management at association and federation levels. This has had a major impact on the association’s positive response to ERO’s recommendation from the previous cluster review, to document future planning.

Key Next Steps for the Canterbury Playcentre Association

During this cluster review the association has identified, and ERO agrees, that the next steps for the association include:

  • helping parent groups more effectively sustain the developments in bicultural practices, and strengthening the focus on Māori achieving success as Māori
  • reviewing assessment and planning processes to help adults identify children’s learning and the ways that adults can help children with their learning
  • developing a clear understanding of the process of strategic planning at association level and sharing this with parent groups
  • continuing to support and grow emergent leaders in playcentres.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

29 October 2014

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

25 children, including up to 10 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 23;

Girls 18

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā









Reported ratios of adult to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2014

Date of this report

29 October 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

March 2012


Education Review

May 2008


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.