South Brighton Playcentre - 14/03/2017

1 Evaluation of South Brighton Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

South Brighton Playcentre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

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


South Brighton 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 playcentre's programme and management.

South Brighton Playcentre operates four morning sessions a week. It is located beside, and has a good relationship with, the local school.

The centre has been repaired after damage in the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. A number of families are transient and continue to be impacted by the earthquakes and damage to their homes. The centre provides a much-needed meeting place for families with young children in the area.

The centre has made good progress in meeting the recommendations in the 2012 ERO review report. The association has supported them to effectively implement the association's policies, procedures and plans and become more involved with the parent education programme.

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

The Review Findings

Children are well supported in their learning. Parents effectively help children to develop their ideas and thinking by asking questions, making suggestions and introducing new resources. Science and promoting sustainable practices are special features of the programme.

The environment is very well presented and resourced. It effectively encourages children to be active explorers and knowledge seekers about their world. Parents make very good use of their knowledge of each child to provide inviting play spaces and activities that engage children of all ages in meaningful and challenging learning.

Children's and parents' wellbeing and learning are well supported by the strong, positive relationships between children and adults. Parents have established many networks to support each other in the centre, participation in parent training and within the wider community. Individual skills are valued and parents benefit from being members of a caring community.

Parents are strongly committed to increasing the bicultural components of the programme and valuing te reo and tikanga Māori. Signage, resources and involvement in the parent education courses are well used to increase parent knowledge, confidence and pride in Māori language and culture. Centre plans include introducing a bicultural session in 2017 to continue to integrate te ao Māori into all aspects of centre life.

Parents willingly share their home cultures to benefit all children. Children often talk in English, Māori and languages of other family cultures. Māori and Pacific families are well supported to share and learn more about their own cultures through the parent education programme and links with other playcentres.

Infants and toddlers are well integrated into the programme. Parents care for all children and share the care and wellbeing of infants and toddlers. Special areas and activities are provided to extend the interests, participation and confidence of these young children. Older children willingly include younger children in their play and support their learning.

Internal evaluation has been used effectively to identify what is going well and where improvements need to occur in child assessment and programme planning. Parents are using an indepth evaluation process to closely monitor progress and further modify plans to achieve successful outcomes for children and parents.

The centre operates effectively as a parent cooperative. The parent group has high expectations that all parents will share their skills, take an active role in the administration of the playcentre and participate in the parent education courses. The group makes very good use of association policies and procedures and support from the association centre support team.

A strategic plan has recently been developed that is clearly based on internal evaluation and closely aligned to the association goals.

The Canterbury Playcentre Association has made significant progress since the 2014 ERO cluster review. They have implemented a strategic plan that effectively identifies goals, plans and progress. The centre support and education teams have been structured to provide more efficient and timely support and guidance for the centres. The parent education programme has become more accessible to parents. Noticeably more parents are participating in all levels of the training and are making good use of this new knowledge in the centres. The centre support team is successfully facilitating the sharing of useful knowledge and practices across centres.

The association has high expectations for every child to experience high quality education and all parents to be actively involved in parent education and the management of the centres. They have established some very useful systems and practices to ensure the sustainability and improvement of the organisation and the centres. This includes effective evaluation and monitoring of the quality of education for parents and improved outcomes for children.

The key next steps for the association are to:

  • review how well the individual playcentre philosophies are meeting the changing contexts of centres

  • implement appraisals for the members of the centre support team that align more closely with centre needs and association expectations.

Key Next Steps

The association, parents and ERO agree that the next key steps for the playcentre include:

  • strengthening assessment and planning by focusing more on teaching and learning

  • developing learning partnerships with the local school to strengthen transition practices

  • embedding strategic planning, monitoring and reporting on the plan goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of South Brighton 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to appraisal. To meet requirements the association needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • implement a system of regular appraisal for members of the Education Support Team.

[Regulation 47 (GMA7) Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008] 

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern/Te Waipounamu

14 March 2017

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

24 children, including up to 10 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 25; Girls 16

Ethnic composition



Cook Island


Other ethnicities






Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

14 March 2017

Most recent ERO reports


Education Review

September 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.