Swanson Playcentre - 11/10/2012

1. Evaluation of the Service

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

Swanson Playcentre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.


Swanson Playcentre serves a semi-rural community in West Auckland. It continues to operate successfully as part of Te Akoranga Playcentre Association. The Association provides training programmes for centre members and effective support for members in running sessions. Swanson Playcentre offers four sessions each week, three of which are supported by Association personnel.

A distinctive feature of Swanson Playcentre is the number of men who are actively involved as members and make a positive contribution to children’s learning.

Previous ERO reports have acknowledged the good quality programme provided for children. The 2009 ERO report, while acknowledging that adults’ interactions with children were consistently positive, respectful and caring, commented in particular on the good quality of provision for younger children. Members agreed that, to further improve the programme, they should consider developing systems to respond to the aspirations of Māori parents. They were also keen to provide more challenging programmes for older children.

The Review Findings

Swanson Playcentre operates as a parent collective. There are many opportunities for members to take on well defined roles and responsibilities to ensure the smooth running of the centre. Leaders are elected and mentored into their roles. Longer serving members support newer members and a buddy system is used to make best use of individual strength and skills.

The operation of the centre is closely linked to the philosophy for Playcentre education. In addition, members now plan to develop a mission statement that is specific to Swanson Playcentre.

Centre members make good and regular use of self-review processes to determine how effectively the programme is providing for children. They provide a well resourced, well organised environment to stimulate children’s curiosity and exploration, and to support children’s emerging interests. Children may choose from a wide range of accessible areas of play. Centre members are considering how best to incorporate more science, numeracy and literacy learning into the programme.

Respectful relationships underpin interactions between adults and between children and adults. Conversations with adults stimulate children’s thinking. Children with special learning needs are sensitively supported by Association personnel and centre members.

Budget allocations appropriately reflect spending that is based on the needs of the children. Currently the centre operates under a mix of policies, some of which come from the Association and some that are specific to Swanson Playcentre. Members should ensure that centre specific policies are regularly reviewed.

Members evaluate the effectiveness of their planning for all children who attend. Currently planning is mostly focused on activities and children’s development. Members agree that the next step is to capitalise more on their knowledge of children’s home and centre interests. They could extend children’s learning through more in-depth planning based on these interests.

Members are continuing to develop their awareness of tikanga and te reo Maōri. The Association provides additional support through Kia Puawai, an initiative to support Playcentre members to be more confident in including te Ao Māori in their planning and environment.

Good provision is made for younger children to have access to resources and activities alongside older children. The programme is regularly evaluated to ensure that children's developmental stages are supported. More experienced members are keen to help newer members to reflect on their practice as they continue to develop the quality of their work with children.

2. Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Swanson 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.

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.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

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 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 43, Boys 28

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā





Cook Island Māori









Review team on site

August 2012

Date of this report

11 October 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

July 2009

March 2006

June 2002