Tahuna Playcentre - 11/02/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

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

The service is adequately placed to promote positive outcomes for children.


Tahuna Playcentre is located in a rural district next to the Tahuna Primary School. It caters for children from birth to school-age and operates two sessions per week. The roll comprises 9 children, of whom 3 children identify as Māori. The playcentre has a well established and inviting playground that offers very good opportunities for physical challenge and social play. Its philosophy indicates that members value adults and children learning together through play in a safe, positive and stimulating environment.

Since the 2009 ERO review, there have been changes in centre membership, but numbers of enrolled children and families are now the same as they were three years ago. In that time, the association has provided professional development in assessment, planning, evaluation and self review. Bicultural perspectives are increasing. There are sound processes for assisting children to make a smooth transition to school.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation and the Waikato Playcentre Association (the association) provide effective governance and strategic direction. The association places high value on promoting success for Māori as Māori through training initiatives and Puriri o Whakamaru, a group that encourages and funds local and national leadership initiatives. Experienced and knowledgeable centre support workers are employed by the association to support the centre in addressing the requirements of its transitional license under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008.

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

The Review Findings

Tahuna Playcentre is run as a family cooperative by a long-serving capable supervisor and a small group of dedicated parents. Together they have created a warm, inviting and relaxed environment, which is welcoming to children and their families. Parents as educators work and learn alongside children in response to emerging interests and choices. Respectful relationships provide a basis for extending children’s engagement in play. The programme is planned and prepared to support children of all ages. They also take part in physical challenges, enjoy opportunities for construction and creative expression, and explore and investigate the natural world. All children, including toddlers, have ready access to a wide range of well maintained and suitable equipment and materials.

The curriculum is based on the education and care needs of individual children. Parents are sensitive to their current interests and strengths which are identified and displayed as part of the planning process. Adults contribute to the programme by sharing personal skills and strengths and engaging children in conversations to extend oral language and conversation skills. Māori perspectives are becoming more evident in the environment and in profile stories. Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, is recognised as a basis for identifying children’s learning and next steps. An experienced parent has written some good assessment narratives which could be shared as models to support newer members in developing their confidence and expertise.

Sessions are managed by an experienced supervisor who models very good practice for parents as first teachers. Members are committed to the continuity of their playcentre and to celebrating its advantages in local publications. Experienced and knowledgeable centre support workers provide valuable support for parent education, administration, performance management, programme development and property maintenance to guide compliance with regulatory requirements and ongoing self review.

ERO, centre support workers and centre members agree that the association should continue to support centre members in developing:

  • processes for assessment, planning, and evaluation
  • bicultural perspectives that include increasing the use of te reo Māori
  • wall-displays that make learning more visible to children
  • extension activities for older children
  • further delegation of roles and responsibilities among members
  • self review processes that lead to continual improvement in outcomes for children.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tahuna 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.

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

11 February 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service


Tahuna near Morrinsville

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

20 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 5 Girls 4

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

NZ Māori



Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

11 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2009

December 2006

January 2003

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.