Tairua Playcentre - 03/10/2016

1 Evaluation of Tairua Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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


Tairua Playcentre is located in the small coastal township of Tairua next to the local primary school. It is licensed to provide two sessions a week for 30 children including up to 13 children under the age of two years. At the time of this ERO review there were 21 children on the roll, including five children identified as Māori. The centre's philosophy of child-initiated, play-based curriculum is evident in practice. Parents, care givers and whānau take responsibility for all aspects of the centre and play an active part in promoting the holistic wellbeing and development of their children. Diverse cultures are well supported in this playcentre, and the language and identity of each child is acknowledged and respected.

Tairua Playcentre affiliated to the New Zealand Playcentre Federation and is one of 13 centres governed by the umbrella organisation known as Thames Valley/Coromandel Playcentre Association (TVCPA). The centres in this association cover a wide geographical area which presents challenges for both the governance/management body and individual centres.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation and TVCPA continue to provide good quality governance and management. The association provides comprehensive policies and guidelines, and employs a liaison officer who effectively assists families to operate the service in the best interests of children and their parents and whānau.

Since the previous Education Review in 2013, the TVCPA has under gone a complete restructuring. It has employed key personnel to undertake the day-to-day management of the association and centres. This change has allowed the governance board to plan more strategically, effectively manage their finances, property, personnel and health and safety requirements.

The centre has made good progress in addressing the next steps identified in the previous 2013 ERO report. These were to further develop programme planning and the integration of Māori language, culture and identity, literacy, numeracy and science. In addition ERO indicated the need for the centre to increase children's independence and access to equipment.

This review was part of a cluster of four playcentre reviews in the Thames Valley/Coromandel Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

The programme places strong emphasis on children and parents learning together through play, in a safe and supportive environment. Members are focused on building a strong sense of belonging in the centre and wider community, and developing children's social competence and confidence as learners. They recognise the benefits of allowing children to lead their learning and choose their own activities.

All adults are currently engaged in playcentre education programmes that empower them to actively take a positive and more confident role in the development and education of their children. Parents plan and evaluate the programme regularly.

Parents effectively plan and provide a rich play-based curriculum that respond to children's interests and community events. Adults work together to document assessment and planning in attractive displays and individual profile books. They are building their understanding of this process as they attend TVCPA course work, and are well supported by more experienced members. Children enjoy revisiting these well-presented and interesting records of their experiences and successes at the centre. Children who have attended the centre since birth have comprehensive information about their progress and development. Each session is carefully evaluated as a group. The information documented from this evaluation identifies children's interests and supports planning for ongoing learning.

Babies and toddlers are well supported. ERO observed parents and their babies enjoying a calm and peaceful environment. This included a well-designated sleep space for young babies. Stimulating activities were accessible for babies and toddlers to explore and play with alongside their parents.

A particular strength of the centre is the ongoing mentoring, support and guidance provided from a dedicated and experienced liaison officer. She visits the centre regularly, is available for advice and information sharing, and provides members with documented and relevant feedback. This approach contributes to centre sustainability and improvement.

Centre leaders are knowledgeable and experienced. They have established effective support systems and succession planning to sustain the ongoing development of the service. A clear strategic plan provides the framework to support the centre to meet their goals, priorities and regulatory requirements. Self review is strategic and focused on development and improvement. The centre has developed close relationships with other early childhood services, and the local school, and children enjoy a smooth transition from the centre to school.

Key Next Steps

Centre members need to review the planning and evaluation process, and build on the good examples in the centre that show how parents are adding complexity to individual children's ideas and interests over time.

While te reo Māori is included in the programme parents need to build their knowledge and gain confidence in the use of resources that are shared by the association. This should enhance outcomes for Māori children and their whānau and support other children to develop an appreciation, understanding and empathy for the bicultural heritage of New Zealand.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

3 October 2016

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


Tairua, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 13 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 11 Boys 10

Ethnic composition




Middle Eastern





Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

3 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

April 2010

Education Review

June 2007

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.