Tairua Playcentre - 08/04/2020

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

Tairua Playcentre requires further development to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Tairua Playcentre requires further development so that Playcentre Aotearoa, leaders and parents ensure compliance with all health and safety licensing requirements, as outlined in the Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008.

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


Tairua Playcentre is licensed to provide mixed-age sessional education and care for 30 children two mornings a week. This includes 13 children up to the age of two. At the time of this review, there are ten children enrolled.

The Playcentre Aotearoa philosophy, ‘whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together’, is to empower parents and children to learn, play and grow together. Alongside this, the centre philosophy promotes celebrating children as they grow in their community.

Since the October 2016 ERO report, the New Zealand Playcentre Federation has restructured by amalgamating all associations to form Playcentre Aotearoa. Tairua Playcentre is part of the Central North Island Region and is supported by a regional manager and support persons.

Whānau and families share responsibility for the curriculum. Day-to-day operation is undertaken by session support personnel and centre-elected office holders. A centre support worker (CSW) and centre administrator are employed to visit playcentres; their roles are to provide professional support, strengthen practice and promote improvement.

This review was part of a cluster of eight reviews in the Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island Region. 

The Review Findings

Members at Tairua Playcentre have not been supported by a CSW during 2018. An appointment to this role was made in December 2019. This has had an impact on record keeping in relation to the Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008.

The service philosophy is well reflected in practice. Parents and children learn together in a 'family like' environment that is integral to playcentre culture. Members are welcoming and inclusive.

Children lead their own learning in a play-based environment that successfully supports their growing independence. Adults are responsive to their interests and work alongside them to support their learning. Children play well with their peers and show care and concern for one another.

Children's portfolios are a useful record of their participation in the programme. Parents support one another to recognise what children know and can do. Learning stories are an opportunity for adults to consider how they can extend children's learning. Members are improvement focussed and are presently introducing a new system to assess children's learning.

The physical environment reflects the playcentre's rural-coastal location. It offers challenges and areas of interest that invite children to explore and become fully engaged in a wide range of activities. Adults work collaboratively to ensure that the playcentre building and grounds are well maintained.

Children under two benefit from access to quiet areas where they can learn at a calm and slow pace. Secure relationships are evident as infants and toddlers learn from their older siblings and friends.

Members have worked collaboratively to strengthen their practice in relation to The Treaty of Waitangi. Te ao Māori is reflected in the environment and playcentre resources. Adults are continuing to strengthen their spontaneous use of te reo Māori during playcentre sessions.

Within the context of a playcentre environment, children and families are ably supported for their move to school. Older children benefit from an increased emphasis on developing skills and dispositions which will aid their smooth transitions.

The revised parent education programme is becoming more accessible to centre members. At this playcentre, parents actively engage with the Playcentre Aotearoa education programme and are making progress towards appropriate qualifications.

Appraisal processes for session support staff have recently been strengthened to better evaluate performance in relation to specific roles and responsibilities, identify professional learning and development needs and focus on achievement of goals.

Members engage in on-going evaluation that is responsive to playcentre priorities. This has led to improvements in the environment and adult practice. Maintaining a focus on promoting positive learning outcomes for children will further strengthen internal evaluation. Improving review for accountability is a key next step.

The national restructuring process continues to require significant attention and support to implement an extensive range of systems and processes. Regular communication from Playcentre Aotearoa seeks to keep parents informed of progress, changes and upcoming requirements. National policies and procedures have recently been introduced and parents are in the process of aligning practices to these. Ongoing support is required to enable parents to understand and implement these procedures to meet licensing requirements.

Key Next Steps

Members and ERO agree that for ongoing development, adults should:

  • continue to strengthen internal evaluation, with a focus on learning outcomes for children

  • improve self review for compliance accountability.

Playcentre Aotearoa should continue to build centre knowledge and understanding of policies and procedures to ensure licensing requirements are upheld.

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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to health and safety. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • records show the emergency drills carried out with the children on at least a three-monthly basis

  • whenever children leave the premises on an excursion, assessment and management of risk is undertaken.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS8; HS17]

Since the on-site phase of the review, members have provided ERO with evidence of action taken in relation to recording of emergency drills and excursion risk management.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

8 April 2020

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

30 children, including up to 13 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Female 6, Male 4

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2020

Date of this report

8 April 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2016

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

April 2010

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.