Takapau Playcentre - 25/07/2019

1 Evaluation of Takapau Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Takapau Playcentre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Takapau Playcentre is located rurally in Central Hawkes Bay. The centre provides one session weekly for 30 children, including 10 up to the age of two. At the time of this review, there were 19 children enrolled and six identify as Māori.

The centre is administered by Playcentre Aotearoa, Lower North Region and is supported by a regional manager. National policies are in the process of being developed and distributed to all playcentres for discussion.

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 fosters an emergent, child-led curriculum.

Whānau and families are valued as the primary educators of their children. Curriculum planning and implementation is a shared responsibility. Responsibility of day-to-day operation is undertaken by session support personnel and centre-elected office holders. A centre support worker and centre administrator regularly visit playcentres to provide professional guidance and support, strengthen practice and promote improvement.

The November 2016 ERO report identified key next steps for ongoing development at Takapau Playcentre. These included: strengthening assessment of children's learning; improving the appraisal process; and building internal evaluation capacity and capability. Progress is evident.

This review was part of a cluster of four playcentres in Central Hawkes Bay.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a calm, settled, welcoming and well-resourced environment. They engage in sustained play with their peers and adults through a wide range of learning opportunities. Adults learn alongside children and are responsive to their natural rhythms, contributing to children's sense of identity and engagement in meaningful conversations. The learning environment promotes children's exploration and investigation through science, literacy and mathematics.

Adults and children know each other well. Positive and reciprocal relationships contribute to children's sense of belonging. Children are viewed as capable and confident learners. Their independence is promoted. Infants and toddlers benefit from a mixed-age setting where tuakana teina relationships are evident.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are promoted. Karakia, waiata and tikanga practices and supporting resources are evident in the programme. Leaders and members identify that knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori needs to be further strengthened.

A clear process guides assessment, planning and evaluation. Curriculum planning is responsive to children's interests. Parents work with the goals, ways of learning and outcomes of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. They write about these in children's individual learning plans and portfolios. Making the link to children's interests at home is a feature. Support to further develop members' understanding of meaningful assessment and planning is ongoing.

Transitions into the centre are thoughtfully considered by families. The playcentre is building connections with local schools to support children's learning pathways.

Children and their families are supported through an inclusive environment that supports their individual learning needs.

An internal evaluation framework has been introduced and is in its initial stages of implementation. Members identify the need to further extend their knowledge, practice and use of evaluation for improvement.

Leaders have undertaken professional development to strengthen individual member's knowledge and understanding of early childhood learning. There is a strong focus on increasing membership, encouraging adult education and supporting new members into centre roles. At a regional level it is timely to review, monitor and evaluate the quality of systems to support provision of this education to playcentres.

The appraisal process is currently based on annual review of successes and challenges. This requires further strengthening to better reflect roles and responsibilities and respond to building centre support worker and members' capability.

Key Next Steps

At playcentre level, priorities are to continue to:

  • strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation of learning

  • develop understanding and use of effective internal evaluation for improvement

  • deepen understanding of children's culture, language and identity, particularly for Māori children.

At the governance level (Playcentre Aotearoa), priorities are to continue to:

  • develop and implement national policies and procedures

  • strengthen the appraisal process for employed staff

  • provide education for members to build playcentre capability.


ERO recommends that the regional team actively monitors and evaluates the quality of support provided to playcentres.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Takapau 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.

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to Governance, Management and Administration criteria. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following area:

  • ensuring all children’s workers who have access to children are safety checked in accordance with the Children’s Act 2014.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7A]

Since the onsite phase of the review, Playcentre Aotearoa has provided evidence to show the safety checking of its workers has been undertaken.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

25 July 2019

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 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 12, Female 7

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

25 July 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2016

Education Review

September 2014

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.