Te Kopuru Playcentre - 09/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Te Kopuru Playcentre

How well placed is Te Kopuru 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.


Te Kopuru Playcentre operates in a spacious building next to Te Kopuru School. The multi-generational centre is a focal point for the growing, diverse rural community of Te Kopuru. It is licensed for 30 children including eight up to two years of age, and is open for two general sessions. Most children who attend are Māori. Many children attend the centre with their grandparents.

The Playcentre philosophy affirms parents as valued and best educators of their children. Sessions are guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

ERO’s 2015 report noted the commitment of centre members to work cooperatively in contributing to internal evaluation and collaborative decision-making. It also noted the ongoing commitment to promote a bicultural programme and the strong emphasis on quality learning through play. These good practices remain evident. ERO also acknowledged the commitment to a bicultural partnership with Māori whānau and to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The centre is part of the newly established Northern North Island Playcentre Region. Regional systems support whānau members to manage their centres and to provide educational programmes for their children. Playcentre personnel also provide training programmes for parents/whānau to achieve Playcentre qualifications.

This review was part of a cluster of nine Playcentre reviews in the Northern North Island Playcentre Region

The Review Findings

Children display a strong sense of belonging at the centre. They are engaged and enthusiastic about their play. Children’s voice is valued, their perspectives and preferences respected. They are responsive to the routines in the centre and respect their environment and resources. Children are confident to choose where they play in both the indoor and outdoor environments and are comfortable with adults. 

Children’s learning is extended during their play. Additional resources provided by adults support the growing complexity of play. The well-resourced and spacious centre provides many experiences for children to explore and make choices. Centre members are considering how to include more complexity and challenge for younger children in the programme.

The Playcentre philosophy of parents and children playing and learning together is visible in the programme. Centre members are actively involved in building a learning community, and positive relationships with parents. They work together to ensure consensus based decision-making informs the programme for children. Centre members collaborate to manage the centre.

A centre support worker guides and supports centre members in the programme. Members are using Te Whāriki to make links with their child’s learning goals. Individual children’s assessment portfolios show children’s interests. Members are in the process of refining their planning and assessment processes to build a shared understanding of how best to document children’s learning development.

The management team have a strong commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and having a bicultural partnership with Māori whānau. This is evident in Association operations and in the support provided to centres in the association. Recent membership in the region’s Kahui Ako | Community of Learning prioritises te reo Māori across all centres. The centre, along with the support worker, plan to continue to build the capability of members to use te reo and tikanga Māori, and encourage all new members to include te Ao Māori throughout the programme.

Centre leadership is strong and demonstrates the commitment that members have to promoting emergent leadership. They support each other to maintain systems and the daily operations of the centre. Experienced members provide effective leadership and work collaboratively to manage the Playcentre. They willingly share their knowledge and expertise with newer members.

Internal evaluation is developing well with a process that is purposeful and leads to improvements. Centre members agree that they could strengthen internal reviews by using more evaluative inquiry and include outcomes for children in their evaluation process.

The regional structure is replacing individual Playcentre Associations. Newly appointed regional personnel are making good progress building on existing systems and establishing effective regional management structures for supporting centres. Centre support workers are guided by regional centre support coordinators. Systems are being developed for monitoring the quality of programmes for children, adult education levels, and health and safety requirements.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for centre members are to continue to:

  • build members professional knowledge about Te Whāriki (2017) and how they can plan to support children’s learning
  • strengthen and model bicultural practices in the programme. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

9 May 2018 

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 


Dargaville, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls       13
Boys        9

Ethnic composition



Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

9 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2015

Education Review

August 2011

Education Review

June 2008

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.