Te Puke Playcentre - 28/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Te Puke Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Te Puke Playcentre is a parent-led education and care service located in Te Puke. It caters for children from birth to school age and operates three mixed-age morning sessions per week. The playcentre is licensed for 30 children including up to 15 under the age of two years. The current roll of 35 children includes three who identify as Māori.

During 2018 the New Zealand Playcentre Federation transitioned from operating with 32 regional associations to become one national body with six regional offices. In the central North Island six associations have merged into a regional hub renamed Playcentre Aotearoa Central North Island Region that now includes 95 playcentres over a large geographic area. During this transition there is some overlap between associations and the new national regional systems and processes. At Te Puke Playcentre the president is supported by a committee of parent members. A role model, centre administrator and support worker are provided by governance.

Through their national philosophy the playcentre places emphasis on whānau tupu ngatahi – families growing together. They empower adults and children to play, work and grow together and value and affirm parents as first and best educators of their children.

Te Puke Playcentre has a positive reporting history with ERO. Since the last ERO review in 2015 the playcentre has implemented session evaluations, self reviewed the science area and baby sleep room, and focused on parent interactions that effectively promote children’s problem solving and thinking skills.

This review was part of a cluster of five playcentres in the Central North Island Region.

The Review Findings

A warm, welcoming atmosphere is evident. Members are confident in contributing their ideas to the programme and to overall centre development. A shared philosophy and vision are reflected in the programme, environment and curriculum delivery. Children are actively encouraged to explore and take risks in an inclusive and friendly environment.

Parents place high priority on children’s care needs and wellbeing. In this family-like, mixed-age setting there are many opportunities for children to establish friendships. Parents have established a culture in which children are valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning.

Children are confident with familiar and unhurried routines. They enjoy opportunities to be involved in social interactions and conversations with other children, their parents and centre members. Home languages and cultures are valued and aspects of te ao Māori are integrated into the programmes in an inclusive environment. Literacy and mathematics are naturally included in children’s play. There are many opportunities for children to engage in play for long periods of time. Children have a variety of opportunities to learn and explore within a supportive atmosphere.

Assessment portfolios capture children's learning and development and session evaluations encourage parents to reflect on activities provided for children. Spontaneous ongoing discussions are effective in leading to positive outcomes for children. Parents are committed to ongoing improvement to the quality of education and care provided for children.

The environment successfully supports children’s learning and development. Play spaces and an appropriate range of high-quality equipment and materials are easily accessible to children. Resources cater for the mixed-age group and are used in open ended and creative ways. Well-organised areas facilitate children’s ongoing learning.

Parents nurture and care for babies and toddlers. They are responsive to the individual routines and needs of young children. Babies and toddlers enjoy consistent caregiving that responds sensitively to each child’s changing needs and preferences.

The co-presidents of Te Puke Playcentre provide a collaborative approach to leadership. They foster parent's involvement in the service and support each other in their roles and professional learning. Leaders show a strong commitment to the philosophy of playcentre. Internal evaluation is ongoing and responsive to identified priorities. Planned and spontaneous self reviews are leading to improvement in outcomes for children.

The Playcentre Aotearoa overarching strategic and individual annual plans guide the playcentre direction and focus on building capability through parent education programmes. There has been regular communication and support between the association and regions through the restructure. Existing policies and systems support centre operations until new systems developed by Playcentre Aotearoa are implemented. The playcentre philosophy and vision are clearly documented and strategic goals set, now there is a need to measure the impact and outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre management agree that the next steps are to:

  • strengthen the integration of te reo and tikanga Māori in centre programmes and investigate local history
  • develop more educationally focused and measurable strategic goals
  • improve parents knowledge of the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki and assessment practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

28 February 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


Te Puke

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

Boys 20 Girls 15

Ethnic composition



Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

28 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

July 2008

Education Review

June 2005

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.