Terrace End Playcentre - 06/04/2018

1 Evaluation of Terrace End Playcentre

How well placed is Terrace End 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.


Terrace End Playcentre is one of 19 administered by the Central Districts Playcentre Association (the association). The centre is licensed to provide sessional education and care for 30 children, five sessions a week, in a mixed-aged setting. This includes provision for 15 children up to the age of two. At the time of this review there were 25 children enrolled and two identify as Māori.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation (the federation) of which Central Districts Association is part, is undergoing a significant restructure that includes amalgamating associations. Playcentres will become part of a regional hub, supported by a regional manager and others.

The federation 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. Each session is supported by a team of parent educators who hold Playcentre training certificates.

Centre support people regularly visit playcentres to provide professional advice and support, and to strengthen practice and promote improvement. Responsibility for day-to-day operation is undertaken by centre-elected office holders.

The March 2015 ERO report for Terrace End Playcentre identified areas for development for the association and the playcentre. These included: assessment, planning and evaluation practices; sustainability as a playcentre; internal evaluation; and implementing te ao Māori through the curriculum. Progress is ongoing.

The review was part of a cluster of 11 reviews in the Central Districts Playcentre Association. 

The Review Findings

The centre philosophy is highly evident in practice. Children actively engage in a curriculum underpinned by the principles and strands of Te Whāriki (2017), the early childhood curriculum. They enthusiastically explore and lead their learning in the well-resourced environment. Literacy, mathematics and creative arts are fostered.  Science and physical activities provide challenge and discovery. 

A sense of belonging is enhanced through positive relationships in which children, parents and whānau know each other well. Children are affirmed as competent, confident and curious, able to exercise choice and celebrate learning as fun. A calm, respectful atmosphere prevails. Social competencies are nurtured through tuakana teina, with younger children supported by others.

There is a clear process for assessment, planning and evaluation. Curriculum planning is responsive to children's developing interests. Parents work with the goals, dispositions and learning outcomes of Te Whāriki (2017), the updated early childhood curriculum. They write about these in children's individual learning plans and portfolios. The breadth of learning experiences and progression over time is evident in the portfolios. An online platform is used well to include parents' and whānau contributions to their children's learning. Members proactively use the forum to reflect, discuss and share ideas.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are promoted. Kaiako use te reo Māori and children respond appropriately to kupu Māori. Māori success as Māori occurs through karakia, tikanga and waiata woven through centre rituals and areas of play. The environment includes kupu Māori, posters, books and natural resources. Continuing to build strategies for promoting te ao Māori across the curriculum should strengthen members' responsiveness to children's culture, language and identity.

Transition to school is supported through providing useful information about local schools and a leaving ceremony.

The centre benefits from the input and support it receives from a pedagogical leader who is growing members' understanding and knowledge of Te Whāriki (2017)and how this is implemented in the centre. As a result, members are well informed about the updated curriculum framework.

Professional development is building members' understanding of internal evaluation. A recent review of tuakana teina has initiated better understanding of a Māori world view. Members are aware of the need to further extend their knowledge, practice and use of evaluation for improvement.

Suitable planning priorities and objectives are incorporated into the centre's strategic and annual planning. There is a strong focus on growing membership. Appraisal processes are in place and are useful in growing practice. Centre members affirm this process.  

Key Next Steps

At playcentre level, priorities are to:

  • grow capacity of members to undertake and lead internal evaluation.

At the association/federation level, priorities are to continue to strengthen:

  • regular, robust and consistent appraisal for employees
  • understanding and implementation of effective internal evaluation.


ERO recommends that the new regional team actively monitor and evaluate the quality of support provided to playcentres.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

6 April 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 


Palmerston North

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 12, Boys 13

Ethnic composition

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

February 2018

Date of this report

6 April 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2014

Education Review

July 2010

Education Review

September 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.