The Playhouse Pre-School - 10/06/2016

1 Evaluation of The Playhouse Pre-School

How well placed is The Playhouse Pre-School 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.


The Playhouse Pre-School provides education and care services for children up to six years of age. The purpose-built centre enables children of all ages to play together for most of the day. A separate area for infants and toddlers provides a space that can also be used for settling and quiet play.

The centre’s philosophy emphasises respectful relationships with children and families. Active exploration of the natural world and an awareness of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand are also valued aspects of the centre’s philosophy.

The Playhouse Pre-School is privately owned. A recent restructure has enabled the owner to appoint a manager who now has responsibility for daily management of the centre. A head teacher has also been appointed to a newly created position. Most teachers are qualified and several are studying towards a teacher qualification.

ERO’s 2013 report noted that responsive relationships and teaching strategies that foster children’s engagement in play were strengths. These good practices remain evident. ERO recommended that teachers improve bicultural practices and work to extend children’s spontaneous play. Good progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Infants and toddlers are well supported to settle into the programme. They develop positive relationships with teachers and experience respectful, individualised routines that promote belonging and wellbeing. These younger children have very good access to outdoor spaces and enjoy mixed-age play with older children. They have opportunities for physical challenge and to learn selfhelp skills.

Older children confidently share their knowledge and ideas with teachers and other children. They are highly engaged explorers who initiate and sustain their interest in cooperative, imaginative play for long periods of time. Creative and natural indoor and outdoor environments prompt children’s investigation. Wall dispIays celebrate children’s learning and reflect the families’ cultures. In this environment, children have opportunities to become confident and competent learners.

Teachers interact respectfully with children and know them well. They use rich language to prompt children’s problem solving and independent thinking. Teachers integrate literacy and mathematics into children’s play and provide resources to support learning. They are deliberately increasing the use of te reo Māori at group times and in their conversations with children.

The programme, underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum promotes positive outcomes for children. Teachers value the information that parents share about their children’s home experiences. Attractive records of learning show children’s interests and participation in the programme. Teachers skilfully identify the learning that happens as children play. They could now more frequently follow up on identified next steps for learning to clearly show the progress that children make over time.

The 2013 ERO report recommended that teachers should review the transition to school programme, and teachers followed this up by consulting with parents about the programme. Teachers should now revisit their approaches to supporting children’s preparation for school in order to ensure centre practices reflect current early childhood theory and practice.

The centre owner promotes high expectations and professional practice. The recent restructure has provided opportunities for teachers to step into new roles and develop their leadership skills. A review of job descriptions and ongoing mentoring is likely to support teacher growth. Professional development and effective performance management systems enable teachers to reflect on their practice and make positive changes to improve children’s experiences at the centre. Strategic planning could be strengthened by revising and adding to goals each year to maintain a long-term focus.

Key Next Steps

To enhance existing practices the owner and leaders agree they could:

  • use current research to review their practices for supporting children to transition to school
  • review how well assessment records show children’s learning progress over time
  • build shared understandings by evaluating progress towards curriculum and centre goals as a whole team.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Playhouse Pre-School 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 The Playhouse Pre-School will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

10 June 2016

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


Pukekohe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 26 Boys 18

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

10 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

June 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 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.