The Playhouse Pre-School 2 - 14/10/2015

1 Evaluation of The Playhouse Pre-School 2

How well placed is The Playhouse Pre-School 2 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 2 provides full day early childhood education and care for up to 48 children from infancy to five years. It is located in a new residential area of Pukekohe and is one of two centres owned by the directors who manage both. Administrative and operational systems are common across both centres. The centre occupies well maintained premises with very good facilities for staff. Most of the enrolled children are from the local community

This is the first review of the centre. It opened in July 2013 and has nine qualified, registered teachers. There is a shared centre philosophy that is family/whānau focused and embraces Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. A noteworthy feature of the centre is the use of a key teacher to support the transition and ongoing development of the two and three year olds. A key element of the programme is connecting children to the community, environment and wider world.

The Review Findings

Children play and learn in an environment that encourages them to explore, problem solve, be creative and develop a respect for the natural world. The centre is very well resourced and has a wide variety of learning areas that cater effectively for the mixed age group. Sensory play and use of natural resources are key features. Children’s creativity and curiosity are nurtured, as are their opportunities to lead and share ideas. They engage in sustained play, have fun, and are enthusiastic learners.

Children have a strong sense of belonging and learn at a relaxed paced in an aesthetically pleasing, harmonious environment. They are confident, friendly and inclusive in their play. Centre practices support them to be accepting of the ages and abilities of others and develop both self and social responsibility.

Teachers understand and provide well for the special characteristics and interests of infants and toddlers in this mixed age centre. Infants and toddlers have good opportunities to interact with older siblings and peers, make choices, and explore all areas of the centre and activities. Teachers are aware of and respond to toddlers’ changing needs and preferences. Infants benefit from individualised, respectful care. Children are happy, settled and trusting with adults and other children.

Teachers are inclusive and value child-led learning. Their sensitive and supportive interactions affirm children’s ideas and build on their strengths. Teachers discreetly integrate literacy, mathematics, and science into play and everyday experiences. They promote children’s language development in sustained conversations. Teachers respond well to nonverbal communication and use some New Zealand Sign Language. Te reo and tikanga Māori are integrated in meaningful ways. Teachers are keen to strengthen their bicultural practices.

Respectful and responsive relationships, a sound knowledge of Te Whāriki, and connections with the local and wider community underpin the curriculum. Programme documentation shows that teachers have a good knowledge of children and their involvement in the programme. Parents and whānau are well informed about the programme and their children’s progress, and there is a strong sense of partnership. Children’s transitions into the centre and on to school are well supported and appropriate to individual children and family needs.

The centre is managed effectively with well organised administration systems. Centre operations are guided by a clear strategic vision that is aligned to the centre philosophy. There are good systems in place to monitor health and safety, and accountability. Teachers work together well and have a shared commitment to the philosophy, ongoing improvement and equity. Teachers’ professional capabilities and leadership are fostered through sound appraisal process and ongoing professional development.

Key Next Steps

The centre owner/director and ERO agree that next steps include:

  • developing a more evaluative process of self review that involves deeper analysis, multiple perspectives and focuses on effectiveness in improving educational outcomes for children
  • further strengthening bicultural practices
  • more consistently recording how teachers extend children’s thinking and how individual interests are developed over time.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Playhouse Pre-School 2 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 2 will be in three years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

14 October 2015 

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

48 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls       32
Boys      26

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
other European


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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2015

Date of this report

14 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports


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.