The Playhouse Pre-School - 29/05/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

The Playhouse Pre-School is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.


The centre is situated in a new suburb of Pukekohe and caters for up to 40 children from three months old to school age. The purpose-built centre enables all children to mix together most of the time, but a separate infant area also provides a withdrawal space for children up to two years old.

The centre is in its fifth year of operation and has maintained a stable team of staff. In 2010 ERO identified the quality of support for developing children's social skills, and teachers’ efforts to involve children in learning, as positive features of the service. These good practices continue to be evident in centre programmes.

The owner and senior teachers lead a large team of staff. They encourage whole team professional development and participation in regular review of practices and policies. Most staff are qualified teachers and there is specific support for three undertaking the teacher registration process.

The centre philosophy identifies inclusive practices and the involvement of families as key centre values. Parents who were interviewed confirmed that a welcoming environment and positive relationships are strong features of the service. The centre also maintains beneficial links with the local community, including undertaking fundraising for charities.

Review Findings

Children are happy and confident in the centre. They have positive relationships with teachers and many have strong friendships with their peers. Children are consistently engaged in activities that interest them and are learning to work collaboratively. Teachers’ recent focus on deepening children's learning has enabled older children to explore topics in depth and develop problem solving skills. Children show a sense of wellbeing and belonging in this environment.

Children up to two years old benefit from opportunities to play alongside older children. They also enjoy quieter times with dedicated teachers who focus on infant play and developmental interests. Senior teachers recognise they could further encourage tuakana/teina relationships between their four year old group and children who are two and three years old. The capable older children could become good models for leadership, self-help skills, conversation and sustained play.

Teachers support children's involvement in play well. They work alongside small groups fostering conversation and encouraging children to investigate resources. Teachers have high expectations that children will learn personal independence and contribute to the care of the environment. They incorporate te reo Māori and waiata in mat activities and are endeavouring to grow the Māori component throughout the programme.

Teachers work collaboratively to provide programmes that reflect children's interests. They identify strategies to support ongoing projects and children's emerging interests through the provision of related activities and resources. Teachers continue to refine their planning and assessment processes. Leaders recognise that an increased focus on planning adult roles in teaching concepts would align well with their efforts to deepen children's learning. As they refine the extent of descriptive narrative in their learning stories, teachers will find time management easier.

Parents are enthusiastic about the centre. They express appreciation for the care and support their children receive to develop socially and emotionally. Parents are well informed about the programme and their child’s individual learning. They have good opportunities to contribute to decision making and enjoy involvement in centre events. Parents’ positive feedback reflects the inclusive intent of the centre philosophy. The centre leaders are now eager to engage families in discussion about more appropriate strategies for literacy learning in early childhood.

The owner and senior teachers are committed to ongoing centre improvement. They have recently participated in professional development that has enhanced their understanding of self review. They are using their new learning well to strengthen management and curriculum practices. Current revision of appraisal processes and job descriptions has resulted in better alignment of personnel systems. The senior team is now considering further reflection on the strategic plan and ways to further improve performance management systems.

Key Next Steps

The owner, senior teachers and ERO agree that the next steps for centre development should include:

  • continuing development of self-review processes and documentation
  • further developing teachers’ understanding of Māori and Pacific cultures, including the use of te reo Māori in the programme
  • reviewing the transition to school programme to consider ways to integrate early literacy and numeracy learning within the strategies for deepening children's learning
  • using the current review focus to extend the complexity of children's individual and spontaneous group play.

2 Legal Requirements

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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

29 May 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service


Pukekohe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and 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

Boys 30

Girls 25

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā






Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2013

Date of this report

29 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review 

June 2010

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.