Tirau Playcentre - 16/09/2013

1 Evaluation of Tirau Playcentre

How well placed is Tirau 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.


Tirau Playcentre is a parent-led early childhood education service that caters for children from birth to school age. Mixed age-group sessions operate two mornings each week during school terms. The centre operates under the umbrella of the East Waikato Playcentre Association (EWPA).

The playcentre’s philosophy recognises parents as first educators of their children, and they believe in children learning through play. A core group of dedicated parents shares the responsibility for centre management/organisation, and the care and education programme. The centre is currently advertising for a supervisor to support sessions in the short term.

Since the ERO review in 2010 the centre has been closed due to lack of members. The centre reopened in February 2012 and was relicensed under the Education (Early childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The roll fluctuates and is currently seven, and five of these children are of Māori descent.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 playcentre reviews in the East Waikato Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

The East Waikato Playcentre Association provides an appropriate range of policies that have assisted the centre with the licensing process, and enabled parents to establish centre operational procedures. However, members express frustration at EWPA’s poor response to requests for information and support, as well as the lack of local adult education courses.

Centre members have established clear roles and responsibilities that contribute to centre operations. They appreciate the hard work and leadership from the centre president who is providing focused direction and enhancing the profile of the playcentre in the community.

A strong family atmosphere is evident. Positive and caring relationships among adults and children contribute a sense of belonging for members and children. There are many opportunities for them to establish friendships and build trusting relationships in an inclusive centre culture.

Playcentre philosophy identifies parents as the foremost educators of their children. Child-led play and learning underpin the programme and centre members emphasise the integration of literacy and numeracy learning experiences. Other aspects of the curriculum that support children’s learning and sense of themselves as capable and confident learners include:

  • the strong bicultural focus of Māori parents and whānau
  • assessment information that includes children’s language, culture, identity and whakapapa
  • fostering of children’s social skill and confidence by skilled and sensitive adults
  • adults who listen to children and encourage them to talk about their ideas and feelings
  • opportunities for children to make links with the wider community including the adjacent school.

Members have identified the need to strengthen goal setting for individual children and documentation of learning over time.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre members agree that the following next steps are important for centre sustainability:

  • increasing and sustaining centre membership and building members educational knowledge through participation in playcentre adult education courses
  • continuing to undertake maintenance and repairs to the building and equipment
  • improving the working relationship with East Waikato Playcentre Association so that the centre is more effectively supported to develop a more strategic approach for centre development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

16 September 2013

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


Tirau, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 4

Boys 3

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā





Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

16 September 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2010


Education Review

April 2007


Education Review

June 2004

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.