Tutukaka Coast Playcentre - 31/07/2019

1 Evaluation of Tutukaka Coast Playcentre

How well placed is Tutukaka Coast Playcentre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Tutukaka Coast Playcentre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Tutukaka Coast Playcentre in Ngunguru is licensed to provide sessional education and care for 21 children, including 12 aged under two years. The centre operates as a parent cooperative and is part of the Playcentre Aotearoa national organisation.

Programmes for children are underpinned by the Playcentre philosophy of whānau and children learning together in a fun, nurturing learning environment. Whānau are recognised and valued as first educators of their children. Adult education programmes are offered to all parents who enrol their children at Playcentre. Qualifications gained through these programmes are required for sessions to receive funding.

The 2016 ERO report identified children as communicative and independent. Adults provided good opportunities for children to explore, experiment and solve problems in spacious, well-resourced environments. These positive areas of practice have been maintained. Areas for further development included self review, strategic and programme planning, and bicultural practice. There has been good progress in these areas.

A new regional structure for Playcentre Aotearoa came into effect in June 2019. Regional staff are responsible for establishing effective management systems to support each centre. Support personnel visit centres regularly to carry out administrative tasks and model effective teaching, programme planning and evaluation practices for centre members.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the Playcentre Aotearoa, Northern North Island region.

The Review Findings

Children lead their learning through exploration of the environment and easy access to a wide range of resources. The spacious outdoor area provides physical challenges and invites participation in sensory activities. Children are relaxed and confident as they play and learn alongside whānau.

Children of all ages play together in a mixed-age setting, which allows them to learn alongside older, more experienced peers and to nurture the younger children. More experienced centre members support others to develop their confidence and skills as educators.

Adults are a positive, guiding presence. They follow children's lead as they engage in play, responding to their conversations and providing extra resources that might bring more complexity to their thinking. Adults model oral language well, through sharing stories and natural conversations. They extend children's vocabulary as opportunities arise through their responses to children's interests.

Tikanga and te reo Māori are evident in centre routines. The environment reflects te ao Māori perspectives. The Playcentre philosophy includes a commitment to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Centre leaders have identified that this is an area that they would like to continue to strengthen with their members.

Adults are reflective and collaborative. Their observations of children support them to recognise current interests and to plan how they might respond. Group interests are recorded in a 'daybook' and used as a reference for future planning. Individual children's interests are captured well in learning stories that make up each child's portfolio. There is good connectivity between the daybook and children's individual learning records.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for centre members are to:

  • continue to refine and develop programme planning and evaluation processes.

The regional manager and support personnel agree that key next steps for the region include:

  • providing targeted support for centre members to establish effective strategic and annual planning, with links to the long-term goals of Playcentre Aotearoa

  • implementing and embedding the revised Playcentre adult education programme

  • evaluating the effectiveness and impact of the personnel who are employed to support centres

  • establishing effective programme planning and evaluation processes that support and extend the learning of all children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tutukaka Coast 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

31 July 2019

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


Ngunguru, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

21 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 14 Boys 14

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
other ethnic groups


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

31 July 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Education Review

August 2012

Education Review

May 2009

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.