Waihi Playcentre - 29/06/2020

1 Evaluation of Waihi Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Waihi Playcentre is licensed to provide mix-aged sessional education and care for 25 children three days a week. This includes 10 children up to the age of two years. At the time of this review there are 21 children enrolled and three identify as Māori.

The Playcentre Aotearoa philosophy, 'whānau tupu ngātahi - families growing together', is to empower parents and children to learn, play and grow together. Alongside this the centre philosophy aims to provide a high-quality natural learning environment in a welcoming, supportive and inclusive place where whānau learn alongside tamariki.

Since the December 2016 ERO evaluation, the New Zealand Playcentre Federation has restructured by amalgamating all associations to form Playcentre Aotearoa. Waihi Playcentre is part of the Central North Island Region and is supported by a regional manager and support person.

Whānau and families share responsibility for the curriculum. Day-to-day operation is undertaken by session support personnel and centre-elected office holders. A centre support worker and centre administrator regularly visit playcentres to provide professional support, strengthen practice and promote improvement.

This review was part of a cluster of nine centre reviews in Playcentre Aotearoa. These Central North Island Region reviews are a continuation from Term 4, 2019.

The Review Findings

The revised parent education programme is becoming more accessible to centre members. At this playcentre the co-presidents are building knowledge and ECE capability of playcentre members through providing access to professional development and role modelling. Appraisal processes for session support staff have recently been strengthened to better evaluate performance in relation to specific roles and responsibilities, identify professional learning and development needs and focus on achievement of goals.

The national restructuring process continues to require some attention and support to implement an extensive range of systems and processes. Regular communication from Playcentre Aotearoa seeks to keep parents informed of progress, changes and upcoming requirements. National policies and procedures have recently been introduced and parents are in the process of aligning practices to these. Targeted support to embed policies and procedures will further benefit parents and centres.

Positive and affirming relationships are strongly evident among adults and children. Parents play alongside their own and other’s children. They are quick to respond to children’s feelings and support their emotional wellbeing. Children are increasingly gaining confidence in socialising with a range of adults and their peers.

Children are welcomed into a well-resourced, interesting and stimulating learning environment. There is good indoor and outdoor flow allowing children access to a wide range of choices as they initiate their own learning. The environment fosters children’s curiosity to explore and investigate the world around them.

Playcentre members have successfully established a team culture where they know children and their families well. New members are made to feel welcome and more experienced members share their knowledge. This collaborative approach is appreciated by members and contributes to the positive atmosphere at the centre.

Session evaluations encourage parents to reflect on activities provided for children. Spontaneous ongoing discussions are effective in leading to positive outcomes for children. Parents are committed to ongoing improvement to the quality of education and care provided for children.

Children enjoy and engage in a wide variety of interesting and stimulating individual and group activities. Many opportunities are provided for imaginative play and creative experimentation. Literacy and mathematical concepts are well integrated throughout the programme. Children and parents set up activities and children are free to choose their areas of interest. Parents use a variety of questioning techniques to promote learning and further support the development of children’s oral skills.

The centre continues to naturally integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into the programme. Charts and prompts support the awareness of a bicultural prospective. Children are developing an understanding and knowledge of Māori culture and language.

Key Next Steps

Playcentre Aotearoa should support centre members to:

  • regularly monitor annual and strategic goals
  • share learning stories to build parent capability and consistency.

Playcentre Aotearoa should continue to:

  • implement systematic monitoring systems of policies and procedures

  • provide leadership and guidance to promote Te Tiriti o Waitangi based practices for all services.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Waihi 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

29 June 2020

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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Female 12 Male 9

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Review team on site

February 2020

Date of this report

29 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2016

Education Review

March 2014

Education Review

March 2011

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.