Waotu-Puketurua Playcentre - 26/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Waotu-Puketurua Playcentre

How well placed is Waotu-Puketurua 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.


Waotu-Puketurua Playcentre is a sessional, parent-led service. Parents and their children, aged from birth to school age, play and learn together. It is licensed for 30 children, including up to 10 under the age to two. It runs one session per week. The playcentre operates under the umbrella of the New Zealand Playcentre Federation, and is governed and supported by the East Waikato Playcentre Association (EWPA).

The playcentre uses the original Te Waotu school classroom, which is situated in rural surroundings, close to the Te Waotu School. Past and present families recently celebrated the playcentre's 50th anniversary.

Parents work together to provide children with holistic learning opportunities to support children through their play to develop interests, and explore and learn at their own pace.

Since the 2013 ERO review, a core group of experienced members has remained at the playcentre, along with new families enrolling.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation is currently undergoing restructuring and this has implications for EWPA governance actions in the future.

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

The Review Findings

Children enjoy learning in an environment where their emotional wellbeing and sense of belonging is positively fostered through trusting relationships. Close attachments among children and parents provide a sound foundation for learning. 

Parents give careful consideration and thought to planning interesting and fun activities for children to freely explore. Children can direct their own play and engage in sustained learning. They can pursue areas of interest, access high quality resources and equipment to extend their knowledge, and develop their imagination and creative skills. Literacy and mathematics are naturally integrated into children's play supporting them to understand concepts about print and number.

The early childhood curriculum strands in Te Whāriki underpin the playcentre programme. Useful resources are available to support their knowledge of teaching and learning. Parents share leadership roles and responsibilities for the smooth running of the playcentre. Those parents with playcentre training generously share their knowledge about Te Whāriki, build the capacity of newer parents in their role as first educators of their children.

Parents support children's learning through their engagement in play. Those with knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori provide leadership and model aspects of te ao Māori in the daily programme. Parents' positive learning conversations with children supports their language development, communication skills and social competencies.

The playcentre programme includes trips and outings to places of interest, which further extend children’s learning. Children’s transition to school is strongly supported through reciprocal visits with the local school new entrant class. Children participate in school events helping them to become familiar with the school environment and develop relationships before they start school. Siblings and past children enrolled at the playcentre are able to maintain relationships.

Parents have recently established emergent self-review practices that enable them to collaboratively reflect on the experiences they provide children. Session evaluations focus on what activities children enjoy. The key next step is for parents to continue to develop these practices to have a stronger focus on learning outcomes. This is needed for parents to better evaluate the effectiveness of their practice and the impact it is having on promoting positive outcomes for children learning.

Parents take responsibility for their own child’s assessment. Practices are variable among parents, more experienced members make links to curriculum and children’s learning. These booklets provide a rich record of children's time at playcentre.

Key Next Steps

Continue strengthening self-review practices to include a greater emphasis on learning outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Waotu-Puketurua 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 Waotu-Puketurua Playcentre will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato / Bay of Plenty

26 June 2017 

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

30 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 6 Boys 5

Ethnic composition

Cook Island Māori


Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

26 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

October 213

Education Review

August 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.