Welcome Bay Playcentre - 31/03/2015

1 Evaluation of Welcome Bay Playcentre

How well placed is Welcome Bay 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.


Welcome Bay Playcentre is a parent-led co-operative that provides sessional education and care for children from birth to school age in a mixed-age environment. It is situated adjacent to Welcome Bay Primary School, and is licensed for 25 children including 15 up to two years old.

The playcentre’s philosophy, developed with the association, places strong emphases on adults learning alongside one another, child-initiated play, recognition of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s bicultural heritage, and empowering families to make informed decisions about how to best provide for their children/tamariki. The playcentre is also in the process of creating a specific centre philosophy that outlines the values and beliefs that are important to them. Parents at Welcome Bay Playcentre place great emphasis on parents learning alongside their children, and learning from each other.

The playcentre operates under the umbrella of the Western Bay of Plenty Playcentre Association (WBOPPA). Parents benefit from the support and guidance of a centre liaison officer and a centre administration officer, provided by the association. WBOPPA also provides useful documentation and frameworks to guide centre operations. These guidelines are underpinned by the association’s philosophy that is highly evident in practice.

Parents have responded proactively to the 2012 ERO report. Professional development has resulted in improved assessment practices and more emphasis on the emergent curriculum. The introduction of workshop evenings has provided an opportunity for parents to come together and work alongside each other in providing support and guidance about documenting children's learning. Parents also benefit from the knowledge, support and guidance of the centre president and the association’s liaison officer.

This review was part of a cluster of five reviews in the Western Bay of Plenty Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from positive and respectful interactions with adults. Parents are responsive to children’s interests and needs. Children feel comfortable about approaching other adults and parents are empowered to respond to the needs of all children. Affirming, collaborative relationships among parents are reflected in children’s sharing and caring for each other. Children and their parents from different cultures and backgrounds are welcomed and included in the playcentre.

Infants and toddlers are well nurtured and cared for by their parents and other adults. There is an emphasis on respectful relationships, natural every-day resources, and responding to children’s natural rhythms.

The indoor learning environment has been recently reviewed and significantly reorganised to provide a range of appropriate spaces for play and learning. Both indoor and outdoor environments are welcoming and interesting for children. Easy access to equipment and the indoor-outdoor flow, allows children to follow interests and manage choices about their play. Outdoor equipment promotes a wide range of physical challenges.

The programme is continually based on children’s emerging interests and strengths that are extended through increasingly complex play opportunities. Literacy and mathematics are integrated into discussions and areas of play. There are some examples of parent use of te reo and tikanga Māori. There is a focus on ensuring that older children are engaged in challenging activities.

End-of-session evaluations guide planning for further sessions. Assessment has been an area of continuing development and progress. Children's portfolios provide good information of children's play and learning. Examples of good assessment practice include:

  • a range of examples of learning
  • parents’ aspirations and evaluations
  • learning that shows increasing complexity over time
  • the inclusion of rich descriptions and contributions from other centre members.

Both indoor and outdoor learning environments are spacious and attractively presented. A wide range of well-considered resources is easily accessed by children. Children’s learning is visible on wall displays. The environment is organised to promote creative expression, physical challenge, and social and dramatic play.

Parents work collaboratively to lead and manage the centre. They bring a range of skills and experiences to their roles and responsibilities and these also enhance children’s learning. Members as leaders also bring a range of specialist expertise and interests to their roles and responsibilities. There is a collaborative approach to leadership, management and centre planning.

Key Next Steps

  • continue to develop self-review and annual planning processes
  • continue to implement strategies that support children’s oral language development
  • implement a bicultural and multi-cultural curriculum and increase the use of te reo Māori in the playcentre programme
  • continue to develop the designated infants and toddlers area
  • explore ways to further facilitate children’s smooth transition to school.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

31 March 2015

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 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 15

Boys 10

Ethnic composition





Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

31 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2012


Education Review

February 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 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.