Woodend Playcentre - 14/05/2020

1 Evaluation of Woodend Playcentre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Woodend Playcentre operates as a parent-led cooperative under the governance and management of Te Whānau Tupu Ngātahi o Aotearoa - Playcentre Aotearoa. The Playcentre employs two centre coordinators who share the role. Playcentre Aotearoa employs a centre support worker and administrator who regularly visit the playcentre to support the parents and coordinators.

Woodend Playcentre is licensed for 25 children, including 10 children aged under two. It is open four mornings a week. Parents are rostered to help at each session. The playcentre's philosophy emphasises families working together and families as first educators. It encompasses valuing and respecting cultural diversity, children learning through play and developing skills to empower them to be competent and confident life learners.

The Playcentre has made some progress in addressing the recommendations of the June 2014 ERO report. This includes encouraging parents to undertake Playcentre parent education programmes, increasing participation in recording children's learning and parent's involvement in internal evaluation.

This review was part of a cluster of four playcentre reviews in Te Whānau Tupu Ngātahi o Aotearoa - Playcentre Aotearoa.

The Review Findings

Children experience a calm, unhurried learning environment. Parents provide a curriculum that is responsive to the needs of children. They have a deep understanding of each child as a unique learner. The spacious, natural outdoor environment provides good opportunities for children's exploration and physical challenge. Children are encouraged to choose from a wide range of resources and equipment to promote independence and self-management skills.

Infants and toddlers are well supported. They have access to a good range of resources and learning experiences including sensory play. There is a safe space available for babies to play and explore. Infants and toddlers are viewed as capable learners, involved in all aspects of the programme.

Parents carefully listen to and discuss children's learning. This allows them to extend ideas and build on their interests. Children are successfully supported to manage their emotions. Parents respectfully and appropriately guide children to resolve their conflicts. There are many opportunities for younger and older children to interact cooperatively. This results in a positive learning environment and fosters children's wellbeing.

The parent group and coordinators are welcoming and inclusive. They foster positive and affirming relationships with all families. They role model care and respect for one another and the children. The language, culture and identity of families are respected and valued. This helps children and their families develop a sense of belonging.

The playcentre has a newly developed strategic plan that sets clear priorities. The centre is planning to evaluate the effectiveness of its implementation. Internal evaluation is becoming established and results in positive outcomes for children and whānau.

Playcentre Aotearoa has a well-established philosophy that acknowledges and values parents as the first educators of their children. It provides a broad range of support for playcentres including nation-wide training courses and personnel who liaise with and assist centres. The effective implementation of a recently reviewed policy and procedure framework will help parents and whānau to ensure that children have safe and healthy learning environments while at playcentre.

Key Next Steps

The parent group has identified, and ERO's evaluation has confirmed, that the key next steps to build on good practices are to continue to:

  • develop a stronger knowledge of te ao Māori and increase the use of te reo Māori in the programme

  • support parents to contribute to assessment, planning and evaluation with a focus on children's learning.

Key next steps for the Northern South Island Hub are to provide better support to playcentres in relation to planning for learning, internal evaluation, strategic planning and, health and safety practices including relevant risk assessment and management for excursions.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Woodend 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

14 May 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

Girls 15, Boys 18

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

14 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2014

Education Review

June 2010

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.