Woodville Playcentre - 28/07/2016

1 Evaluation of Woodville Playcentre

How well placed is Woodville 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.


Woodville Playcentre is one of 19 administered by the Central Districts Playcentre Association (the association). This review is one of seven undertaken by ERO in the association's playcentres during Term 2, 2016.

The centre is open for two mornings a week and caters for children from birth to six years of age. Responsibility for day-to-day operations is undertaken by centre-elected office holders. Professional advice and feedback to strengthen members' practice is provided by a liaison officer employed by the association.

The playcentre is licensed for 25 children, including 10 children up to the age of two years. There are presently sixteen children enrolled. The centre philosophy gives priority to child-led play and learning. Parents as first teachers are valued. Adults participate in training programmes that build their capability to guide teaching and learning. This service is in the process of employing a new supervisor to lead sessions.

Families attending the centre are from the local and rural community. Centre whānau appreciate the positive outcomes generated through liaison officer input.

Playcentres' philosophy statement, 'whānau tupu ngātahi – ‘families growing together’, reflects the value this organisation places on families and whānau working collectively to support children’s learning.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation is currently reviewing the organisational structure of Playcentre across New Zealand. The outcomes of this review may result in changes to operation at centre level.

An internal restructure of the association leadership has created new team roles and responsibilities at executive level. Changes include the service provider contact, president, and new executive members. Information sharing now includes digital media to enhance ease of communication and foster increased support between playcentre teams.

Woodville Playcentre has a positive ERO reporting history.

The Review Findings

Children lead their own learning. They make decisions about their routines and goals, choosing independently from a range of resources and learning at their own pace. Literacy, mathematics and creative arts are woven through children's play. Professional development specific to te reo me ngā tikanga Māori has supported some progress within the centre programme.

The curriculum is informed and guided by children's strengths and needs. Localised community experiences provide meaningful learning contexts for children. Some tuakana teina learning support is occurring. Older children engage purposefully in sustained activities, persevering at challenges. Younger children learn individually and alongside others. There is a clear process for evaluating daily sessions.

Portfolios are attractively presented. Te Whāriki goals, dispositions and learning outcomes are reflected in children's portfolios and there are regular entries of children's experiences. The centre philosophy is evident. However, next steps are not always clearly articulated to show learning progression.

Warm responsive relationships and interactions between adults and children occur. Children are confident communicators with peers and adults. High adult-child ratios enable them to know each other well. A sense of belonging is evident.

Significant changes for the centre have impacted on increased workload for members. Strategies to address this are being actioned.

As the association develops new policies in line with recent legislation there is a need to communicate why these are relevant and how they are to be incorporated into practice at centre level.

Internal evaluation is occurring and leading to change. Parent voice is valued in the review process. However, members are aware of the need to further develop their understanding and implementation of effective self review. A recent self review of the outdoor environment resulted in improved outcomes for children. A key next step is for the association to provide ongoing guidance and support to develop the internal evaluation capability of members.

Key Next Steps

At centre level, the priorities are:

  • building membership to promote sustainability

  • ongoing improvement of assessment, planning and evaluation

  • continuing to develop te ao Māori implementation

  • to review policies and procedures.

The association should further develop:

  • systems to consistently respond to centre needs

  • understanding and implementation of internal evaluation

  • consistent and systematic appraisal for all employees

  • members' understanding of assessment, planning, evaluation.


ERO recommends that the association actively participate in and monitor the quality of support provided throughout the playcentre restructure to ensure implementation of requirements that promote sustainability.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

28 July 2016

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

Boys 12, Girls 4

Ethnic composition







Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

28 July 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

September 2012

Education Review

July 2008

Education Review

March 2005

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.