Kamo's Parklands Playcentre has received the highest rating from the Education Review Office after a recent audit.
The early childhood education centre, which is run by parents and whanau, has been placed in the top 11 per cent of centres in the country. It is the first time a Northland playcentre has achieved this top rating and is one of only 7 per cent of playcentres nationwide to do so.
Parklands has been put on a four-yearly review cycle after ERO gave it a "very well placed" rating, meaning it is outstanding and going beyond the curriculum and will be reviewed in another four to five years.
"So when Parklands Playcentre received 'very well placed', this is recognition that our centre is providing amazing learning opportunities - all through play - for our kids and this has been achieved by our centre obtaining education through [NZ] Playcentre. So we are qualified to provide different and extended learning opportunities, through play, for our kids," a spokeswoman for Parklands said.
"Because of this, ERO believe we have plans in place to ensure the longevity of this learning through the culture installed at Parklands and therefore they won't bother to audit us for another four to five years instead of the [usual] three years. Some people say the long turnaround of the audit is a negative and some say a positive.
"I believe it's a positive, as it shows were are amazing. Others think it's a negative because it means the centre can relax. I don't think we are that kind of centre or have that kind of attitude, as we want to continually provide the best for our kids."
She said the achievement spoke highly of, and was attributable to, the efforts of all the parents and whanau; the support of the community; and the high quality of the national Playcentre education curriculum.
"Playcentre operates on the basis that parents are the first and best educators of our preschool children, so supports parents and whanau to establish facilities and become educated in a broad range of relevant subjects, such as neuroscience, creativity, music and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. All based around the scientifically borne-out belief that children learn best through play."