Thank you for visiting Property FAQs . If you have a question that isn’t listed or you cannot find the answer to under the Property Manual section please email [email protected]. If your question is region specific please contact your Regional Property Coordinator.”
A. Yes. ECE Licensing Document Regulation 46/HS6 Heavy furniture, fixtures and equipment that could fall or topple and cause serious injury or damage are secured. Therefore, the piano must be secured to the wall or floor structure with appropriate fixings.
A. Yes. The New Zealand Building Code, and therefore by default part of licensing (which says the requirement is to comply with the building code/legislation) requires Smoke Alarms. The requirement is to have smoke detection in sleeping rooms/areas and on exit ways (within 3m of the door) from sleeping areas. This can be satisfied by either a residential battery type smoke alarm, or smoke detector connected to a fire alarm system. If your smoke alarms are connected to the fire system this will be noted in your BWOF Compliance Schedule and check regularly by your IQP. If you are unsure whether your smoke alarms connect to the Fire System/BWOF System please check your Compliance Schedule or contact your local Regional Property Coordinator. BWOF – Building Warrant of Fitness IQP – Independent Qualified Person
It is up to each individual Playcentre Parent Council to decide whether your Playcentre will be hired out and which occurrences this might be for. All Playcentre owned and MOE buildings are able to be hired out, though Ministry of Education properties cannot be hired for commercial/business purposes. A building that has a private lease may have stipulations with regards to hiring/subletting which will need to be adhered to. Please refer to the website https://www.playcentre.org.nz/policiesandprocedures/categories/property-and-equipment/
If you have any further queries please contact [email protected].
A. Playcentre Aotearoa holds insurance for all Playcentres. This covers Playcentre volunteers, administrators, employees, individuals and families who attend the Centre.
All parties need to sign the Insurance Liability box in the hire form, including Playcentre employees, volunteers and members, if they are hiring out the Centre for a purpose other than usual Playcentre Business, i.e. sessions, centre meetings, working bees etc.
By signing the application ALL parties, excluding Playcentre Aotearoa employees and members, accept that Playcentre Aotearoa and/or its insurers reserve the right to recover from them or their insurers the costs of any damage deliberately or negligently cause to Playcentre property during the event or ongoing hire. Playcentre Aotearoa employees and members may be liable to pay the excess if there are any deliberate or negligent damages during an event or ongoing hire that they are running, independent of usual Playcentre business.
It is essential that the party/parties hiring the Centre sign this document and understand their obligations and the Terms and Conditions prior to the event or ongoing hire. A record of this Application will be maintained by Playcentre Aotearoa.
For hire situations, i.e. charities, registered groups, businesses etc, who wish to hire the Centre are required to provide their Insurance Policy details as part of the 12.2.2 Application for Hire Document.
If individuals or other hirers have concerns regarding their liability it is recommend that they contact their own insurance company. If they do not have personal insurance or their insurance company does not cover them for such hire situations they need to be aware that they will be personally liable for the costs of any damage deliberately or negligently caused to Playcentre Property during their hire.
A. If the Playcentre Building has certain specified systems then they will be required to have a Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF). Not every Playcentre Building will require a BWOF. The requirement for a BWOF is generally triggered when work is done on the Property that requires building consent. Some buildings may not have had any work done since the requirements were brought in and therefore do not have, or need, a BWOF.
Most common specific systems in Playcentre Buildings that require a BWOF:
A training video explaining BWOF’s in more detail is available at https://www.playcentre.org.nz/2020-property-officer-training-videos/.
A. Sand only needs to be replaced if it is so contaminated that you can’t dig out any bits, i.e. cat faeces or lumps of playdough, there has been a flood with sewage or contaminated water or if its been wet and stagnant and is really smelly.
Playcentre sandpits generally get a lot of use and get well washed and dug over by the tamariki but it can be a good idea to turn it over at a working bee.
If sand does need to be replaced then it is recommended to use ‘grade 1 mortar sand’. Sand should be a minimum of 400mm deep but 600mm allows older children to dig deeper
These centres must be on the Drinking Water Register for New Zealand they must have a Water Safety Plan.
If your drinking water is contaminated or otherwise unusable please contact your Regional Property Coordinator and Regional Support Lead as soon as practical.
A. No, our Playcentres do not have approval for sleep overs. Sleeping activities at a Playcentre would be a liability risk for Playcentre Aotearoa’s Insurance, if anything were to happen, i.e. your insurance would be null and void.
A. Monthly BWOF checks are generally identified by a logbook which has various pages requiring monthly visual checks with corresponding signatures and dates.
The logbook is usually supplied by the IQP and will be checked by them prior to signing off the next years BWOF.
If you have a logbook it is important that the checks are completed each month.
If a centre doesn’t have a BWOF then they aren’t required to do these checks and sign off separate logbook records. Playcentres pre session ‘Daily Health and Safety Checklist’ requires daily checking of exit signs and exit routes and doors so this is sufficient for those centres.
The items that require monthly bwof checks are specified by the buildings compliance schedule. The IQP contractor will complete all other and more complex checks required by the compliance schedule. In most cases the centre nominates an officeholder, such as the Property Officer, to complete the simple visual checks. In some cases an audible test of the fire alarm system is required as well.
For these monthly checks the specific things to check each month are usually made up of:
– confirming fire exits are clear and an egress path is maintained right to and through the final exit (gate/s)
– checking that EXIT signs continue to be displayed above exit doors (ie, sometimes they are removed for painting walls or covered by a poster)
– checking that any signs to facilitate egress remain in place (ie, the centre may have a process for assisting members with limited mobility to safely exit in emergencies)
– in some cases an audible check of the fire alarm system is required. All fire alarm systems differ so please check your logbook for instructions on how to carry out this test for your centre. Some systems have a test mode, some do not. Some systems will automatically link to the fire service and dispatch a fire unit if the test mode in not used.
Where a centre repeatedly fails to complete the monthly checks the RPC may instruct the contractor to visit each month to complete them. Charges incurred here will be passed onto the centre.
For further information on BWOF please refer to https://www.playcentre.org.nz/2020-property-officer-training-videos/
A. The following information should help you understand Fungi and how to treat them:
There are really only 2 broad categories for killing / removing them, and these are
What can we use to treat them? Note – Mushrooms etc. can be killed by something acidic i.e. having a pH of 1 or 1.2 e.g. acetic acid. Vinegar will NOT work!
A. 18 degrees is the new minimum temperature for all ECEs, as of July 2021, and we require all centres to heat their centres to this temperature from the start to the end of session and even if the doors are being opened and closed continuously.
Heat pumps are by far the most efficient for use in a Playcentre. If you already have heatpumps please make sure the internal filters are cleaned regularly, every 6 weeks over the winter and you get them serviced once a year. This helps keep them running efficiently. If you are ordering a new heatpump make sure that it has a 7 day timer so you can set it to come on well ahead of session in the morning so your Centre is nice and toasty when you arrive. This may cost more but is essential.
If you are struggling to heat your centre to 18 degrees, please take measurements (thermometer at 500mm above floor level) over a period of two weeks and let us know your current situation with your heating, insulation and any other heat related items. Obtain quotes for heat pumps and then either complete the project application form (12.1.2), or the funding assistance form (12.1.1) and return them to your RPC with your quotes and supporting evidence.
Curtains will help if closed when heating the centre in the morning. Some regions have local Curtain Banks which may be able to assist with providing thermally lined curtains.
If you are doing renovations in the future take into account putting insulation in the areas that you are opening up, i.e. ceiling, underfloor, walls. This assists with keeping the heat in.
A. In the first instance you need to call the police. If necessary and safe to do so please make your Playcentre safe, i.e. turn off water at street if pipes broken, etc. If there is damage, please do not repair or clean up until police have visited and made a report.
Please contact your Regional Property Coordinator within 24 hours. Playcentre Aotearoa has insurance cover for contents in all Playcentres and the Regional Property Coordinator will guide you through the process in order to make a claim and get works repaired/items replaced.
If you have had a tablet and/or phone stolen please let your Regional Property Coordinator know as soon as possible so that the device can be locked. https://www.playcentre.org.nz/current-members/property/property-contacts/
In some instances, it may be necessary to close your Playcentre for a short period of time in order to fix repairs. Your Regional Team and Centre Advisor will be able to assist you with this process.
A. It is not a legal Ministry requirement (as in it is not in the Licensing Requirements) to have blinds however some Centres are considering them. A suggestion is to go to places like the Curtain Bank/second shops rather than spending a lot of money on blinds.
This topic has been in the media a lot. What is crucial is to keep realistic about this and not decide to spend a huge amount of money on blinds. The Centre may have blankets or something similar that they can hang up if they are ever in this situation.
A. Bark/woodchip softfall is the main softfall used across the country. The regulations require this to be at a depth of 300mm (200mm plus 100mm for displacement). A good way to work out the depth of the bark is to use a knitting needle with 300mm marked on it or a long screw driver. NZ5828:2015 requires all new playground equipment to have a mark on the leg of playground equipment to mark the required depth of the softfall. This can be achieved with a small screw in timber or a permanent marker on metal.
In the past it was recommended that bark was turned regularly. This is no longer the case. All this achieves is to make the bark break down quicker. Please DO NOT turn your bark over.
A. Please note this is different to what was put out in the Bulletin. Unfortunately the Bulletin FAQ was incorrect. Grass is an ideal surface for most outdoor activities. It can also be used as a safety surface for equipment under 600mm in height. It has the advantage of staying cool in hot weather and is suitable for both walking and crawling children. For grass to be suitable as a fall zone it must be free of bare patches and weeds, have a good root system (ie not new grass) and well cared for (ie watered, weeded, and mown – like a sports field). The maximum height that a child can fall from equipment at Playcentre is 1.5m, however on suitable grass this is only 600mm. The fall zone for any equipment is 1.5m around the equipment (unless part of a ‘course’) and the fall zone must be the grass or other impact absorbent material.
A. For all battery operated smoke alarms, the centre should test these twice a year (like at home do them at daylight saving time) and replace batteries, just as you would in a residential home.
An alternative to purchasing a new battery each year would be to replace the unit with a 10 year cavius type ‘long life’ smoke alarm. They are around $100 per unit (available from a hardware store like Mitre10 or Bunnings), and will last 10 years without replacing a battery. If you do install one of these, it is recommended to add a label machine sticker next to it saying “replace Nov2031″ or similar”
Please note that as mentioned about an Umbrella Hazardous Materials Management Plan will be distributed to every Centre before the end of Term 1.
A: Please make sure the internal filters are cleaned (remove filter and vacuum) regularly, every 6 weeks over the winter and get the heat pump serviced once a year. This helps keep them running efficiently. Check the exterior unit is clean, weed free and doesn’t have any rust. Keep a log in your property folder or on the wall by the heat pump of when you clean the filters and when it has been serviced and/or is next due for a service.
If your heat pump has a timer or Wi-Fi connection. Work out the best times to turn it on to heat or cool your centre to the right temperature by the start of session time. This will vary depending on the temperature outside but work on worse case scenarios as the heat pump will turn off and only maintain the right temperature once it reaches optimal. This might take a little bit of playing around to get right.
A: Covid-19 has highlighted the need for good ventilation in all indoor spaces to help with reducing the spread of viruses and bacteria. The best way to ventilate your space is by opening windows and doors, unless the space has a ducted air conditioning system (this does not include heat pumps).
The Ministry of Education provides some good guidance here Ventilation guidance for early childhood services | Te Mahau.
CO2 is generally highest when there is a gathering together of children and adults, i.e. mat time or kai time. It is a good idea to open the windows before or during these times to limit this happening. We do also realise that it is not feasible to have your windows and doors open all day and will send your heating bills through the roof in the middle of winter. It is often sufficient, unless you are unable to open windows/doors or have few to open, to open your windows and doors fully for approximately 10 minutes every hour.
If you believe your centre has insufficient ventilation please get in touch with your Regional Property Coordinator.