Lollipops Educare Takapuna - 08/05/2017

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Educare Takapuna

How well placed is Lollipops Educare Takapuna 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.


Lollipops Educare Takapuna is located on the North Shore in Auckland. It continues to serve an ethnically diverse community and is licensed for 50 children, including up to 17 children up to two years of age. The multi-cultural teaching team has eight qualified teachers, three of whom are working towards full certification.

The centre has three separate rooms that are arranged according to children's stages of development. The Cubs room is for infants, the Tigers room for toddlers and the Lions room for older children. Each room has its own outdoor play area.

Lollipops Educare Takapuna is a family-owned and managed service. A framework of policies, procedures and regulations is provided by the Evolve Education Group.

The centre philosophy focuses on providing an environment that is welcoming, inclusive and respectful. The curriculum reflects the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa and is responsive to each child's interests, capabilities and learning dispositions. There is a strong focus on the individual child and their family.

The Review Findings

Older children are happy and secure in the centre environment. They settle themselves into play areas with ease and make deliberate choices about what they will do and the resources they need. Children develop strong friendships, and enjoy respectful interactions with peers and teachers. They trust adults to respond to their needs and to support their play. Children with additional needs are well supported. Teachers know children and their families well, and share the learning and care responsibilities for all children in the centre.

Infants and toddlers are well supported to develop a sense of belonging and trust with teachers. There is a strong focus on wellbeing, responsive care and communication. Teachers use calm and gentle approaches and voices with babies and toddlers. They are welcoming and friendly, and promote a flexible and relaxed tone. Their responsive and nurturing caregiving supports infants’ needs for strong and secure attachments.

Teachers are responsive to children's interests. Centre-wide professional learning and development has strengthened planning and assessment practices. Planning is individualised and has a stronger focus on noticing, recognising and responding to children's individual learning. Teachers specify children's learning outcomes, dispositions and teaching strategies.

Children's learning portfolios are very good records of cultural celebrations, art work and activities that children are involved in. Teachers use effective strategies to support children with additional learning and behavioural needs. They also have very responsive processes to support children's transitions as they move into, through and out of the centre to school.

Parents are encouraged to be partners in their children’s learning. Teachers provide many opportunities for families to participate in the programme, contribute to reviews and be aware of their children’s progress. Parents discuss and contribute to learning stories and portfolios. Parents, teachers and children share information on a daily basis when children arrive at and leave the centre. There is a strong commitment to valuing and integrating children's families and cultures into centre programmes and operations.

Leadership is effective. The centre manager and teachers have built a culture of professionalism, collaboration and internal evaluation that is continuously focused on ongoing improvement and outcomes for children. Systems have been established to grow leadership capacity in curriculum and internal evaluation. Internal evaluation is well understood and embedded and is resulting in improvements in teaching and learning, and centre wide practices. Centre leaders have identified that they would like to review and refine processes and documentation for teacher appraisal.

The centre is well supported by the Evolve Education Group and has sound operational systems and processes. The vision, strategic and annual plans are well aligned and show good review and strategic thinking to prioritise future developments. These documents prioritise improving teacher capability and focus on outcomes for children and their families.

The centre philosophy is highly evident in the programme. Centre leaders could now consider developing systems and procedures that are more specific to the context of this centre. In addition, specific actions, planned strategies and timeframes should be added to the annual plan to guide centre development, share responsibilities and monitor progress towards strategic goals.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that their next steps for development include:

  • making children's individual interests more visible in learning stories and learning wall displays

  • developing further strategies to challenge children's thinking and extend their learning

  • continuing to consolidate and deepen teacher understanding of effective planning, assessment and evaluation systems. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lollipops Educare Takapuna 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 Lollipops Educare Takapuna will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

8 May 2017 

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 


Takapuna, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 17 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 26 Boys 24

Ethnic composition















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

February 2017

Date of this report

8 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

December 2013

Education Review

November 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 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.