Lollipops Aubrey Street - 15/11/2018

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Aubrey Street

How well placed is Lollipops Aubrey Street 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 Aubrey Street, has been owned and operated by Evolve Education Group 5 Ltd (Evolve) since October 2016. It was licensed as a single service in early 2017, through the merger of Bubbles New Plymouth Infants and Toddlers, Bubbles New Plymouth Junior Centre and Bubbles New Plymouth Preschool. At that time the Ministry of Education placed the service on a provisional licence. A full licence was re-issued in February 2018.

Full-day education and care is provided in the purpose-built facility. There are separate learning spaces for infants, toddlers and young children. Most teachers are qualified.

The service is licensed for 100 children including 20 aged up to two. Of the 100 children enrolled, 16 are Māori.

Governance and management undertaken by Evolve. An area manager, appointed in 2017, has overall responsibility for all Evolve early learning services in this region. Since the November 2014 ERO report of Bubbles New Plymouth services a new centre manager has been appointed with oversight for day-to-day operation. Staffing is now stable after a period of high staff turnover.

The philosophy is strongly bicultural. Whanaungatanga is valued. A holistic curriculum is promoted.

The previous 2014 ERO reviews identified significant areas for development for owners, managers and teachers to improve and develop their understanding and practices in: self review: planning, assessing and evaluating individual children's learning; developing a shared understanding of high quality interactions that build and extend children's language and thinking; annual and strategic planning to better inform centre priorities for teaching and learning; and strengthening appraisal processes. Non compliance with regulations was also identified.

A Ministry of Education, funded programme of support, Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) was provided in November 2015. Additional professional development was also accessed. Good progress is evident and areas of compliance have now been addressed.

This review was part of three in the Evolve organisation.

The Review Findings

Children engage in sustained play in a curriculum where they have choices about their participation. The physical environment includes equipment and resources that promote challenge and exploration. Teachers work alongside children, supporting and extending their interests. Literacy, mathematics and science are meaningfully integrated into activities. Children with additional needs are well supported to participate in the learning programme.

Infants experience a warm, responsive and unhurried programme where whanaungatanga is highly evident. Teachers recognise and use learning opportunities well within routines, to promote children's developing independence.

Te ao Māori is strongly evident within the environment, curriculum and teacher practice. Te reo Māori is regularly spoken by children and teachers. Culturally responsive practice has been identified by leaders as an area to continue to strengthen.

Teachers have a shared understanding of planning for learning. They intentionally plan for children based on their interests and prior knowledge. Whānau aspirations are beginning to form part of each child's learning journey. Children's learning is progressed over time and well recorded in assessment documentation.

A comprehensive and well-considered process for transitioning children into, between rooms and on to school is in place. A clear procedure is in place to guide teacher practice and promote sustainability of the approach.

Regular visits by the area manager are valued by centre leaders. To strengthen support, visit reports should be more comprehensive and evaluative. It is timely for Evolve to promote deeper understanding of the shifts in practice required to fully enact the intent of Te Whāriki (2017), the early childhood curriculum.

A focus on improvement is evident. The appraisal process has been strengthened to better support growth in teacher practice. Clear goals for leadership are evident. Leaders are focused on improving the quality of education and care. Collaborative ways of working are fostered. Professional development is valued and aligned to centre priorities.

New ownership in 2016 prompted an in-depth review of the centre philosophy. Wide consultation has taken place and has informed decisions about the development of this process. Teachers are working to embed the philosophy in their practice and are considering next steps to guide ongoing evaluation.

Strategic and annual planning appropriately reflect centre priorities for teaching and learning. Leaders and teachers are developing their understanding of internal evaluation. A suitable framework guides practice. Leaders should continue to support teachers' understanding and effective implementation of the process.

Useful systems are in place to monitor health and safety, recruitment and legislative requirements.

Key Next Steps

At centre level, leaders and ERO agree next steps are to continue to strengthen:

  • culturally responsive practice to better respond to all learners

  • understanding and use of internal evaluation for improved outcomes.

At governance and management level, next steps are to strengthen:

  • area manager visit reports that provide a fuller picture of the centre's performance overtime and next steps for improved outcomes

  • support for teachers to fully enact the intent of Te Whāriki (2017), the early childhood curriculum.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lollipops Aubrey Street 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 Aubrey Street will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

15 November 2018

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


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 57, Boys 44

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

15 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

December 2011

Education Review

May 2008

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.