Lollipops Educare Birkenhead - 28/08/2014

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Educare Birkenhead

How well placed is Lollipops Educare Birkenhead to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Lollipops Educare Birkenhead requires further development in management and leadership so that teachers are better supported to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Lollipops Educare Birkenhead operates in a suburban area of the North Shore. The centre provides all day education and care for children up to five years of age. At the time of the 2011 ERO review the centre was operating under two licences. Since then the centre has been relicensed under the 2008 Early Childhood Licensing Criteria for a maximum of 60 children, with 16 up to two years of age.

Children from a variety of cultural groups attend the centre. Teachers are also representative of a number of cultures.

Since 2011 there have been staff changes, with some long-serving staff remaining and providing continuity for families.

The centre groups children according to age, in separate spaces. Young children up to two years of age are well accommodated in the first storey with a practical and useful outdoor space. Children from two years to school age have a large open playroom and a playground that provides opportunities for them to engage in a variety of activities.

The Lollipops Educare management group continues to provide management support and a framework for the operation of the centre. The centre operates under joint venture partner arrangements and is committed to the ongoing development and improvement of its operations. The findings in this report have been developed with the owner and a management representative from the Lollipops Educare management group.

The Review Findings

Children and their families are warmly welcomed into the centre at the start of their day. Children are relaxed and trusting with teachers and settle quickly in the pre-prepared activity areas. Older children demonstrate well-formed friendships and play imaginative games in groups. The younger children tend to play independently or to stay close to teachers.

The philosophy for the centre is an aspirational statement that provides worthwhile guidance for teachers about good practice. It is a comprehensive statement that includes reference to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, Reggio Emilia, which has a focus on promoting environments for learning and respecting children as creative, individual learners, and the Pikler approach to infant and toddler care which emphasises valuing children as capable, developing learners.

Although the philosophy statement is reviewed regularly, references to the ideas and undertakings outlined in the statement are not strongly evident in teachers' practice.

Children are articulate and friendly. They engage in lively conversation as they play with others. Infants and toddlers receive respectful and affectionate care from teachers. Their needs are met in timely ways and some resources reflect children’s developmental stages. Teachers often talk and sing to the children.

A focus in the centre is on more formal approaches to learning. This does not encourage children to take a lead in their own learning through play. Teachers have begun to use self review to evaluate the programme and this practice has the potential to help teachers reflect on and develop more child-centred programmes for children.

The centre managers have consulted with parents and whānau about their aspirations for their child’s learning. This positive step provides whānau with opportunities to contribute to the programme. Teachers have made special attempts to increase the focus on including te reo Māori in the programme. Children respond appropriately to words and phrases in te reo Māori.

Key Next Steps

The managers and ERO agree that the next key steps for the centre are to:

  • develop and embed an agreed philosophy
  • provide further training for centre leaders
  • strengthen self-review processes
  • further develop shared understanding with parents about the foundational skills for learning to prepare children as life-long learners
  • place a stronger focus on the multi-cultural identities and backgrounds children bring with them to the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lollipops Educare Birkenhead 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance during the review around the programme and leadership within the centre. To meet requirements the service needs to:

  • ensure that teachers understand the expectations about programmes that provide positive learning outcomes for children
  • ensure that leaders in the centre have sufficient training to monitor and guide practices that provide well for children’s holistic development through child-centred play and learning
  • strengthen and deepen the focus of self review to provide guidance for teachers about the quality of programmes for children
  • continue to build teachers confidence to reflect the importance of children’s own languages, cultures and identities within the learning curriculum.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, Regulation 34, (1) (a), (i), (iii), (iv), Criteria 2, C3, C4, C7, C10, GMA5, GMA6.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Lollipops Educare Birkenhead will be within two years.

Steffan Brough

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

28 August 2014

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


Birkenhead, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 35

Girls 33

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā







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

July 2014

Date of this report

28 August 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2011


Education Review

October 2007

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.