Lollipops Educare Botany Junction - 20/11/2015

1. Evaluation of Lollipops Educare Botany Junction

How well placed is Lollipops Educare Botany Junction 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 Botany Junction provides high quality early childhood education and care for up to 75 children. The centre is located upstairs in the Botany Junction shopping complex and is one of two centres owned and managed by the same partnership.

The centre has three separate age specific rooms for children. Each room is headed by an experienced team leader. Younger and older children also have opportunities to play and learn together in a mixed-age outdoor environment. The indoor and outdoor areas are spacious, attractive and well resourced. The centre environment is visually stimulating and homely for children. Teachers are responsive to children’s home routines and provide them with nutritious meals. Transitions between these areas and into school are well managed and supported.

Most teachers are experienced and qualified and have worked together in the centre for many years. A culturally diverse staff with a range of skills and strengths is representative of the centre’s community.

The centre’s philosophy is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. It focuses strongly on respecting children as capable, competent learners. The philosophy is largely based on the theories and practices of Reggio Emilia and promotes trust in children to be initiators and explorers in their learning.

The owners continue to provide good governance and management support for the centre, with the aid of a capable centre director. The 2009 and 2012 ERO reports recognised positive relationships within the centre, strong partnerships with parents and child-initiated programmes. The 2012 ERO report recommended that the centre continue to build a critically reflective culture. Very good progress has been made in this area.

The Review Findings

Children are confident in the centre environment, settling easily into different areas of play in their own time and at their own pace. Older and younger children play well together. The calm, child-focused environment supports children to create meaningful relationships that are trusting and respectful.

As skilled practitioners, teachers are responsive to children’s care and learning. They are gentle, nurturing and affectionate with children, and listen respectfully and carefully to children’s ideas and concerns. Teachers value whanaungatanga and promote children’s social and emotional competence well.

Children appreciate the freedom to explore and to develop curiosity and joy in their learning. They have good access to all areas of play and resources. Teachers follow children’s lead in their learning and support and extend their individual and emerging interests. They promote children’s oral language, encouraging good opportunities for children to express themselves.

Teachers consider ways to challenge and engage children in their learning. Children’s creativity is nurtured well in integrated science, writing and art in the context of children’s play. Children also enjoy opportunities to participate in swimming and dance.

Babies and toddlers receive good quality care and supportive learning opportunities. They are encouraged to grow in confidence with an approach that promotes freedom of movement and self-management. Children with special needs are well catered for in play and learning.

Teachers support children’s familiarity with the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand. They are continuing to increase their use of te reo Māori with children throughout the day.

Teachers communicate effectively and regularly with parents and whānau, and engage them as partners in their children’s learning. Parents appreciate the range of ways that the centre welcomes and includes them. The introduction of e-portfolios makes the sharing of learning stories with parents more immediate and meaningful. It encourages parents to contribute to their children’s learning, and supports teachers as they respond to children’s emerging interests and strengths.

The head teacher provides opportunities for teachers to develop strong professional leadership that is focused on promoting child centred learning. Teachers collaborate and reflect on their teaching practices well to enact the centre’s philosophy.

Teachers value and promote meaningful and ongoing improvements so that children’s enjoyment in play and learning are continually enhanced. Strategic planning is well aligned to teacher appraisal processes and to professional learning.

The owners resource the centre generously and strategically, enabling managers and teachers to achieve their vision of a high performing centre. The management team and teachers work collaboratively to promote centre wide improvements and sustainable practices.

Key Next Steps

The managers, centre leaders and ERO agree that the centre would benefit from:

  • teachers continuing to promote learning opportunities for children to think, create and express themselves
  • teachers continuing to promote children’s use of te reo Māori
  • centre leaders rationalising teachers’ appraisal processes to develop more meaningful and relevant performance management
  • centre leaders enhancing self-review processes by incorporating indicators of effective practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lollipops Educare Botany Junction 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 Botany Junction will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

20 November 2015

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


Botany Downs, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

75 children, including up to 35 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 44, Boys 38

Ethnic composition





South East Asian










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

October 2015

Date of this report

20 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at

Education Review

May 2012


Education Review

May 2009

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.