Lollipops Educare Grey - 09/02/2017

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Educare Grey

How well placed is Lollipops Educare Grey 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 Grey is one of four early learning services in Palmerston North under the Lollipops Educare name. In late 2014, Evolve Education purchased these centres. As the umbrella organisation, it governs and manages these services.

An area manager works closely with, and provides ongoing professional support to, the complex manager and centre leaders. The complex manager has been in her role since February 2016. She oversees the operation of the centre alongside centre managers, and has a key role in growing teacher practice.

A centre manager is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the service and for leading teaching and learning. Management supports and encourages teacher involvement in professional learning and development (PLD).

The service provides all day education and care for 50 children including 20 children aged up to two years of age. Of the 43 children enrolled, 14 are Māori.

The centre's philosophy is currently being developed. Centre priorities are to support, celebrate and extend the child's known and unknown potential, and children's growth as competent, confident communicators and empowered holistic learners.

The March 2014 ERO evaluation identified that the appraisal process, self-review and assessment processes to enhance learning outcomes for children needed strengthening. Good progress has been made in responding to these area.

This review was part of a cluster of four reviews of the Lollipops Educare centres in Palmerston North. 

The Review Findings

The centre environment is purposefully set up to promote challenges for children, who lead their own learning, making choices in an unhurried manner.

A positive sense of belonging and wellbeing is fostered. Staff facilitate children's developing social skills of turn taking, and sharing resources and space collaboratively. Tuakana teina relationships are evident. Children and teachers know each other well.

Children contribute to the curriculum. Learning areas are based on their interests and strengths. Literacy is valued, children choosing books, sitting and reading to each other. Staff scaffold children's language development well, responding to verbal and nonverbal cues, and extending their thinking and problem solving skills. They communicate confidently, sharing ideas and resources as learners.

Infants and toddlers learning experiences are purposefully designed to provide physical challenges, and opportunities for development of problem solving, literacy, te reo Māori and relational skills. Language opportunities provide for and extend children's communication.

There is a considered transition process for children's movement through the centre. This begins in the infant room and becomes more specific six months before transition to school. Relevant activities are designed for these children.

A shared understanding of assessment and planning processes and systems is evident. A clear framework shows and makes visible children's learning over time. Summative assessment contributes to a rich picture of children's learning across a range if contexts. Parent and whānau contributions are gathered and opportunities are provided for them to be involved in the life of the centre.

Māori learners' experiences uphold success as Māori. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are promoted through teachers' modelling, visible cues and resources. These include books, Māori artefacts, kupu Māori and rituals to welcome and farewell new children and families. Planning boards incorporate te reo Māori. Mana whenua expertise is sought and valued to guide the centre.

Pacifica children are nurtured through developing relationships with them and their families. Teachers identify a need to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of Pacific and Māori culture.

Children with additional requirements are supported through individual education plans. Progress is evident through documentation and observations.

Evolve Education's 2017 strategic intent outlines the umbrella organisation's priorities and direction. Alignment of annual planning at centre level has been strengthened to more clearly focus on these priorities. This includes a useful emphasis on growing curriculum leadership to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. Teachers are actively involved in professional learning and development to build practice.

The area manager and complex manager work well together. They provide guidance and support that assists the effective operation of the centre. Extending the scope of formalised feedback to include more focus on outcomes for children and staff performance is needed.

The revised appraisal process is comprehensive, and should be useful in growing teacher and leader practice. It is clearly linked to the Practising Teacher Criteria and has a focus on teachers inquiring into their practice to improve outcomes for children. The revised appraisal process effectively supports teachers to think about their teaching more deeply.

There is a strong emphasis on growing leadership to enhance positive learning outcomes for children. The recently appointed centre manager is well guided by the complex manager in her role. There are regular opportunities for staff collaboration and shared decision making. Leaders provide continuity and stability for their children and families.

Internal evaluation is led by the centre manager. A sound framework is in place. The centre is at the early stages of planned review which is leading to some decisions for improvement.

Key Next Steps

Next steps to support the focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning are to continue to:

  • implement the self-review and internal evaluation processes

  • revise the centre philosophy as a useful future focus for the centre

  • strengthen intentional teaching and observational skills and include parent and whānau contribution to the programme planning process

  • develop learning partnerships with parents and whānau

  • implement and embed the revised appraisal process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

9 February 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


Palmerston North

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 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 25, Boys 18

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


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2016

Date of this report

9 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

March 2014

Education Review

August 2009

Education Review

April 2006

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.