Lollipops Educare Hastings - 10/06/2019

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Hastings

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Lollipops Hastings requires further development to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

There is uncertainty about the service's capability and capacity to sustain and improve its performance.

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


Lollipops Hastings is one of seven early learning services in Hawkes Bay under the Evolve umbrella. As the umbrella organisation, it governs and manages these services.

The centre manager works with centre leaders, an acting area manager, and the recently appointed teaching development manager. The centre manager has been in her role full time since February 2019. She oversees the operation of the centre alongside team leaders who are all new to the service in 2019.  

The centre is situated in Hastings and is licensed for 100 children, including 36 children up to two years of age. The current roll reflects the ethnic diversity of the community. Most teachers are qualified and certificated. There have been considerable changes to staffing since the April 2016 ERO evaluation.

In 2019, leaders and teachers have begun a review of the philosophy, with input from families and whānau.

ERO’s 2016 evaluation identified that internal evaluation, building teacher knowledge of te ao Māori, assessment and planning, and the appraisal process required improvement. Staffing changes at centre and governance level have significantly impacted on the rate and sufficiency of progress in responding to these areas and improving centre performance since the previous ERO report.

This review was part of a cluster of two reviews in the Evolve organisation.

The Review Findings

Children participate in learning experiences that support their engagement and interests. Purposeful resourcing and thoughtfully organised outdoor spaces allow children to make choices, explore and play independently. Tuakana teina relationships are evident and interactions are responsive and caring.

The service's youngest children experience a curriculum that responds to their interests, needs and special characteristics. ERO observed interactions that were unhurried and responsive.

Those children with additional learning and teaching needs are suitably planned for. Teachers work with families and external agencies to cater for the priorities and needs of these children.

Children's and families' language, culture and identity are celebrated. Te ao Māori is visible through pepeha, some te reo Māori, kupu Māori throughout the environment and waiata. Pacific languages and celebrations are evident.

The centre manager has prioritised the review of the centre philosophy for urgent action. ERO's external evaluation confirms this priority.

A revised approach to documenting and planning for children's learning is underway. This should support a more consistent approach across the centre. Teachers should identify the specific teaching practices that support learning and strategies making the most differences for learners.

The new teaching team is exploring ways to involve and invite families and whānau to contribute information about their child's learning. Profile books sampled by ERO capture children's development and show progress over time. Examples of the language, culture and identity of learners are evident.

The revised appraisal process provides a sound framework to support teachers develop their practice. Most teachers are new to the service and a full cycle of appraisal had not been completed. Appraisal was an area for improvement in the previous ERO report. This needs to be addressed to support teachers’ growth and to meet requirements of the Teaching Council.

The centre's 2019 action plan identifies priorities and goals. There is a useful emphasis on growing curriculum leadership to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. Further alignment of processes is needed to support managers to show progress towards meeting these goals and achievement of Evolve's vision.

Knowledge and understanding of internal evaluation and how this contributes to developing high quality practice and outcomes for children is not well developed or systematically in place.

Key Next Steps

Evolve should increase its support to teachers and leaders to improve their understanding of and practices in:

  • appraisal

  • building leadership capability in a deliberate, systematic manner

  • internal evaluation, to know the impact of teachers’ practices on children’s learning

  • aspects of assessment, planning and evaluation for children's learning

  • review of the centre philosophy.

Evolve must also ensure that:

  • all appointments are consistent with the revised appointments process and with the requirements of the Children's Act 2014

  • any and all records related to serious incidents, complaints and reporting to relevant external agencies, if required, are made available on request to relevant agencies.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lollipops Hastings 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to health and safety practices and governance management and administration. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • any and all records related to serious incidents, complaints and reporting to relevant external agencies, if required, are made available on request to relevant agencies

  • appointments are consistent with the revised appointments process and consistent with the requirements of the Children's Act 2014

  • heavy furniture and equipment that could fall or topple and cause serious inquiry or damage are secured

  • a current operative Fire Evacuation Scheme approved by the New Zealand Fire Service.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS4, HS 6, GMA7, GMA7a, GMA12]

Since the onsite stage of the review, the service has provided ERO with steps taken to address the need for: the appointment process to be consistent with the requirements of the Children's Act 2014; securing of furniture and equipment that could fall or topple and cause serious inquiry or damage.

Development Plan Recommendation

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

10 June 2019

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



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 36 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 41, Girls 37

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Cook Island Māori
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


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2019

Date of this report

10 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2016

Education Review

February 2013

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.