Lollipops Educare Petone - 12/01/2018

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Educare Petone

How well placed is Lollipops Educare Petone 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 Petone is a privately owned service, adjacent to the Petone foreshore. The service is licensed to provide education and care for 110 children, including 40 aged up to two years. At the time of this ERO evaluation there were 113 children on the roll, including 15 Māori. The centre caters for children and families from a range of diverse groups including some with English as a second language. Separate learning areas provides for the needs of infants, toddlers and young children. The option of sessional care is available for children aged three to four.

In December 2014 the service was bought by Evolve Education Group (Evolve) from Lollipops Educare Centres Limited. A development manager provides overall curriculum guidance for team leaders and teachers in four centres. Three other Evolve managers offer support to the centre director and teaching team.

The July 2014 ERO report identified areas requiring strengthening, including:

  • the consistent use of high quality teaching practices

  • the provision of the environment

  • success for Māori and Pacific

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • self review and evaluation.

An action plan provided by the service showed how they intended to address these key next steps. Positive progress has been made in all areas.

This review was part of a cluster of five reviews in the Evolve Education Group.

The Review Findings

The service's philosophy reflects the shared values and beliefs of teachers, whānau and children. Spacious areas, both indoors and outdoors, provide children with opportunities to explore environments that encourage discovery and imagination. There is a strong focus on environmental sustainability.

Parents are warmly welcomed. Staff understand the importance of positive relationships. They show a readiness to work collaboratively to seek parents' aspirations and expectations and responsively achieve them.

Children enthusiastically engage in an inviting and stimulating range of child-initiated, play-based experiences. Teachers introduce a variety of learning opportunities as part of the group programme planning. Observations of children in everyday activities help to build a picture of what they know, understand, feel and can do. Leaders have identified that continued support and guidance to build teachers' capability in noticing, recognising and responding to children's learning, should further enhance positive outcomes for children.

Teachers show respectful and affirming relationships with children. They are supportive and play alongside them. Mathematical and literacy learning opportunities weave meaningfully throughout the curriculum. Staff encourage and model positive values and behaviours. Children’s interactions with each other are friendly and amicable. They are well supported to develop as confident and capable learners.

Infants and toddlers are nurtured to become active communicators and explorers. Care routines are unhurried and an enjoyable part of children’s learning opportunities. Programmes for these very young learners focuses on fostering their wellbeing through responsive caregiving.

Teachers' thoughtful actions and responses encourage the participation, attendance and engagement of children and families. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori continue to be successfully embedded within teaching and learning. Appropriate resources, displays and practices that reflect te ao Māori, supports children to develop knowledge and understanding of their dual heritage. Teachers should continue to investigate further ways to promote te ao Māori in a more local, place-based context.

Transitions into and within the centre are flexible and responsive to the needs of individual children and families. Teachers participate in cluster meetings with local schools. Establishing and building closer links with a range of schools should assist the development of a process that positively helps children move to school.

Leadership at centre level is increasingly supportive. Clear expectations for centre operation are provided through strategic and annual management planning. Teachers are supported to develop a share understanding of internal evaluation for improvement and change. A new appraisal system includes stronger use of evidence and clearer next steps for teachers’ development. These practices are likely to contribute to professional growth, decision-making and enhanced outcomes for children.

A recent restructure within Evolve has led to the introduction of new management roles that aim to provide increased support for centre staff. Evolve managers should continue strengthening systems to provide ongoing guidance and support to centre leaders and teachers for continuous improvement of teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

Managers, team leaders and ERO agree the following key next step is to continue to strengthen:

  • shared understanding of processes for effective internal evaluation to enhance inquiry into the impact of teaching practice on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

12 January 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


Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

110 children, including up to 40 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 57, Girls 56

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


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

12 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2014

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.