Lollipops Educare Pukekohe - 18/10/2018

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Educare Pukekohe

How well placed is Lollipops Educare Pukekohe 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 Pukekohe is licensed for 50 children, including up to 20 children aged under two years. Infants and toddlers have separate indoor and outdoor playing spaces. Children enrolled are from diverse cultural backgrounds.

The centre manager and three head teachers lead the recently established teaching team. The centre's philosophy is focused on developing positive relationships with children and families.

Previous ERO reports have noted the good programmes for children and that they were able to make choices about their learning from well-resourced environments. Whānau involvement was encouraged and valued. Areas for development included internal evaluation, and bicultural practices. These aspects remain areas for further development.

The centre is owned by the Evolve Education Group. Evolve provides an overarching governance and management framework and visiting personnel to support the operation of each centre. A recent re-branding of centres has occurred, with a view to building a greater sense of unity across the organisation. Initiatives that have been recently introduced are intended to improve staff stability in centres, promote effective internal evaluation and lift the quality of teaching practices.

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

The Review Findings

Children are settled and engage easily in play beside teachers or with friends. Interactions between teachers and children are generally warm and encouraging, supporting children's developing social competence, and a sense of wellbeing and belonging.

The following effective practices promote positive learning outcomes for children.

  • Environments are attractive and include photographs that provide opportunities for children to revisit their learning and have a sense of belonging as they transition smoothly through the centre

  • Teachers are calm and respectful with infants and toddlers. They respond to children's individual interests and preferences for exploration and support them to transition to the next group effectively

  • Teachers engage well with whānau, sharing information about their children and the programme

  • Teachers' commitment to supporting children's understanding of the dual cultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand is evident in their meaningful use of te reo Māori.

Leaders have a clear vision and focus for the centre and on succession planning for leadership roles. Internal evaluation is established and is starting to lead to improved provision and outcomes for children. The centre manager plans to focus more closely on developing teachers' shared understanding of Te Whāriki 2017, the revised early childhood curriculum, and of good quality programmes.

Centre operations are guided by a strategic plan that is linked to the organisation's strategic direction. Teachers and leaders regularly record progress in meeting strategic goals. Evolve's appraisal process supports teachers' professional growth and development well. The area manager visits the centre regularly, and required internal audits are completed to guide progress.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree their key next steps include:

  • strengthening internal evaluation to ensure it is guided by robust evaluation questions and reasoning, using the centre's strategic goals to guide improvement in line with the organisation's strategic direction

  • using Te Whāriki 2017 to support the development of programmes so they are less dependent on routines and provide more time for children's free, self-initiated play and learning

  • continuing to strengthen bicultural knowledge and understanding.

The centre and area managers have identified the need to continue to build resources to support children's learning and development.

Evolve Education Group Managers agree that key next steps include:

  • ensuring the company’s vision, values, philosophy, goals and systems reflect the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi

  • developing clear strategic goals to inform improvement focused annual plans at regional, area and centre levels, that include Te Whāriki 2017 and a strategy for supporting Pacific children and families

  • ongoing moderation and monitoring of the roles and responsibilities of personnel in positions of leadership, including centre managers

  • ongoing monitoring of appraisal practices to ensure effective implementation is lifting teaching practice

  • reviewing how effectively levels of resourcing in centres supports children’s learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

18 October 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


Pukekohe, Auckland

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 34 Boys 26

Ethnic composition

South African
other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

18 October 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

February 2008

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.