Lollipops Educare Upper Hutt - 09/07/2014

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Educare Upper Hutt

How well placed is Lollipops Educare Upper Hutt to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

A number of areas for development have been outlined to the centre.  The centre has provided an action plan that shows how these key next steps will be addressed.  With the support of Lollipops Educare Ltd, the centre is well placed to provide positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Lollipops Educare is a privately owned education and care service operating in Upper Hutt. The centre is licensed for 98 children, including 24 up to the age of two years. Full time care and education is offered in buildings designed to suit the developmental stages of infants, toddlers and young children. This is the centre's first ERO review.

This centre opened in 2013. It has experienced a time of rapid growth which has been well managed by the centre director. Four separate learning spaces are available. Centre leaders liaise with parents about their children’s readiness to transition through the rooms.

There are six qualified educators employed and a number of unqualified relievers. Staff are led by an experienced centre director. The director has overall responsibility for day-to-day operations. Lollipops Educare Ltd provides governance and management support.

The review is part of a cluster of three Wellington early childhood services operated by Lollipops Educare Ltd.

The Review Findings

Children learn through a play-based programme for sustained periods of time. Educators work alongside children, following their interests. At times, educators engage children in problem-solving opportunities and extend their thinking.

Children’s language development is supported through the use of rich descriptive language by some staff. Greater consistency in the use of strategies to support and extend children’s learning is a key next step.

Educators work with parents to support children’s additional learning needs. There are established networks that centre leaders draw on to assist in meeting the specific requirements of these children.

Children’s independence and self-help skills are encouraged by staff. Children access a wide range of curriculum experiences. Responsive relationships contribute to children’s sense of belonging. Staff are attuned to infants and toddlers non-verbal cues.

The environment reflects a commitment to te ao Māori. Educator’s use of te reo Māori is in the early stages of development. Staff should continue to develop their bicultural practice and integrate it across curriculum areas.

Centre leaders have identified that ongoing development is required to better respond to both Māori and Pacific children’s cultures, languages and identities. Leaders have given consideration to their next steps and ERO agrees with this direction.

The planned programme is based around children’s interests. Giving greater consideration to the role of the teacher in this process should assist in developing greater consistency of practice. Educators should undertake regular evaluation to inform ongoing programme development.

Assessment documentation builds children’s identity as successful learners. It focuses on enhancing dispositional learning and skills. Continuity of learning experiences assists in highlighting the progress made by the child overtime.

Educators should continue to strengthen this practice by reflecting parent aspirations in a timely way and celebrating cultural diversity. Educators should also give greater consideration to their role in increasing complexity to children’s learning.

A self-review process is in place and contributes to ongoing developments and decisions. A next step is to strengthen educators’ understanding of the self-review process and knowledge of evaluation. This should provide additional information to judge the effectiveness of centre operations and practice and inform future decision making.

Leaders have a shared understanding and commitment to the centre philosophy. A recent review has assisted in highlighting how the philosophy is seen in practice. A key next step is to develop indictors of high quality practice that reflect the stated philosophy. This should assist with developing a shared understanding of teaching practice and expectations.

Lollipops Educare Ltd provides clear expectations for managing centre operations through well‑developed systems and processes. With the recently established position of the regional manager there is an opportunity to strengthen self review and evaluation at governance level. This should further promote the dual purposes of self review: for improvement to teaching and learning, and for accountability.

Centre directors are supported through regular visits by the regional manager who provides feedback and guidance on Lollipops processes and aspects of teaching and learning. These visits have the potential to strengthen the focus on building the capability of centre managers to lead teaching and learning. 

Key Next Steps

Next steps to improve the quality of teaching and learning are to strengthen:

  • the consistent use of high quality teaching practices
  • shared indicators of best practice that reflect the philosophy
  • the bicultural programme
  • success for Māori, as Māori
  • success for Pacific
  • assessment, planning and evaluation
  • self review and evaluation.

Lollipops Educare Ltd should strengthen:

  • strategic self review at governance level
  • the emphasis given to developing teaching and learning through centre visits.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie
National Manager Review Services
Central Region

9 July 2014 

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 


Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

98 children, including up to 24 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 39, Girls 32

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
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

May 2014

Date of this report

9 July 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports.


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.