Lollipops Educare Victoria - 09/02/2017

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Educare Victoria

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Lollipops Educare Victoria is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes and the wellbeing of children. Teachers' evaluative capacity has been enhanced by intentional professional learning and development.

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


Lollipops Educare Victoria 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 the beginning of 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.

The service provides all day education and care for 50 children including 25 children aged up to two years. Of the 53 children enrolled, 10 are Māori.

The area manager and complex manager support team centre leaders to provide high quality, community-relevant early childhood care and education. The centre's philosophy is 'Ako taumano ai, takatū ana, kia kama, kia āhei: Being ready, willing and able for lifelong learning'. 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 December 2013 ERO evaluation identified that the appraisal process, self-review and assessment processes needed extending to enhance learning outcomes for children. Good progress has been made by Evolve Education to respond to this area.

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

The Review Findings

The principles, values and beliefs of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, are upheld by teachers and children, with parent and whānau input. Spaces are intentionally generated for children to creatively lead their own learning.

The collaboratively developed philosophy is richly woven throughout the centre. Strong enactment of bicultural ways of knowing, doing and being and building partnerships with mana whenua are prioritised. Including te ao Māori enhances day-to-day experiences for children. 

Respectful, reciprocal relationships among teachers, children, parents, whānau, hapū and iwi contribute to a positive foundation for partnerships for learning. Whānau participation and involvement is high. Children's strengths, interests and aspirations are nurtured.

Highly effective leadership of assessment and planning guides teaching and learning. Collective, shared understandings of the purpose and use of assessment and planning for learning are evident. There is continuity in implementation of assessment processes across the centre, and the processes are made visible for children and adults.

Children are actively engaged as they take part in a range of planned and spontaneous experiences connected to their goals. Their progress is effectively documented. Teachers, parents and whānau all contribute to children's learning journeys.

The bicultural heritage of Aotearoa is strongly reflected through interactions, the environment and Māori leadership. Te reo and ngā tikanga Māori rituals are integral and respectful of children, parents and whānau. Authentic te ao Māori experiences are given priority. Children contribute to karakia, waiata and stand proudly, confident to lead and share their pepeha. Māori children experience success in a culturally affirming centre.

Teachers and leaders are very responsive to meeting the needs of Pacific learners and those with additional needs.

Infants and toddlers experience positive, responsive and respectful caregiving. Teachers are unhurried, skilfully upholding infants, toddlers and young children's natural rhythms. Children use verbal and non-verbal cues to actively problem solve, collaborate with peers and enjoy challenges. Language and literacy is strongly promoted and modelled by teachers.

Transition is well supported and responsive to children and families, who lead this process across the centre.

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. 

The area manager and complex manager work well together. They provide leadership that assists the effective operation of the centre. The revised appraisal process effectively promotes teachers' growth and development. It includes an inquiry and review framework that effectively enables teachers to think deeply about their teaching. It is clearly linked to the Practising Teacher Criteria and has a focus on teachers inquiring into their practice to improve outcomes for children.

Leaders build teacher capability very effectively. They are systematic and deliberate in promoting shared understanding of high quality education and care. Professional learning and development improves and increases positive outcomes for children. 

Leaders champion self review, inquiry and internal evaluation that leads to positive change and improvement in teaching and learning. Effective support from managers assists in building the centre's evaluative capacity. Leaders and teachers apply critical reflection, contribution and collaboration using current Te Tiriti o Waitangi based early learning theory and research.

Key Next Steps

Next steps to support the focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning are to continue to implement and embed the revised appraisal process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lollipops Educare Victoria 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 Victoria will be in four 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 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 27, Boys 26

Ethnic composition

Cook Island
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

December 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 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.