Lollipops Educare Waikato Hospital - 13/10/2016

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Educare Waikato Hospital

How well placed is Lollipops Educare Waikato Hospital 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 Waikato Hospital is an education and care service located in central Hamilton. It is licensed for 50 children, including a maximum of 20 children who are up to two years of age. It is open for all-day sessions between 6.30 am and 6.30 pm on week days, to meet the needs of family members, many of whom are employed at Waikato Hospital. The centre is organised in two age groups, one for children up to two and a half years of age and the other for older children up to school age.

The centre philosophy reflects the whakatau:

  • He aha te mea nui ki te ao? Maaku e ki atu. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
  • What is the most important thing in the world? I would reply - it is people, it is people, it is people.

The philosophy is based around four pou - kaitiakitanga, mauri-ora, tino rangitiratanga and te whakakoha rangatiratanga. The centre's priorities reflect these pou. It aims to provide:

  • respect for the uniqueness of each individual, child and family

  • inclusion in a centre that is nurturing, caring and flexible

  • participation in a programme that builds positive, reciprocal relationships in a relaxed, fun and enjoyable environment

  • opportunities to develop as capable and confident leaders who have problem-solving skills, and develop as independent and self-motivated learners

  • encouragement to develop important social competencies and relationships.

The centre has recently had a change of ownership, and now operates under the umbrella of Evolve Education Group, which provides a framework of policies and procedures to guide centre operation. Evolve management also sets budgets, and oversees human resources, finances and Ministry of Education funding.

The centre is co-managed by two centre directors, one of whom also acts as director for another centre. She shares her role with an assistant who has an additional role as leader for the over two age group area. There have been recent changes of staff. The centre now employs five teachers with early childhood teaching qualifications, representing 80% of teaching staff. It also employs teachers who bring a range of tertiary qualifications that contribute to the range of valuable knowledge and experience among the teaching teams.

The 2013 ERO review acknowledged the positive development made since the previous review, which was conducted when the centre was under the previous ownership and management. Improvements have been made to the quality of the environment, leadership, and quality of teaching. It was recommended that the centre continue to focus on the analysis of children's learning and the inclusion of parent and child voices in assessments.

The Review Findings

Lollipops Educare Waikato Hospital provides an inclusive curriculum that embraces all children. Teachers recognise the importance of knowing children in the context of their family and establish trusting, open partnerships with parents. They use their shared knowledge to respond to parents' aspirations and support each child's full participation in the programme.

Leaders and teachers provide equitable learning opportunities that recognise and cater for children's individual interests and abilities. Teachers encourage children to make positive choices and develop problem-solving skills. They are strong advocates for children and are highly committed to providing additional learning support as needed. Centre leaders and teachers promote beliefs and values based on social justice, fairness and human rights.

Children enjoy positive and respectful relationships with teachers and their peers. Older children are learning to take responsibility for themselves and the environment. They have many opportunities to develop friendships with others and engage in sustained, cooperative and social play. Tuakana-teina relationships enable children to develop their leadership skills and take increased responsibility for the wellbeing and learning of others. Babies and toddlers are experiencing personalised relationships under the care of a key teacher. Centre routines provide a positive climate for their education and care. Younger children are developing strong attachments in a calm environment.

Teachers have a good understanding and knowledge of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Literacy, mathematics, science and the arts are naturally integrated into child-initiated learning. Oral language is strongly supported, enabling children to develop a rich vocabulary.

Teachers have recently introduced individual planning that emphasises noticing, recognising and responding to children's interests and strengths as a basis for supporting and extending children's learning and development. Child assessment portfolios provide a record of children's experiences at the centre and these records are increasingly documenting children's developing learning dispositions. Parents receive meaningful information about their children's learning and development through conversations with teachers, children's individual portfolios and an on-line interactive portal.

The centre director, assistant director and team leaders promote relational trust and a collaborative team approach. Systematic self-review enables teachers to have time to critically reflect as they focus on improvements to the quality of education and care for children who attend the centre.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that teachers now need to embed the newly introduced assessment and individual child planning processes. This would be likely to increasingly identify the continuity of individual children's learning and the progress they are making in a range of contexts.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

13 October 2016

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

50 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 31 Girls 25

Ethnic composition





Cook Island


Other Asian










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

September 2016

Date of this report

13 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

August 2012

Education Review

July 2009

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.

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.