Lollipops Grey Lynn - 24/08/2017

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Grey Lynn

How well placed is Lollipops Grey Lynn 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 Grey Lynn provides all-day education and care for 68 children between three months and five years of age. Children are grouped according to age in a large remodelled house and additional buildings. The centre caters for families from a number of cultural backgrounds. Many staff are from the same cultures as families and they share their languages and cultural understandings.

Centre staff implement two main theoretical philosophic approaches in their work with children. The first is Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) which embodies a respectful approach to working with younger children. The programme for the older children is inspired by aspects of the Reggio Emilia philosophy that encourages children's independent learning and respects their ideas and thinking.

Lollipops Grey Lynn is part of the Evolve Education Group. Evolve provides a policy and management framework and a range of support systems to meet the needs of each service. Daily centre operations are delegated to the centre manager. Occasional cluster meetings with other Evolve centres provide a support network for centre leaders. Lollipops Grey Lynn was bought by Evolve in 2014.

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

The Review Findings

Teachers know children and their families very well. They focus on developing caring, respectful relationships with children in a safe and loving environment. Children and their families are trusting and relaxed with teachers.

Children up to two years of age are welcomed into a quiet and peaceful learning space. They are able to independently explore their surroundings at their own pace. Teachers plan to meet children's individual needs and interests through the programme. Their observations of children are well recorded. Natural and open-ended resources are accessible and teachers stay close to support children's play.

Children benefit from sensitive management when they move into and between rooms. Teachers support children to gain self-confidence and independence. Teachers have made good use of the indoor and outdoor spaces to encourage children's social and physical play. Children are eager to share conversations about what they are doing. They may benefit from more prolonged opportunities to explore and develop their ideas.

Teachers use te reo Māori frequently and some children are able to respond. There are also a number of families with Pacific heritage. Teachers have the intention to establish practices to recognise and encourage families to share their child's cultural heritage with the centre. This would increase parents' understanding of the value teachers place on families' cultural backgrounds.

There is good support in the centre for children with additional needs. Teachers make special efforts to modify the environment so that these children feel included and comfortable. Discussions with parents include opportunities to align home and centre provision for children's individual needs.

It would be useful for teachers to consider ways of engaging children more frequently in meaningful conversations. This would place value on children's ideas and thinking, and encourage children's oral language. Older children take part in an extension programme to prepare them for school. It is timely for teachers to review the ways that they could integrate literacy, mathematics and science concepts into more meaningful play-based contexts.

Teachers use an online digital portal to share children's learning and encourage parents to share stories from home about their children's experiences. The centre manager is aware of the need to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation systems across the centre.

Teachers are supported to seek professional development and build professional knowledge. The centre manager encourages shared leadership to build teachers' confidence and sense of responsibility.

The Evolve Education Group is in a phase of continuing growth and development. A strategic vision and plan have been developed and provide a starting point for each centre's strategic planning. The organisation has a strong commitment to consultation with the community of each centre, to the professional development of staff and the integration of bicultural practices throughout the service.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps include:

  • strengthening internal evaluation with a focus on ways to improve learning outcomes for children

  • teachers using their conversations to encourage children's thinking and ideas

  • developing assessment and planning processes to more clearly identify children's individual interests and learning

  • strengthening bicultural practices.

Evolve leaders recognise that they need to place a stronger focus on the quality of teaching in order to improve outcomes for children. They plan to clarify leadership roles and review systems for teachers' performance management.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lollipops Grey Lynn 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 Grey Lynn will be in three years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

24 August 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 


Grey Lynn, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

68 children, including up to 18 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 43, Boys 41

Ethnic composition



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

July 2017

Date of this report

24 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

December 2007

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.