Lollipops Orewa - 26/10/2018

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Orewa

How well placed is Lollipops Orewa 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 Orewa was previously known as Dragonfly Early Learning Centre. It has had a change of name and ownership since the 2015 ERO review. The centre is licensed for 50 children, including up to 16 aged under two years. Most of the children enrolled are of NZ European/Pākehā backgrounds. Infants and toddlers have separate indoor and outdoor play spaces.

The centre is led by a manager and two head teachers. Three more qualified teachers, and two unqualified teachers complete the newly established teaching team.

The service's philosophy is strongly underpinned by the value of respect. Leaders and teachers prioritise relationships with whānau and strive to provide an environment that inspires children to learn through exploration. Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi are acknowledged as guiding documents.

The 2015 ERO report noted that respectful relationships supported children to explore and learn. This positive aspect of practice has been maintained. Areas for development included internal evaluation, support for children's critical thinking, and planning for children's individual interests. There has been some progress in these areas.

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 settle quickly into their day and choose to play with friends or explore on their own. Teachers use effective strategies to support children's learning and wellbeing. These include:

  • well-considered learning environments that encourage exploration and provide easy access to resources that link to children's current interests

  • opportunities for children to revisit their play and learning

  • high levels of supportive care and a consistent teaching team for infants and toddlers

  • supporting children to develop the skills they need to initiate and maintain friendships

  • supporting children with additional learning needs to access all areas of the curriculum.

Teachers could now review daily routines to establish how effectively the length and content of group mat times support children's learning in meaningful ways.

The centre manager has made strategic staff appointments and developed teacher appraisal goals with the aim of strengthening the service's provision for Māori children. Teachers are beginning to use te reo Māori with children and are committed to deepening their knowledge and understanding of the Māori culture.

Teachers working with infants and toddlers have established a programme planning process that is focused on the learning dispositions of individual children. Teachers working with older children continue to refine their planning process, which currently has more of a group focus. A deeper engagement with, and understanding of, Te Whāriki 2017 would better support all teachers to:

  • develop a rich curriculum for each individual child

  • consult with parents and whānau to establish a curriculum that is meaningful in this context

  • build partnerships with whānau that are based on children's learning.

The centre is managed effectively. Annual centre audits established by Evolve help to ensure legal requirements are being met regarding policies, procedures and curriculum. Centre leaders and teachers have established a strategic plan to guide the centre's development. Leaders and teachers are open to learning, and continue to question and modify their practice.

Key Next Steps

The centre manager agrees that key next steps include:

  • establishing clear strategic goals for the centre, linked to those of the governing organisation

  • development of an annual plan that details the necessary steps to achieve the strategic goals

  • reviewing the centre philosophy against established indicators of quality practice, to ensure it is evident in teaching practices

  • strengthening internal evaluation to ensure it is guided by robust evaluative questions and reasoning.

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 support children’s learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

26 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


Orewa, 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 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 30 Boys 20

Ethnic composition

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

26 October 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

May 2012

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.