Lollipops Educare Takanini

Education institution number:
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Not Applicable
Total roll:

64a Walter Strevens Drive, Conifer Grove, Auckland

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Lollipops Educare Takanini - 03/04/2017

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Educare Takanini

How well placed is Lollipops Educare Takanini 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 Takanini has been owned by Evolve since 2014. It is located in Conifer Grove and provides full-day education and care for up to 75 children, including up to 25 under two years of age. There are three separate indoor areas and outdoor spaces for infants, toddlers and young children. Most children on the roll are Pākehā, and there are also children with Māori, Pacific or Asian heritage. This is the first review of the centre.

The Evolve organisation provides a policy and management framework and a range of support systems, dependent on the needs of each service. Daily centre operations are delegated to the centre manager and assistant team leader, who are distributing leadership roles to other staff. Occasional cluster meetings with other South Auckland Evolve centres provide a support network for centre leaders.

Seven staff members are registered teachers. They are supported by regular professional learning opportunities that reflect their individual goals for development and the needs of the whole centre. Teachers are committed to the ongoing development of bicultural practice in the centre and they value families' diverse cultural and language backgrounds. Teaching practices reflect the service's philosophy of supporting children's sense of belonging and encouraging them to be leaders of their own learning.

This review was part of a cluster of four early childhood reviews in the Evolve Education Group.

The Review Findings

Children are happy, settled and confident in the centre. They have very good relationships with teachers and they play well together in small social groups. Young children and toddlers enjoy the resources and activities that teachers provide and are responsive to adult support for their play. Many children interact confidently, sharing their ideas and home experiences. They also benefit from opportunities to develop self-help skills.

Children in the infant area are particularly well supported. Skilful teachers who respect the competence of these very young children, enable them to explore independently, take learning risks and develop relationships with others. A strong focus on oral language development supports toddlers to enjoy and have fun with books, songs, conversations and new words. A separate space for immobile infants recognises the hygiene needs and the individualised attention they require to flourish well.

Teachers in all areas know children well. They respond to individual children's interests and speak knowledgeably with parents and whānau about children's wellbeing. Teachers support children to engage with resources and participate in imaginative play scenarios. Their conversations show genuine interest in children's ideas and their home life. Teachers could now challenge older children further to develop more complexity in their play.

Teachers develop individual plans for each child that identify their learning interests. These plans guide decisions about the resources and provocations that teachers provide and are the basis for assessments and learning stories that document children's progress. Some whole-group projects have supported children to engage in collaborative inquiries. As teachers continue to develop their understanding of Reggio Emilia environments, theories and practices, they will be better placed to revisit project work and extend the challenges they provide for children.

Parents and whānau are encouraged to be active partners in children's learning. They are invited to many centre events, to participate in surveys and to contribute to cultural celebrations. Communication systems enable families to share their aspirations and receive information about children's involvement in the programme. Parents respond positively to the online digital programme that allows extended family members to receive and comment on their children's learning stories and photos.

The centre is well managed. The two experienced leaders organise and lead the operation of the centre efficiently. They have developed a robust strategic plan with clear goals that are aligned with the centre's vision and mission statements. Leaders have improved teachers' understanding of internal evaluation and worked with them to strengthen the centre's philosophy. They recognise the need to further develop teachers' capacity to be reflective practitioners and collaborate as a cohesive team.

The Evolve Education Group is in a phase of growth and development. A newly appointed Chief Operations Officer is leading the management team to develop a strategic vision and rebrand groups of centres while maintaining the autonomy of each service. The organisation has a strong commitment to consulting the community of each centre, to the professional development of staff, and to meaningful bicultural practices throughout the service.

Evolve leaders recognise that they now need to establish clear expectations for the quality of practices and documentation in relation to staff performance and outcomes for children. They plan to provide individual mentoring for centre leaders and implement quality control processes to improve their knowledge about each centre's performance.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps for centre development could include:

  • strengthening learning challenges and the complexity of play, especially for toddlers and young children

  • continuing to develop assessment, planning and evaluation to more effectively guide teaching practices, and enhance the centre's commitment to Reggio Emilia influences

  • refining management systems to define how strategic goals will be achieved, and to enhance the quality of internal evaluation

  • ongoing development of bicultural practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

3 April 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 


Conifer Grove, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

75 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 47 Boys 36

Ethnic composition













Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2017

Date of this report

3 April 2017

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.