Lollipops Educare was founded in 1997, since then it has grown to become a recognized leader in the early childhood sector with over 2,500 children enrolled in 32 centres nationwide.
The franchise was founded by Alan Grant, the original owner of Lollipops Playland, along with Suzanne Hargreaves and Theresa Farley, co-owners of a childcare service at the Auckland Airport. Together, the trio licensed the first Lollipops Educare centre at Auckland Airport. It was to be the first of 14 new centres licensed between 1997 and 2004.
In 2004, the group sold the business to two franchise owners, Mark Finlay - franchisee of Takapuna, and Russell Thompson - franchisee of Ellerslie. Although Lollipops Educare no longer has a formal relationship with Lollipops Playland, the group still maintains a modified version of Lollipop the Cat as a key part of its brand.
Mark and Russell have since opened a further 20 centres throughout New Zealand. In 2009, CVP founder Andy Scott bought a 20% interest in Lollipops Educare to complete the shareholding structure.
The original franchise concept of ‘owner-operated community services under the support of a group umbrella’ remains a core philosophy within the business today. This philosophy ensures comprehensive support is provided to every owner/franchisee resulting in consistent quality within every centre.