Covenant Kids Preschool - 19/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Covenant Kids Preschool

How well placed is Covenant Kids Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Covenant Kids Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Covenant Kids Preschool is a well-established centre, and serves a multi-cultural community in Manurewa. It offers full-day and sessional learning programmes for 40 children aged over two years.

The preschool is one of four owned and operated by the Manukau Christian Charitable Trust (MCCT). A Christian philosophy and related values guide teaching practice and centre operations. The trust employs a general manager to oversee the preschool, an education advisor who provides programme support, and a head teacher to lead day-to-day management.

Since the last ERO evaluation in 2015, there have been significant changes at the centre. These changes include:

  • a new governing organisation (MCCT) now operates the centre

  • new leaders manage the centre

  • a new teaching team

  • improvements to the indoor and outdoor learning environments.

Some good progress has been made in relation to next steps identified in the 2015 ERO report. These areas include the development of a strategic plan and documenting self review. Work has begun on strengthening programme planning and implementation to be more responsive to children's individual learning needs and dispositions. This is an ongoing priority.

The Review Findings

Children and their whānau are warmly welcomed into the well-resourced centre. A caring and respectful culture is evident. Children independently access a wide range of play equipment, and settle quickly into self-directed exploration, learning activities and play. Children are happy, settled and engaged. They play well with and alongside each other.

Teachers value children's languages and cultures. Their inclusive conversations foster children's vocabulary and language development. Bilingual teachers support children, parents and grandparents whose first language is not English. Portfolios and learning stories reflect children's cultural backgrounds. These strategies help to support children's sense of belonging in the centre.

Teachers use te reo Māori and waiata during the day and in centre displays. They plan to further build their knowledge and capability in te reo and tikanga Māori, so children can benefit from an integrated bicultural curriculum.

The centre has recently reviewed and made positive changes to the planning of learning programmes. These changes are now being implemented. Teachers are beginning to better recognise and respond to the dispositions and emerging interests of individual children. They are making more explicit links to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, in programme planning.

Consistent centre routines are used to provide a balance between teacher-led activities and children's free play. Leaders and teachers could evaluate this balance and the impact from providing more opportunities for children to enjoy uninterrupted play.

Leaders are committed to ongoing professional learning, which includes:

  • building teacher knowledge and confidence in using Te Whāriki

  • assisting teachers to use their understanding of each child as a unique learner to inform their teaching practice

  • strengthening teaching practice by deliberately planning for children's individual learning provocations.

Governance and leadership of the centre has been strengthened. A relevant three year strategic plan is used well by leaders and the trust to review the centre's progress. Internal evaluation processes have been established to ensure continuous centre improvement.

Trustees and leaders have a strong commitment to supporting the wellbeing and professional development of the new teaching team. Graduate teachers are supported well by the centre manager and education advisor. The staff appraisal system has recently been introduced. Teachers will need ongoing support and guidance as these processes continue to embed.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps include continuing to:

  • deepen teachers' shared understanding of Te Whāriki and transition pathways to school

  • implement teaching practices that focus on children's individual learning dispositions and interests

  • strengthen teachers' knowledge and capability in te reo and tikanga Māori

  • improve the appraisal system by documenting the appraisal policy and procedures, and supporting teachers as the appraisal system becomes established.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Covenant Kids Preschool 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 Covenant Kids Preschool will be in three years.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

19 February 2019

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


Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 25 Boys 21

Ethnic composition

other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2019

Date of this report

19 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2015

Education Review

August 2012

Education Review

May 2009

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.