Covenant Kids Preschool - 28/08/2015

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

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


Covenant Kids Preschool is a purpose-built centre located in Manurewa and is situated on the same premises as the Covenant Presbyterian Church and Manukau Christian School. The well established centre is founded on Christian values and beliefs. The centre is a ministry of the Covenant Presbyterian Church. It provides education and care for up to 40 children over the age of two years.

A management board oversees the service’s operations. Daily management of the centre is the responsibility of the head teacher, supported by a senior teacher and four qualified teachers.

The centre philosophy clearly outlines the intentions of the centre and underpins teaching practices. It focuses on providing a special Christian character that permeates across centre systems and operations. Children are valued and respected as unique individuals.

The centre has responded well to the 2012 ERO report. Professional development has been undertaken to help staff review provision for Māori children and to strengthen existing emergent curriculum planning practices. The 2012 ERO report also commented on the supportive, caring relationships amongst children, families and teachers, the inclusive atmosphere and children’s strong sense of belonging. These positive features continue to be evident in the centre.

The Review Findings

Children are happy and settled at the centre and are respected as confident and capable learners. Children enjoy learning together with their peers and teachers and play independently. They have access to a variety of resources and move freely between the indoor and outdoor environments. Children have opportunities to explore literacy, numeracy and science.

Teachers’ interactions with children are respectful and affirming. They work alongside children in ways that are inclusive and foster their wellbeing. Teachers’ welcoming and gentle approach supports children’s learning and sense of worth.

Teachers provide good information to parents about children’s transition into the centre. When children are nearing the move on to school, a daily transition to school group programme focuses on the centre’s ‘Before School Vision’. It is timely for teachers to review the extent to which this programme reflects current theories and best practice, and its effectiveness in promoting positive learning outcomes for children.

Teachers are aware of the importance of bicultural practices and are committed to acknowledging the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua. They are currently involved in a centre-wide self review that is focused on bicultural practices within the centre. Teachers’ use of te reo Māori and strengthening partnerships with whānau are valued and encouraged. They acknowledge that the use of Tātaiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners could increase teacher skill and capability in their practice.

Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum underpins the learning environment. Teachers have been involved in professional development to strengthen the curriculum in order to allow more opportunities for children to follow their own interests. Teachers’ good knowledge of families helps them to support children to inquire into their own learning. Children’s portfolios could now reflect the diverse cultures of children at the centre.

The centre is establishing a culture of ongoing improvement. Self-review systems continue to be strengthened. Planned and informal self review is consultative and guides teacher practice. Teachers benefit from the professional development recently provided. The newly developed appraisal system provides opportunities for teachers to reflect on and develop their practice. Leadership opportunities for teachers are being supported and further developed.

The centre is thoughtfully governed and managed. The management board is working to ensure all places on the board are filled. They are also investigating a new leadership structure at the centre that should contribute to success in improving outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers and teachers agree that the key next steps include:

  • using self review to evaluate learning outcomes for children and documenting this in meaningful ways
  • continuing to strengthen the evaluation of programme planning for individuals and groups of children
  • continuing to develop a strategic plan and strengthen the centre’s policy framework
  • continuing to strengthen the planning and implementation of the programme so it is more responsive to individual children’s emerging interests and strengths.

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.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

28 August 2015

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, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 24

Boys 23

Ethnic composition

















Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2015

Date of this report

28 August 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2012


Education Review

May 2009


Supplementary Review

June 2006

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.