Kids Forever – The light in Isolation – By Koreen Liew-Young 7.5.2020

When I look at the teachers at Kids Forever Christian Preschool, I see kind, yet strong, adventurous, and nurturing people. Kids Forever create an environment that stimulates curiosity and you just know, that when you step through that door, that the teachers pour out an immense amount of love upon their children.

And leading up to the New Zealand lockdown, I could feel the anxiety levels rising in the community. We would push the swings at the park in silence, as we nervously tapped at our phones for updates from Jacinda. When the media shouted headlines that would make us anxious and doubt our decisions, Teacher Sarah stood at the helm, rallying her teachers alongside her and pushed back at uncertainty. We made the choice, to keep sending our son to kindy, to have some sense of normality. And every time I swayed by the growing concern around COVID19, I came back to the same conclusion. That continuing to send our son to Kids Forever while the government allowed us to do so, (while it’s not for every family,) it was the best decision for our family.

And then the New Zealand lockdown abruptly fell upon us.

Isolation – After an awkward transition of combining home learning and working from home, we followed a new loose COVID-19 schedule that held life together JUST. Even in isolation, Kids Forever continued to be that positive light. Every day, videos have been posted through our Facebook group with teachers sharing stories, science experiments, songs, crafts and exercise. It has been a joy for our children as well as an amazing relief for us parents! (How do we stop the Mum guilt?!?!?) Especially when some days are consumed by work and you’ve only interacted with your child out of necessity.

A notification pops up and I am quick to yell “There are more Kids Forever videos! Do you want to see what your teachers are up to?” Then he’s sorted.

Memories – When I look back on the last two and a half years, I can still recall my son’s first day. With a determined walk and an oversized backpack, he marched right into kindy. Without looking back. I think I may have been more nervous than he was. Gradually, I got into the swing of pickups and drop-offs and soon noticed I was being greeted by the other children. Man, these kids are friend-ly, as well as being super diverse in ethnicity. Plus families had come from all over Auckland to bring their kids especially. Kids Forever had an outstanding reputation.

A reputation that helped me to realise that my kid was not just a number here.

There was evidence all around me. The children’s artwork and anecdotes showcased on the walls. One memorable saying was when the kids were learning about natural disasters. In order to escape a tsunami, my son stated “you need to catch a train and go up a hill.” I’ve also seen him develop his interest in building and make his first “beautiful creation” by hot glue gun in the four-year-olds section. The outdoor covered playground was also a hit for those rainy days, as well as the sandpit for those construction lovers. I also have fond memories of the “Tui room” at pick-up. My son jumps out of the cluster of kids amidst storytime and bursts into my arms telling me all about his adventures of the day. In later times, it was always a mission to get him out of there. He would just ignore me because he was having too much fun. His laugh would get lost in the crowd of giggles. .

I’m thankful for all the preparation and biblical teachings that went into him and I can’t wait to collect his portfolio, which summarises his entire time at Kids Forever. Such an awesome takeaway and treasure to look back on, with key learnings and photographs to capture his time here. There’s no doubt in my mind that Kids Forever goes above and beyond for the children. Even for my son who cannot use hand sanitiser due to his eczema, the kindy created a system in which when the sanitiser is used, he would also get his moisturiser (in a bottle pump dispenser), all so he didn’t feel left out.

Level 2 – Next week New Zealand will move down from Level 3, but only if it is deemed safe to do so. I pray that children and parents find a sense of normality returning. A sense that yes, we can go sit in our local restaurant or café (while still social distancing), and that we can emerge this with a kinder outward perspective to life. That we as a community, have a sense of confidence to send our children back to school.

Some say, it’s maybe a little too soon.

Whether we move to Level 2 or not, it’s probably a good idea to start thinking about having some conversations around care for your children. If you are looking for somewhere to send your kid because we’ve kicked this virus, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sarah. She’d love to talk with you.? – Koreen Liew-Young

August 2020 – The Uhila Family, 4 sets of twin and eldest boy, all been through Kids Forever over 9.5 years. 

Wow… Where does one even start to describe just what Kids Forever means to us and the absolute amazingness that it is!!
Seriously and honestly it really is the happiest place on earth for our entire tribe, for the past 9.5 consecutive years that all 9 of them have been blessed to attend. It is an absolute hidden gem & is beyond special for so many reasons. A slice of pure paradise right in the heart of Mt Albert. If you are looking for an extension of your family where your children are not only loved and cherished each and every day.
But, where their individual love for learning is nurtured and their little minds have space and structure to not only develop but flourish. Kids Forever has been Our home away from home the immeasurable love and care has been felt by each and everyone of us and by all who walk through their doors.
Today mark’s a real end of an era for our family as Kids Forever isn’t just our preschool and the teacher’s aren’t just teachers but an extension of our family. A safe place where we will all treasure so many amazing memories of our preschool years and the foundations laid and friendships built. Even my own with some of my closest and dearest of friends are fellow Kidsforever families whom we have been blessed to journey along with. This is not a GoodBye to the happiest place on earth, But just simply See you soon as you will always hold such a special place in our little world and we will be back to Visit often!! – Emma Uhila

Its hard to find the right words to express gratitude to a group of amazing teachers who have been part of our family for almost 7 years. Your dedication and love for our children NEVER fails. We are constantly overwhelmed with your generosity, your kindness and your passion for your work. You make Kids Forever the most fantastic experience for our children, and for us as parents. Thank you seems so inadequate and as this year closes for us, and we have attended another amazing concert and end of year party, I am sad, but I feel incredibly blessed that you came into our lives. Thank you for always going above and beyond, and for creating such a loving, nurturing environment for our children. – Sam Cranston

My daughter has been going here for about a year and a half and loves it! All the teachers are amazing, especially Sarah the manager. She brings an wonderful energy and love to the pre-school. The cost is extremely affordable. I highly recommend you go for visit and see for yourself what a lovely place this is. – Johanna Smith

A Preschool like no other! Their focus is on the kids and their families, not on chasing profit like other places. If you want a caring, fun, well run school you can’t go wrong here. – Amanda Newland

Awesome teachers awesome space love the caring 1 on 1 time the teachers give each child! Highly recommend. – Rebecca Van den burgh

My two kids go to kids forever and so will my third when he’s old enough. It’s a loving, caring, nurturing, creative, fun environment – the teachers are outstanding. Couldn’t recommend it highly enough. – Vicki Gooder

An amazing preschool! We feel so blessed to have our daughter here, she absolutely loves it. Such gratitude to the teachers for their love, professionalism and passion. They really go above and beyond to create an amazing environment for our kiddies. – Amie Mafi

We have been part of the kids Forever Preschool for the past 5.5 years and my second child now goes there I wouldn’t send my Kids anywhere else. The teachers are experienced caring and enthusiastic. Key teachers have been with the preschool for a longtime and the school is a settled environment, with flexibility for children to direct their own play in a safe learning environment. I would highly Recommend. – Emma Reynolds

This preschool has been one of the best decisions we have made for our children. All the full time teachers are of an excellent standard – caring, intelligent, easy to approach and most importantly the children love them and respond to them. When we first brought our eldest child to Kids Forever he refused to be left with anyone other than his grandparents. With the teachers care and love; which is typical of the Kids Forever approach, he quickly became integrated and independent. Developmentally is was perfect for him and I literally watched him grow, make friends and learn. Our second child at Kids Forever is experiencing the same benefits and it is truly a wonderful experience for him. I highly recommend Kids Forever to any parent wanting Christian Preschool for their child. It successfully models the love of God that it teaches and the children are socialised and learn in an environment which is safe and nurturing. We have loved Kids Forever for our children as all our friends have for the children – it really is a great environment for little people. – Sarah Tiplady

We love Kids Forever! It has the best teachers who are both highly professional and approachable. It is a very welcoming and inclusive environment and nutures the kids in all different aspects of their little lives. For a Mum who was leaving’ her daughter for the first time, this place was extremely supportive and made the transition as seamless as possible. My daughter loves to go to Kids Forever. I wish it was a primary school and high school so she would never have to leave! I highly recommend this preschool 🙂 – Yolande Joe

Beautiful and caring preschool. Lots of effort put into updating the centre equipment regularly, always something new and keeping the awesome teachers up to date. Have had great results with happy, engaged kids well educated and nurtured. Highly recommended! – Cedar Hendry

We are loving the updates and photos – they are prompting lots of conversation about my child’s day at Kids Forever. Thank you lovely teachers. – Miriam McNicol

Amazing, it feels like home away from home for our daughter, she is so loved and so welcomed there which we are grateful for. – Charlie Smyth

Hi, just thought I’d let you know that Max’s teacher is super impressed both by his letter/number knowledge and also by his ability to adapt to and follow the classroom routines, be involved at mat time etc. clearly we’re awesome parents (haha) but you guys definitely deserve so much credit for getting him school-ready, thank-you so much for all you do – Jenny Giffen 

We have been so pleased with the care that is shown to our daughter at Kids Forever. We get great feedback and a wonderful portfolio regularly from the teachers, and the progress is really impressive.

At only 3 years old our daughter can read all the letters of the alphabet, knows all the numbers to 20, and do basic addition and her communication skills are really developing. We have to convince our daughter at the end of the day to come home as she really would prefer to stay.

In conclusion, we cannot recommend Kids Forever enough. It’s one of the best decisions we have made for our daughter, and we are very grateful that a place like this exists for her and for the other children who attend. – Christiaan and Ellen