Little Einsteins Montessori (MacDonald Street) - 30/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Little Einsteins Montessori (MacDonald Street)

How well placed is Little Einsteins Montessori (MacDonald Street) 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.

Background

Little Einsteins Montessori is located in an industrial area in Mount Maunganui. The centre provides all-day education and care for children from birth to 6 years of age. There are three separate areas, for babies, two to three year olds, and for older children up to school age. The roll has recently increased due to the closure of a nearby Montessori centre that was under the same ownership. Three teachers also transferred from the nearby centre. The current roll of 70 children includes six who identify as Māori.

The core values that unpin the centre philosophy are relevance, respect and relationships. Children have freedom to choose their own activities within the environment. Teachers aim to foster children's natural desire to learn, to inspire them to be curious and develop thinking and problem solving skills, enabling them to grow up as competent and confident learners.

Teachers are both Montessori and early childhood trained. This is the first ERO review of Little Einsteins Montessori.

The Review Findings

Effective governance and leadership are providing the centre with clear direction. The philosophy is clearly documented and shared with all who are involved in the service. Planned and spontaneous self review are ongoing and lead to improvement.

The centre owner and second-in-charge have established a culture in which children are first and foremost valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning. Leaders access professional learning and development to increase teachers’ individual and collective capability. Teachers effectively reflect on how new learning can improve their practice. Priorities and goals are strongly linked to positive learning outcomes for children.

A well-designed curriculum weaves the Te Whariki and Montessori philosophies together to provide a well-prepared environment, centred around children’s individual interests and strengths. Teachers have developed a good understanding of te ao Māori perspectives and how these integrate within the Montessori philosophy.

Teachers challenge and extend children’s ideas and thinking through individual planning, questioning and in-depth discussion. Assessment is well used to identify individual progress and achievement and those children needing additional support. Teachers have an understanding of each child as a unique learner and effectively support their sense of belonging.

Responsive and respectful interactions between teachers and children support the building of independence, self-confidence and a love for learning. The spacious environment includes a wide range of natural resources and encourages children’s exploration, critical thinking and creativity. Literacy and mathematics are well integrated in the learning programme and teachers are committed to inclusive education for all. Children are engaged in sustained play in a calm and settled learning environment.

Children’s sense of belonging is nurtured during and after transitions into and within the service, and when moving to school. Sustained, shared teaching activities extend children’s thinking and values their contribution to the learning experience.

Teachers show high levels of nurture and care for babies and toddlers. They are responsive to the individual routines and needs of these young children. Well considered resourcing complements children’s developmental stages. Parents are well informed about their children’s interests and development. Babies and toddlers enjoy consistent caregiving that responds sensitively to each child’s changing needs and preferences.

The centre provides many opportunities for parents and whānau to be involved with their children's learning. A daily family whānau time, parent education evenings, social events, parent interviews and regular communication show the respect and value the centre has for parents as first educators. Children benefit from a strong centre/parent partnership.

Key Next Step

Management and ERO agree that it is important that the centre continues to develop and consolidate teacher capabilities in bicultural practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Einsteins Montessori (MacDonald Street) 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 Little Einsteins Montessori (MacDonald Street) will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

30 October 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

Location

Mount Maunganui

Ministry of Education profile number

46671

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

75 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll

70

Gender composition

Boys 33 Girls 37

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other

6
53
11

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

30 October 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.