Montana Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
70021
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
40
Telephone:
Address:

31 Montana Ave, Ilam, Christchurch

View on map

1 Evaluation of Montana Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Montana Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Montana Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Montana Early Learning Centre is one of two early learning centres owned and administered by the University of Canterbury Students' Association (UCSA). The centre is licensed to provide education and care for up to 35 children, including 15 children under two years of age, and has three separate areas for infants, toddlers and older children. The attending families are from a diverse range of cultures.

The vision of the Montana ELC is to provide a respectful, harmonious, responsive and engaging early learning environment for the children of University of Canterbury students and staff, and for the parents/whānau of the wider community. A major priority is to promote children's individual and holistic development of dispositions and competencies to support lifelong learning (akoranga).

Since the 2015 ERO review there have been significant changes in staffing, including the centre manager. Teachers and leaders have undertaken professional development in Te Whāriki 2017, sign language, and aspects of assessment and planning.

The UCSA supports the centre manager in the areas of finance, human resources, resourcing, property, policies and health and safety. The centre is located close to the University of Canterbury campus.

The Review Findings

Children have choice in their learning and teachers are involved in and observe children's play in order to design learning plans. Teachers model and support children to develop their thinking, problem solving, social confidence, and competence.

Montana ELC follows the RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) and Pikler approaches to teaching infants and toddlers. Children are encouraged to follow their interests and persevere to overcome challenges.

All children experience aspects of Māori culture, including te reo and tikanga Māori. Teachers use te reo Māori in daily routines such as morning hui. All children's cultures are valued and celebrated in the centre.

The leadership and staff have identified curriculum priorities that are clearly expressed in their comprehensive strategic and annual plans. The assessment and planning for learning in the centre reflects the centre's learning priorities for children. Planning shows that children have the opportunity to learn across the curriculum. The centre uses internal evaluation to help develop shared understandings of effective practice.

Teachers adapt their practice to meet the needs of all children, especially those with diverse learning needs. Professional development has been undertaken in sign language to support English language learners.

Children under two years of age are well supported to settle into the centre. They benefit from nurturing relationships, flexible, responsive routines, and an appropriately resourced environment. There are useful processes in place for children and families to transition out of the centre.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps to improve outcomes for children are to:

  • continue to develop bicultural practices by strengthening consultation with whānau, including and acknowledging local stories and histories, and ensuring whānau voice is used to inform planning and assessment

  • continue to build teachers' understanding and capability to use Te Whāriki, the NZ Early Learning Curriculum, to support the quality of assessment and planning

  • build teachers' capability to undertake inquiry into practice as part of appraisal

  • continue to develop staff understanding of internal evaluation so that planned actions are implemented, embedded and evaluated to determine the impact on children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Montana Early Learning Centre 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.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Southern Region

9 April 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

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

70021

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

49

Gender composition

Boys 29 ; Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Other ethnicities

1
22
7
19

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

February 2019

Date of this report

9 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2015

Education Review

May 2012

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.

1 Evaluation of Montana Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Montana Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Montana Early Learning Centre is well placed to provide positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

The Montana Early Learning Centre is one of two centres owned by the University of Canterbury Students' Association and is located close to the university campus. The centre manger is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the centre.

The centre serves a diverse community. This includes parents who are students, staff at the university and others from the local community. A large number of these families come from countries other than New Zealand.

The small, purpose-built centre has a maximum number of 35 children each day. It has three separate areas to cater for the specific learning needs of infants, toddlers and older children.

All teachers are qualified and registered. The ratio of teachers to children is higher than minimum standards. This provides good opportunities for one-on-one supportive interactions with children.

Leaders and teachers have sustained the positive features identified in the May 2012 ERO report. They have also been responsive to the recommendations to refine annual planning and review assessment and planning processes.

Centre leaders are part of the local community cluster of primary schools, and early childhood centres, that promotes professional networks to support teaching and learning across the sectors.

The Review Findings

Centre leaders and teachers have a strong shared philosophy that is focused on working in respectful and responsive ways with children. The child-centred curriculum is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum.

Centre leaders and teachers foster positive, respectful and supportive relationships with children and their families. They work closely with families and agencies to help children with additional learning needs. Each child is seen as a capable learner. Teachers promote successful outcomes for all children using very inclusive practices.

Centre leaders and teachers encourage a strong sense of belonging for children and families. The language, culture and identity of each child and their family is highly respected and celebrated. Teachers work closely with families to support children with English as a second language. Aspects of children’s home languages are integrated into the curriculum in meaningful ways.

The teaching team recognise and value the inclusion of Māori perspectives. The individual strengths of some teachers are well used to help others to develop their understandings and use of te reo and tikanga Māori with children.

Centre leaders and teachers effectively recognise that language and culture are key to Pacific children’s identity and positive sense of self. They work well with families to help maintain children’s connections to their cultural identity.

Children benefit from well presented and resourced environments. Teachers are responsive to the interests, strengths and capabilities of children. Literacy, mathematics and creative experiences are a natural part of the learning programme. Oral language development is central to children's learning and is meaningfully integrated into their routines and experiences. Visitors to the centre and excursions into the community further enrich the learning experiences offered to them.

The wellbeing of infants and toddlers is actively promoted within a well-paced programme. Responsive and consistent caregiving supports infants’ and toddlers’ need for strong and secure attachments. Teachers respond sensitively to each child’s changing needs and preferences through calm and unhurried routines that align to family expectations.

The centre is well led and managed. Strong leadership motivates and promotes a positive team culture. High expectations and individual coaching is helping teachers to develop reflective practice and teacher expertise.

Centre leaders and teachers make good use of effective self-review processes, a new appraisal system and targeted professional development. They have a strong shared focus on ongoing improvement to provide positive learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that priority should now be given to:

  • refining strategic planning to provide focus for managing key centre goals
  • further developing assessment and planning practices to better reflect the depth of children’s learning and progress over time
  • identifying the teaching strategies used in planning, and evaluating the impact of these on learning outcomes for children
  • continuing to strengthen bicultural perspectives in key documents and practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Montana Early Learning Centre 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 Montana Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

17 September 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

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

70021

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 15 aged under two

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Boys 28; Girls 27

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Indian

African

Asian

Chinese

4

27

3

3

4

5

6

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

August 2015

Date of this report

17 September 2015

Most recent ERO reports 

Education Review

May 2012

 

Education Review

November 2008

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.