Montessori at Home - 26/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Montessori at Home

How well placed is Montessori at Home to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The service has been under new management for a relatively short time. Documented systems for management and governance are in the early stages of development. Service managers are aware there is an urgent need to improve management and governance practices, including context specific processes.

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

Background

Montessori at Home, provides for children up to six years of age in Auckland. It is at the early stages of being established as a Montessori home-based service and there are currently just three children enrolled, all with Māori or Pacific heritage.

Montessori at Home is part of The Pasifika Homebased ECE service, which was purchased by Love of Learning Limited in January 2017. The service now has two Pasifika networks and this Montessori network. The management team includes two owners/directors and an operations manager, who is a registered teacher. Developing relationships with children, educators and parents/whānau has been a priority for the coordinators during this time of transition.

The coordinator, appointed in March 2017, is a registered teacher with Montessori experience and training. She regularly visits the two educators to promote the Montessori educational programmes for children.

The Review Findings

The Montessori at Home coordinator is guided in her practice by a belief in the importance of children's belonging, wellbeing, language and identity. This belief is evident in the coordinator's responsive practices and focus on warm reciprocal relationships with educators, children and whānau.

Children's learning and involvement in a variety of experiences in the home and community are recorded in attractive portfolios. Documentation shows that children are developing a strong sense of cultural identity and support to use their first language.

The coordinator is committed to working collaboratively with educators to promote play and Montessori based approaches to learning. There are regular coordinator meetings to plan programmes that will increasingly respond to children's interests.

The coordinator demonstrates a commitment to her role. Her records clearly show how she mentors and supports educators to grow their capacity. New educators keep good records that focus on children's learning in home and community environments.

The new management team is in the early stages of implementing the service's governance and management practices. The team is committed to meeting the requirements for operating a home-based service. Clear communication and open discussions between managers and coordinators have helped ease the transition to new ownership.

The vision and philosophy of the service are currently being reviewed. The management team and coordinators have a good understanding about, and a genuine commitment to, te Tiriti o Waitangi and the place of tangata whenua in Aotearoa. Aligning this commitment with an understanding of Pacific cultural identity will help managers to strengthen capacity in this culturally diverse service, to respond to its community.

There is a focus on continual improvement and building coordinator and educator skills and knowledge. New internal evaluation and performance management systems have recently been implemented. A standardised framework and better use of individual coordinator strengths across the networks will help to support effective induction and performance management systems.

Work is also underway to update the policy and procedural framework and to promote consistency across the owners' four home-based care and education networks. Systems for monitoring and following up health and safety concerns have been established but are not yet consistently implemented. A new strategic plan identifies very appropriate goals for ongoing improvement.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for coordinators include:

  • working with educators to document planning and assessment records that show individual children's progress and development over time.

  • considering how they could increase parent's written contribution to their child's learning programme.

Key next steps for managers include:

  • implementing systems to ensure that personnel and health and safety requirements are being consistently monitored

  • strengthening bicultural practices across all levels of the organisation

  • working with coordinators to establish internal evaluation and performance management systems

  • improving the range of equipment available to children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Montessori at Home completed an ERO Home-based Education and Care 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 Montessori at Home will be in three years.

Violet Tu'uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

26 June 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 Home-based Education and Care Service

Location

Panmure, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45807

Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll

3

Standard or Quality Funded

Standard

Gender composition

Boys 2 Girls 1

Ethnic composition

Māori
Niue

2
1

Number of qualified coordinators in the network

1

Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2

1:2

Over 2

1:4

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

26 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

May 2014

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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

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.