Montessori Educare Limited - 09/06/2020

1 Evaluation of Montessori Educare Limited

How well placed is Montessori Educare Limited to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Montessori Educare Limited is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Montessori Educare, in Palmerston North, is licensed to provide full day education and care for 50 children, aged from two to six years. At the time of this review, there were 57 children enrolled and six identify as Māori.

The curriculum follows the Montessori philosophy. Children move freely between the two classrooms, returning to their 'home' classroom for group activities.

Eight qualified teachers support children's learning, with four holding Montessori teaching qualifications. Four teachers are employed full time. A team leader overseas curriculum delivery and provides professional guidance and support to teachers.

The March 2017 ERO report identified areas for development in relation to teacher appraisal and internal evaluation. Teachers have successfully addressed these areas.

The Review Findings

The Montessori philosophy is highly evident in practice. Teachers have positive and responsive relationships with children. They promote a listening culture, allowing time and space for children to create and tell their stories and make meaning of their world. Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, is successfully woven with the Montessori principles.

Children are independent and self-managing. They play together and collaborate to achieve shared goals. Older children use mathematical concepts and language in their play. They take responsibility for younger children. A print-rich environment fosters children's interest in literacy.

Teachers value the knowledge and aspirations that parents and whānau hold for their children. This forms the basis for responsive programme planning to support and extend children's learning. Ongoing assessment of what children know and can do enables teachers to capably support their learning. An online assessment forum facilitates regular information sharing between home and the service. Teachers are trialling methods to enable children to revisit their previous learning within this online platform.

Children and families are well supported for their move to school. Teachers encourage older children to practice the skills and dispositions that will aid their smooth transitions. A well-considered range of strategies supports new children to settle into the service.

Children's culture, language and identity is successfully reflected in the environment, resources and routines. Teachers regularly promote te ao Māori. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are evident in practice.

Regular appraisal supports the development of capable teachers. The team leader implements an increasingly rigorous approach to support teachers to grow their knowledge and skills. Collaborative leadership is encouraged.

Teachers engage in systematic, on-going evaluation that is responsive to centre priorities. This has led to improvements in the environment and teacher practice. Maintaining a focus on evaluating the impact of changes on learning outcomes for children will further strengthen internal evaluation. Improving review for accountability is an important key next step.

Key Next Steps

Teachers and ERO agree that for ongoing development, staff at Montessori Educare should:

  • continue to strengthen internal evaluation

  • improve self review for compliance accountability.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Montessori Educare Limited 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to health and safety. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • adults supervising children while eating must sit with the children, so attention is on the children and not on completing other tasks

  • a record of all medicine given to children attending the service should include evidence of parental acknowledgement.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS22; HS28] [Regulation 46 Health and safety practices: general]

Since the onsite phase the service has provided evidence that shows:

  • the medication form, updated to include written parental acknowledgement after medication has been administered, is in use

  • clear expectations that adults supervising children's eating are attentive and not completing other tasks.

In order to improve practice staff must systematically monitor such health and safety practices.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

9 June 2020

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

Awapuni, Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

52518

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children aged over 2

Service roll

57

Gender composition

Male 29, Female 28

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Chinese
Other ethnic groups

6
34
6
11

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2020

Date of this report

9 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2017

Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

December 2007

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.