Montessori House Casita dei Bambini - 13/05/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Montessori House Casita dei Bambini is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

Montessori House Casita dei Bambini is a small privately owned centre. Since the last ERO review, the centre has changed its license so that it can include a small number of children who are under 2 years.

The centre is one of three centres managed by the owner. It is located near the two other centres. Most children progress through the centres based on age and the centre’s assessment of the readiness of the children. Casita provides education and care for children under two and up to three years of age.

The teaching team has made good progress in implementing the recommendations in the 2009 Review Report, including integrating Māori perspectives and te reo Māori.

Review Findings

Children and their families benefit from respectful, caring and positive relationships with their teachers. Teachers know the children and their families well. The children show a strong sense of belonging in the centre and are very settled in their play and learning. Children play well alongside each other and in small groups.

Children have access to a good range of Montessori equipment in the inside area. Teachers support children as they work with equipment and materials to help them gain new understandings. Teachers extend on children’s interests and use dramatic play as a way to support their learning.

The lead teacher and teachers have a strong commitment to building their knowledge and understanding of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori. They incorporate their learning into the programme. Children hear and use some te reo Māori, waiata and learn some tikanga practices including karakia mo te kai.

Children who have special learning needs are noticed and discussed by teachers. Teachers talk about how they can best support these children and use agreed strategies.

Teachers value the cultures of the children attending their centre and provide a range of experiences that reflect these.

Other features of the programme that support children’s learning and development are:

  • purposeful and enjoyable group times where teachers and children revisit previous experiences and practise songs
  • a strong focus on early literacy and mathematics
  • many opportunities for children to explore the community, for example, visits to the library, pet farm and gym
  • daily routines that are consistently implemented giving children a sense of security
  • effective practices to support children and their families transition as children progress between centres.

The teaching team work effectively together and regularly reflect on their practices.

Key Next Steps

The directress and teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, that aspects of self review need further development. This includes the directress and teachers developing a shared understanding of effective self review. To strengthen self review teachers need to include:

  • more evaluative questions to guide the review
  • indicators of best practice related to the focus of the review
  • well-analysed information

The findings from self review need to be used for future decision making and improvements to the centre and services operations. They need to develop a planned self-review schedule to ensure all aspects of operations are reviewed over time.

Teachers work hard to record attractive records of the children’s time at the centre. The teachers regularly invite parents to share information about their children. However, records do not yet clearly show what the children’s learning priorities are or what the teachers may say or do to support them in their learning. The next step is for the centre leaders and teachers to:

  • show how they are using the learning information gathered from parents
  • make clear and record what individual children’s learning priorities are and the strategies teachers will use to support them
  • show how the strategies they use and the experiences they provide contribute to the children’s learning.

Aspects of management also need further development. This includes:

  • developing a strategic framework that clearly identifies the service’s priorities and associated goals with coherent links between the vision, philosophy, strategic and annual plans
  • the use of effective self-review processes to review the present systems for providing an overview of how well the service meets requirements and expectations.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the management of Montessori House Casita dei Bambini 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:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

13 May 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

83078

Licence type

Education and Care Service - All Day

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

18 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll

24

Gender composition

Girls 15

Boys 9

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

Other

18

2

4

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:1

Exceeds minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:6

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

13 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2009

June 2006

May 2003

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.