Montessori House of Children Hamilton - 16/09/2016

1 Evaluation of Montessori House of Children Hamilton

How well placed is Montessori House of Children Hamilton 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

Montessori House of Children Hamilton is a privately-owned all-day education and care service. The centre's philosophy is based on the teachings of Dr Maria Montessori and the principles of Te Whāriki. The environment is designed as a child-sized world that stimulates and promotes children's learning to prepare them for life.

The centre is licensed for 55 children, including up to 15 under two years of age. At the time of this ERO review, the centre catered for a range of diverse ethnicities. Of the 42 children enrolled, three identify as Māori.

The purpose-built centre operates three age group classrooms. The Nido Room caters for children between three and 18 months, the Piccoli Room for children up to three years, and the Bambini Room for children between three and six years.

The centre was established in 2014 and is owned and managed by a skilled service provider and an experienced Head of School, who is the Montessori qualified professional leader of the centre. The service employs teaching staff who hold Montessori qualifications as well as teachers with recognised New Zealand early childhood teaching qualifications.

The Review Findings

Montessori House of Children Hamilton is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Children and their parents are warmly welcomed into a positive environment that is strongly focused on children's sense of belonging and wellbeing. Teachers know children and their families well, and notice, recognise and respond to children's interests, learning and development. Children are confident in their learning, make their own decisions, and their independence and ability to solve problems are encouraged.

Babies and toddlers are learning and developing in safe, responsive environments that nurture their physical and emotional wellbeing. Teachers respect babies' and toddlers' home routines and allow them the time and freedom to learn at their own pace as they grow their physical skills and independence. They encourage them to explore and make sense of the world around them. Babies and toddlers experience intimate and trusting relationships that are fostering their communication skills and social awareness.

The curriculum celebrates the cultural diversity of all children and validates their ways of knowing, being and doing. Teachers are integrating kaupapa Māori concepts such as manaakitanga, wairuatanga and whanaungatanga. They seek information from parents about their children's whakapapa, and value parents' aspirations for their children's learning and development. The ongoing development of te ao Māori is strengthening teachers' responsiveness to the language, culture and identity of tamariki, as well as integration throughout the programme.

The curriculum is firmly based on Te Whāriki and the teachings of Maria Montessori. The programme in each age-group area reflects perceptive teacher observations and records of children's ongoing learning and behaviour. These individual records are shared with parents and used intensively to identify, guide and extend individual children's learning and support their transition into, within and beyond the centre. Children benefit from a personalised curriculum that promotes effective learning and respects their individual interests, skills, needs and preferences.

The head of school (centre manager) has a strong commitment to Montessori philosophy, vision and goals. She is active in promoting a shared understanding of Montessori practices among all teachers and parents. Teachers are continuing to build their capability in Montessori philosophy. They undertake training and professional learning and development that recognises how Montessori practices support children to lead their own learning. The head of school's vitality and enthusiasm have resulted in a culture in which children are first and foremost valued for who they are and what they bring to their learning.

The service's self-review processes guide decision making and contribute to the provision of high quality education and care for children. Self review is ongoing and responsive to identified priorities, informs professional learning, and the review of the centre's strategic plan and policies. Performance management processes are closely aligned to strategic goals, Montessori principles and the requirements of the Education Council.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Montessori House of Children Hamilton 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 Montessori House of Children Hamilton will be in four years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

16 September 2016

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

Chartwell, Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

46466

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

55 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

42

Gender composition

Girls 24 Boys 18

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Middle Eastern

Other European

3

15

10

6

6

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2016

Date of this report

16 September 2016

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.