Montana Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
70021
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
42
Telephone:
Address:

31 Montana Ave, Ilam, Christchurch

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Montana Early Learning Centre

1 ERO’s Judgements

Akarangi | Quality Evaluation evaluates the extent to which this early childhood service has the learning and organisational conditions to support equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners. Te Ara Poutama Indicators of quality for early childhood education: what matters most are the basis for making judgements about the effectiveness of the service in achieving equity and excellence for all learners. Judgements are made in relation to the Outcomes Indicators, Learning and Organisational Conditions. The Evaluation Judgement Rubric derived from the indicators, is used to inform ERO’s judgements about this service’s performance in promoting equity and excellence.

ERO’s judgements for Montana Early Learning Centre are as follows:

Outcome Indicators

(What the service knows about outcomes for learners)

Whakatō Emerging

Ngā Akatoro Domains

 

Learning Conditions
Organisational Conditions

Whāngai Establishing

Whāngai Establishing

2 Context of the Service

Montana Early Learning Centre is one of two services owned and administered by the University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA). Both university staff and students’ children attend. Since the 2019 ERO review, there have been significant staff changes, including the centre manager. Teachers and children represent diverse cultures.

3 Summary of findings

Teachers are mindful of the needs of different groups of children. Infants and toddlers learn in a calm environment, with respectful care routines. Children with additional needs and those transitioning into and within the centre are appropriately supported.

Leaders and teachers are in the early stages of using the learning outcomes from Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, to assess and plan for children’s progress in their learning. There is considerable variation in the quality of individual children’s assessment and group planning. These could better show:

  • what the intended learning is

  • how teachers have or will support the learning

  • parents’ partnership in their child’s learning and teachers’ response to this.

Leaders and teachers are working towards implementing a responsive curriculum. Children learn about each other’s diverse cultures. There are not sufficient, opportunities for children to hear te reo Māori and experience te ao Māori. Teachers deliberately promote early literacy, mathematics, and children’s social and emotional competency.

Respectful and caring relationships between children, teachers and families are evident. The conditions to support teachers’ professional learning and ongoing improvement for children need strengthening. For example:

  • professional learning is not linked to teachers’ improvement goals

  • internal evaluation as a tool for identifying what is going well, what is not, and appropriate improvement actions is not well understood

  • improvement planning lacks detail as to how changes will be implemented, time to ensure changes are embedded, and rigorous evaluation of the impact of changes for children’s learning

  • there has been limited progress against ERO’s April 2019 recommendations.

The new leadership team has improved many management practices. As part of the UCSA, there are comprehensive systems for monitoring and reporting about health and safety and useful guidelines to assist sound governance and management.

4 Improvement actions

Montana Early Learning Centre will include the following actions in its Quality Improvement Planning. These are to:

  • build teachers’ understanding of the purpose and use of assessment for learning

  • support leaders’ and teachers’ understanding and use of internal evaluation steps (such as, the gathering and analysis of data) to better identify what is going well for children’s learning, what isn’t and what changes are needed

  • strengthen improvement planning processes (such as, strategic, and annual plans) so that plans are specific as to what and how changes will be implemented over time, and progress against these is carefully evaluated and reported to governance.

5 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

20 July 2022 

6 About the Early Childhood Service

Early Childhood Service Name

Montana Early Learning Centre

Profile Number

70021

Location

Christchurch

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80-99%

Service roll

43

Ethnic composition

Māori 6, NZ European/Pākehā 11, Chinese 6, other ethnic groups 20

Review team on site

17 May 2022

Date of this report

20 July 2022

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, April 2019; Education Review, September 2015

Montana Early Learning Centre - 09/04/2019

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.