Frequently Asked Questions
Here are all the answers to the most frequently asked questions about our remarkable Tawa Montessori enviro preschool.
- Are you Montessori?
- Are Montessori preschools different from each other?
- Do you have qualified teachers?
- Does my child have to attend every day?
- Is the preschool open during school holidays?
- Can my child be absent for holidays?
- Can I apply for WINZ subsidy?
- Will you admit children in nappies?
- Do Montessori children transit well into primary school?
- Is there a Montessori primary school?
- Can I visit the preschool?
- What are the children in the photo doing?
Yes, we are an authentic Montessori preschool. We meet all the characteristics of a true Montessori preschool. Our Headteachers are Montessori trained and have many years of experience. Our classrooms are stocked with the full 3-6 years Montessori curriculum materials. Our programme is based on the Montessori philosophy. Our Blueprint defines the key concepts, principles and practices of our preschool, and is based on Montessori principles.
Yes, each preschool is different. Montessori is not trademarked, licensed or a franchise and any preschool or centre can call themselves Montessori, regardless if they offer a Montessori programme. It is therefore important you visit the Montessori preschool of your choice to make sure you get a true Montessori programme. Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand (MANZ) has a fantastic website and parent guide for parents who are choosing a Montessori preschool for their child. It is important you visit the preschool of your choice to make sure you make an informed decision about your child’s education, one of the most important decisions you have to make as a parent. Each Montessori preschool is individually owned and therefore they are all unique and have their own characteristics. Tawa Montessori Preschool, together with our other preschool Little Earth Montessori Kapiti are unique in that beside the Montessori programme, they offer our own unique enviroschool programme in a unique naturalised outdoor classroom.
Yes, we have a unique team of teachers who are all early childhood education qualified. Headteachers are also Montessori qualified. All our teachers are very experienced in early childhood and/or Montessori education. They each have their individually strengths, skills, knowledge and attributes, they truly are a remarkable team of teachers.
Yes, the minimum attendance is five mornings or five afternoons per week. This is for several reasons, with the most important one the well being of the child. Ten years of experience in our preschool has shown that the children are more settled when they attend every day. It gives them a sense of belonging and consistency. Daily attendance also enables the children to form solid friendships. Another reason is that our focus is on education, not daycare, and teachers need to be able to follow up the one to one presentations and lessons with the child on a daily basis. We have seen a huge change in our children since we implemented the policy of "every day" attendance. The class is far more settled, some lovely friendships have been created, and the children's achievements have been amazing. Historical Montessori is a 3 year, 5 full day curriculum, and attending five half days is really the minimum to get significant benefits of a Montessori preschool education. It is absolutely worth it. However, if you feel your child gets tired by the end of the week, feel free to give him/her a day off.
Yes, we are open during the term school holidays, but closed over the Christmas holidays. We re-open on the last Wednesday in January. Attendance during the term school holidays is optional.
Yes, but please do inform us beforehand so we can plan for it. Fees do still apply during absences. Please note that the Ministry of Education enforces strict absence rules with regards to funding. Children can be absent for a maximum of three continuous weeks before the Ministry stops their funding. This can have an effect on your child’s enrolment and/or fees. Please discuss any absences for longer then three weeks with management.
Yes, you can apply for a WINZ subsidy as our preschool will be registered with WINZ. The outcome of your application depends on your family income and circumstances. Contact WINZ for more information.
Yes, but the number of children in nappies is limited and preference will be given to children who are toilet trained. This is because our focus is on education and our teachers need to spend their time with the children in the classroom, rather then in the bathroom changing nappies. We do have a nappy changing facility at the preschool and admissions of children in nappies will be on a case by case basis.
Yes, Montessori children settle well into primary school as they have established excellent work habits, and are academically well prepared. Montessori children are independent, lifelong, curious learners who have learned skills that will help them to embrace the challenge of settling into a new school and making new friendships.
Yes, there is a Montessori primary school in the Hutt Valley. There are Montessori primary classes in Tawa, Wilton and Berhampore, all in Wellington.
Yes, we have regular information sessions. Please note, the teachers are busy teaching in the classroom and do not have time to attend to casual visitors. To find out when our next information session is go here. Bookings are essential.
The children in the photo are playing the "bell game". The girl rings different bells, which all have their own names, ie birthday bell, meeting bell, silence bell. The boy is identifying the different bells by sound only. Exploring and developing the senses is an important part of the Montessori curriculum. The Montessori curriculum includes practical life, sensorial, language, mathematics, art, and environmental studies. Visit our preschool and you will see the curriculum and all its activities and materials on shelves in the classroom. .