What is the MEAB?
The MEAB is the Montessori Accreditation and Examination Board. It is part of the UK Montessori Schools Association which is run by the St Nicholas registered charity. The purpose of MEAB accreditation is to ensure that all MEAB accredited schools using the Montessori name offer high quality education and care to children.
The MEAB is in the process of changing it’s name to MAI, Montessori Accreditation International.
Accredited preschools in Orpington
This web page list preschools that have attained MEAB accreditation:
Only two preschools are accredited by the MEAB in Orpington:
Why is MEAB accreditation important?
Anyone can use the Montessori name, it is completely unregulated. This does happen, the word “Montessori” on the website, a couple of dusty pieces of Montessori equipment in a cupboard and a few, if any, qualified Montessori teachers, may be the only connection with Montessori teaching. At Rushmore House Montessori preschool and Orpington Montessori preschool we are committed to providing high quality Montessori preschool education. This needs qualified Montessori staff, well equipped Montessori classrooms and a deep commitment by the preschool managers and teachers. This is not an easy path to follow, however it is the only way to achieve a truly high quality Montessori preschool. MEAB accreditation validates what we have achieved and deliver each day.
Is the MEAB independent?
The MEAB is an independent organisation. The MEAB is part of the UK Montessori Schools Association which is run by the Montessori St Nicholas Charity, a registered charity in the UK.
Where does MEAB fit in with Ofsted?
The MEAB inspection is complementary to the Ofsted inspection, it does not replace it. The Ofsted inspection assesses the statutory compliance involved in running a preschool. The MEAB inspection looks at how a setting delivers the Montessori principles.
What are the benefits of MEAB ...
… for parents?
The knowledge that an accredited school:
... for children?
Accreditation is awarded to schools that:
What is the accreditation process?
Accreditation is a three step process:
Inspection handbook: https://www.montessori.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/MEAB_Handbook_May-2018.pdf
This involves a detailed self analysis of how the preschool delivers the Montessori curriculum.
The assessor spends a day in the setting. They will observe, talk to children, parents, the owner, manager and staff. They check the preschool policies and procedures and documents. At the end of the visit the inspector gives feedback and makes verbal recommendations for improvement. A written initial report follows shortly afterwards.
The final inspection follows the same process as the first and includes a re-assessment of any items of improvement identified in the first inspection. The final report does not have a grade, but does contain standard statements with varying levels of qualification.
The setting provides an education in accordance with the principles of the Montessori approach and environment … and merits accreditation by the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board.
Viewing time: 13 minutes
By Montessori at Home, Hapa family, Ashley
Ashley describes the top things you should be looking for in a Montessori preschool.
“A Montessori classroom is very different from a traditional classroom as the children are encouraged to become independent and self sufficient and confident from as early as possible.”
Ashley explains that the Montessori name is not controlled and any school can use the name without being truly Montessori. She says it is best to have tour of the school. Accreditation is a good indicator that the school is applying the Montessori method in their curriculum.
The classroom and premises should have child size furniture, low shelves and Montessori materials. The atmosphere will be quieter because the children are focused on activities.
Most teachers should be trained Montessori teachers. In a tour you may observe teachers working one-on-one or small groups. Teachers acting more as guides rather than traditional teachers.
You should see self directed learning at each child’s pace with children self selecting materials. The children should have a long period of time to work and play without interruption.
Important differences between the US and UK
Age in preschool
In Denver Colorado children must be 5-years-old on or before October 1 of the year of enrollment to be eligible to start Primary school. In the UK most children start in the September after their fourth birthday. This means that Ashley’s children may spend up to a further year in preschool when compared to our children. This is a significant amount of time in a child’s life. The older American children will be performing at a much higher level that their younger UK counterparts. They may be engaged in different activities and have different needs.
Whilst the Association Montessori International (AMI) does have a presence in the UK of about 30 preschools most of the 700 Montessori preschools in the UK are affiliated to the Montessori Schools Association (MSA), which is part of the Montessori St. Nicholas Charity which has it’s training school Montessori Center International (MCI) based in London. The main accreditation body in the UK is the Montessori Examination and Accreditation Board (MEAB) which is part of the MSA. There are 124 accredited Montessori preschools in the UK and only two of them are in Orpington:
Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BreeVKxi4Y
There are ten Nurseries in Orpington. Some times a nursery is referred to as a Full Daycare Nursery to describe the extended hours it is open. Most nurseries also offer part day sessions and one even calls itself a Preschool Nursery to emphasise the mixed service they provide. In this article I have listed all childcare settings in Orpington offering more than 38 weeks a year childcare. This is also know as all year round childcare.
Map of Nurseries in Orpington
How to use the map
This map shows the location of all preschools and nurseries in Orpington. Preschools are childcare settings that provide childcare and preschool education for 38 weeks a year. Nurseries provide childcare for longer, typically 50 or 51 weeks per year.
Both Rushmore House Montessori preschool and Orpington Montessori preschool provide 38 weeks per year childcare and Montessori preschool education. However when combined with our Holiday Club they can provide nursery style all year round childcare.
How to use the map
Select an icon to show more information: