BestStart Montessori the Gardens

Garden 2
On floor
Flower science
BestStart Montessori The Gardens offers quality childcare and education in Dunedin’s North East Valley. We are conveniently located close to the CBD, Otago University and the Polytechnic, with plenty of parking, perfect for commuters.

We nurture kind and respectful independent learners

The unique Montessori learning philosophy encourages a love of learning and builds healthy self-esteem and social competence in our children. Our programme fosters independence and self-discipline and teaches solid math and language skills.  By becoming part of our community you also become a member of MANZ – Montessori Association New Zealand and receive quarterly magazines that are informative of Montessori practice. 

Our environment - We are lucky to have three, character buildings which provide spacious indoor and outdoor learning environments for our children. Our large, well established and sunny garden provides am expansive space for our tamariki to explore, challenge and learn. Our thoughtfully resourced, prepared environment with specially designed materials creates a respectful learning environment promoting inclusiveness and a strong sense of community. 

We have a rich and diverse cultural make-up in our centre. We celebrate and acknowledge all the unique qualities of our children and whanau. At Montessori the Gardens children learn from each other. Children learn respect for themselves, their peers and their environment and in doing so children develop a self-confidence, concentration, a sense of order and harmony. 

Infant House - Together in the Infant House we offer a caring and nurturing environment where we work closely with the whanau of the children to ensure that their individual needs are met. Your children will learn independence and be encouraged to explore their interests and extend their learning in their own time. In the Infant House we embrace and welcome the diversity of our families and community. 

Your child will learn through the Montessori philosophy by learning practical life work, sensorial work, self-care skills, as well as grace and courtesy. We role model alongside the children how to communicate with others and teach them how to negotiate as well. In the Infant House we encourage children to become kaitiaki (guardians) of their environment. 

Casa House - In Casa our tamariki are encouraged to spend extended periods of time with a piece of work, repeating an activity as this helps to cement the learning involved as well as build concentration. We encourage each child to work independently, observe others and learn through discovery. The learning materials provided are designed to foster concentration, problem solving and a sense of achievement. This focus on independence also includes learning self-help skills such as getting their own kai, tidying up after themselves, getting themselves dressed, looking after their belongings and more. 

Respect for others and respect for the environment are important. This respect is learnt through our teaching of grace and courtesy. Grace and Courtesy lessons will give your child the vocabulary, actions, and steps required for a child to build their awareness and responsiveness of those around them which gives the child a better sense of orientation in their social structure. 

Children’s House - In the Children's House we provide a Montessori based learning environment that expresses a calm, peaceful atmosphere where children come to form independence, respect, resilience, grace and courtesy. While learning together we encourage lifelong learners that are supported every day in their interest and cultures. We show inclusiveness for all tamariki and celebrate our uniqueness through kindness. 

In preparation for school, your child will be exposed to language, literacy, numeracy, science and geographical skills and concepts while also learning to work in a methodical and orderly manner while challenging themselves, building resilience and concentration.

Our programme - We offer a Montessori programme focusing on the child’s potential with an emphasis on learning through self-discovery. Staff engage with pepe and tamariki and follow their interests and needs to create a programme that is engaging, relevant to each individual and values whanau aspirations for their child. Our well-resourced, prepared environment with specially designed materials creates respectful learning environment promoting inclusiveness and a strong sense of community. 

Our teaching team - We are a passionate, qualified and experienced Montessori teaching team, committed to encouraging a child’s natural curiosity and desire to learn. We also have our very own centre chef who provides children with delicious and nutritious vegetarian meals.

What you can expect from our centre:

  • Spacious and thoughtfully prepared Montessori learning environment
  • Nutritious vegetarian menu provided by a qualified Chef
  • Nurturing staff in a homely environment where children can be involved in food preparation and care for their learning environment 

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact us today. We would love to show you around.

For more information about the specific fees for your centre, please contact us directly (03) 473 7630 / mont.gardens@best-start.orgYou might be eligible for support paying their childcare fees. For more information click here

More about Montessori

Besides being presented in a structured way, language is always present in a Montessori classroom. Children are encouraged to ask questions, have discussions, make discoveries and have a sense of curiosity in the world around them.

Video Gallery

Polyfest 2018
International Day of Peace
Practical Life
Quality Service Award 2023

kind words from our parents


We are extremely satisfied with Montessori The Gardens. The teachers blow our minds weekly on the learning & care they provide.

Gemma and Oliver

My daughter absolutely loves her centre. The staff are so welcoming and friendly, they care so much and we appreciate everything they do. They encourage our little one to explore and be independent and she loves it. The kai is absolutely amazing too!

Ivy and Nathan

Generally, Beststart Montessori the Gardens is a center with a good reputation, nice environment and equipment, as well as excellent food quality.


Water Play Day at BestStart Montessori The Gardens

When hot days arrive in Dunedin we celebrate them!

Christmas 2022 at BestStart Montessori the Gardens

The lead up to Christmas is a very busy time