Below are our most frequently asked questions. Should you need any information that is not answered below or elsewhere on the website, then please contact us for assistance.

Who should enrol with us?

Anyone who is interested in obtaining a professional Montessori qualification. You should also be passionate about creating the best education opportunities for all children. We have courses designed to meet diverse needs through our varied programmes. Our range of options allows for flexibility, affordability and quality training experiences.

Are the MCSA courses accredited?

Our qualification courses – the Higher Certificate and the National Diploma in Early Childhood Development (SAQA ID: 23117 and 23118) – are accredited qualifications. These are registered with the South African Qualifications Authority, and are listed on the National Qualifications Framework.

The Montessori in the Home and the Primary Specialisation courses are not accredited qualifications.

Please see the individual course sheets for details.

What is accreditation?

When a qualification has been registered with the South African Qualifications Authority and is listed on the National Qualifications Framework, it becomes an accredited national qualification.

This means that it has been benchmarked against other relevant qualifications and will be recognised as a bona fide qualification in that field of study.

Why is it important that a course is nationally accredited?

When a course holds a national accreditation, it means that the learner can be uploaded onto the National Learner Record Database (NLRD). Every qualification is made up of a certain number of credits that are split into modules, or unit standards (depending on the course/level).

When a module or unit standard has been completed by the student, the results are firstly assessed and moderated internally, and then undergo an external moderation by the qualification assurers. When the student’s work has been found to be competent, the results may then be uploaded to the NLRD.

The qualification is issued by the quality assurer once all required modules/unit standards have been completed, and the total credits for the qualification have been achieved.

In our case, the graduates receive a Statement of Results and a Certificate of Competence from the ETDP SETA. This is the certification that shows that the student has achieved a nationally accredited qualification that is accepted by the South African Council for Educators for registration.

A nationally accredited qualification can also be benchmarked by another country’s qualification authority for equivalence.

Are any of the MCSA courses MACTE accredited?

MACTE is the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education based in the United States.

MACTE is dedicated to improving academic degree and certificate programs for Montessori professional educators. MACTE accredits certification programs based on (1) the evidence they have that they prepare competent, caring, and qualified professional Montessori educators and (2) their capacity to monitor and improve the program’s quality. MACTE believes this is the soundest way to assure the public about the quality of these programs.

Montessori Centre South Africa does not hold MACTE accreditation as this in itself is not recognised in South Africa as a qualification accreditation.

We are however working with our fellow Montessori Teacher Training colleges to set up AMTAB, the African Montessori Training Accreditation Board, that will monitor and quality control the Montessori aspects of our training programmes.

Is there such a thing as an international accreditation?

There is no such thing as a true international accreditation.

Every country has its own base requirements for every sector, and these may vary greatly from country to country. For example, in South Africa, the current requirement to work in an early childhood setting is a level 4 qualification. In Australia, on the other hand, you would need a degree in early childhood (level 7) in order to be the lead teacher in the same environment!

Our recommendation, therefore, is to ensure that students enrol on a nationally accredited qualification in order that this may be put forward for equivalence in the country in which they hope to work.

What happens if I wish to work abroad after graduating?

MCSA graduates holding either the Higher Certificate or National Diploma have a qualification that is registered by the South African Qualifications Authority. These qualifications are mapped on the National Qualifications Framework and our students’ results are captured on the National Learner Record Database.

The qualifications are issued by the ETDP SETA who are the accreditation board. Full qualification transcripts are available for both courses, which makes applying for equivalency in another country much easier.

In our experience, our graduates have found employment in Montessori schools and organisations around the world.

As every country has different laws pertaining to teaching qualifications, we would however recommend those wanting to seek employment outside of South Africa to first ascertain the legal requirements for teachers in the applicable country.

Can MCSA guarantee that I will find employment after graduating?

As with any tertiary educational institution, MCSA cannot guarantee that you will find employment. However, international and South African trends show a desperate shortage of qualified Montessori graduates.

We post vacancies here on the website, on our Facebook page, and via our newsletter.

Can I register with SACE?

SACE is the South African Council of Educators. It is law in South Africa for any person working in the position of educator, at any level, to be registered with SACE. See for additional information. All full qualifications offered by MCSA are recognised by SACE.

Can I open my own school when I have finished training?

We strongly recommend that graduates get hands-on experience in existing Montessori schools for at least a year or two after qualifying, before opening their own schools. This allows for an integration of knowledge and skills without the pressure of running a school at the same time. Managing a school is also a responsibility that extends beyond just the school. Each Montessori school is a reflection of the whole and each individual Montessorian needs to ensure s/he has all that is required to run a school, including having a sustainable vision.

By when must I enrol?

We would recommend that prospective students apply as early as possible for their chosen course as we have limited places available in each intake. Once all the available spaces have been filled, the course is closed.

How do I enrol?

The application process for all courses is clearly explained on this website. Every course sheet also has details of the application process.

Will I receive all the required textbooks and study guides/modules that are required for my chosen course?

This differs depending on the course you are registering to study.

  • The Higher Certificate course students receive printed modules and textbooks.
  • All Diploma and Primary Specialisation students access all their coursework and resources on the Online Learning Portal. Textbooks are provided.

Students need to buy their own stationery such as files for their modules and pens/pencils etc. They may also be required to purchase materials for the curriculum area assignments.

What happens if I miss classes?

All classes are compulsory and accumulated credits are awarded for attendance. If a class is missed, it is up to the student to ensure that s/he makes arrangements to catch up what has been missed through self-study.

It is also possible for students to book one-on-one tutorial sessions with a tutor. An additional cost is levied for such sessions.

Will I have access to additional resources for studying?

Yes, you will have access to a library of articles and additional books and resource materials on the Online Learning Portal.

Each module also comes with a recommended reading list and the relevant articles are provided on the Online Learning Portal.

MCSA are committed to keeping our students up to date and well informed with regard to research, policies and any information that will develop them further as educators.

What is SAQA?

SAQA stands for the South African Qualifications Authority and is the body responsible for the development of the NQF (National Qualifications Framework). It is SAQA’s responsibility to articulate and interpret the objectives of the NQF. See for further information.

What is the NQF?

The National Qualifications Framework was implemented in the late 1990s to redress the imbalances of the apartheid education system and create equality in qualifications. The NQF is the set of principles and guidelines by which records of learner achievement are registered to enable national recognition of acquired skills and knowledge, thereby ensuring an integrated system that encourages life-long learning.

What is the ETDP SETA?

SETA stands for Sector Education and Training Authority and is the body responsible for the organisation of training programmes within a specific sector. Our training programmes fall under the Education, Training and Development Practices (ETDP) SETA. The primary function of the ETDP SETA is to facilitate skills development in the education, training and development sector. Education is universally recognised as a critical building block for both individuals and society in general.

What is SAMA?

SAMA is the South African Montessori Association.

In April 2003 at SAMA’s inaugural AGM, the association was constituted with the mandate to unite Montessori professionals across Southern Africa by encouraging global best practice in Montessori methodology.

Montessori schools are individual, unique and separate entities. “MONTESSORI” is not trademarked, therefore SAMA endeavours to promote and protect the interests of their members, be they institutional or individual.

SAMA is the official liaison between its member body and government departments through their membership with NAISA (National Alliance for Independent school of South Africa); including ECD chambers of government as well as the Department Social Development (DSD) and the Department of Basic Education (DBE). This representation is paramount in keeping best practice and integrity in member Montessori schools.

In 2014 SAMA established a three-tier quality assurance system to guide the independently owned Montessori schools to achieve global best practice in Montessori pedagogy.

MCSA supports SAMA and we recommend that all our students and graduates become SAMA members.

SAMA can be contacted at