Serving children 16 months to 3 years of age
Our program offers learning that emerges from each child’s unique skills and interests. The classroom is a community in which respect for the independence and character of the child is paramount. Staff are consistently calm, gentle, soft-spoken, patient, and trusting. They demonstrate respect and compassion for the child by using eye contact, kneeling to their level, addressing them by name, and speaking with proper nomenclature. The result is a calm, soothing atmosphere in which consistent caregivers create an emotional safe haven for those in their care.
The environment safely supports the child’s drive to do things alone, developing confidence and a sense of competence. Based on daily observations, teachers introduce new activities that pique curiosity and stimulate learning. Materials are easily accessible and designed to foster concentration, problem solving, and a sense of achievement. Children select the material that interests them, use it for as long as they would like, clean it up (with assistance when needed), and make another choice.
The routines of everyday living are the foundation of our program. Activities are designed to promote independence, order, coordination, and concentration, as well as support social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. These learning activities include:
- Self-care: washing, dressing, toileting, and eating, according to each child’s individual capacity
- Care of the environment: cleaning, food preparation and food service; plant care
- Large-motor activities (indoors and out): walking, climbing, running, jumping, balancing, climbing steps, and more
- Fine-motor skills: reaching, grasping, picking up objects, transferring objects, using tools and utensils, doing art work
- Language: naming objects, describing actions and intentions, discussing pictures, conversation, music, and singing
- Social skills: developing manners through interactions with peers, teachers, and adult-led small group games
Readiness for Toddler Community
Children can join our Toddler Community as early as their 16th month. Readiness to join our Toddler Community includes:
- Ability to safely navigate classroom environment with minimal physical assistance from adults
- Eating independently (weaned from bottles and sippy cups, able to feed oneself, learning how to use utensils)
- One nap a day (children nap in the afternoon at school)
- Practicing dressing/undressing themselves (pulling pants up/down, learning to put shoes on/take them off)
- Weaned from pacifier
Transition to Primary
As the child nears the age of three, the process for transferring into a Primary class begins. We start by observing the child and looking for specific signs of readiness such as an increase of longer Practical Life work, stronger independence in caring for themselves and their environment, more advanced language skills, greater social awareness, and consistent practice and ability of toileting independently.
Montessori education is as individual as the child. This includes timing of lessons taught, work done and even classroom transitions. The transition to accommodate the child is individual and purposeful. There are many factors that go into your child’s transition plan, such as readiness, space availability, personality, and changes happening at both home and school. As a team, Toddler Leads/Guides, Primary Guides, parents/caregivers, and administration all work to put together a plan that best meets the needs of the child.