Authentic Montessori daycare is more than a babysitting facility. It builds a foundation of independence and self-care that extends to a child’s home life and beyond.
Montessori daycare teachers are specially trained to help children nurture their innate curiosity and desire to learn. They follow the principles founded by Dr. Maria Montessori, an internationally-recognized educator and physician who furthered the research of child-led education. Daycares and schools that continue her legacy follow several principles in their mission to develop the full child from an early age.
Montessori daycare focuses on sensitive periods
Also called developmental milestones, sensitive periods are critical to childhood development. Daycare marks the first major developmental stage, beginning at birth and continuing for the next five years. In this stage, the child has a highly absorbent mind ideal for foundational learning. The Montessori approach takes advantage of this stage and introduces children to critical thinking, navigating physical tasks, and social interaction with people of different ages and personalities.
Montessori daycare teaches and shows respect
The Montessori method’s focus on child-driven learning means it naturally supports individuality and personal choice. By respecting a child’s interests and desired learning styles, Montessori daycare shows children they are valued as individuals. Children are shown how they are respected, and how to respect their classmates and teachers as they move through life.
Montessori daycare has a prepared environment with learning materials
A key feature of the Montessori approach is the prepared environment. Montessori daycares are structured to encourage self-directed learning and encourage exploration. Children are given a variety of learning tools to have fun while educating themselves. Sample tools include sorting toys, puzzles, color and card matching, and sandpaper letters.
Montessori daycare teachers are guides
Unlike traditional teachers at public schools, Montessori daycare teachers act as observant guides. They watch children complete tasks and explore learning toys, determining when to stand by and when to assist. This helps children learn they can overcome obstacles by keeping at them. And if they struggle, they can reach out to adults for help.
Montessori daycare is customized to each child
Authentic Montessori daycares are also customized to support each child’s needs. If you schedule a tour at a local daycare, the school director or tour guide can describe a sample daily routine. If your child is an infant and can’t walk, they’ll be given tools to strengthen their fine motor skills. Toddlers will be given toys they can manipulate on their own. As your child grows, the daycare guides will advance their tools, helping develop them physically and mentally.