Answers To Your Top Montessori Daycare Questions

Is this your family's first experience with Montessori daycare? If you want to learn more about this educational philosophy and how Montessori child care centers differ from other programs, take a look at the top questions new parents have answered.

Are All Children In Montessori Programs In Multi-Age Classrooms?

Yes, all Montessori preschools or early childhood centers use the multi-age classroom approach. The early childhood classroom may include children ages two-and-a-half through six years, according to the American Montessori Society. This grouping strategy is central to the philosophy and can help your child to learn, grow, and develop in new ways. It can also create a caring community of learners who stay together for several years in a row. 

Even though it may seem like the traditional like-aged groupings you might see in other child care centers or elementary schools are the "right" or "best" options, the multi-age classroom offers younger children the chance to learn from older students—and the older children can develop new skills by helping the younger ones. This can help both younger and older children to build academic, social, and emotional abilities.

Is Montessori Really Different From Other Preschool Programs?

Yes, Montessori is different from other preschools, daycare centers, or similar school programs. While the multi-age classroom approach is a notable difference between Montessori and other educational options, it isn't the only one. Along with multi-age classrooms, Montessori is grounded in a child-led type of learning. This puts your child at the center of their own academic or developmental experience.

Montessori education isn't passive. Instead of a teacher lecturing young students, the children will take on an active role in the learning process. Your child will have the opportunity to choose their own materials (from pre-selected items) and activities. This allows your child to focus on areas that interest them and learn at their own pace. 

Are Montessori Students Independent?

Yes, Montessori supports the development of independence. But this doesn't mean that your child is left unattended or needs to fend for themselves at school. Instead, the Montessori philosophy informs a classroom framework that encourages exploration, self-care, and individual learning. 

If your child needs help, the teacher is close by to provide assistance. This differs from doing things for the student or expecting the children to passively sit back and watch the educator. Think of the Montessori daycare teacher as a cheerleader/organizer/facilitator. Educators in these classrooms believe in the value of each child and understand that their young students are capable learners who can develop a true sense of independence during the early years. 

For more information, contact a local daycare near you.