Dr. Maria Montessori found that the first years of child development set the stage for active learning and respectful interaction with others and with the environment. These early toddler exposures to Montessori approaches carry over into the primary and later schooling. The Toddler Community environment is designed to meet the developmental needs of children 18 months to 3 years of age. The child should be a stable walker, but does not need to be toilet trained to enter the program. Half day and full day options are available.
Under the guidance of an AMI-trained teacher along with an assistant, children interact in a beautiful space that is prepared to meet their developmental needs while offering experience in community life. The Toddler Community is a rich environment fostering independence, movement, and the acquisition of language through purposeful work. The lessons fall into the areas of Practical Life, Language Development, Control of Movement, Music, Art, and Self-Care. Children joyfully participate in daily Practical Life tasks such as food preparation, gardening, table setting, and dish washing. Children also learn Self-Care skills such as toileting, undressing and dressing, and hand washing.
Each day begins with a two-hour work cycle followed by lunch and outdoor time. Children prepare daily snack and eat together as a community. At 11:45 a.m., Half Day children go home, while Full Day children share lunch and nap time. They enjoy art, music, stories, and nature activities after nap and end their day at 4:00 pm. At 2 years old, they are eligible to stay for after school until 5:00 p.m. All of their day follows a calm and unhurried pace which allows them to explore and learn in a comfortable and supportive environment.