Introduction to the Toddler Program

Central Montessori School’s Toddler Program is comprehensive, challenging and diverse. The program offers professional childcare and an early childhood education program, with a general introduction to the Montessori Philosophy and Methodology for children from 18 months to 2 ½ years of age. Our teachers are committed to providing quality care and education. The program’s mandate is to provide a nurturing and positive environment for children and their parents.

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Student Teacher Ratio

At Central Montessori School, we are strongly committed to maintaining an optimal teacher to student ratio.  The toddler class has a ratio of 1:5 with the maximum number of students in each class set at 15.


Practical Life, Sensorial, Language & Math, Culture & Science

The Practical Life area is the building block for future development in all areas of the Montessori   environment.   For toddlers, the Practical Life materials offer an opportunity to begin developing their fine and gross motor skills, focusing abilities, attention span and concentration levels. The Sensorial materials introduce sizes, colours, basic geometric shapes and sounds allowing children to begin classifying the world around them. 

The children are introduced to Preliminary Language exercises, allowing them to learn the sounds that make up words.  The focus, however, remains on enriching the toddler’s vocabulary, sentence formation, and the development and enrichment of their oral language skills. In the Math area, simple concepts of numbers and time are introduced through songs, counting by rote and the daily calendar.

In the Cultural & Science areas, the children are introduced to basic concepts, learning about animals, botany and geography.  They work with such materials as the Puzzle Maps, Leaf Pressings, and discover interesting facts about animals from around the world.  Science experiments that are age appropriate, interesting, fun and interactive are also a part of the curriculum.


Music & Movement

Music and movement encourages self-expression, creativity and fun for children. It develops an awareness and appreciation of sounds, tones, and rhythm.


Cooking with Children

Cooking provides children with an opportunity to learn how food is prepared cleanly, to use equipment safely and the general process involved when cooking. It is a fun activity and allows children to role-play. It teaches children the names, physical characteristics, flavour and the origin of certain foods.


Circle Time & Story Telling

These two activities enhance a child’s listening skills by actively participating in stories, songs and poems, encouraging a child to broaden his/her imagination. Furthermore, it develops memory skills, lengthens attention span, social skills, cognitive development and sensory experiences. 


Books & Dramatic Play Centres

Books & dramatic play give children the opportunity to explore, create, learn and stimulate their imaginations, allowing them to be involved and discover the world around them. The Dramatic Play area includes dress-up centres, housekeeping and block play. 


Creative Learning & Free Play

Creative experiences provide children with the opportunity to express themselves, as well as manipulate and create objects with a variety of materials.  Emphasis is placed on “PROCESS NOT PRODUCT.” Creative learning allows children to work alone or in groups for social interaction and helps children to develop language, sharing, and co-operational skills. Free play provides children with an opportunity to share and develop relationships and language. It also allows them an opportunity to explore, design, create and carry out projects.


Manipulative Play

Manipulative play helps to develop small muscle control, self-expression and role-playing.  These activities are done individually and in a group setting, and help to develop dramatic role playing, social interaction, turn–taking, self-expression and language development. It incorporates conceptual skills and contributes to small muscle dexterity and cognitive exercises.


Large Motor Activities

Large motor skill activities include daily indoor and outdoor play and promote good health and development for growth.  It also aids in balance and co-ordination, promotes social skills such as sharing, taking turns and co-operation. 


GENERAL INFORMATION


Diapers & Toilet Training

Parents must supply disposable diapers, creams, and wipes etc. for use at the school for children who are not yet toilet trained. 

When children begin the toilet training process, please dress them in clothing that they can manage by themselves. Practice with your child at home, so that they will feel confident in their dressing skills.  Items like belts, suspenders and tight fitting clothing make it difficult for your child to master the toilet training process. The washroom process requires patience and time.  It is common for the child to regress temporarily during this routine. We feel that it is important for the washroom routine to be a positive time for the child and when accidents occur, gentle reminders are given with an encouraging attitude for the next time.

Snack & Lunch time

Lunch and snacks are provided by the school and are well balanced and nutritious.  All meals are served in a happy, relaxed atmosphere where staff join the children at the table and encourage them to eat so they look forward to meal and snack times.
 

Sleep Time

Sleep time allows the teacher(s) to comfort each child individually.  All children are expected to take a nap or have quiet time lying down after lunch.  This is necessary for children to regain their energy. Sleep time is from 12:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. The school provides cots and sheets and we ask that each child bring a blanket (which is sent home weekly for washing).

Discipline

The Toddler Program has a Behaviour Management Policy. It is our policy to set limits with boundaries for children to ensure a safe and secure environment. A positive approach is taken disciplining children and encourage them to express themselves using words, understand another person’s point of view and reflect on their own feelings. Children are only removed from a situation if the conflict is not resolved.  The child may rejoin the group whenever they feel they can interact appropriately.  Leaving the decision up to the child enhances their self-esteem and promotes self-control. You are welcome to discuss any questions concerning discipline with us. 



Central Montessori School offers Infant Care for children 8 to 18 months of age. This is a time when children absorb effortlessly from their surroundings, just by living. This is the period when children need to be able to begin exploring and discovering their immediate environment, to touch and manipulate objects in order to learn about the world around them. 

We nurture, care and maintain a safe environment for our infants using the Montessori philosophy. In a relaxed, happy and stimulating environment, we work with children during all stages of development preparing them to progress from Infants to Toddlers to Casa and onward.

Montessori Infant Curriculum

The infant curriculum focuses on the overall growth and development of each infant and on finding new ways to introduce everyday life skills. Our teachers follow a comprehensive daily schedule that is flexible, but at the same time meets the needs of each individual child and allows young children to feel comfortable and secure in their environment.  Routines are followed with regards to daily feeding, diapering, sleeping etc.  Once the “basic” needs are met, the educational program is introduced.   Every child is unique and has his/her own path to development. Our teachers develop daily plans to make sure infants engage in all the necessary activities to reach their crucial milestones.

Our curriculum focuses on:

  • Cognitive Skills with activities and educational materials to encourage memory development.
  • Sensory Development with the help of infant Montessori materials.
  • Socio-Emotional Development, with the reinforcement of happiness, security, daily routines as well as children’s interaction between themselves and with their teachers.
  • Motor Skills, helping children reach their appropriate milestones.
  • Expressive Language Development, by using songs, words, gestures, stories, etc.

Class Environment & Classroom Materials

The class is set for an infant’s exploration, relaxation and problem solving. Soft areas are available for young infants to lie on, allowing them to explore their immediate environment.  There are also challenging areas for older infants who are ready for physical activities and more exploration around the classroom.  Different areas in the classroom offer educational toys and materials that respond to the young child’s needs to reach, grab and dump, and for the older infant to push, carry, build, etc. Our children also enjoy the outdoors, as weather permits, taking “walks” and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

Music and Movement: Miniature musical instruments and toys are introduced, which produce sounds and melodies.

Circle Area and Book Corner: Includes an infant library with board books, puppets, soft animal toys, etc.

Sensorial: Due to the children’s age, most of the materials in the classroom are sensorial by nature, introducing basic concepts of colour, shape, size, texture etc.

Gross and Fine Motor Activities: Including large wall structures, activity walkers, tunnels, climbing mats, push toys, a mirrored bar and Montessori educational materials and toys.

Language Development: A general enrichment of age appropriate vocabulary - including objects, story-telling picture cards and singing.  

Safe Sleep Policy: All infants are placed for sleep in a manner consistent with the recommendations set out in the Joint Statement on Safe Sleep.


Philosophy and Aims

  • Encouraging language development and self-expression
  • Enhancing self-help skills
  • Promoting fine and gross motor skills
  • Facilitating thinking and cognitive skills
  • Teaching problem solving skills using “trial and error”
  • Speaking/teaching children in a relaxed comfortable environment
  • Use of a quiet, nurturing voice to stimulate expression and interaction

General Information

The infant program has a child – teacher ratio of 3:1 with a maximum number of 10 children per class. This enables teachers to pay “great” attention to each child and their needs. We provide a healthy (organic) menu, which includes table food and baby food for lunch and snacks. (If you require a special menu or will be bringing food from home, please inform the school office).  Every infant has their own crib in the sleeping room. Bed blankets are sent home weekly to be washed and returned the following week. Items such as formula milk, diapers, creams, ointment etc. must be provided by the family.  Bottles, soothers and all clothing must be clearly labelled with your child’s name.