Maria Montessori

The urge towards growth lies within the child himself – his intelligence and character will grow whatever we may do, but we can help or hinder the growth. The child in the overluxurious nursery with too many toys and distractions and the irksomeness of constant supervision is like a young plant that is overwatered – the soil turns sour and the plant becomes sickly.

Infant Toddler Program

Early experiences last a lifetime and infancy is the morning of life.  There are 1,892 days from when your baby is born until they enter kindergarten. This 1,892-day journey is remarkable, complex, and far reaching.  The brain research has taught us that early experiences significantly influence social emotional, language and intellectual development. In fact, 85% of your child’s capacity to learn is determined by age five. The program you choose for your infant or toddler is one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent.

CMEC has always been and continues to be a leader in high quality infant toddler care and learning.  Here are the reasons you should choose a CMEC education for your child like thousands of other families have done since 1984. 

List of 6 items.

  • Program Structure

    Our infant toddler program is a full day full year program serving children 6 weeks to 3 years of age in a multi-age classroom.  We are open Monday through Friday from 7:30am – 6:00pm.  Each classroom has 3 teachers, 12 children, and assigned support staff. 

    We adhere to and are compliant with all health and safety regulations.  We have been providing continuous in-person learning since June 2020 with minimal disruption due to illness.  
    Here is our flow of the day outlining how your child will spend their time with us:  insert flow of the day.  

    Communication matters so we have multiple vehicles for sharing information including an initial home visit, Transparent Classroom, conferences, email, and of course face to face. These are in addition to our weekly Friday Notes and Final Friday school wide newsletter. 
  • #1 Credentialed Montessori Teachers

    Who your children spend time with and how they are cared for affects who they become.
    J. Ron Lally

    Minimal turnover: We have minimal turnover in our infant toddler program. In fact, we have teachers who have been with us for over 10+ years. Our teachers are salaried employees who work a set schedule, so you always know who is with your child. 

    Highly qualified:  Our infant toddler team is highly qualified. All infant-toddler teachers have their Infant Toddler Montessori credential. This means they are highly skilled in implementing the Montessori method. They have the expertise and knowledge to provide the curricular experiences your child needs as they journey through this very special time of development. 

    Nurturing and kind:  Our teachers who work with infants and toddlers are special. They recognize that babies are highly influenced by the emotional climate of their environment. They know that the tone of their voice, their facial expressions, and the messages they give are impactful. Our infant toddler teachers are aware of the power of identity and cultural messages. They recognize that everything they do gives your child a message regarding how they should feel about themselves. Babies experience emotions right from the start. Your child’s emotional experiences affect their personal health, well-being, and eventually their school readiness. 
  • #2 Family Groupings and Mixed-Age Classrooms

    Relationships: Respectful and responsive relationships are at the heart of our work and are key to supporting strong attachment between your child and their teachers. Our teachers get to know your child’s unique rhythms, needs and temperament. They are highly responsive to your child’s verbal and non-verbal cues, while engendering independence. Secure attachment relationships have a profound impact on every aspect of early development, from emotional regulation to healthy brain development. 
     
    Family groupings:  To ensure that your child has a secure attachment with their teacher we nest infants and toddlers in small intimate groups. Each teacher has four children they are primarily responsible for. Of those four children there is only one infant (12 months or younger) because more than that makes it difficult to meet their needs. The other three children in the group can be two yearlings and one toddler or vice versa. Your child will be in a multi-age group within a multi-age classroom.  This continuity of care model is unique, but we believe it is essential to promoting the healthy development of your child. 

    Learning with and from each other:  Mixed-age classrooms are a key component of the Montessori method. Children stay together for up to 3 years. However, it is very rare to find Montessori schools that serve infants and when they do, they are more likely to implement a more traditional childcare model of transitioning children every 6 to 12 months. We choose not to do this because multiple transitions before a child is three doesn’t support optimal development. 

    Three-year cycle: The benefits of the three-year cycle are many. It promotes deep relationships between families and teachers, teachers and children, and the children with each other. These early connections are the genesis of lifetime friendships.  It promotes development and learning.  Teachers really get to know your child, their temperament, their likes, dislikes, and interests.  In other words, our teachers really understand what makes your child ‘tick’ and this enables them to provide individualized curricular experiences that meets each child’s needs. Finally, the children learn from each other.  They get to be both nurtured and the nurturer, growing as learners and leaders.  
     
  • #3 Prepared Classroom Environment and Montessori Materials

    Third teacher – Dr. Montessori believed that a prepared environment is a third teacher. She believed that in the early years of the first plane of development (0-6 years) your child’s personality is formed because of their social relationships and environments. Meaning that the primary role of the teacher is to construct an environment that promotes motivation, experimentation, curiosity, and social relationships. As a result, children learn to respect themselves, others, and their environment. Our infant toddler environments encourage movement, allow for choice, maximize flexibility, provide comfort, and are child sized.  They are rich in materials for exploration and discovery. 

    Inherent need for order: Dr. Montessori identified sensitive periods; periods where there is an innate developmental drive. The sensitive period for infants is order. Routines and a predictable flow of the day is paramount for infants and toddlers to thrive. Knowing what to expect, what comes next, and where things are, all help your child become secure in their environment. 

    Power of observation:  Our teachers are always watching, observing, and documenting; sometimes informally and sometimes formally to establish individual learning goals for your child. We utilize a developmental screener to better understand where your child is developmentally and share this with you at every interval. We use all this information to guide and adjust what materials and experiences are necessary to promote your child’s growth. 

    Language development:  Language competence is one of the most amazing developmental accomplishments in the first three year of life. Infants rapidly learn to understand language, express themselves verbally and use language to get their needs met.   Our teachers understand the importance of reading, singing, and rhyming with your child. These daily experiences lead to strong future readers. 
  • #4 Child Directed Work

    If you watch infants closely, you will see that they clearly do not differentiate between work and play, and amusement and learning. You will see that in almost every waking moment they are occupied with thoughts and actions of discovery and accomplishment. In fact, they are busy with all of these things at once.
    The Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers (PITC)

    Stages of infancy: In addition to the sensitive period for order, infants and toddlers move through three stages with each stage overlapping the previous because development is unique for every child.

    For children who are birth to eight months they are focused on security and learning to feel safe in their surroundings. In essence your baby is learning about what they can expect from life. Security is important as your child needs to feel emotionally secure to learn new things. In fact, their ability to take chances and adapt to change will enable your child to be successful in both school and life.

    Children six to 18 months they are focused on exploration. They are on the move. In essence your baby is learning how things in the world work, including themselves. Their ability to explore the world and figure things out helps them build knowledge and get ready for the world of ideas. In fact, being intellectually curious and motivated to learn will enable your child to be successful in both school and life.

    Children sixteen to 36 months are focused on identity and developing into their own person. During this stage it is all about them. In essence your child is figuring out who they are and how they are connected to others. They are learning to make choices, and it can be challenging at times for both you and them. They must know themselves before they can get along with others and learn to appropriately express themselves when they are frustrated. In fact, their ability to communicate and interact positively with peers and adults will enable your child to be successful in both school and life.

    Follow the child and choice: Infants and toddlers are active self-motivated learners. Core principles of the Montessori method are that children make individual choices and that teachers follow the child and offer the least amount of help needed in the process. We know that exploration, experimentation, imitation, and adaptation of part of your child’s work. This looks very different than traditional childcare where young children spend most of their day engaged in teacher directed activities that don’t consider the holistic way infants and toddlers learn.
  • #5 Uninterrupted Work Cycles

    Learning theory and research show that infant learning is enabled by adults who provide a learning setting of nurturance, support, security, predictability, focus, encouragement, and expansion.
    J. Ron Lally

    Montessori magic: It is during the uninterrupted work cycles that the real “magic” of Montessori occurs. Our skilled teachers prepare their environments so your infant or toddler can work uninterrupted for a long period of time. People who say young children don’t have long attention spans haven’t observed a Montessori classroom. Our teachers know when to join in, when to hold back, when to help, when to watch, or join in if the children want us to. This is an art, based on the respect for and the observation of your developing child.

    OCCI: This is a Montessori acronym that stands for order, concentration, coordination, and independences. OCCI are the powerful attributes that your child will develop because of a Montessori education. OCCI are foundational for school and life success, and it all begins during this very special time of development.

Columbus Montessori Education Center

Montessori is an innovative, child-centered approach to education, developed a century ago by a woman ahead of her time.

CMEC provides a high quality Montessori education to a diverse community of learners ages 6 weeks to 6th grade; empowering them to change the world in ways big and small.