Provides the youngest children, ages 6 weeks to 18 months, with a caring, safe, and stimulating environment that supports all aspects of the infants’ growth. The Montessori approach recognizes the two most basic needs of the infant: the need for a bonded relationship with a caregiver and the need to explore a sense of self and achieve independence. These needs form the ends of a continuum wherein the infant goes from total dependence on the caregiver, to a sense of independence and competence. Respecting the emotional needs of the very young child helps them to have less behavior problems and learn such necessary skills as language and walking more effortlessly.
“There is in the soul of a child an impenetrable secret that is gradually revealed as it develops.”
Typical Infant Day
The youngest infants come to our program with their own individual feeding and nap schedules. These schedules are respected by our staff and the other children. As the infant grows, he or she will naturally want to interact with the other children in a more social setting and begin doing more meaningful and complex work activities. When the child is socially and intellectually ready, he or she is transitioned to a group schedule similar to that of the Toddlers.
The day starts with free play time, followed by group time. During this time, the children practice spoken language and sign language and do rhythm and music activities as a group.
Bottle-fed infants are held by the caregiver during feeding. The older infants sit at a small table for snack and lunch time, using glass tableware, just as the older children do. Children either sit independently or are held by a caregiver.
Work time consists of self-chosen activities based on the Montessori method. These include: sorting and counting, language development, large and small motor activities, ordering, practical life, art, and sensory activities.