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Toddler House Program
- 36 months)

The Toddler House Program is designed to guide the 21-month old to 36-month old child in his or her quest for independence by assisting the toddler in care of self and care of environment while supporting the toddler’s innate need for order, security, and exploration. Careful thought and attention to detail are evident in the preparation of the physical space, the preparation of the teacher, and the program itself.

The Toddler House Program occupies a suite of indoor and outdoor rooms on the first floor of the new school building. The rooms are designed to provide a safe and structured, but home-like environment that assists the toddler in the task of self-construction. In addition to offering low windows, natural light, child-sized furnishings, and child-sized bathroom facilities, the Toddler House provides direct access to playground, gardens, and outdoors. Taken together, these rooms are prepared in a manner that provides the toddler with the opportunity to participate in all daily routines of care.

The toddler teacher is a student of child development, a skilled observer who is fluent in both verbal and non-verbal communication, a guardian, and a visionary. In addition to being charged with the responsibility of preparing the physical space in a manner that meets the toddler’s developmental needs, the toddler teacher nurtures the toddler, fosters the development of trust within the toddler, and responds appropriately to the toddler’s requests for love, respect, and acceptance.

The daily program includes individual and group work time, snack, and outdoor time. While routines and consistency are necessary elements of any toddler program that respects the toddler’s need for order and security, daily program is a flexible sequence of routines that reinforce rhythmic patterns of activities at best. It is not a rigid schedule. True to Maria Montessori’s principles of child development, the singular curricular goal of the Toddler House Program is to “follow the child.” Toddlers come to individual or group work time because the activities interest them and they choose to come. The toddler is the curriculum, and while materials are designed to advance and enrich language, eye-hand coordination, and practical life skills, anything that the toddler does is considered to be “toddler work.” For the toddler, all interactions with the environment inevitably lead to the acquisition of knowledge.

The Toddler House Program is a wonderful place to begin what Dr. Montessori called “an education for life.”