Daycare, Childcare, Early Childhood Education in Encinitas
Central Montessori School’s Toddler Program is comprehensive, challenging and diverse. This is a time when the child absorbs effortlessly from his/her surroundings, just by living. This is the period of the ‘absorbent mind’. They need to be able to explore and discover. These children are curious about everything and need to touch and manipulate objects in order to learn. They are attracted to everything that stimulates their senses, which they are learning about through their surroundings. 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. The program’s mandate is to provide a culturally appropriate, racially sensitive and non-discriminatory environment for children and their parents.
If you have any questions about the program, we would be more than happy to answer them for you. We are sure you will be pleased with the program, and look forward to working with your child as they grow, explore and learn.
Philosophy and Aims
We strive to provide a nurturing environment where children develop physically, mentally, emotionally and intellectually.
The objective of the program is to:
- Provide a happy, relaxed and stimulating environment where children develop a willingness to share and the ability to respect the rights of others.
- Provide a program that will encourage each child to develop their individuality.
- Instill an understanding and acceptance of routine and limits.
- Help children develop self-confidence, self-respect, self-discipline and a feeling of security.
- Model caring and respect for others regardless of race, color, sex, religion, nationality or social origin.
Student Teacher Ratio
At Central Montessori School, we are strongly committed to maintaining an optimal teacher to student ratio. For the Toddler Class, it is a ratio of 1:5, with the maximum number of students in each class of 15.
The practical life area is the building block for future development in all areas of the Montessori environment. For the toddler children, the practical life materials offer an opportunity to begin developing their fine and gross motor skills, focusing abilities, attention span and concentration levels, through working with materials such as pouring from jug to jug, spooning, sponging and locks and keys.
The sensorial materials allow a child to begin to “define their world”. Children are introduced to shapes, sizes, colors, basic geometric shapes and sounds, allowing them to begin “classifying” the world around them.
Language and Math
Toddler children are introduced to the preliminary language exercises, allowing them to learn the sounds that make up words. Sounds are introduced phonetically, and they play “sound games” allowing them to “listen carefully” to the sounds that make up the words we use. In the toddler math area, simple concepts of numbers are introduced through songs, counting by rote, and the daily calendar.
Culture and Science
In the cultural area, the children are introduced to basic concepts about animals, botany and geography, through working with such materials as puzzles, leaf pressings and talking about animals from around the world. In the science area, they are introduced to basic concepts, with such “experiments” as cutting an orange to find out where juice comes from or freezing water into ice cubes.
These types of simple concepts set the stage for further interest and more advanced exploration in the Casa and Elementary age groups.
Cooking with Children
Cooking provides children an opportunity to show how food is prepared, the equipment and the process involved in cooking. It exposes them to new foods and demonstrates safety and cleanliness around food preparation. It is a fun activity and allows children to role-play, without stereotypes. It teaches children names of food, physical characteristics, flavor, and the origin of certain foods.
Free play takes place indoors and outdoors. This provides children with an opportunity to share and develop relationships and language. During free play, there is an opportunity for children to explore, design, create and carry out projects.
Music and Movement
Music and movement encourages self-expression, creativity, and fun for children. It develops an awareness and appreciation of sounds, tones, and rhythm.
Circle Time and Story Telling
These activities enhance the child’s listening skills — by actively listening to stories, songs and poems — and encourage children to broaden their imagination. Furthermore, it develops memory skills, lengthens attention span, social skills, cognitive development and sensory experiences. This in turn leads children to self-expression, gross motor development, role-playing, body awareness, and language development.
The book area is a quiet area for children to relax, enjoy, and explore different books. This intimate area provides an early experience with books and stimulates the child’s desire to learn to read. Activities around books can be done in large or small groups. This enhances development of the child’s attention span, while learning simple concepts and exercising their imagination.
Creative experiences provide children with the opportunity to express themselves, 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 . It helps children to develop language, sharing, and co-operational skills. Creative learning assists in many areas of your child’s development like, pre-writing experience and small muscle co-ordination, eye-hand coordination, and fine motor skills sensorial experience.
Manipulative play helps to develop small muscle control, self-expression, and role-playing. It also gives children an opportunity for social interaction, which encourages language development. These activities are done individually and in a group setting. They 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.
Dramatic Play Centre
This area includes dress-up centers, house keeping, and block play. It provides an opportunity for children to learn about their feelings and to experiment with ways of expressing themselves. It provides an opportunity for children to experiment with social relationships. It also helps develop language through self-expression and role-playing.
Toddler General Information
Parents must supply disposable diapers, creams, powders and wipes etc. for use at the school for children who are not yet toilet trained. Please check you child’s diaper supplies daily.
Toilet Training and Washroom Routine
When children begin the toilet training process, please dress them in clothing which 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 and Lunchtime
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. This encourages the children to eat, so they look forward to meal and snack time.
Sleep time allows the teaching staff 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 the child to regain their energy. Sleep time is from 12:15 PM-2:15 PM. The school provides the bed and sheet and we ask that each child bring a blanket (which is sent home weekly for washing).
Large Motor Activities
Large motor skill activities include daily indoor and outdoor play and promote good health and development for growth. It also aides in balance and coordination, and promotes social skills such as sharing, taking turns, and cooperation.
The Toddler Program has a Behavior 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 when disciplining children, and we help children to: express themselves using words to 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 or if they require a “time out” to compose themselves. The child may rejoin the group whenever they feel that 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.
Goals and Objectives
- Provide a secure and trusting environment in order for the child to develop emotionally, healthy and stimulated.
- Encourage independence and self-help skills.
- Foster “CREATIVITY”
- Facilitate social interaction in a group setting.
- Promote language development
- Enhance fine motor and large motor skills.
- Encourage children to use the toilet and praise them for their attempts.
- Provide children with many different materials to express and explore in their own way. Have age appropriate activities.
- Provide children with opportunities to help themselves and to encourage and praise their accomplishments.
- Provide experiences in which children are encouraged to explore and manipulate their environment freely.
- The children are encouraged to interact with peers in large and small groups. We try to establish and maintain an environment where positive relationships develop.
- Encourage children to verbalize to peers and others what they want. Adults help model and expand children’s language structure. Example: (“red ball” “This is a red ball”).
- Maintain consistent routines, activities, and discipline. Children’s individual attempts and efforts are praised. Children are encouraged to express their feelings.