Infant/Toddler: 6 weeks to 3 years
Our infant environment is designed to be responsive to an infant’s explorations. Our low teacher-to-child ratio (1:3) allows infants a great deal of supervision and care while they enjoy freedom of movement throughout the classroom to discover and interact. This movement allows them to develop gross and fine motor skills, and studies show a correlation between the development of these motor skills and mental development. Children in the infant environment at MSA are treated with respect as individuals and allowed to work toward independence, including learning the use of real dishes, silverware, and cups without lids. Infants at MSA are constantly interacted with, read to, and engaged. Infant teachers use basic sign language to ensure that the infant feels that he or she has been heard.
In the toddler classrooms, children are not “served” but encouraged to become functioning members of the community. Activities are positioned around the room for toddlers to choose independently. Each activity allows the children to begin to experience the concepts of sequence, form, shape, movement, and sound. Additionally, toddlers enjoy learning life skills. They love to prepare the snack, set the table, water the plants, or sweep the floor. This practical life training, along with grace and courtesy lessons, helps to build self confidence and independence.
Teachers in this program are Montessori professionals. They continually seek new experiences for their students that will stimulate curiosity. The Infant/Toddler Program provides the respect, tenderness, warmth, and patience that our youngest children need to blossom.