Our Toddler Program is designed for young children 18 months to 3 years. This is a place where children first begin to interact with people beyond the family. The toddler’s most important work, and the emphasis in the Toddler Program, is the acquisition of language, along with the development and refinement of gross motor coordination and independence. The Toddler Program provides a nurturing environment for this growth to take place.
The Toddler Program offers both four day or five day programs:
4-Day Program: Monday – Thursday, 8:30-12:00 p.m.
5-Day Program: Monday – Friday, 8:30-12:00 p.m.
Extended Day and After-Care options are also available
A “toddler” is a child in transition – a child with particular needs and abilities, which can best be aided through the Montessori toddler environment.
The environment is different from the preschool class because the child is in a different stage of development and exhibits specifically different behaviors. It is for these reasons that the toddler class exists and that specific teacher training is necessary.
The child between 20 months and 3 years is still very new to the world of sights, sounds and movements. He is in awe of the wonders of the object world, and his immature senses can be bombarded and overlooked. How different from the preschool child, who is interested in refining his senses and controlling his own movements.
The child establishes a sense of trust – trust in himself and trust in the environment. The purpose of the toddler class environment is to create a nurturing environment in which the child can teach themselves through creative activities and exploration.
As a child in transition, he has conflicting feelings. He experiences the pain of separation and the “push-pull” between the pleasures of oneness with his mother or primary caretaker, along with exhilaration of growing independence, sense of self and freedom. This is the “energy,” the dynamics of transition, which is quite different from the more centered child of the preschool classroom, who is inner-directed and practicing the activities of his culture through the love of repetition. For this reason, a separation environment is included in the toddler class, which would not be necessary in the 3 to 6 age group.
The toddler has first a need for love, understanding and empathy. He needs information, logical limits, flexibility and support. He needs a physical and human environment, which focuses and responds to the rapid and conflicting changes of this age. The focus is not on curriculum. This sets the pace, lays the foundation, and initiates the direction of the activities the child will pursue. It is with this understanding that a toddler class is developed.
The Early Childhood Program is for children 3 years to 6 years. It is a three year program that includes kindergarten in the third year.
The Early Childhood Program offers several options:
4-Day Program – Monday – Thursday, 8:30-12:00 p.m. (3’s only)
5-Day Program – Monday – Thursday, 8:30-12:00 p.m. (3’s & 4’s)
Full Day Program – Monday – Friday 8:30 – 2:30 p.m. (4’s only)
The early childhood program is designed to serve the needs of children from 3 to 6 years of age. With a ratio of approximately ten children to each adult, the individual needs of each child are easily met. The children learn many different skills at their own academic and social level.
The younger children develop social skills and learn what it means to be part of a group, how to separate from their parents, take turns and become independent. The children in their second year focus on lessons and peer socialization and are able to move at their own pace. The third year is when the children grow academically and at a rapid rate. The afternoon is dedicated to these Pre-K and Kindergarten children. Here the focus of small group lessons helps to advance academics and foster the love of learning.
The Montessori Classroom offers your child:
Monday – Friday – 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
Many parents who enroll their 3 and 4 year old children in Montessori ask:
What about Kindergarten?
The answer comes from an understanding of Dr. Montessori’s insights into early learning. The sensitive periods for development in a child occur roughly between the ages of 2 ½ to 5. It is most important that their learning experience flows uninterrupted during this cycle in order to maximize the child’s growth potential.
Our curriculum and materials are designed as a three year program in harmony with these principles of early childhood education.
Therefore, in order for your child to derive the full benefit of the Montessori method it is essential that he or she completes the three year cycle culminating in the Kindergarten year.
Why plant a flower if you don’t wait for the blossom?
Monday – Friday – 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm
For toddler and Early Childhood Education students, the Ridgefield Montessori School offers an Extended Day program from 12:00 noon until dismissal at 2:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
For toddler students this includes naptime or quiet time. For 3 year old students, this includes lunchtime, rest time, some Montessori work and additional activities.
Extended Day hours are available to parents on an as-needed basis and billed at an hourly rate monthly.
Monday – Friday | 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm (Hours limited due to Covid)
All Ridgefield Montessori students may take advantage of our After Care Program, which operates Monday through Friday from 2:30 pm until 6:00 pm.
Children can be picked up anytime during these hours.
This program is geared towards recreational play and arts & crafts.
Enrichment Programs are offered at the Ridgefield Montessori School. These programs give our children an opportunity to experience many different activities in addition to the usual curriculum.
A variety of classes are offered ranging from art, dance, cooking, science, music, foreign language, sewing, yoga, and acting. These programs vary year to year and are led by qualified and trained personnel.