Frequently Asked Childcare Questions

 
Are you open all year?
Yes, Montessori Children's Academy is open all year.

How is the staff trained?
Our teaching staff goes through extensive Montessori teacher training and most, if not all of the teaching staff is Montessori certified. The toddler and pre-school/kindergarten teachers all hold 4 year degrees in the field of education. They are also state certified. The assistants are trained by the teachers in the classroom as well as receiving a minimum of 12 staff development hours per year.

Are you currently hiring?
Our school is always on the look-out for quality educators that believe in the Montessori philosophy. If you are interested in applying for an assistant or teacher position, please send an email inquiry to director@millardmontessori.com.
 
Thinking Toddler
 
What size are your classes?
Our class size depends on ratio requirements and level. Our infant classes never exceed 12 children with 3 adults. Our toddler classes range from 12 - 18 children with 2-3 staff members. The pre-school/kindergarten classes range from 20-30 students with 2-3 staff members each. We believe that children who are empowered to solve problems and choose their own work need less teacher direction and are better able to serve as guides and role models for each other. This means the number of children in a class can be higher because the Guide is able to focus on giving lessons.

What holidays are you closed?
We are closed for all federal holidays, the Friday after Thanksgiving and from December 24 - January 2nd. Every few years, our staff attends a regional American Montessori Society conference, so we are closed for one Friday in March.

What happens for snow days?
We follow Millard Public Schools for inclement weather days. Although we know this sometimes poses a hardship for our families, we believe the safety of the children and staff is of the utmost importance.

How will my child do when they leave Montessori and attend a traditional school?
Children are who they are. If your child is friendly and out-going in a Montessori environment, they tend to be that way in a traditional classroom. When a child moves from a Montessori classroom, where grace and courtesy (how to interrupt, how to ask someone to play, how to resolve a conflict) are encouraged and reinforced on a daily basis, that child tends to feel empowered. The multi-age setting where children stay with the same Guide for a longer than 10 month period of time, also encourages esteem and relationship building. While most children have an adjustment to a traditional school program, where the child may be asked to do what everyone else is doing or sit sedentary for periods of time, our goal is to best prepare your child to be successful in any future environments.

Is Montessori right for my child?
This is one reason we insist parents come for a tour before enrolling their child. If you aren't familiar with Montessori philosophy, we invite you to take a tour so you can see our children and classrooms in action! Montessori education is not a 'one size fits all.' We cater to families that have high expectations for their children and the staff that care for them. The Montessori philosophy allows and encourages children to move at their own pace through our curriculum, not waiting or being pushed ahead based on peers in the classroom. The environments are set up to be stimulating, yet orderly and peaceful.

What if my child spends all of his time in the practical life area of the classroom?
This is a concern of some parents. One needs to understand that the Guide in each classroom is trained to not only give lessons and respond to the needs of each child, but to observe. What is the guide observing? The guide is observing what each child is working on, how long are they sticking with one piece of work, are they actively engaged, are they working independently or cooperatively? These are but a few items the Guide observes many times throughout a work period. The Guide will observe your child, invite your child to lessons, and encourage your child in the best way possible. It is quite normal for children new to the environment to spend most of their time in the practical life area of the classroom. This is one way a child learns about the classroom -how it functions, how the child fits in the classroom - am I able to navigate around the classroom? Does someone else want the work I am doing when I am finished? The child learns how to choose material from a shelf, decide where to work and for how long. These are all important work habits the child will need to tackle more academic work as he matures through the classroom.

Why is the material called work?
Montessori Guides refer to materials on the shelf as 'work.' It is the child's work - set up at their level and for them to use. Just like I go to work and enjoy it very much, I believe the child attends school, chooses their own work and enjoys it very much! Generally speaking, we refer to outside time as play time or when the child would have toys with which to play.

How does Montessori Children's Academy differ from daycare?
I believe a good educational beginning has to begin with the staff that cares for your child. In addition to being loving and compassionate, I think it imperative that the teacher also be observant and knowledgeable. A teacher that is observant can watch for signs when a toddler is ready to toilet train. An observant teacher can observe an infant struggling to crawl. The observant teacher can observe a situation and then come up with a possible solution to the dilemma. Here is where the knowledgeable part comes in to play. The teacher understands and knows enough about child development to know when something is or is not developmentally appropriate. Add in experience and you have a teacher that has a dynamic combination. In a Montessori environment, the teacher (or Guide) takes a scientific approach to teaching. The Guide observes the child to see when s/he is ready to move on to a new skill, when a child has mastered a new skill, when a child is struggling with a skill. As you consider your options for an early childhood setting for your child remember that it is never too early to start out with a great teacher!