As I give tours and answer prospective parent questions, things always go back to the basics - what constitutes good quality early childhood education? I believe a good educational beginning has to begin with the staff that cares for your child.

Is it enough to love your child? Every child needs to feel love so they can reach their highest potential - they need to be secure in their relationship with the person they spend many of their waking hours. 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 potty 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 duo.

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 is never too early to start out with a great teacher!