The Infant program at MacDonald Montessori School consists of three classrooms. The Nest Room, with 12 of our youngest infants, the Garden Room with 12 infants, and the Peace Room with 12 of our oldest infants up to approximately 16 months old. Infants are in our program are with others of similar age and development, and eventually transition through all the infant classrooms. This supports our educators in creating environments that best supports rapid pace of infant development. All classrooms are staffed with a team of three classroom educators, a pedagogical coordinator and a support team of educators that work throughout the school filling in where needed.
A natural environment for a baby is one that provides wise and observant adults and an interesting and safe space for infants to rest, explore, and develop. Maria Montessori believed that each new human being, from conception to maturity, forms himself or herself, taking materials for self-construction from the environment. Children’s development happens quite naturally if we observe and follow the child and prepare the environment accordingly. The infant classrooms are prepared environments designed to support the child’s need for purposeful activity. Reaching out, grasping, and sitting up in the early part of infancy to standing, walking, and building trust in the world throughout the first year of life. In the Nest Room, our youngest babies are offered a beautiful, calm, sensory stimulating environment as they become familiar with their new surroundings. As infants get older, our Garden Room offers an aesthetically pleasing environment with many opportunities for them to engage in experiences that support their developing ability to move. As infants move closer to becoming toddlers, our oldest infant classroom, the Peace Room offers an environment and encounters that are both stimulating and supportive as children move towards an increased awareness of others and engage in new social experiences.
Our Infant program values parent involvement and communication. You are welcome in the classroom to share talents, skills, or contributions. A weekly journal is sent to parents via email daily giving you a glimpse of ongoing classroom experiences containing photos, conversations, and reflections, as well as a monthly newsletter containing school wide information as one way of inviting parents into our learning. Parent/Educator conferences are held twice a year and family events are held several times throughout the school year