Infant Toddler Program

Educational Programs for Infants and Toddlers, Aged 6 Weeks to 3 Years

The Jessica Kass Infant & Toddler Program was established in 1992 because of the overwhelming need for a safe, quality and nurturing environment for our community’s youngest and most vulnerable members. Columbus Montessori pioneered this concept in central Ohio and is home to the only comprehensive Montessori infant toddler program in the area.

Jessica Kass Center

Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Program: A full-time, multi-age group care and education format

  • For children ages six weeks through three years of age
  • Teacher to Student ratio of 1 to 3.5
  • Available 7:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • Operates year round

Toddler Preschool Program: A part-time, multi-age group care and education format

      • For children ages 18 months through three years of age
      • Teacher to Student Ratio of 1 to 6
      • Available 8:30 – 12:15 p.m.
      • Enroll Monday-Tuesday; Wednesday thru Friday, or Monday thru Friday
      • Operates during the academic year

        Jessica Kass Center

 

Continuing research in the field of early childhood development finds that 85% of a child’s capacity to learn is determined by age five.  Columbus Montessori embraces this in our newborn to age three programming.

Children must feel emotionally secure in order to have the confidence to learn new things. Our program is based upon this principle. Our low student-teacher ratios and unique, multi-age format supports the development of emotionally close, long-term relationships. Teachers get to know and understand each child’s unique rhythms, needs and temperament. Teachers are highly responsive to children’s verbal and non-verbal cues, while engendering independence. Our predictable flow of the day, consistent expectations and organized classroom environment support the child’s inherent need for order.

Our curriculum is based on the Montessori philosophy and aligns with Ohio’s Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers:

  • Caregiving routines are integral and viewed as key times for bonding and learning.
  • Primary caregivers closely observe children and document child development in order to establish individual learning goals for each child across all developmental domains.
  • Independence is encouraged.
  • Respect for self, others and the environment is stressed.
  • The development of concentration is valued

How do you keep the infants safe in the mixed age environment?

The Jessica Kass Infant & Toddler Program serves children aged six months to three years old. The infants and toddlers share the same space in small groupings. The older children observe the teachers interacting with the infants, who are never far from an adult’s reach. When a child who is at the older end of the age range joins the program, the teachers guide the toddler through this new relationship as the toddler learns to interact appropriately with the infants. The toddlers model the teachers’ behaviors and are gentle with the infants. Children are naturally caring and nurturing when given the opportunity.

How do you continue to challenge the older children?
During the work cycle, developmentally appropriate activities are available for all ages.  Lesson planning is individualized and based on teachers’ observations of students, and teachers are able to bring in any materials necessary to challenge a child.  The older children also take on new roles in the classroom by becoming teacher’s helpers and role models for the younger children. The toddlers continue their social, physical, academic, and physical development by participating in the daily routines of the classroom, such as helping to prepare lunch as well.

Columbus Montessori Jessica Kass Center

What do the children do during the day?
Each infant’s own eating and sleeping schedule is observed and respected. When the infants are not sleeping, they participate in activities that offer intellectual and sensory stimulation and build motor development. During the work cycle, materials suitable for all ages are available for each curriculum areas.  Children make individual choices and teachers present lessons one-on-one or to small groups of children.  In addition, children utilize our indoor large motor space and our beautiful outdoor playground and garden daily.

What is the educational background and teaching experience of the staff?
In addition to the educational requirements for all teachers at Columbus Montessori, every teacher in the Infant & Toddler Program is required to complete the American Montessori Society’s Infant/Toddler training. This training consists of at least 210 classroom instructional hours and a minimum of 400 student teaching hours. The average length of employment for the teaching staff is 7.9 years.

How will I know what my child did during the day?

We strive to create partnerships with parents, and communication is an integral part of that.  We utilize a variety of tools including daily charting, daily message boards, face to face communication, twice yearly parent conferences, and monthly classroom newsletters.

How do you know when it is time for a child to move to the Children’s House Program?

When the teacher determines that the child has moved into the next plane of development they will advance the child to the next pre-school level. Some of the cues that help the teacher to make that assessment are the child’s ability to make independent choices, completion of their toilet learning, ability to take verbal direction from the teacher, and have moved into the conscious absorbent mind.  Children must be three years old to begin in Children’s House.

Contact Rekha Kohli at rkohli@columbusmontessori.org for more information or to schedule a tour.