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1110 College NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
USA

Infant and Toddler Community

Our Infant and Toddler Community

Our youngest children learn to care for their environment, including washing dishes.

Our youngest children learn to care for their environment, including washing dishes.

 
 

The first three Years of Life

The first three years of life are full of exuberant growth. Movement, language, and personal independence develop more rapidly now than at any other time. At this crucial stage of development, the Montessori classroom provides a safe place in which the child’s unique self can flourish and find meaning.

The Infant and Toddler community at Stepping Stones Montessori knows that each child is a special individual, full of potential. The child’s experiences away from home are carefully constructed. Each child is nurtured and empowered. Classrooms are inviting; materials are appropriately stimulating. Movement is encouraged, and meaningful, ordered activities satisfy developmental needs. Our trained Montessori faculty members use richly expressive language to accompany every action. In such an environment, a child can truly thrive.

Unlike the multi-age classrooms found elsewhere in our program, our Infant and Toddler Community has three classrooms—an infant room for children 12 weeks of age through 15-18 months, a younger toddler room for children 15 months to 28 months, and an older toddler room for children ages 2 years to 3 years. Each environment is designed to meet the unique needs of children at that age.

Our infant room is free of high chairs, saucers, and other “containers” for children, allowing students to move independently, developing gross and fine motor skills, which are directly linked to future academic performance. In this environment, children are nurtured and taught the earliest forms of independence, including communication through signs.

Once a child is walking independently and no longer mouthing objects, they are ready for our younger toddler room. In this classroom, students follow a consistent routine, helping them to develop the security needed for learning. Our students continue to build vocabulary and language, and they begin to develop patterns of longer concentration. Music and foreign language through song are incorporated into the program.

In our older toddler room, students continue developing language and independence, focusing for longer periods. In addition to music and foreign language, letter sounds are introduced.

Both toddler classrooms enjoy time outdoors together as much as weather allows.

These classrooms are a beautiful extension of our school, and as such, we do not think of them as daycare. Even for our youngest students, our calendar includes regular school breaks throughout the academic year, and our school is occasionally closed for snow days.

Summer registration options are available to current families.