Infant Program

12 weeks - 18 months

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Mission Montessori’s Infant Program is uniquely designed to be homelike and nurturing,  while also stimulating intellectual growth, confidence, and a desire to explore.

We welcome children as early as 12 weeks and have prepared the infant classrooms with developmentally appropriate material and activities that support the child’s development through each stage of infant growth. Our loving teachers speak softly to children, follow the child’s pace, and encourage independence in countless ways. You will find infants as young as six months sitting at a table and feeding themselves!

The age range for our infant program is from 12 weeks to 24 months. After the age of 18 months a child may begin their transition to our toddler program.

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Ratios

We work to maintain a 3:1 ratio throughout a majority of the day. There are moments when we will need to provide care at a 4:1 ratio to allow for teacher breaks. Though your child will interact with all teachers in the classroom on a daily basis, the classroom’s Head Teacher will be the main point of contact for you regarding your child.

The Prepared Environment

Maria Montessori believed children are capable of more when the environment they are in is designed to foster their development and independence. Mission Montessori’s Prepared Environment is a rich blend of pleasing aesthetics, tactile objects, sounds both soothing and stimulating, and a pervading sense of mutual respect supported by skilled caregivers who listen actively and communicate thoroughly.

What you’ll see:

  • Homelike, understated decor with appealing mobiles, inviting activity spaces and engaging objects

  • Soft floor mats and bolsters to encourage free movement and motor skill development

  • Independence enhancing wall-mounted bars, low stairs, and soft furniture to aid in “pulling up,” climbing, and standing

  • Safe, low-mounted “self discovery” mirrors

  • Toddler-sized shelving containing objects and materials that promote cause/effect and fine-motor development (grasping, opening/closing, puzzle solving, etc.)

  • Designated, tranquil nap spaces and comfortable chairs for nursing parents

  • Infant indoor and outdoor play spaces complete with specially designed equipment and multi-child strollers

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How we engage

Because an infant’s brain is wired for language acquisition, our environments offer rich opportunities for babies to learn through plenty of reading, singing, and sign language; further supported by a running dialogue as your child’s caregivers explain the events of the day.

We connect by using:

  • Calm, step-by-step verbal explanations

  • Warm eye-contact

  • Caring, supportive responsiveness

  • Child-guided play (interactive or observed) and task assistance

Program Schedule / Daily Routine

Every family runs on its own schedule and, with that in mind, our caretakers ensure that each child’s home routine of naps and feeding are interwoven with the fabric of each day. Our infant program complements home habits, offering a comforting consistency mixed with a healthy measure of new and stimulating elements.

Feeding

Our complete kitchen areas hygienically accommodate home-supplied breastmilk, formula, homemade purees, snacks, etc. We also welcome breastfeeding mothers who would like to nurse onsite or simply drop off expressed milk, but ask that all babies have been successfully bottle feeding for at least one month prior to joining our program. As infants begin to develop, they will be encouraged to self-feed and drink from a cup as soon as it’s appropriate.

Sleeping

Naptime takes place in tranquil, noise-minimizing areas complete with comfortable floor beds, where infants are encouraged to fall asleep and awaken on their own. Parents and faculty work together to optimize each child’s best sleep habits by blending tried and true home methods with expert tips and techniques.

Rocking and holding newly-enrolled infants to sleep is our pleasure, even as we work together with parents to establish habits of self-soothing and self-regulation. Pacifiers are permitted initially, but will be gently phased out in order to promote oral health and good habits, as will bottle drinking to aid sleep.

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Communication

Mission Montessori recognizes that close communication with parents is integral to providing children with the best possible care, support, and opportunities for development.

We strive for mutual understanding by:

  • Obtaining detailed information upon enrollment, which includes everything from sleep preferences to feeding to temperament.

  • Promoting daily exchanges of information between parents and teachers so both have a good understanding of schedule changes, progress, issues, etc.

  • Offering scheduled parent-teacher conferences.

  • Welcoming parent phone calls any time during the day.

  • Being available for informal chats at drop-off or pick-up time.

  • Presenting parent education events throughout the year.

Our goal is to be your trusted partner in creating a happy, loving environment for your child and your trusted aid during every step of development. We look forward to meeting your family!