We offer a challenging Montessori curriculum for infants from 6 weeks old to children through 6 years in our infant, toddler, preschool and full time kindergarten classrooms (See Levels). We’re open year round including the summer months when we offer an additional program for School Age children through the 3rd grade. We offer full or part time child care programs to suit the needs of most families. We feel music, foreign language and art are all important aspects of a well rounded program and they are all included in our standard tuition rates.Why Monterssori? The Montessori Classroom Montessori Myths
In the Step By Step infant program our first and foremost goal is to provide a safe, clean and peaceful child care environment. The emphasis is on stimulation and comfort for the very young child. Our philosophy utilizes an on-demand schedule which focuses on the child’s need, our caregivers respond to your child based on their schedule, except for diaper changing which happens as needed or every 2 hours. Multiple caregivers within the classroom ensure continuity of child care as opposed to only one caregiver watching your child.
Montessori is introduced even at this young age with a focus on social interaction in the room, eye contact and talking with the child during feeding. We also work on physical development focusing on core muscle strength via tummy time, work on rolling over, sitting up or reaching for things which all aid in large muscle development. All these activities provide for the opportunity for sensory stimulation which is critical for brain development. Sign language in incorporated into our program to aid in communication with the child. A wellness nurse visits our infant child care center monthly and ensures continued wellness practices.
Our Infant and Toddler Coordinator works with all our centers on new concepts and activities, we’re continuously improving our program and taking advantage of the latest concepts in infant development. In our child care and day care centers we feel music is important part of our program and our older infants are introduced to our music program two times per week. As the child continues to progress they are introduced to more Montessori concepts including self-directed work and circle time which promotes self control and concentration. Our older infants also get to experience nature and the changing seasons via walks outside. Every child in our infant program receives a daily activity sheet detailing your child’s schedule and activities that day.
Our infant program is very popular and we enroll months in advance. If you are interested in our infant program please submit a request for information and schedule a visit, even if you think it is very early for you. Starting the process early is better than finding that the program you really want is already full.
Our trained staff has developed a program for the 16 months to 2 1/2 year olds that will assist your child in developing vocabulary, social relationships and self help skills in a warm, friendly environment.Toddlers work with materials to lengthen their attention span and to develop their concentration and coordination. Montessori learning at the toddler level fosters independence, enhances creativity and imagination and promotes good hygiene and good manners. Music, storytelling, arts and crafts, practical life skills including matching, sorting and pouring, large muscle coordination, naps and individual and group games are all important parts of the daily life for your child at Step By Step Montessori. We have toddler programs at all of our locations.
Inherent to the Step By Step classroom is the use of Montessori materials to allow children to explore practical life, sensory perception, reading and writing abilities, mathematical skills, geographical areas, and elements of botany and zoology as well as enrichment programs in music and foreign language. We believe fine arts are a part of the classroom curriculum and this strengthens the child’s awareness of their own creativity and the diversity of others.
Our goal is to help each child develop a positive self-image within this carefully planned environment. The child also develops the necessary skills required for a lifetime of creative learning. Children carry within themselves the potential for what they can be. In order to reach this potential physically, emotionally and intellectually, he or she must have the freedom to develop to their fullest potential.
Did you know that most public kindergarten programs are based on half day curriculum? That means even if your child is participating in a full day kindergarten program the curriclum only provides for a half day of academics. The rest of day is filled with non-academic time like dramatic play, outside time or other play time. Don’t waste a year of academics for your child while everyone else catches up.
The kindergarten program at Step By Step Montessori is an extension of the traditional Montessori classroom. It is an opportunity for children to learn new skills at their own rates of development and therefore advance accordingly. Emphasis is placed of language arts, reading, social skills, math, science, and individual activities to promote group and individual skills. The children work a full day on academics and routinely read at advanced levels and are working on advanced math concepts.
If your child has a birthday after the cutoff date for entry into an elementary school program and you choose to participate in our kindergarten program. Step By Step Montessori will not guarantee your child will be granted early enrollment into a grade level ahead of their scheduled start year.Specifically if your child turns 5 after Sept 1st we do not guarantee that the elementary school (public or private) will accept the child next year for 1st grade.
“Most children at age five are at a very different development stage from children at age six. The Montessori primary (age 3 to 6) program is elegantly designed to play to the reality of their stage of development.” – Tim Seldin, Chair of the International Montessori Foundation
Why Montessori for the Kindergarten Year?
The Step By Step Latch Key program is for children through 8 years of age. It is a program offered for children before and after school. They are also welcome to attend on public school vacation days and during the summer months. Of course, your child will be extended close supervision and loving care while you are gone, and will be able to utilize the excellent facilities of our schools!
Our summer session begins right after our academic year so there is no interruption in the program. The summer camp is available to all ages served by Step By Step Montessori. Along with our Montessori curriculum, our summers are filled with lots of field trips, in house events, bike and water days, swimming lessons, ice cream days and art projects. Our summer themes have included Exploring the World, Arts & Crafts, Fitness and Science and each theme stresses creative art programs and provides a happy, fun filled learning experience for all the children.It’s so important to keep children challenged throughout the summer and our summer camp programs are a perfect mix of fun and learning so the kids are ready to start the school year.
Our foreign language specialists visit our schools twice per week. Children develop an appreciation for different cultures and learn the fundamentals of either Spanish or French. Children absorb the different languages at an early age and we include toddlers in this program. Foreign language classes are included in our standard tuition. Compare our program using native speakers teaching conversation techniques to the children to other programs using a canned curriculum taught by the classroom teacher, who may or may not speak the language. Other centers may offer many types of languages in their program, typically they’re using memorization techniques e.g. flash cards as the basis for their language programs where the children may memorize a word but in most cases do not appreciate the art of the conversation.
Our Music specialist visits our schools and children have music class twice per week. They sing songs, work with simply rhythmic patterns and simple instruments. The children even perform in programs twice per year (Holiday and Spring time). Our Music Specialists are some of the best in teaching various music concepts including: singing, rhythm, beat, and playing basic instruments. We even get the toddlers in on the music class. The children love singing along with the piano. Music classes are included in our standard tuition.
This is an optional program at Step By Step and is available for children over 4 years of age. We partner with various community organizations or the YMCA. Again a nice option for parents since you won’t have to get in the pool.
This is an optional program at Step By Step and is available for children over 3. Ms. Missy is our Dance Instructor, she has been teaching dance forever and her special ways work wonders with the children as they explore the various dance methods. Classes take place during the day, which frees Mom and Dad from driving to classes on the weekend. We have a dance recital in May, a major production at Step By Step and an exciting time for our dancers.
An optional program at Step By Step which is available to all preschool aged children. Our Technology Education Specialist comes to all centers once per week. Our program is based on the Apple iPad technology and works in concert with our Montessori curriculum. Each child has their own iPad to use during the program so no more waiting around for a free laptop.
6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday- Friday
(6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. for Brooklyn Park, Chaska, Corcoran)