16 October 2011

Montessori Toddler Program in Canberra?

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Has anyone used the Montessori Toddler Program for their child?

If so, is it worthwhile?

What sort of activities do the children do during the class?

Is it value for money?

Most importantly, is there a waiting list?


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We’ve got one child currently in the school after going through the Parent Toddler program (PTP), and another who will (hopefully, if we get a place) be starting the PTP next year.

For ‘worthwhile’ and ‘value for money’, I’d say yes (naturally dependent on the individual child), but you’ll only get the most value out of it if you’re going to follow through with the rest of the Montessori program.

There is competition for places; the aim of the PTP is to help prepare children for the full program, so don’t expect preferential treatment if you’re just going for the PTP and not for the rest of the program.

As to what sort of activities are done, listen to etr420 – contact the school and arrange for an observation (i.e. you go into the classrooms and see for yourself what goes on) – this is part of the normal enrollment process anyway.

Also (if you haven’t already) do some research (the school will help if you ask!) into the Montessori system, and decide if it will suit your child. While it’s been great for us (and I strongly encourage you to consider it!), it doesn’t work for everyone – in particular, children who like highly ordered and structured environments (e.g. those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder) are less likely to get good value out of it.

Our kid was at the school from 3 years old to end of primary school, but not the toddler program. Loved it and doing very well in his second year of high school. The Montessori approach was radical a hundred years ago, but just sound pedagogy now. The most significant difference is that the classrooms have kids from a three year age range, so for the last three years of primary school, for example, your child is in with kids who would otherwise be in years 4, 5 and 6. Great school community. Some basic info on the school web site about the toddler program:


They’re very friendly and I’m sure if you phoned them they’d arrange for you to come for an observation and tell you if there’s a waiting list. Fee information for kindergarten/primary school etc is here:


Some friends of ours have their kids in Montessori school, and have nothing but good things to say about it. I don’t know how much it costs, though.

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