Daycare and childcare centers are in abundance in the Austin area. When looking for the best fit for your toddler, we hope you’ll consider the variety of benefits Austin Children’s Academy can offer compared to traditional daycare facilites.
Montessori vs. Daycare
Traditional daycare centers are typically activity driven. A schedule is set by the adults, in which activities are facilitated nearly every 20 to 30 minutes. All children participate in the same activity at the same time, regardless of their interest. The use of whole group instruction aims to keep the group of toddlers engaged in a way that the adults can manage large groups at a time with ease. Instruction happens in a group setting and at a group pace–even if some children move more slowly or more quickly.
Austin Children’s Academy is a member of American Montessori Society, with certified Montessori teachers implementing Montessori philosophy. Our toddler program is quite different from typical daycare centers. The unique aspects of Montessori classrooms allow for quality learning experiences.
The Classroom Environment
Montessori classrooms are calm and methodical. Unlike a daycare center that can have noisy and sometimes messy environments, Montessori aims to enable a space that allows for deep focus. While we too can have time for messy play, our goal is to provide meaningful experiences without distraction. This allows for more opportunities for children to work at their own pace.
Child Centered Approach
Typical learning environments are adult driven, this is the case for most schools up to 12th grade. In Montessori, a child-centered approach is taken from toddler classrooms through high school. Montessori toddler programs support a child’s growing independence and self-discovery. Instruction is given individually–teachers present short presentations to the child, and then give the child time to practice on their own.
Montessori’s basic principle is to “follow the child” and for that reason, teachers find ways to connect with each individual child based on their interests. Child-led explorations develop independence and help children become internally motivated learners.
Learning is Play
In a daycare facility, you might find toys, games, and other items to inspire play, but in Montessori–learning is play. Young children are inquisitive and eager to learn about the world around them. They desire opportunities to perform tasks on their own.
For Montessori toddler programs, learning is focused on the mantra, “Help me do it myself.” Children might practice scooping beans from one bowl to another, or pour liquid with precision from one vessel to the next. This type of work is not only satisfying to the child, it develops their fine-motor skills, promotes the use of the pincer grasp, and strengthens their hand and finger coordination.
Montessori teachers are rigorously trained in the methodology. Unlike typical day care programs where staff may have minimal training and support, our teachers are experienced and certified with Montessori teaching credentials.
At Austin Children’s Academy, we aim to keep our adult to child ratios low, enabling us to engage children in individual lessons, offer support when needed, and build strong relationships.
Growth and Development
Montessori approaches child development quite differently from traditional childcare programs. The whole child is of focus when it comes to their growth and development. Our Montessori toddler program focus on whole body learning that promotes the well-being of the child–emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We hope to instill a love for lifelong learning beginning with our youngest children.
If you haven’t stepped into a Montessori classroom, we encourage you to schedule a tour today. A Montessori learning environment must be experienced to gain greater understanding. We hope you will come see for yourself.