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Toddler Program

The Toddler Program is for ages 18-36 months.

This video tours you through the indoor and outdoor spaces of the Toddler environment and touches on the toilet learning area. Toddlers do not need to be toilet learned to be enrolled. We encourage you to read this article by Sarah Moudry to learn more about MIR's approach to toilet learning.

As you watch this video, you will see the students work independently, one-on-one with a teacher, or side-by-side with a friend to achieve mastery of skills and concepts appropriate to their age level. Children at this age do not work collaboratively -- that is a characteristic of the Elementary ages.


“There is in the child a special kind of sensitivity which leads him to absorb everything about him and it is this work of observing and absorbing that alone enables him to adapt himself to life. He does it in virtue of an unconscious power that exists in childhood...The first period of the child’s life is one of adaptation.” ~ Dr. Maria Montessori (The Absorbent Mind, page 57)

This stage of life is characterized by tremendous physical and cognitive growth. Toddlers learn by exploring rich environments with their five senses and lots of active interaction with prepared adults.

You've experienced this when your child unexpectedly runs toward something new and exciting, or stops to point to every bug, flower, twig, piece of dirt, tree, animal, and unexplained gooey thing on a walk.

Toddlers also have a driving, inborn need to be independent. They are aware that they don't have the skills but they sure are willing to try. Maria Montessori said "No one can be free unless he is independent: therefore, the first, active manifestations of the child's individual liberty must be so guided that through this activity he may arrive at independence."

The Montessori Toddler classroom provides a safe, home-like environment for your child to learn to care for themselves and others and to become independent. The work is tailored to the child's natural development, and they do it joyfully.

  • Language development -- Each class is rich with materials that help your child grow their vocabulary and communication abilities. Plenty of one-on-one work with teachers offers constant opportunity for active conversation to build their verbal skills.
  • Gross motor development -- Children need to move, and the class welcomes and encourages this movement. Class materials, physical education, dancing, music, and free play all help your child grow stronger and more coordinated.
  • Fine motor development -- These skills involve small muscles in the fingers, hands, and wrists and support your child's ability to dress and feed themselves, write, and more. Class materials provide many opportunities to practice these movements in various engaging ways.
  • Social and emotional development -- Your child will develop independence, self-control, and care of self and others under the patient guidance of the teachers. They are given freedom with clear limits to practice appropriate behaviors and learn how to be part of a community.
  • Cognition and learning -- Your child's daily experiences build the neural connections needed for a solid foundation for learning. The Montessori environment is designed to help your child develop healthy habits and encourages the exploration and freedom your child needs to build these connections.

Learn more about the developmental characteristics of children at these ages from AMI.

Immunization Policy

Program Options

Enrollment options for the Toddler program include 2 (Th, F), 3 (M, T, W), or 5 (M-F) days a week. For the 2-day program, the teacher and the Admissions Office reserve the right to determine if the 2-day program option is in the best interest of a student. We may recommend beginning with the 3- or 5-day program for more consistency for the student, a smoother transition, and a more successful start in school with new relationships.

Students may also be enrolled for half-, full-, or all-day programs. The Half Day program meets 9-11:45 a.m. The Full Day program meets 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The All Day program meets 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Extended care options are also available. If you are interested in our Toddler program, please be aware that this is a school, not a childcare program. We follow a school-year calendar, with a standard school holiday schedule and closures for necessary staff training and class preparation.

Developmental Assessment

Families who enroll their toddlers at MIR are automatically given an "Ages & Stages Questionnaire" to help them get a complete picture of their child's development. If any concerns are identified, parents may be referred to their child's pediatrician or to appropriate specialists. Read the MIR Parent Handbook & Survival Guide for a complete description of our assessment process.

About the Teachers

Collectively, our three toddler teachers have more than 80 years’ experience working with young children.

In addition to meeting the educational requirements of our license, they hold their AMI diplomas for this age group.