Toddlers

In August 2018, Casa started a bilingual Montessori toddler group (an environment for children who are one to three years of age). Due to the high demand and our toddler group being almost full, in September 2019, we opened a second toddler environment.

You can think of our classroom as miniature household, where all things have a place and all work has a purpose. The children are cared for in a safe, warm, respectful and loving environment in which their independence, language and motor skills are cultivated. All furniture and materials are realistic, but adapted to the child's physical size and abilities.
The purpose of the toddler environment is to aid children in their quest towards functional independence. This means at school they will have plenty of opportunities to practice eating by themselves (with all that this implies - preparation of food and setting the table, using cutlery to eat out of porcelain plates, drinking water out of glass glasses and of course, cleaning up), caring for their own person (learning to dress/ undress, washing their hands/ faces, cleaning their noses) and the environment around them (flower arranging, watering the plans, mopping and sweeping etc.), use the toilet independently and be aware of their body scheme and needs (including assessing if they are tired or not and resting if needed, being aware of their emotions, how they feel and actively working on expressing that).
 
 
 
Today we look at the world as a unique, large community because the most important goals of human life are those of every one and the decisions made affect everyone.  We are interdependent; no one can fully separate him or herself from the community.
 
This is of course one of the important things we work toward – interdependence - being mutually reliant on each other this necessity is a fact of life. Human beings, being social animals, need to be together. To do this in the best possible way each person should care for herself and those immediately around her and by doing this, care for the world.
The environment is fully equipped for children who can walk. Therefore, the children can only come to school when they can walk (on average this is 15 months, but it varies per child). However, the minimum age remains one year.
 
If you are expecting or have just given birth, you can also register your child. If you do not yet have any children at Casa, you can register your child via the following link: http://casaschool.flexkids.nl/aanvraag.

If you do have children at Casa, you can enroll your child by logging in to Flexweb and clicking on the button in the upper right corner 'Register Child'.

If you want more information you can visit one of our information mornings. Please check the agenda for upcoming information mornings.

You can also read our pedagogical policy for the Toddler Group here.  At the moment it's only in Dutch. The English version is coming soon.

For fees and opening hours please check our tariffs.

For online information you can follow the link below:

http://montessoriguide.org/journey-to-independence/

If you have any questions, please email us at toddlers @casaschool.nl (for administrative inquiries). If you wish to talk with one of the class guides, you can email either pluto @casaschool.nl or luna @casaschool.nl.

“...we must create an environment for the child wherein the child can carry out its experiments, an environment in which he finds the possibilities of carrying on his activities without being all the time chased away by adults. A sort of nursery world, a world made for the child. It is this which Montessori Schools aim at. There is a world of difference between the ordinary school where the idea is to teach the child, and ours where there is an environment of life for the child.”
(Montessori, Maria Lecture Book-Kodaikanal 1943 Lecture 6, pg. 37)

Maybe you have these questions in mind:

"But why should my child come to a Casa Toddler group?"

Because...... In these groups, the children learn how to become independent.

They learn and practice:

  • to use the toilet,
  • to get dressed,
  • to eat a wide variety of foods,
  • to set the table and clean up afterwards,
  • to prepare fruit for snacks or assist with preparing lunches (more information on Food Preparation in these groups),
  • to sleep independently,
  • to socialise,
  • develop their fine and gross motor skills,
  • and they also begin already with the two languages at Casa!

These groups also lay the foundation for your child to have a smooth start in our Children's House.

“But my child is already attending another daycare. Won’t having multiple transitions between groups be detrimental for him/her?”

On the contrary! Coming to the Toddlers helps the children adjust to the routines which they will also find in the Children’s House, thus giving them consistency, familiarity and should make the transition smoother.

Many fresh 3 year olds, who are coming from a normal daycare or home environment, find it very overwhelming when they first start in the Children’s House. As the school groups have mixed ages of 3/4/5 year olds, we have 3 guides for around 35-40 children. These 3 year olds will often take at least one month to acclimatise to the Children’s House environment. Or, if they only attend school for 2-3 days a week, it can take as long as 3 months for them to adjust.

On the other hand, we have 3 guides for a maximum of 16 children in our Toddler groups (ages 1-3). In these small groups they are able to get used to the Montessori manner in a much quieter environment, so the transition to the Children’s House is not as difficult.

Did you know.... some of our Toddlers have already transitioned to the Children's House?

"What do you, as guides, see when children come from the Toddlers?"

We are thrilled to see....

  • curiosity and inquisitiveness,
  • independence,
  • confidence,
  • open and accepting attitudes,
  • understanding English,
  • free movement and desire to explore,
  • toileting success,
  • helpful attitudes - particularly when preparing snack.

"What do you see less of from children who come from the Toddlers?"

We see:

  • Fewer tears! Children have an easier transition to the Children's House, as they are more familiar with the Casa routines,
  • Less hesitation! An interesting challenge for our guides is that the Toddler children hesitate less. They do not cling to the guides and take a long time to adjust to the new environment. Instead, they are a force to be reckoned with as they plow straight ahead and want to get busy!
  • Fewer inhibitions! No challenge is too great for these children. They want to experience it all.

"What else will my child already know or be familiar with when they transition from the Toddlers to the Children's House?"

Your child will...

  • be familiar with the uninterrupted work cycle. This means they will already understand, and be able to work in a concentrated manner on their activity of choice.
  • be familiar with many of the practical life activities that are offered for them to participate in.
  • as their peers from the Toddlers also move up to the Children's House, they will usually have a few familiar faces in their new class. This also makes it easier for them to adjust to the change in environments.

"What do parents of children already in the Toddlers say about the groups?"

"My son has been in the Toddler group since day one. Anyone who has interacted with our son comments on how spectacularly fun he is for his age; they are also impressed by how independent he is. He's active, social, entirely unafraid after he gets past the 'get used to you' stage (which takes only about 5-10 minutes). He drinks easily from a cup, uses a fork and spoon with very few issues, cleans up his messes (with a little guidance), can (mostly) dress himself, and is almost completely diaper free. He still has some time before he transitions to the Children's House (almost a year still!) and we look forward to seeing how much further he will develop." - Ramon, father of R.J.

"My daughter has grown enormously in the year with the toddlers and is ready for the big school. The toilet training with the toddlers is ideal. They are already toilet trained by their 3rd birthday. They learn to be very independent with the toddlers, you can see that in the daily things at home. At such a young age, the children understand both the English and Dutch languages, which can only work to their advantage later on. Our second child is already registered with the Toddlers. We find the Casa Toddlers to be an enrichment for our children." - Rachel, mother of C.

"My son’s transition to the children’s house went so much smoother, because he had joined the Toddler group. He is much more independent and confident when I compare it with my older son, when he started at the children’s house at the age of 3(he went to daycare before). For example, he knows how to dress and undress himself, go to the toilet by himself, pouring a glass of water when he is thirsty and so on. The toddler guides provided him with the skills he needed to achieve his independence and confidence in a safe and secure environment. The result is a happy and confident child who is excited to explore the children’s house." - Iris, mother of N. 

"At the toddlers, my son has learned a lot about the methods and routines within the Montessori education. The groups of toddlers are small and the environment is very clear. For J. this meant a very safe and trusted basis to learn and develop. When he turned 3 he was ready for a more challenging phase. You could really see that he was ready for that. The transition to Children's House went very smoothly: despite the fact that everything is much bigger, there are many more children in the classroom and there were other teachers. The Montessori methodology, the way the teachers talk to the children and the fixed routines are familiar, so there was recognition from the beginning. He is having a great time with Sun!" - Anne, mother of J.