Little Seeds Under 3's Program - Castlecrag Montessori School - Frequently Asked Questions

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Who is the Little Seeds under 3’s program suitable for?

The Little Seeds Under 3’s Montessori Program at Castlecrag Montessori School is designed to provide a guided and supported play group for all children under the age of 3 and their parents/carers. It provides suitable activities and learning opportunities for children of all personalities. 

The programs are also designed to inspire and guide parents in understanding children development, providing a carefully prepared environment set up specifically with children under 3 years of age in mind. The prepared environment is welcoming, ordered and calm. Beautiful and considered materials are used which are developmentally appropriate, functional, and purposeful. These materials are designed to promote concentration and independence at this stage of the child’s development, while a number of practical life activities, art opportunities and literacy materials are also presented. 

The program also provides an opportunity for parents/carers to meet like minded parents and be able to share and discuss parenting challenges with the trained facilitator and other parents.  

Where is the playgroup located?

The playgroup is located at Castlecrag Montessori School at 184 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag. There is street parking at the location and entry is via the preschool gate to the left of the St James Anglican Church. Enter via the gate and continue down the stairs, with entry to the play group at the door on the right down the first flight of stairs.

How much does it cost?

Both the parent toddler and parent infant programs are priced at $240 for an 8 week program, covering a duration of 1.5 hours for the toddler classes and 1 hour for the infant classes.

Who will be teaching my child?

The programs are facilitated by Nikki, an early childhood teacher with many years of experience as a Montessori guide.

What are the class times and term dates?

A parent and their child can attend a weekly session during term time. Each term runs for 8 weeks:

·         Parent Toddler (14 to 36 months) –Wednesday 9am to 10:30am and Thursday 9:30am to 11am

·         Parent Infant (4 to 14 months) – Wednesday 11am to 12noon

Can I send my child outside of term dates?

No. Our school operates according to term dates only and does not operate during school holidays. Please note the term tuition fee is a flat rate per term for one session attendance per week.

What should I bring to the class?

Please bring a change of clothes for your child and one piece of fruit to share for morning tea. As the children work more confidently in the classroom, they will take part in food preparation as part of their work. Please dress your child in comfortable clothing and we request that you do not bring your own toys into the playroom.

Can I attend the class if my child or myself are sick?

Please do not attend class if you or your child have cold symptoms, coughing, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, raised temperature or fever.

Do you offer makeup classes?

To maintain the stability of all booked sessions, make-up classes are not offered. 

Does an adult need to attend with the child in the Playroom?

Parents/Carers are required to attend and participate in the playgroup sessions with their child. 

The parent infant and parent toddler programmes are a great introduction to Montessori philosophy for both the child and parent, providing an environment where the adults learn alongside their children and interact with other parents. It also provides a wonderful forum for parents/carers to seek advice on topical parenting issues, from the programme facilitator and other parents.

Can another caregiver attend with my child?

Yes. We welcome all caregivers (such as grandparents) as nominated by the primary guardian.

How many adults can attend with my child?

Due to space restrictions, only one adult can attend class with the child unless you have organised for another carer to join you in advance. Older siblings will unfortunately not be allowed in class. If the attending child has a younger sibling, they are permitted to attend, but please advise as part of the booking process. 

Can I bring a pram?

Access to the playgroup is via a flight of stairs with very limited space for pram parking.

What is a typical session like?

Children are welcomed to the room, encouraged to wash their hands and then are free to engage with an activity of their choosing. For new starters, it is expected that they may take some time to get used to the environment, exploring each area with some guidance. Once a child is engaged with some work, we encourage adults to observe and allow the child to build on their concentration, with minimal interruptions. With time and practise, children learn to use the materials, work on mats and tables provided and help tidy up when finished. The session ends with the children and caregivers gathering at the mat for some songs and/or group lessons before saying goodbye.

What activities are provided for the children?

The children are presented with a wide range of developmentally appropriate materials and activities that has been chosen carefully particularly for the under 3’s. The activities are also chosen based on previous observations of the child in the Montessori environment, as well as some caregiver input regarding interests, skills etc.

The classes provide a structured and thoughtfully prepared environment where the children can safely expend their energy while also learning important new skills. In addition to the traditional Montessori curriculum and materials, the classes present a range of activities designed to promote self-confidence, enhance fine motor skills, support language and speech development, enhance the social skills and introduce new practical life skills to the children. 

The start of something wonderful. . .