♣ Daycare ♣
We, at Anthea Montessori, realise the need of today’s working parents and strongly believe that parents should not be forced to stay at home because of the lack of quality extended care for their child. This is why we have started an DayCare program at our Mindspace facility, which is in proximity to the IT parks in Hyderabad.
To suit everyone’s varying work schedules, we have a range of timings that you can choose from;
- Montessori Morning – 9 a.m. to 12 noon
- Montessori Enrichment – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Montessori + Half Day care – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Montessori + Full Day care – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Montessori + Extended Day care – 9 a.m. to 6 30 p.m.
Our idea of starting this, in addition to our Montessori preschool, is to ensure the continued excellence that we provide in our preschool program and engage the Extended Care program children in the same rich environment that we provide for our pre-schoolers. Please read on to find out why you should choose Anthea’s extended care versus other regular day-care providers.
Montessori focuses on individual exploration by the child, as opposed to pre-set activities decided by the adult/curriculum.
In a true Montessori environment, the child is the curriculum and the adult is a guide who gently helps when needed. This is a paradigm shift in the mindset, as the child is given immense respect and not treated as a helpless individual. Typical day-care centres have adult-set schedules in which children are shuffled into a new activity every 20-40 minutes: circle time, followed by art, followed by outside play, etc. So every child is required or expected to do the same activity (irrespective of whether it serves the child’s needs or not!). Instruction happens in a group setting, at a group pace, even if some children move more slowly or more quickly than others in the group. In contrast, the Montessori toddler/primary program supports a child’s development by letting the child explore at a pace that is developmentally unique to that child. Children have the luxury of time to choose their own activities, and to fully explore them at their own pace. Most instruction is one-on-one: teachers give short 5-minute presentations to individual children, after which the children are given an opportunity to continue practicing until they’re satisfied.
A serene and orderly environment:
Order is of utmost importance to a child under 6 years of age. There is a lot of scientific basis in this pedagogy to ensure that the environment is carefully decorated with the appropriate materials based on the child’s developmental needs. Care is taken to ensure not to put in cheap materials, and have as many wooden or natural materials as possible. The walls and décor is intentionally left bare to ensure that the child is not overstimulated by the graffiti on the walls but enticed by the materials on the shelves instead.
Most childcare staff have minimal training. Many day care centres have high staff turnover, as poorly trained and poorly paid day care providers get burned out with the challenge of managing many toddlers at a time, for extended periods. In contrast, at Anthea Montessori, our Lead teachers either join us with a Montessori teaching credential, often from an AMI Training program, or complete their training while employed with Anthea.
A fun learning environment where learning is encouraged via play:
We agree that free play is important to children, and encourage parents to provide imaginative play activities at home. We also know that the child has the absorbent mind between the ages of 0-6 years and we hone in on the sensitive periods that nature has provided us, with the experience of trained guides, to help the development of the child. Given the right environment, toddlers are eager to learn through exploration and practice. Toddlers in a Montessori program are surrounded by exciting opportunities to develop their skills essential for everyday life: they learn to button themselves, lace their shoes, open their lunch boxes, pour water in a glass and drink, clean their spills, cut with a pair of scissors and so much more! The activities we offer in the toddler class provide a welcome change from what children typically find at home. This is in contrast to many day care settings, where shelves and boxes are full of the "cute" and "colourful" things that the child already has at home.
Holistic Learning with equal importance to Grace and Courtesy and Peace curriculum:
Most Day cares or so called progressive schools focus on improving “socialising skills”. They claim to offer obedience training by setting arbitrary rules without considering the needs of the child. For example, making a toddler sit in a large group circle for 20 minutes, when the child can barely sit for 2! In contrast, a Montessori environment offers grace and courtesy lessons, such as giving the child the necessary language to express his or her feelings. “I don’t like it when you step on my blocks” or “I am angry because you shouted at me”, etc. The teacher model benevolent behaviour and always offer choices instead of giving a time out! The directress is always shaking the child’s hands and looks them in the eye while greeting them. They bend down to the toddlers height to talk to them. The focus is on training the individual rather that expecting conformity of the group. The teachers don’t expect a toddler to share randomly but validate the child’s inner needs. There is a focus on developing inner discipline, which will eventually lead to self-discipline rather than obedience training. We do not offer praise or punishment, as we want the child to be an independent thinker. We focus on developing the child’s self-approval, rather than the child looking up to his/her peer or adult for approval. We want the child to act on his/her own accord, as opposed to fear! We teach the child respectful behaviour by modelling, rather than enforcing.
Beauty of Mixed Age grouping:
We have mixed ages in a classroom because of its multiple benefits. The younger children learn from their older classmates as opposed to a teacher. They learn the necessary skills needed, such as patience and caring, from their peers. The older child practices his/her leadership skills and mentors the younger ones. The classroom mimics a mini world for the child where the children learn to collaborate with similar and different aged children.
Oversight by a Montessori-trained Head of School vs. administrative management:
Each Anthea Montessori campus is led by a Montessori-trained Head of School. This experienced master teacher has the full time job of monitoring all the classes at campus and ensuring consistently high standards. The Head of School regularly observes in all the classrooms, provides feedback to teachers to help them improve, and actively works with parents to resolve any student issues. In contrast, most traditional day care centres are run by administrators, not educators. We ensure that even our support staff goes through a minimum of 25 hours of training per year!
We invite you to come visit us so that you can see the Montessori edge for yourself. All parents who have observed our environments are always surprised, as they have never seen their child this calm and composed. This is the magic that a developmentally appropriate, calm and orderly environment can weave in a child.