Top 5 Differences Between Montessori and Daycare

Looking for the best childcare in Klein Spring, Texas starts with knowing the differences.

Top 5 Differences Between Montessori and Traditional Day Care

Looking for the best childcare in Klein Spring, Texas starts with knowing the differences.

One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child. – Dr. Maria Montessori

Parents considering various daycare options for their babies, toddlers, or preschool aged children often have many questions about the Montessori Method and how it differs from traditional day care facilities.

If you’ve toured some of the daycares and child care centers in the Spring, Texas area, you’ll observe many key differences when you tour Klein-Spring Montessori. Below we’ve included some common questions parents ask us when learning about these differences:

Difference #1:

Child-led Activities vs. Adult-led Activities

Do you keep children to a schedule of activities, so they learn to follow routines?

At Klein-Spring Montessori, we embrace the true Montessori Method, which focuses on child-led exploration rather than set adult-led activities. In a typical childcare setting, children adhere to adult-set routines and schedules. These schedules require that children move to a new activity every 20 to 30 minutes. For example, part of a daycare schedule may look like this:

  • 20 minutes of group circle time
  • 30 minutes of art or similar creative activity
  • 30 minutes of outside play
  • 10 minutes snack time

Children must move as a group to the next activity whether they’re ready or not. Instruction occurs in a group setting at the adult-led pace, even if some children may move slower or faster.

A Montessori program contrasts quite sharply in comparison. At Klein-Spring Montessori, we support a child’s various stages of building independence from age 18 months throughout the preschool years. These years mark a critical time of self discovery. We allow our children to choose their own activities and discover them at their own pace. Core instruction happens on a one-to-one basis where teachers give lessons to one individual child at a time. Afterward, the child is allowed the opportunity to work practice the instruction until ready to move on.

Without adult-led schedules, doesn’t the environment become quite noisy and chaotic?

On the contrary, Klein-Spring Montessori fosters an orderly, calm environment where children can thrive without unnecessary distractions. Many child care or day care facilities operate under quite high noise levels and it seems difficult for the caretakers to keep messes under control. Instead, our environment is astonishingly neat and calm (You have to see it to believe it!). One of our goals involves enabling children to develop age-appropriate focus skills and to joyfully participate in their activities. To make this goal a reality, we provide them with an environment that minimizes distractions and interruptions.

Difference #2

Teacher Credentials and Turnover

What kind of training or certifications do Montessori teachers have? Is it different than that of a typical day care provider?

Most of the staff in a traditional child care provider facility have minimal training. There are few requirements concerning the type of training a daycare worker must have. Most are high school graduates with some interest in working with young children but little, if any, additional training or specialization.

Daycare centers and preschools often have high turnover due to the fact that staff is generally paid minimum wage or only slightly higher, the hours are long, and there are few, if any, benefits for the staff themselves.

Montessori schools are very different from traditional daycare and preschools when it comes to education and staff pay. Our teachers are certified Montessori educators, this means they’ve completed years of specialized training in specific age levels. Due to the fact that most Montessori teachers have both a standard college degree and a Montessori certificate they’re paid accordingly. Our teachers earn wages similar to teachers in the higher grade levels because they are professional teachers. They also have vacation time and benefits through their employers. The turnover in a Montessori daycare or preschool is very low, similar to what you’d expect in an Elementary or Secondary school. At Klein-Spring Montessori we have teachers who’ve been on staff for 10 years, 20 years or more. You won’t often find that in a traditional daycare center.

Sandy Priska, owner and Head of School, is also a trained Montessori educator. Ms. Priska regularly visits and observes each classroom. She provides constructive feedback to teachers and their assistants, empowering them to continue to provide the best, most helpful instruction possible.

Difference #3

Deliberated program vs. all-day-play groups

Can my 18 to 20 month old actually learn in a Montessori environment? Will my preschooler be ready for kindergarten and beyond?

Children of all ages can learn through exploration, play, and interacting with others. Our youngest toddlers learn to eat on their own, brush their hair, get dressed, make snacks for their classmates, and so much more. Their young age does not stop them!

In the right environment, children eagerly build independence and learn at their own pace. We provide an environment, which fosters independent exploration and practice. The Montessori toddler classroom is designed to encourage exploration. All works are at their eye level. The tables and chairs are their size. The teachers meet them at eye level to teach lessons. The children feel comfortable in their classroom because it’s designed especially for them.

Difference #4

Cooperative behavior vs. group conformity

Do Montessori schools teach courtesy and self discipline at this young age?

At Klein-Spring Montessori, we teach children to follow clear, age-appropriate guidelines that support an orderly and calm classroom.

For example, when finished with an activity, they put it away before getting another one. The children know to return their work to the shelf and do so before going to get the next. The children know they can work on anything a friend is not using. If someone else is using the work they want, they need to wait their turn. If they struggle with this concept, the teachers remind them how to wait their turn.

The children are taught to respect themselves, their classmates, and the environment and in the end, the children are very respectful, quiet, and engaged in their work. They will help each other when they have questions but overall, they are free to work quietly on whatever they’re most interested in at the time.

The older children model the behavior that the younger children learn and follow.

Difference #5

Calm and orderly vs. controlled chaos

Does the Klein-Spring Montessori approach work well?

We invite you to arrange a tour of our school. We’re certain you’ll be be surprised by how calm, orderly, and peaceful our children are. If you’re looking for quality care and education for your 18 month old to preschool-aged child. We hope you’ll love the Klein-Spring Montessori difference. Call us at 281-370-5001 now to set up a tour.

I Can’t Imagine a Better Place
A Yelp testimonial from one of our parents
“My kiddos are currently enrolled at KSMS and have been there over a year. I cannot imagine a better place for them at this time of their life for education and physical well-being. The teachers, helpers and directors are friendly and nurturing and know everyone by name. The hours work great for our work schedules. I only wish they went beyond pre-k!” – Mia G.

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