The Discovery Toddler Community is a prepared environment for children 18 months to 3 years old. It is designed to assist the child toward independence, social awareness, respect, and the development of motor skills and language. Discovery's Toddler Community embodies three toddler classrooms; two classrooms are five days a week with one classroom providing a half day program and one classroom providing a full day (until 3:00 pm) program, and the other classroom is a half day, 4 days a week program.
Maria Montessori asserted that human
beings develop with the greatest intensity during the first three years
of life; therefore, the toddler classrooms are prepared to provide
nurturance, security and challenge in an orderly environment. The
maximum number of children in each toddler class is twelve, with one
lead teacher and one associate teacher.
The beginning of the school year brings the parent and child together
until the child feels trust to positively separate from the parent. Only
then may the child independently attend an environment especially set
up for his/her developmental needs.
Specific goals for the toddler program are as follows:
- To assist the child in a positive separation from parents in order to facilitate individuation.
- To provide an orderly environment in which toddlers may explore and experience concepts and skills through manipulation.
- To provide a language-rich environment through precise nomenclature, books, nursery rhymes, and music.
- To give the child opportunities
for practical life - care of the self and environment - so that the
child understands that each person has an important function. This
encourages a positive self-concept and confidence.
- To provide a social environment for the fostering of community and respect.
- To create an aesthetic environment through art work and objects from nature that call to the child's love of beauty.
- To encourage a supportive community for parents through education and participation.