The nursery provision for babies and toddlers is often referred to as the Infant Community or the Nido.
Initially babies and their parents and carers may join family groups organised by the setting, where they have an opportunity to learn more about Montessori’s view of the children of this age and how they will be cared for in the nursery. The children learn by trying to and doing things on their own; help is given when asked for: the motto here is Help me to do it by myself
The nursery provision will focus on guiding the unfolding sensitive periods and facilitating the child’s gross and fine motor skills and language to develop. The setting will follow the child s natural rhythm for sleeping and feeding and will work with the family on weaning and potty training.
Most of the learning is focused on:
- the children’s great need to do things for themselves by giving them time to dress and feed themselves and learning how to look after their personal hygiene
- their manipulative skills and sensory experiences are supported by use of treasure baskets and heuristic play, Montessori learning materials and opportunities to explore the environment both inside and outside
- the children gradually learn to make choices for themselves
- nursery rhymes, songs and stories are at the heart of the child’s language development
What to look for:
- a calm and gentle atmosphere, well organised setting
- access to a selection of activities which are usually organised in baskets or on trays
- caring and considerate adults who give children time to do things for themselves
- effective communication with the children
- daily access to the outdoors
- use of natural and everyday objects; children are trusted to use glass and china