“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.”

Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952)

Gradual Entry

Once your child has been accepted into the school, s/he can begin the program on the first day of the calendar month (unless it is a holiday). You will begin gradually integrating your child into the program and routine. This may take a week. The goal of this gradual integration, where the parent leaves the child at the school for longer periods of time, helps your child feel comfortable at the school and reduces separation anxiety. On day one, bring your child in the morning, preferably the time you plan to typically bring your child. Stay for one hour with your child, and then leave together. On day two, the parent leaves the child for 2 hrs. On the third day, pack a lunch for your child and return at 12:30 pm. On the fourth day, return after naptime, at 3:30 pm. After the fourth day, most children have no problem attending the program for a full day, however, each child reacts differently and your child may need more time than this to feel comfortable at the school. Taking the time to help your child adjust now will make it much easier in the long run. 

Transition and Gradual Entry Tips

Transitioning into a new program can be stressful for children and parents. We are very skilled at helping children transition into new programs. We will comfort your child and help them to feel secure and to reduce their separation anxiety! But we need your help to be as successful as possible!

Here are a few helpful tips:

• Schedule a visit with your child before the first day. Please visit us after 4pm!

• Talk about the school at home. This helps your child to feel that you are happy with the teachers, classroom and the environment they will be in everyday!

• Some children benefit from seeing pictures of their future classroom including the outside play space, so that they can familiarize themselves with the new environment beforehand. Share photos from the website!

• Talk about all the fun activities your child will be doing.

• Create a small photo album of family members or other special mementos can be helpful to give in times of stress.

• When leaving say good-bye and go without hesitating. Always reassure your child that they will be taken care of and that you will be back to pick them up as soon as the day is over.

• If your child cries, allow the teacher to take over to soothe your child and we will call or text you when they are calm.

• We ask all parents to say good-bye in the cubby area; a teacher will greet your child and walk with them to the good-bye window for a second and final good-bye.

• Some children do not have separation anxiety in the beginning and can appear later when the “honeymoon period” is over. This is normal!

Items to Bring the First Week

All children’s items should be labeled with their name. Parents are expected to check items at least monthly for wear and fit. A pair of rubber soled slippers or running shoes must stay at the daycare for indoor shoes. Upon arrival your child is required to change into their indoor shoes. 

Clothing checklist

Outdoor clothing for spring and fall

  • Jacket, lightweight
  • Waterproof boots
  • Light sweater/hoodie
     

Summer clothing

  • Sun hat
     

Outdoor clothing for winter

  • Jacket, winter weight
  • Lined boots (waterproof)
  • Warm hat
  • Mittens (waterproof)
  • Scarf
  • Fleece pants & hoodie
     

Indoor clothing (extra set)

  • Comfortable pants
  • Shirt, blouse, or T-shirt
  • Underpants x 3
  • Socks x 3 pairs
     

Bedding Checklist (for children who nap)

  • Crib-size sheet (to cover gym mat)
  • Blanket (must fit in bedding cubby)
  • Cuddle toy, if your child needs one
     

Cubby Area Expectations: Drop Off and Pick Up 

You are expected to sign your child in each morning when you arrive and sign your child out when you pick them up at the end of the day. The sign-in/sign-out book is critical, as a record for emergency procedures and a requirement of Community Care Facilities and Licensing (CCFL) who oversee all preschools and childcare facilities in British Columbia. The optimal time to drop off your child is before 9am and the optimal time to pick up your child is between 3:30pm and 5:40pm. This allows for your child to participate in our core Montessori program and not miss out on anything special we are doing. Please note that the school closes promptly at 5:45pm, and the teacher who is closing will be locking the door at this time. If you are late in picking up your child the fine is $1 for each minute after 5:45pm. There are late fee forms available in the cubby area to fill out should you be late. Please calculate and write the cheque to Montessori Day Care Society. We ask you to please be respectful of our teachers and do not be late!  

The cubby area is a place of transition from home to the classroom for parents and children. Our expectation is that the children will hang up their own coats, change into their own indoor shoes and say good-bye to you in the cubby area. In order to create a special community of learners we discourage parents from being in the classroom, except for special occasions. A teacher will be waiting to greet your child to help make this transition as smooth as possible. Once you have said good-bye in the cubby area your child can meet you at the good-bye window for a second and final good-bye. If your child is very sad please note that we will stay with your child helping them to settle in a loving and caring manner. It is our goal to bond with your child so that we can be an important link between your child and you! Once your child has settled and is involved in an activity we will get in touch either by a phone call or text message!  

Please note that transitions are difficult for all children and is a normal part of their development in the early years. There are specific times when transitions can be more stressful for the young child: when they are getting used to a new routine or program, when routines change and after extended absences i.e.: long weekends, vacations or illness. Our teachers have exceptional skills in helping your child to manage transitions and we appreciate all your efforts to make this as smooth for your child as possible by doing your part and saying good-bye quickly! 

Typically the children will be outdoors from 3:30pm-5:30pm to enable the classroom to be prepared for the next day. We recognize that pick-up time can be hectic, but appreciate your cooperation in encouraging quiet, respectful behaviour from your child. Once on the premises your child becomes your responsibility. Please collect your child from the play ground and bring them into the cubby area where your child can change out of their muddy buddies during the rainy days and make the transition to go home. Please ensure that the muddy buddy is hanging up with the sleeves and pant legs hanging freely, to ensure it will dry over night. We strive to have a clean and orderly environment. Please remove and enjoy any of your child’s work from their cubby on a daily basis.   

 

Toys

Children are not allowed to bring toys from home to the school, as many children have the same toys and cannot distinguish between theirs and another child’s. It can be very disruptive to the classroom environment. Children are allowed to bring a special cuddly toy for naptime and this must be kept in the nap room cubby. We do not allow toys or play that encourage aggressive behaviour.  

In order for your child to gain the full benefit of the Montessori program, please arrive by 9 am each day and have your child stay until 3:30 pm.