0-3

A learning experience for the infant community

 

The first three years of life are the most fundamental in the development of human beings and their potential.  “The small size of a newborn and its inability to take care of itself invoke our loving attention.  Along with the food and care they receive comes an opportunity to develop human potential” (Dr Silvana Montanaro).

The infant’s physical development is phenomenal and apparent and inspires our care and attention.  Yet profound and less obvious development is taking place within the child.  Montessori refers to the child at this period as the ‘spiritual embryo’.  A second embryonic period occurs after birth during the first three years of life when the child’s intelligence is formed, when the child acquires the culture and language into which he or she is born.  It is a period when the core of personality, social being and the essence of spiritual life are developed.  It is widely recognised that as adults we are largely the product of our first two years of life, a time of which we have no conscious memories.

The environment and stimuli that we provide for infants to interact with are fundamental for their development.  The child’s first environment is his or her parents.  The parent/child relationship becomes the basis of future human relationships. 

The Montessori approach for children under three has a strong emphasis on parent education, on recognition of the parent as prime educator, and preparation of the home environment.  An understanding of the child’s development and the development of the human mind allows environments to be prepared to meet the needs of the infant and foster independence, psychomotor development and language acquisition.

Dr. Maria Montessori believed that the first three years of life form a foundation for the rest of our lives.  The environment for very young children is constantly changing, and in order for children to grow in awareness of their world, the environment must be adapted to their needs. The Montessori 0-3 Program offers a unique learning environment, where, using specially designed materials and equipment, young children can be assisted to realise their full potential.




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