Parents guide

We are a thriving community of children, parents and teachers working individually and together to:

Understand and support Montessori principles;

Appreciate the world around us and each other;

Inspire children to explore and learn in a harmonious environment.

Montessori Infant Community’s Parents’ Guide

Goals and objectives

Montessori philosophy recognizes that children have natural drives which inspire them to reach their potential. Their minds are like fertile fields, and their inherent love of learning is stimulated when they are given opportunities to engage in meaningful activities with the proper balance of autonomy and guidance from specially trained teachers. 

The school’s goal is to provide a carefully planned, prepared and stimulating learning environment, where the children can meet their developmental needs, develop fundamental attitudes and skills such as high self-esteem, positive attitude towards learning and joy of learning, lay down a basis of social development, foster natural curiosity and concentration, motivation and self-discipline essential for a lifetime of creative self-realization. 

Parents are the most important people and the first educators in the child’s life. We do our best to provide the parents with necessary information on the child’s development and on how to remove the obstacles on the child’s path to self-realization.  We believe, that cooperation of children, parents and teachers creates an effective and successful educational experience for the child, supporting his/her development.

Our school caters to walking children between 15 months and 6 years old. We try to keep the right age ratio to keep the group mixed in terms of gender and ages – it gives a real picture of the world where younger children can learn from older ones, and older kids learn to care for younger ones. 

We do not have staffing to provide care for children with special needs. Should we, after a period of observation, come to the conclusion that a child requires special care, we will try our best to find a mutually agreeable solution. All issues will always be dealt with full confidentiality. 

Working hours

Our school is open: 

Monday through Friday: 8:30 until 16:30 (toddler group) and 8:30-17:00 (Children's House)

Please, inform us (preferably, send a SMS) if your child will not attend the school.

Parents/guardians are responsible for picking the child on time. The fee of 20 euro will be charged for every 10 minutes of being late. 

If you have not arrived by 16:20 (toddler group) and 16.45 (Children’s house) to pick up your child, we will begin to walk back to MIC's premises.

If the child is picked up by someone else (grandparents, nanny etc.), please, bring this person to introduce to us. We maintain a closed door policy and staff are not allowed to open the door to a person, who they do not visually recognize.

Please, arrive latest by 9.15 am. The Montessori program takes place mostly during the morning hours. Arriving early gives your child enough time for Montessori activities and develops a sense of belonging - that he/she is a part of our Montessori community.

 

Arriving to school

 

Children wash hands upon arrival and also when they return home. This way we try to prevent your child from infection.

After the hand washing, please, wish goodbye already in the hallway and direct your child to go into the classroom. Please, avoid entering the classroom nor go into long discussions with the teachers as this may disturb the classroom.

However, if you do have something important to mention to the teachers regarding your child, do make it brief. In addition to this if you need to contact us please call during an office hour or email for general questions.

 

Phone:

If you have questions related to your child’s classroom experience, please, send an email to respective teachers (toddlers@infant-community.com or ch@infant-community.com) or schedule a phone conversation.

If you have some general questions (not related to classroom matters), please email to montessori@infant-community.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Holidays

Please, see our calendar for information

Adjustment time

We understand that it might be difficult for some children to separate from the parents; and it is natural for some children to be upset when the parent leaves, so in order to insure a gentle transition into a new environment the child stays half-day during the first 2 weeks of attendance in the toddler group.  

We will make all possible efforts to make child’s stay at school as enjoyable as possible.  

After arriving to school, washing hands with the child and bringing the child to the classroom door, parents are not allowed to stay at school. You are welcome to come and observe the class in action– the dates and times should be agreed with the school separately.

 

Supplies

For toddler group: we expect that your child enters the school in a clean and dry diaper (you can change the child at school) and you supply the school with a set of clean pull-up diapers. Please, check and replenish these supplies regularly. The child will be changed if necessary during the school hours.

Please, also supply:

-       indoor shoes/slippers (they should be sturdy, a model that the child can put on and take off easily by himself. Also should not cause noise when the child walks in them (preferably no 'crocs' please);

-       a spare change of clothes (shirts, pants, socks, underwear, mittens),

-       rain gear (rain trousers/jacket/overall, rain boots) to be kept at school).

-       bed linen for your child (pillow case (size 40x60 cm), a sheet, a duvet cover (size 120x160 cm) and a little hand towel) to be picked up for washing each Monday. 

 

For children's house:

-       indoor shoes/ slippers (they should be sturdy, a model that the child can put on and take off easily by himself. Also should not cause noise when the child walks in them (preferably no 'crocs' please);

-       spare change of clothes (shirts, pants, socks and underwear);

-       raingear (rain trousers/jacket/overall, rain boots, woolen socks) to be stored at MIC.

-       rucksack (optional) to be brought daily which could hold according to the weather and season - rainwear, woolen socks, extra mittens, sweater etc. (this is optional)

-       in warm weather (early summer and autumn), please, send an extra set of clothing (top and pants) to change into when we come indoors.

 

Please, label ALL your child's belongings (rucksack, shoes, indoor slippers, hat, gloves, woolen socks, rubber boots, rainwear, overalls etc). This would help the staff immensely when guiding and helping the whole group of children to dress and undress. Also when something gets lost, finding the owner would be so much easier.

 

Please, remember to take soiled clothing home to be washed when needed.

Please, check and replenish supplies of extra clothing once a week. 

 

Clothing 

Montessori approach encourages movement and independence, so we suggest that you dress your child taking into consideration the following:

•    Clothing should have a right size - not too tight and not too loose. The size of clothing must allow freedom of movement; 

•    No onesies for toddlers, please;

•    Arm and leg holes are comfortable;

•    Please, avoid (for toddlers): dresses; clothes that drape; too loose trousers which make it difficult to move; jeans which have too tight waists and buttons difficult to open and close; overalls; belts; suspenders (all these make it very difficult to take off pants quickly, if a child needs to use a potty). 

•    We recommend pants with elastic waist bands (not too narrow and not too wide); shirts must be large enough  with large head holes easy to put on and off. 

•    No shoes with laces, please;

•    For cold weather, we recommend one-piece overall, balaklava-type hat and shoes easy to put on with velcro/ or no fastenings

Cooperation between home and school is very important, please, help your child to learn to dress up independently at home.

 

Nutrition

A mini-snack such as sliced fruit and a buttered cracker is available between 8:30 and 9:15.

Warm lunches and afternoon snacks come from the Fazer kitchen of International School of Helsinki. Water is served with lunch. We use organic milk at afternoon snack. Please, inform us of any dietary restrictions and allergies. Menu is posted every week to our notice board.

We encourage children to taste a variety of food.

Resting time/nap (toddlers)

The school provides beds, pillows and blankets for children, where children can nap after lunch. For toddler group parents are responsible for providing bed linen (sheet, pillow case and blanket cover which should be changed every Monday). All the children are required to go to their beds to rest after lunch. Children will be woken up at 14:30.

Resting time/nap (Children’s House)

In the Children’s house bed linen is provided by the school. Children have an option to sleep after lunch. Please, inform the staff if you would like your child to sleep. Reading and quiet activities are provided for children, who do not sleep. Naptime toy is optional, but must be kept at school.

Outdoors

Weather permitting, we try to be outdoors twice a day in the nearby playgrounds and /or also go for short walks around the area, even in wet/cold weather (please, remember to dress up your children according to current weather).

Health and wellness policies

To promote a healthy, germ-free environment please, ensure your child washes his/her hands upon arrival to school.

If you notice a change in your child’s behavior such as feeling tired or out-of-sorts, please, for the benefit of your child keep your child home for some extra rest. 

Children should not be brought to school if they are not well enough to cope with normal school activities. Please, understand that we are not able to give one-to-one care for ill children. 

The following is a list of symptoms to guide you in deciding whether your child should be brought to school. DO NOT bring your child to school on days when any of the following symptoms are present and do allow one day without symptoms:

•    Fever (37 degrees and above)

•    Eye infection

•    Diarrhea

•    Threadworms

•    Vomiting

•    Head lice

•    Bad rash 

•    Skin viral and bacterial infections

•    Badly running nose or bad cough

It is also important to keep your child’s nails short.

Emergency procedures 

In the event of an accident or emergency needing immediate medical attention, the staff will not hesitate to seek proper care for a child (calling ambulance if necessary). Every effort will be made to contact the parents immediately. 

The school is covered by an accident insurance by IF Vahinkovakuutusyhtiö Oy, which covers all injuries which occur at school during school hours and when the children are supervised by the school staff.

It is very important that you keep the contact numbers as well as other information in the school UP-TO-DATE. Please, notify the school immediately of any changes. 

We also ask that you give a contact number of anyone who is picking your child from school and bring a person beforehand to introduce to staff.  

Toys 

Please, discourage your child from bringing extra items to school (toys, jewelry, sweets etc.). Occasionally an interesting object (e.g. from nature or from a holiday trip) could be brought in for show and tell.

If your child gets interested in bringing in a book to be read occasionally, please think about it’s content – we avoid books about witches, fairies, elves and other unrealistic characters. This is because according to the Montessori principles, it is better for a young child to first get acquainted with realistic imagination rather than fiction.

However, the child's creative imagination is an important part of learning and is seen in the Montessori environment in the way of role play, story time, arts and crafts.

Discipline policy

The goal of Montessori education is to support the children in developing self-control and self-discipline. The basis of discipline is respect: respect for oneself, for others, and for the environment. The adults and children in the prepared environment set limits for behavior based on the group’s need for safe and mutually respectful community. 

If a child has a difficulty following the rules of the community, the response will be age-appropriate. Personal attention, distraction, substitution and/or removal from the situation are typical approaches for little children. Many instances resolve themselves as the child, within the bounds of safety and common sense, experiences the logical consequences of his/her actions (i.e. wiping up after spilling water on the floor etc.). 

The school reserves the right to terminate or suspend enrolment if the child's classroom teacher and the administration determine that the child is or will be unable to thrive in the school's Montessori environment (the school anticipates that it would take this action only after attempting to resolve, with parents, teachers and the child, whatever problems exist). 

 

 

Communication

Each child has own cubby in the entrance area, which should be checked regularly for dirty clothing, school information and other mail (birthday invitations etc.). Also located near the door are the notice boards where you can find information about up-coming events.

We consider cooperation and communication between families and the school extremely important. If you need to speak with the teacher, please, send an e-mail or schedule a phone conversation. Teachers are not able to answer the phone during the classroom hours. 

When we discuss the child, let’s use discretion so that he is not listening to what is being said about him or her.

We consider it is very important that parents are aware of the school’s methods and activities as this enables us to cooperate more fully to support your child’s development We email monthly newsletters and organize parent evenings providing insight and information on the Montessori method, children’s physical and psychological development, healthy nutrition, toilet training etc.

We also organize parent/teacher conferences where we can discuss the child’s progress in autumn and spring. Each child will receive a progress report at the end of the school year.

We have a private Facebook group, which we regularly update with class events and children's photos. Photos or videos will only be uploaded when parents have signed the photo permission form. Please, feel free to use it to connect to other families or organize play dates. This is not a place to discuss classroom matters.

During the school year parents also have an opportunity to come and observe a classroom session. Please, arrange a suitable observation time by contacting us. 

We kindly request that any videos or photos that have children other than your own, are not to be uploaded onto websites such as YouTube or Facebook. All families have the right to privacy.

Birthdays

If you would like to send a treat for the group for your child's birthday, please, send healthy ready made cookies (not self-made, please). Please, also check that cookies do not contain nuts. 

Also if you would like to send invitations to birthday parties and not all the children from the class are invited, please, do it by yourself, not at school.

Resources 

We have a small collection of books, journals and articles on Montessori method, which are available to anyone. Please, ask the staff if you wish to borrow any of them. If you have an interest, a problem or a question related to childcare or development, we may be able to assist you.

Aidtolife.org offers clear and simple advice on how to implement Montessori principles at home.

Finally, please, do not hesitate to speak to the staff should you have any queries. We hope that your child’s stay with us will be an enjoyable experience!