Children’s experiences from birth to roughly the age of six create the groundwork for their abilities, interests, health, and conduct later in life. In essence, early childhood has a significant influence on the whole trajectory of a person’s life. Making the decision to send your child to childcare requires serious consideration, not only because it may be the first time your child spends a considerable time away from home, but also because type of childcare can have a profound impact on their growth and development.


Holistic Approach to Education

While both Montessori schools and daycare centers try to satisfy the needs of young children, the techniques they use to do so, and the outcomes that follow, are vastly different. Montessori education emphasizes social, emotional, and physical growth in addition to academic achievement. Daycare centers, on the other hand, may place a premium on one aspect of development such as academic success, while completely ignoring other areas. Regardless of the focus of a daycare choice— academics, physical development, or open-ended play— studies have shown that children enrolled in Montessori schools outperform their peers in every area.


Accelerated Learning

Children’s developmental milestones begin at nearly the same level whether they attend a Montessori school, a typical daycare center, or a play-based childcare center. Children who attend Montessori schools, however, eventually outperform students in other types of care in terms of academic achievement, social and emotional development, and overall happiness. Children in true Montessori classrooms where children exclusively use Montessori materials and activities make bigger social and cognitive gains across the school year than those in less authentic classrooms, according to research. This implies that a Montessori schools’ operational style has a significant impact on student performance and outcomes, and the more authentic the Montessori approach, the better.  It could also be that that the warmth, trust, and high expectations from teachers and parents may just be the magic bullet that helps children succeed in Montessori schools.


A Force of Early Childhood Development

The foundation of Montessori in observation and scientific experimentation is what sets it apart from other daycare options. Every set of learning material in a Montessori school— in fact, everything that happens within a Montessori school— is the result of years of trial and error to determine which activities and learning materials best support children’s learning and growth. It’s in this sense that Montessori is a “developmental force rather than just a babysitting source.” Montessori institutions deliberately strive to aid childhood development, whereas most daycares are designed to contain and entertain children.

It can be argued that the secret to Montessori is how children are treated and respected as individuals. It’s a holistic method that looks after the whole child, not just their creative side or their academic side— and this comprehensive approach is unmatched by any other childcare arrangement, traditional, progressive, or academic-focused. While many daycare centers today use innovative, research-based programming, studies demonstrate that children who attend Montessori schools achieve greater success in all areas of development, whether it is through improved academic test scores or higher levels of happiness. This is not to say that all children who attend Montessori schools grow up to be successful, happy adults, while all children who attend typical daycare centers never reach their full potential. It just means that Montessori schools are more effective in nurturing children’s development and growth than other daycare options.

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