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School Philosophy and FAQs

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Children's Garden Montessori School embodies a Montessori approach, and is fairly play-based. We respect a child's natural course of development, and support free choice of activity, with many toy, craft and play options. We believe in following the spirit of the child, and honoring each child's independence and unique learning style.


We offer your child:

•    A warm, home-based environment with attentive and nurturing teachers

•    A mixed-age classroom

•    Gymnastics, music, and yoga classes and daily art activities

•    An academic program for the older children


The school has two rooms, one with Montessori materials and other toys, and a fantasy room with blocks, trains, manipulative toys, a kitchen area and dolls. Our outdoor play area includes easel painting, water and sand play, as well as climbing structures and slides. Many of our art activities revolve around the holidays and the different cultural subjects we study (for instance, we learn about animals in September, Autumn and Halloween in October, and Native American traditions in November).



Q: Can I observe the classroom?

A: Parents of prospective or enrolled students may observe the classroom at any time they would like after November, when the children are more settled into school. Please make an appointment to observe by calling Alaina at 510-232-3089 or sending an email to


Q: What are the options for pick-up time?

A: Parents usually have a set time, between 1 and 4 pm, that they pick up their children. Anytime before 4 pm can be pro-rated, by the half hour, if needed.


Q: If I need to pick up my child later one day, how does that affect tuition?

A: If you'd like to extend your child's pickup time one day, you can email or call Alaina Benner the night before, or tell her in-person when you drop off your child in the morning. You will be charged the hourly rate for the extra time.


Q: Is it alright if my child is not potty-trained?

A: It is fine if your child is not potty-trained. Often they become inspired at school when they see the other children going on the potty, and you may notice a newfound interest. When they start expressing interest at home, we are attentive to helping them go on the potty at school, if they would like. We follow their lead.


Q: What if my child is younger, and is not able to stay awake for the full Morning Program (9 AM - 1 PM)?

A: I am more than happy to have your child picked up a little early, for instance, at 12:00 noon or 12:30. In that case, this time would be pro-rated until your child is able to stay awake until 1 o'clock.


Q: Does the school provide lunch or snacks?

A: Children bring their own morning snack and lunch. The school provides afternoon snack for children who stay at school past 2:00pm. 

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