Selecting a preschool for your child is a process of both patience and love. As a parent, you want to find the most inviting environment, experienced teachers, and results-driven educational techniques to set your child on the path to lifetime success. And a genuine Montessori preschool can provide all that and more, so it is well worth taking time to check out different classes until you find the best one for your son or daughter.
Not all so-called Montessori schools are alike, however. Some schools claim the title but don’t deliver on authentic Montessori methods that produce long-term results. But with some investigation and research, you can find a preschool near you that has well-trained teachers, beautiful classroom environments, and authentic Montessori learning to equip your child for a successful future.
Here are some handy tips for narrowing down your search to find the right Montessori preschool in your area.
Do an Online Search
Begin with an online search, and type in “best Montessori preschool near me.” You can always type in your city name too, such as “Rockville, MD preschools” or “Bethesda, MD Montessori preschools.”
Search engines like Google are smart enough to locate you and pull up a list and a map so you can see which schools are conveniently near your home or office. Use these top results to narrow down your search to the most popular Montessori preschools in your area. If needed, search for Rockville preschools or Bethesda preschools to further slim down the choices to schools nearest your home. Plan to check out at least 3-5 schools before making your decision.
Explore the School’s Website
Once you’ve made a list of several Montessori preschools that look promising, review their websites. Look for information that can tell you what the school offers students, such as:
- Times/days classes are held
- Primary programs available
- Before and after school programs
- Enrichment activities
Beyond looking for key program details, also consider website aspects such as how easy the site is to navigate, when it was last updated, and how much supplemental information is available to help you educate your child at home. A website that is well maintained, simple to use, and full of helpful tips is a sign of a Montessori school that knows how to serve parents and children effectively.
Pay Attention to Accreditation
A lot of preschools use the Montessori label to attract parents, but not all of these schools are actually accredited. In fact, only about 15% of schools are certified as authentically Montessori through the American Montessori Society (AMS).
The value of choosing a school with accreditation is fourfold:
- Commitment to true Montessori methods that are proven to be effective
- Topnotch teachers who are well trained in the Montessori technique
- Connection to a community of like-minded educators who share ideas and knowledge
- Dedicated to continued growth that ensures the school isn’t just resting on its laurels
To verify a school is authentically Montessori:
- Visit the AMI-USA school locator for a list of Association Montessori Internationale accredited schools in the U.S.
- Use the AMS find a school link and check the “accredited schools only” box in the search option to find an American Montessori Society accredited school.
Consider Teachers’ Experience
Just as a school can say it is Montessori without being accredited, educators can say they teach Montessori without being well-versed in the techniques. To find teachers who are truly experts in Montessori methods—which work together to guide your child into a lifelong love of learning—find out what the teachers’ experience entails.
- How long has the Montessori preschool employed each of its teachers?
- How many years of experience does each teacher have in the classroom?
- Are the preschool’s instructors certified in Montessori teaching?
- Does the teaching staff also hold childhood education degrees?
- How do teachers incorporate Montessori techniques into everyday preschool activities?
Do the Montessori preschools you’re considering have multiple positive reviews? Are those reviews just a number of stars and a quick comment, or can you find several inspiring stories of how the school has transformed its students?
Reviews can be found in multiple places online, including the school’s website, Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook and other sources too. Here’s another tip: Search online for reviews by typing in “Rockville preschool reviews” or “Bethesda preschool reviews.”
Ask Fellow Parents
Word of mouth referrals are a great source of information whenever you’re looking for a great Montessori preschool. Talk with friends, neighbors, coworkers, teachers, and pediatric physicians — because all of these people are likely to know firsthand of Montessori schools they respect, or can point you to others who do. Be sure to ask them what they liked and didn’t like about the preschool, whether they felt it was a true Montessori experience, and what benefits they saw in their children as a result.
Take a Tour
There’s no better way to get a true feel for the Montessori preschools in Bethesda, MD and Rockville, MD than to schedule a time to visit in person. Plan to meet with the teachers and staff, and take a tour of the facilities so you can see for yourself what the school provides. Notice both the room setups and the outside play areas. Does everything appear clean and well cared for? If possible, tour the school when preschool classes are in session so you can see how teachers and children interact.
(Check out this resource to discover more signs of a great Montessori preschool.)
Get the Perfect Montessori Experience for Your Preschool Child
It doesn’t have to be difficult to find an authentic Montessori preschool. Our complimentary Comparison Guide and Worksheet can help you narrow down your choices to make the best decision for your son or daughter’s education.
When you do your research, be sure to include Primary Montessori Day School. We’re approved by the Maryland State Board of Education, accredited by the American Montessori Society, and our teachers are all Montessori certified. Discover why parents all around Rockville and Bethesda, MD enroll their children here — and see for yourself how a true Montessori preschool can give your child long-lasting success in school and in life. Contact us today to schedule a tour and learn more.