Child’s Garden Montessori is a licensed and accessible Montessori- and Reggio-inspired daycare that I run out of my home, with dedicated play, work, and recreation spaces for the children. The children are also responsible for much of the care and maintenance of the gardens in our backyard and learn much about personal responsibility and investment (as well as science and community) by working together to help nurture our outdoor space.
We share some of our activities from the daycare on the blog, and the children are referred to by pseudonyms to protect their identities. We have a variety of ages and capabilities in our group, and it helps me provide a balanced perspective of what Montessori and Reggio education can look like in other environments – schools, daycares, or homes.
The daycare does not involve a religious aspect, but I used to work as a Children’s Ministry Director and am raising my daughter as a Christian (with a respect and understanding of other world religions). I tend not to share Christian activities on Study-at-Home Mama because I want to be inclusive, and have instead started Christian Montessori Network with four other Christian Montessori bloggers, and I post once a week over there.
Our daily care rate is just slightly over half of what most daycares (let alone Montessori daycares) in our area charge, and many of the families that attend Child’s Garden Montessori could not otherwise afford a Montessori education for their children. At this time, the daycare doesn’t yet “break even,” but it’s a way for me to share our materials with other children, and stay home with my daughter, while providing them all with a Montessori and Reggio-inspired education. As a result, we often engage in low-cost activities and I am always operating with a budget in mind.
I’ve received comments from parents and caregivers that compare themselves to the activities on this blog and feel like they are not doing enough with their children — while I would still do many of these activities with my own daughter if I was not running Child’s Garden Montessori, this is also my job so there is a different set of expectations that I have to fulfill and I’m no longer having to balance two jobs with doing hands-on learning activities with my daughter. This is what streamlining and simplifying my life looked like for me — removing the costs of Miss G’s daycare, combining my Montessori efforts with my income source, and working from home to remove commuting costs, allow me to manage household tasks during naptimes, etc.
I hope you take inspiration from the pages of this blog and enjoy seeing the antics of the children of Child’s Garden Montessori.