The Northwest Montessori Preschool Program is available as a 2 or 3 year program, 5 days per week for children aged 3- 6. The Preschool is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. Specific session times depend on the classroom that your child is enrolled into.
Montessori Cycle 1 – Three Year Option (also known as Full Cycle 1)
This is the Montessori Cycle 1 Program, delivered over 3 years. This option tends to suit children who will be going to Primary School at age 6.
Montessori Cycle 1 – Two Year Option
This is the Montessori Cycle 1 Program, delivered over 2 years.
This option tends to suit children who will be going to Primary School at age 5.
Why 5 days a week?
In the Montessori approach to education, consistency is extremely important in developing the child’s sense of order and responsibility.
The International Montessori Council recently commented on why attending Montessori school a full 5 days per week is so important. We think their answer is worth noting:
“Often we are asked why, Montessori schools almost always ask children from age three to attend five-days a week. The answer is that young children thrive on consistency, and only regular attendance provide both the continuity that they need and helps to create the culture of empowerment and order that defines a true community of children.
“Children who come one day, miss the next, and then come again, commonly find it much more difficult to adapt to the class routine than children who attend five-days a week. For them, and for the others in the same class, the benefits of a Montessori program are reduced.
“As the months go by, the difference between the children whose attendance is consistent and those who come for two or three days a week becomes more pronounced. Full-time students normally make much more progress academically and socially in comparison with those children who attend a few days a week.
“While we recognise parents’ right to make such choices, the collective experience of excellent Montessori schools around the world leads us to recommend that Montessori schools offer only five-day programs from age three and beyond.”
Why a Three Year Commitment?
A three year commitment to Northwest Montessori Preschool is strongly encouraged to fully benefit from the program. The Cycle 1 program is designed as a three-year cycle. Much of the material and exercises in the first year or two not only help the child achieve a direct, immediate goal (such as dressing and cleaning after themselves, or learning the sounds of each letter of the alphabet), but also serve an indirect purpose of laying the foundation for future work and learning. For example, the math material is a series of exercises that guides the child starting with the most concrete and basic introduction to numbers and quantity. Over the following three years the lessons build upon themselves, adding layers of abstractness and an increasing understanding of mathematical concepts, until the child is eventually able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide with a deeply ingrained understanding of what those operations mean using only pencil, paper, and his or her head.
There is also a social component. The mixed-age grouping is not accidental. Each child benefits from being exposed to those who are older, and younger, than they are. The younger children have role models to look up to from the very first day of class. They quickly learn how to behave and what is acceptable from watching the older children. They also see the older children working on the more advanced material, which piques their interest and curiosity. The older children, in turn, benefit from being mentors to the younger ones. One of the best ways to internalise knowledge is to explain it to others, and often an older child will help teach certain concepts to a younger child. The oldest children in the classroom naturally take on a position of leadership, which has been modelled for them by the children before them. This opportunity to lead can be a huge pay-off for many children and helps them build confidence and self-esteem.
Preschool Fee: $137.30 per day (less any eligible subsidy).
Minimum attendance required is 3 days per week.
Fees apply for 48 weeks of the year for all days booked including public holidays and sick days.
Discounts are provided for sessions booked on a public holiday. Sessions cannot be made up if not attended.
Victorian Government Free Kinder Program
For 2024, eligible children will receive the $2050 Free Kinder funding which will be credited towards their fees monthly. For further information visit: About Free Kinder - English | vic.gov.au (www.vic.gov.au)
Northwest Montessori Preschool Annual Family Levy
The Annual Family Levy Fee, $700, covers the membership to the Montessori Australia Foundation (MAF). Each family is required to be a member of the Montessori Australia Foundation. Membership entitlements include newsletter, magazine and other publications.
Wait-List Registration Fee
Each registration must be accompanied by the Registration Fee of $99 per student. Registration will ensure that your child is included in the pre-placement registration at the Northwest Montessori Preschool. This fee is nonrefundable and does not confirm a place in the preschool.
In the event that a child is offered a place, a bond of $1,500 must be paid in full within 14 days to confirm the placement of the child at the Preschool. The bond is held by the preschool, for the duration of the child’s education. When the commitment is completed and all fees have been paid in full, the bond will then be refunded. Where the minimum commitment is not fulfilled, the bond will be forfeited in full. The bond is considered separate from fees.
The Northwest Montessori Preschool program is eligible for rebates under the Governments Child Care Subsidy.
If you & your child have previously received rebates through approved child care then those rebates will continue to apply.
If you haven’t previously received the rebate or don't have a Parent & Child CRN, you may still be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy. Simply contact Centrelink to find out if you are eligible for assistance, unfortunately we cannot assist you with the actual assessment process. You can estimate your out-of-pocket expense by using the Governments calculator here.