The first three years of life are full of growth. Movement, language, and personal independence mature faster now more than ever before.

This is why St. Mary’s Montessori Schools prepare our children to face the challenges they may encounter through various stages of their life.

St.Mary's Montessori Schools offer four programs: Nido, Infant Community, Primary, & Elemntary.


During the first three years of life when the child's intelligence is formed, when the child acquires the culture and language into which he or she is born. It is a period when the core of personality, social being and the essence of spiritual life are developed. An understanding of the child's development and the development of the human mind allows environments to be prepared to meet the needs of the infant and foster independence, psychomotor development and language acquisition.

Our  programs accommodate children from 6 weeks to 24 months, and 3 years to Kindergarten age.  We use a variety of materials specifically designed for the Montessori classroom. These materials improve the development of Fine Motor, language, and Gross Motor skills.
Additionally, strong teacher-parent relationships are essential for your child’s success in the Infant Community and Primary programs. Daily informal communication, formal conferences, and parent education are a part of our ongoing commitment to enhance the growth of our children.

Nido Community

6 weeks to 24 months old


“Nido” is an Italian word which translates to “nest” in English, and conveys the spirit of the infant environment. The infant's physical development is phenomenal and apparent and inspires our care and attention.

The Nido community is the bridge between the home and school. We offer various sensorial experiences and developmental aides specifically for each individual child's stage of development. Additionally, title 22 in California the state mandates that there be a strict 4:1 (1 teacher for every 4 children) ratio at all times. At St. Mary’s we keep to a 3:1 (1 teacher for every 3 children) ratio to ensure that your child is always receiving the most supervision and quality of care.

At this time we also introduce the weaning process. Weaning is the transition off of the bottle and onto drinking out of a small cup, as well as independence through self feeding. We start this process around 8 months all in preparation for the child to transition into the Infant Community.

Depending on the child's domain of skills and work, as a result of strong observation by their teachers, he/she will make the transition from Nido to Infant Community. In this setting, the children come to feel the classroom is their own peaceful, special space where they play a meaningful role in their own care and the care of their environment. 

Classrooms are inviting, and materials are appropriately stimulating. Movement is encouraged, meaningful, and ordered activities satisfy developmental needs. Our trained Montessori staff uses expressive language, which is accompanied with action, to create an environment in which the children thrive.

Infant Community

IC1 walking to two years old
IC2 two to 3 1/2 years old


The Infant Community is best described by Maria Montessori's quote"Never give the mind more than you give to the hand." IC1 primarily focuses on introducing the child to the five concepts of learning; Care of Self, Care of the Environment, Language, Art, and Developmental Aids.

Infant Community 2 is best described as "help me do it my self". It refines the skills and knowledge of the five concepts of learning introduced in IC1. 

Infant Community teachers know that each child is a special individual full of potential. In addition, Potty training is introduced in IC1 and 2, and must be mastered before moving to Primary. Each child's experiences away from home are carefully constructed, and children are nurtured and empowered.


3 to 6 years old


The 3 to 6 year old child is undergoing a process of self-construction. The application of the Montessori philosophy and the specifically designed Montessori equipment aids the child's ability to absorb knowledge and continue this path of self-construction. 

There are four main areas in the primary program: Exercises of Practical Life, Sensorial, Language and Mathematics. Considerable emphasis is also placed on Creative Arts, Music, Science, Geography and Cultural Studies. 

Acquisition of one's own first culture is the child's central developmental drive in the first plane of development.
The pre-primary environment serves this drive abundantly, bringing the world to the child. Globes, maps, songs, landforms, collections of pictures of life in different cultures, and much more, is offered, with the aim of helping the child to grow as an individual appreciating the larger context of his or her world.

This age group requires a 5 day repetitive work schedule to best help them prepare for elementary. Children at this age group that attend school 5 days a week have shown faster growth in all areas of classroom work and social development. The more time children spend in the Montessori environment, the more time there is to build strong focus and attention skills as well as longer work cycles. This development is critical to the children's success as they continue on with their schooling.

elementary program


coming soon