Our Programs

utilize the traditional Montessori Method of teaching, which is a child centered education style. We present the children with a complete Montessori environment, fully equipped with Montessori materials. The Montessori Method teaches the child sequentially through hands-on concrete materials, using all five senses.   CELC is owned and operated by an American Montessori Society (AMS) certified Montessori teacher, along with a trained assistant.


At Coastal Early Learning Center we believe learning is a lifelong process, yet the most formative and critical years are those of early childhood.  Dr. Maria Montessori wrote, “The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the period of time from birth to the age of six…At no other age has a child a greater need of intellectual training.”  We are excited to offer a program that will set your child up for long term success in an increasingly competitive world.

Class Offerings: 

Note:  ALL programs are a 12-month program, September through August.  The school year is September through June.  We continue the educational Montessori classes through July & August, in addition to fun-filled summer activities and special guest speakers and presentations.  If you do not continue through July & August, you risk CELC filling your space.

Infant:  (6 weeks - *12 months)  *Move up ages may vary by several months.  Please note that space is also a factor. 

Extended Full Days:  Five, Three or Two Days/Week (Monday-Friday; Monday, Wednesday & Friday; or Tuesday & Thursday)  7:00am-5:30pm

The Infant Program is described as the Nido, which is the Italian word meaning “nest”.  The Nido protects and provides learning experiences for infants.  Our caregivers give feelings of love, joy, safety and security, satisfying the needs of the child which results in an increase of the child’s self-confidence and self-esteem.  We help satisfy the infant’s hunger of the mind through “free movement”, language and sensory stimulation.  The infant must have the opportunity to scoot, crawl, pull-up, and cruise, and eventually walk.  The infant has abundant opportunities to explore and refine the abilities of the body, outside in the fresh air as well as inside.  Through free movement, language and sensory stimulation, the infant develops basic trust in themselves and their surroundings.  

Parents shall provide:  All diapers, wipes and diaper ointment (disposable diapers are required), all bottles of milk (breastmilk or formula, which MUST be labeled & pre-prepared in the bottles), any rice cereal, pureed foods and eventually solid foods, and at least two pacifiers (if your child uses them).


Older infant:  (12 months - *24 months)  *Move up ages may vary by several months.  Please note that space is also a factor.

Extended Full Days:  Five, Three or Two Days/Week (Monday-Friday; Monday, Wednesday & Friday; or Tuesday & Thursday)  7:00am-5:30pm

The Older Infant Program is a small, intimate home-like atmosphere that brings feelings of joy as these young children are given freedom to explore within a secure, interesting, beautiful and developmentally appropriate environment.  The daily Montessori program consists of exploration, individual work time, group time, singing, dancing, reading and plenty of outdoor time. The individual work time finds the children involved in activities that include Language, Practical Life and Sensorial.

Parents shall provide:  All diapers, wipes and diaper ointment (disposable diapers are required), all bottles of milk (breastmilk or formula, which MUST be labeled & pre-prepared in the bottles), a nutricious lunch (CELC will provide Whole milk with lunch), a morning and afternoon snack, and your child's favorite blanket and stuffed animal (please limit to one) for naptime.  


Pre-Primary Class:  (2 years – *3 years)  *Move up ages may vary by several months.  Please note that space is also a factor. 

Extended Full Days:  Five, Three or Two Days/Week (Monday-Friday; Monday, Wednesday & Friday; or Tuesday & Thursday)  7:00am-5:30pm

Half Days:  Five, Three or Two Half Days/Week (Monday-Friday; Monday, Wednesday & Friday; or Tuesday & Thursday)  8:30am-11:30am

Our Pre-Primary Program allows children to explore the rich classroom environment, building speech and language skills, practical life skills, fine and gross motor skills, along with building knowledge and understanding in science, math and culture studies.  The children are using all five sense to explore their environment and will eagerly absorb the facts presented to them.  The child's individual personality is evolving and the child is emerging as a social being.


Primary Class:  (3 years - 6 years)

Extended Full Days:  Five Days/Week (Monday-Friday)  7:00am-5:30pm

Full Days:  Five Days/Week (Monday-Friday)  8:30am-3:30pm(Must be at least 4 yrs. old and do not need a nap)

Half Days:  Five Days/Week (Monday-Friday)  8:30am-11:30am

Our Primary Program is a traditional Montessori based classroom for children 3 through 6 years old, with the 5 basic areas of the classroom:  Math, Language (including reading & writing), Practical Life, Sensorial and Cultural (Science, Geography, Arts & Music).   It is based on a sensible balance between freedom and structure specifically designed for the young child.  It provides a pleasant environment with carefully devised materials that meet the child’s natural curiosity & needs.  Our Montessori Directress (teacher) works with the children individually and in small groups at the child’s own pace.

This multi-age classroom--typically spanning 3 years--re-creates a family structure.  Older students enjoy stature as mentors and role models and are able to perfect their skills by teaching the younger children, which also builds their self-esteem. A skill is never learned quite as well as when you teach another.  The younger children feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead as they begin to eagerly anticipate their own journey through the Montessori materials.   


If you would like to schedule a personal tour of our building and the Montessori classroom, I would be happy to meet with you and answer any questions you might have.  

If you are interested in our program, I encourage you to register early to ensure placement.  A non-refundable registration fee must be submitted with the application.  

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Montessori Education

I have seen only Montessori preschools. Are there Montessori schools for older children as well?

Dr. Montessori first developed her educational approach while working with a preschool population. She gradually extended her approach to children and youth of all ages. Today, some Montessori schools provide all levels of learning, from infant & toddler though the secondary (high school) level. Others offer only certain levels.

The benefits of Montessori—the emphasis on independent learning, for example, and the warm, supportive community—continue to be important at each stage of development as children grow into lifelong learners and responsible citizens of the world.

How many students are typically in a Montessori class?

Unlike some private schools, which strive for very small classes, Montessori values the lessons of community when the size of the class is somewhat larger.

Montessori classes for children above the infant & toddler level might include 20–30 students whose ages span 3 years. All members of the community benefit from this set-up. Older students are proud to act as role models; younger ones feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead. Classes for infants & toddlers are smaller, with typically 10–15 children.

How can children learn if they're free to do whatever they want?

Dr. Montessori observed that children are more motivated to learn when working on something of their own choosing. A Montessori student may choose his focus of learning on any given day, but his decision is limited by the materials and activities—in each area of the curriculum—that his teacher has prepared and presented to him.

Beginning at the elementary level, students typically set learning goals and create personal work plans under their teacher’s guidance.

Why are Montessori schools all work and no play?

Dr. Montessori realized that children’s play is their work—their effort to master their own bodies and environment—and out of respect she used the term “work” to describe all their classroom activities. Montessori students work hard, but they don’t experience it as drudgery; rather, it’s an expression of their natural curiosity and desire to learn.

If children work at their own pace, don't they fall behind?

Although students are free to work at their own pace, they’re not going it alone. The Montessori teacher closely observes each child and provides materials and activities that advance his learning by building on skills and knowledge already gained. This gentle guidance helps him master the challenge at hand—and protects him from moving on before he’s ready, which is what actually causes children to “fall behind.”

Do Montessori teachers follow a curriculum?

Montessori schools teach the same basic skills as traditional schools, and offer a rigorous academic program. Most of the subject areas are familiar—such as math, science, history, geography, and language—but they are presented through an integrated approach that brings separate strands of the curriculum together.

While studying a map of Africa, for example, students may explore the art, history, and inventions of several African nations. This may lead them to examine ancient Egypt, including hieroglyphs and their place in the history of writing. The study of the pyramids, of course, is a natural bridge to geometry.

This approach to curriculum shows the interrelatedness of all things. It also allows students to become thoroughly immersed in a topic—and to give their curiosity full rein.

Why don't Montessori teachers give grades?

Grades, like other external rewards, have little lasting effect on a child’s efforts or achievements. The Montessori approach nurtures the motivation that comes from within, kindling the child’s natural desire to learn.

A self-motivated learner also learns to be self-sufficient, without needing reinforcement from outside. In the classroom, of course, the teacher is always available to provide students with guidance and support.

Although most Montessori teachers don’t assign grades, they closely observe each student’s progress and readiness to advance to new lessons. Most schools hold family conferences a few times a year so parents may see their child’s work and hear the teacher’s assessment—and perhaps even their child’s self-assessment.

How well do Montessori students do compared to students in non-Montessori schools?

There is a small but growing body of well-designed research comparing Montessori students to those in traditional schools. These suggest that in academic subjects, Montessori students perform as well as or better than their non-Montessori peers.

In one study, for example, children who had attended Montessori schools at the preschool and elementary levels earned higher scores in high school on standardized math and science tests. Another study found that the essays of 12-year-old Montessori students were more creative and used more complex sentence structures than those produced by the non-Montessori group.

The research also shows Montessori students to have greater social and behavioral skills. They demonstrate a greater sense of fairness and justice, for example, and are more likely to choose positive responses for dealing with social dilemmas.

By less stringent measures, too, Montessori students seem to do quite well. Most Montessori schools report that their students are typically accepted into the high schools and colleges of their choice. And many successful grads cite their years at Montessori when reflecting on important influences in their life.

Information provided by the American Montessori Society.