Infant Toddler Program

Infant/Toddler

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The Infant and Toddler program prepares adults for working with young children from birth through 3 years of age in a variety of settings which include home, school, and daycare.

Credentials Granted

The Princeton Center for Teacher Education understands that students have different needs depending on their family situation, work responsibilities and career aspirations. Our training program has been designed to accommodate our students. We offer four different options for scheduling your training. The options for these programs are outlined below. Choose the plan that is right for you and decide if you would prefer to attend training during a condensed period of time or extend the training over a longer period. Consider whether you would like to take the academic phase over the summer exclusively or combine it with evening classes during the year.

AMS Infant and Toddler - Full Credential
Awarded to those who hold a college degree from an accredited college or university and have satisfactorily completed the Infant and Toddler teacher education program.

AMS Infant and Toddler - Associate Credential
Awarded to those who do not hold a college degree and have satisfactorily completed the Infant and Toddler teacher education program. Upon completion of a bachelor’s degree, the candidate receives full certification. The associate certification satisfies the necessary qualifications to teach in a Montessori infant and toddler environment in a recognized Montessori program in most states.

Program Format

1 Year Option:
The length of the course is one full year. The course has two parts: the academic phase and the practicum phase. The academic phase includes six weeks in the summer, a four-day Fall Seminar, usually the weekend before Thanksgiving, and a four-day Spring Seminar, usually the last weekend in April. The practicum phase is a nine-month period, which follows the six-week summer academic phase.
In the academic phase, students attend classes at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education located at the Princeton Montessori School.

1 Year Option Calendar:

Summer 6 weeks June – July
Practicum September-June
Fall Seminar 4 days December
Spring Seminar 4 days April


2 Year Option A:

The length of the course is two years. The course has two parts: the academic phase and the practicum phase. The academic phase includes a Fall evening course in Philosophy, a Winter evening course in Child Development, four weeks in the summer, a four-day Fall Seminar usually the weekend before Thanksgiving, and a Spring Seminar, usually the last weekend in April.
The practicum phase is a nine-month period which follows the four-week summer academic phase. I n the academic phase students attend classes at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education located at the Princeton Montessori School.

2 Year Option A Calendar:

Philosophy 9 evening classes Fall
Child Development 9 evening classes Winter
Summer 4 weeks July-August
Practicum Sept. – June
Fall Seminar 4 days December
Spring Seminar 4 days April

2 Year Option B:
The length of the course is two years. The course has two parts: the academic phase and the practicum phase. The academic phase includes a Fall evening course in philosophy, a Winter evening course in Child Development, three weeks in the summer, a four-day Fall Seminar usually the weekend before Thanksgiving, a Spring Seminar, usually the last weekend in April and one week in the summer following the Spring Seminar.

The practicum phase is a nine-month period which follows the three-week summer academic phase. In the academic phase students attend classes at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education located at the Princeton Montessori School.

2 Year Option B Calendar:

Philosophy 9 evening classes Fall
Child Development 9 evening classes Winter
Summer 3 weeks July-August
Practicum Sept. – June
Fall Seminar 4 days December
Spring Seminar 4 days April
Summer 1 week July

3 Year Option:
The length of the course is three years. The course has two parts: the academic phase and the practicum phase. The academic phase includes a Fall evening course in philosophy, a Winter evening course in Child Development, two weeks in the summer, a four-day Fall Seminar usually the weekend before Thanksgiving, a Spring Seminar, usually the last weekend in April and two weeks in the summer following the Spring Seminar.

The practicum phase is a nine-month period which follows the final two-week summer academic phase. In the academic phase students attend classes at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education located at the Princeton Montessori School.

3 Year Option Calendar:

Philosophy 9 evening classes Fall
Child Development 9 evening classes Winter
Summer 2 weeks July
Summer 2 weeks July
Practicum Sept. – June
Fall Seminar 4 days December
Spring Seminar 4 days April

The Practicum

Requirements for Practicum
Students must complete a minimum of five weeks of the summer academic phase in order to begin their practicum phase. Students must do their practicum in an approved setting.

Preparation of an infant and toddler care-giver involves both the acquisition of basic knowledge outlined in the academic requirements and the use of that knowledge in developing skills and competencies outlined in “Competencies for Montessori Infant and Toddler Teacher Candidates.” There is less emphasis on learning about materials and more emphasis on child development, procedures, philosophy, and relationships. The practicum in the Infant and Toddler environment provides a laboratory for the implementation of the theory, philosophy, and concepts that are presented in class. Group process and sharing of the practicum experience during the field consultant visits and two weekend seminars foster absorption of knowledge, an enrichment of ideas, and reflection on personal responses. Locating a practicum site is the responsibility of the student. All practicum sites must be approved by PCTE prior to the beginning of the practicum phase.

The function of the practicum phase is to provide the student with a supervised teaching/learning experience and a period of observation, internalization, and further study to bring together the theory and practice of Montessori education. The environment is prepared with materials and activities that respond to the developmental and varied needs and interests of the specific age group from birth to age 3, depending on the model selected from the list below. The student works under the direction of a supervising teacher, except as approved by the course director (i.e., Models 2 and 4). The supervising teacher is assigned a maximum of three student teachers in a single-session children’s program and a maximum of two in each full-day program. Depending on their career goals, students may elect to work with either infants or toddlers or a combination of both groups during their practicum year.

Practicum Models
The course director and the practicum supervisor are responsible for determining the appropriate model selection for the student, according to the age group of specialization, the extent of the student’s previous Montessori teacher education, and the special professional purpose.
The four practicum models that are within the American Montessori Guidelines are:

Model 1: Infant (Birth – 18 Months) Concentration
Prerequisite: Montessori Credential or Overview of Montessori Principles.
The practicum provides a period of concentration for the student whose primary interest is the care and development of infants. This model requires the student to participate in all facets of infant care and development, as well as parent education and administrative procedures, for a minimum of 320 hours completed over a nine-month period.

Model 2: Toddler (18 Months – 3 Years) Concentration
Prerequisite: Montessori Credential
The practicum provides a period of concentration for the student whose primary interest is the care and development of toddlers. The student may fulfill practicum requirements by directing a toddler program for a minimum of 320 hours over a nine-month period.

Model 3: Toddler (18 Months – 3 Years) Concentration
Prerequisite: Overview of Montessori Principles.
The practicum provides a period of concentration for the student whose primary interest is the care and development of toddlers. This model is designed for the person with no previous Montessori teacher education or credential. The student is required to work for a minimum of 320 hours over a nine-month period in a Montessori toddler environment as a co-learner with an approved supervising teacher.

Model 4: Special Interest
Prerequisite: Montessori Credential or Overview of Montessori Principles
The practicum is designed to meet the individual needs of a wide variety of professionals involved in child services, e.g., social workers, vocational child care specialists, pediatric nurses, Montessori administrators and consultants, and others. The student may fulfill practicum requirements by applying information received during the academic phase in a variety of settings for a minimum of 320 hours over a nine-month period. The practicum is co-designed by the preparation course director and the student.

Infant and ToddlerEarly ChildhoodElementary