I receive so many questions and comments about Montessori daycare, I know it's a topic that is very important to many of you.
When I first arrived in Brisbane the staff from Indooroopilly Montessori Children's House (IMCH) invited me over for a tour. I honestly had not seen a daycare centre like this before. It is gorgeous and the attention to detail is amazing - from a Montessori perspective and a childcare perspective. So recently I asked if I could take another tour and capture some images to share with you. I've taken lots of images from whole room pictures to some small details, I hope you enjoy!
IMCH is located on Kate Street in Indooroopilly (in Queensland, Australia). It is a long day centre with children attending between 7.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday, for 50 weeks of the year. I believe the centre is currently operating at capacity, catering for 170 children from six weeks to five years of age.
IMCH have nine rooms, the children progress through the rooms when they are ready. They have one infant and four toddler rooms. They also have four pre-prep or kindergarten rooms for children three to five years and these rooms are fully equipped Montessori classrooms. Children generally leave at or around five years of age to attend school.
This is a lovely toddler room (18 months to 3 years). These windows are just gorgeous. One of the things that I really love about this centre is the seamless flow from indoors to outdoors.
Who wouldn't want to paint here? I love how this child's painting matches the scenery. During my visit, the trees to the right were occupied by beautiful rainbow lorikeets.
Still in a toddler room. The centre has utilised the local 'Men's Shed' to build some of the children's play equipment. I love it when local materials and resources can be used, it sets such a good example to the children.
The top of some art shelves.
A sweet sand tray!
The outside environment here is diverse. The children have access to garden beds, a chicken coop, guinea pigs and a large sand play area. On the day I was visiting it was extremely hot and the children were outside (under full supervision) running under the sprinkler!
This is a really amazing outdoor learning, wilderness area. To the left, behind the plastic covers are shelves full of materials. The children, just as they would in the classroom, select the materials they want to use and play in this area. There are a couple of mud kitchens and after some rain, this area has pockets that fill with water and become an ideal natural learning environment. Children are encouraged to run and play in the mud! How perfect!
Some climbing equipment in the wilderness area. All of the plants in this area are native.
It's often the small touches that make an environment feel special and warm.
The centre has employed sustainability consultants and you can see the results! The centre has chickens, composting, worm farm, garden beds and recycling initiatives.
This is a sweet little spot where children can sit and observe the chickens!
Another outdoor play area.
This image is from the infant room. You can see low shelving, low mirror, movement mat and a pull-up bar.
The following images are from the kindergarten, pre-prep (3 to 5 years) rooms. Above metal insets.
I enjoy seeing how different centres and schools display their sandpaper letters!
Kitchen area. It may be hard to see but this is all at the 3 to 5 year old height.
A child has just set this up ready to paint.
Thank you so much to Carmel and Gemma from IMCH for allowing me to visit. I appreciate your passion and commitment towards childcare, sustainability and Montessori!