Frequently Asked Questions
School Locator

Why Did We Create the Montessori School Locator?

Are you tired of spending countless hours searching online and making phone calls to gather basic school information? Are you frustrated with the tedious task of recording school details in an Excel spreadsheet just to compare different options? Does navigating the world of Montessori education and finding a suitable Montessori school feel overwhelming? Look no further, as the Y Montessori School Finder has been designed to simplify your search.

Y Montessori School Finder provides all the essential information you need in one convenient place. Our platform offers a comprehensive list of schools in your area with "Montessori" in their names, including school contact information, tour scheduling options, detailed school and program information, user reviews, accreditation details, and much more.

Which Schools Does the Y Montessori Website Cover?

Currently, our tool encompasses private schools in the United States that feature "Montessori" in their names. However, we are actively working to expand our database to include public Montessori schools as well.

How do I interpret the Accreditation status and why it matters?

The word “Montessori” is not trademarked, so a wide range of practices can be found in schools with Montessori in their names. Accreditation establishes a consistency of standards and the preservation of the Montessori philosophy of education. It also holds schools accountable to parents and to the larger community. There are different accreditation programs in the US.

  • AMI Recognized

To receive the AMI certificate of recognition indicating that a level is fully recognized, 100% of the lead teachers at that level are AMI trained and all of the AMI standards must be achieved.

  • AMI Affiliated

To qualify for the Affiliated status, two out of three classrooms or three out of four classrooms at that level or multiples thereof, are led by AMI teachers. The level meets all other AMI standards.

  • AMI Associated

To qualify for the Associated status, 50% of the lead teachers must hold an AMI diploma. The Associated status is also a transitional category for schools that are in the process of developing programs that meet all of the AMI standards.

  • AMS On-path

The Pathway Steps Step 1: Your school is a member of AMS and has affirmed its commitment to the AMS Code of Ethics.

Step 2: At least 20% of your lead teachers hold Montessori credentials. Your school has a mission statement and a plan for how/when it will incorporate the 5 core components.

Step 3: At least 40% of your lead teachers hold Montessori credentials and your school implements at least 1 core component.

Step 4: At least 60% of your lead teachers hold Montessori credentials and your school implements at least 2 other core components.

Step 5: At least 80% of your lead teachers hold Montessori credentials and your school implements at least 3 other core components.

Step 6: 100% of your lead teachers hold Montessori credentials and your school implements the other 4 core components If your school is interested in accreditation, you are eligible to apply for candidacy.

Step 7: Your school has submitted a self-study that demonstrates compliance with the AMS School Accreditation Institutional Standards.

Step 8: Your school has submitted a self-study and hosted a peer validator to demonstrate compliance with the AMS School Accreditation Instructional Standards.

Step 9: Your school has completed a strategic plan for continuing improvement.

Step 10: AMS School accreditation.

  • AMS Accredited

If your school meets all of the following requirements, you are eligible to apply for AMS accreditation:

  • It has reached Step 6 on the AMS Pathway of Continuous School Improvement, a quality assurance initiative available to all member schools
  • It has been in operation for at least 3 years
  • You are seeking accreditation for all the program levels offered by your school

It is structured and staffed according to the following multi-age groupings:

  • Infant, within the range birth – 18 months
  • Toddler, within the range 15 – 36 months
  • Early Childhood, a 3-year grouping within the range 2.5 – 6
  • Lower Elementary, ages 6 – 9
  • Upper Elementary, ages 9 – 12 or Elementary I – II, ages 6 – 12
  • Secondary, either 12 – 14, 14 – 16, 16 – 18; or 12 – 15, 15 – 18
  • All lead teachers hold Montessori teaching credentials for the ages they are teaching (in accordance with Standard 5.2 of the AMS Standards for Accreditation)
  • All lead teachers who do not hold the requisite Montessori credential are enrolled in an AMS-, AMI-, or MACTE-accredited Montessori teacher education program and are actively working toward earning a Montessori credential for the level at which they teach. Self-directed adult learners may serve in lead teaching positions in AMS-accredited schools and candidate schools.
  • Has a minimum of a half-day session taught by a qualifying Montessori-credentialed teacher if your school offers in all Infant & Toddler and/or Early Childhood levels
  • At the time of application, it is in at least 80% compliance with all AMS Standards for Accreditation.
  • AMS Member

Schools can join the AMS school membership to access various resources and support. However, a member school does not need to go through any accreditation or consultation processes. 

What Should I Do If I Discover a Montessori School Not Listed on Y Montessori?

If you come across a Montessori school that is not currently featured on our website, kindly take a moment to get in touch with us. We will promptly add the school to our website and collaborate with them to ensure their information is prepared for sharing on their dedicated school page.

Whom Should I Contact for Inquiries?

For inquiries related to our website or general questions about Montessori schools and Montessori methods, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

If you have specific questions about a particular school, we recommend reaching out to that school directly using the email or phone number provided on their individual school page.

(For Schools) Can I have access to manage my school page?

Certainly, you can gain full access to manage all the data displayed on your school page by completing the "claim your school" process. Please watch the tutorial video and follow the outlined steps.

Montessori Method

Who was Dr. Maria Montessori?

Maria Montessori was an Italian physician, educator, and innovator, acclaimed for her educational method that builds on the way children learn naturally.

She opened the first Montessori school—the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House—in Rome on January 6, 1907. Subsequently, she traveled the world and wrote extensively about her approach to education, attracting many devotees. There are now thousands of Montessori schools in countries worldwide.

Read more about Dr. Maria Montessori.

Reference from AMS website:

What is the Montessori education?

For more than a century now, the child-focused approach that Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, developed for educating children has been transforming schools around the globe.

As soon as you enter a classroom, you know that something different is afoot. Montessori classrooms are immediately recognizable. You will see children working independently and in groups, often with specially designed learning materials; deeply engaged in their work; and respectful of themselves and their surroundings.

The Montessori Method fosters rigorous, self-motivated growth for children and adolescents in all areas of their development—cognitive, emotional, social, and physical.

Reference from AMS website:

Why choose Montessori education?

For more than a century, Montessori has been thriving around the globe, and contemporary research validates the effectiveness of the Montessori Method. Several key elements of the approach meet the educational goals today’s parents have for their children, including growing into capable people who will be have a strong sense of self, the ability to connect with others, and the potential to be productive throughout their lives. With Montessori, that growth starts early. The early years (birth through age 6) are a critical time to set a strong foundation for who a child will become and the role she or he will play in the future.

A Montessori education develops students who are capable, accountable, knowledgeable people who have the strong sense of self they will need to thrive in the real world.

Reference from AMS website:

Montessori Schools

Are all Montessori schools alike?

No, Montessori schools vary widely because the name “Montessori” is in the public domain. This means that anyone wishing to use the name “Montessori” for their school may do so. The best way to insure that a program is faithfully incorporating the Montessori approach as developed by Maria Montessori is to ask if the school or program is affiliated with AMI. Click here to locate a school near you.

Reference from AMS website:

What ages do Montessori schools serve?

Currently, most Montessori programs begin at the Early Childhood level (for children ages 2.5 – 6 years). However there are also programs for infants and toddlers (birth – age 3), Elementary-aged children (ages 6 – 12), and Secondary students (ages 12 – 18). Some schools refer to the first part of the Secondary level as Middle School (ages 12 – 15) and the second part as High School (ages 15 – 18).

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.

Reference from AMS website:

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 weaves 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. And the study of the pyramids is a natural bridge to geometry!

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

Reference from AMS website:

Is it true that Montessori students are free to do whatever they want, and at their own pace?

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

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

Reference from AMS website:

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 each child master the challenge at hand—and protects him from moving on before he’s ready, which is often what causes children to “fall behind.” Each child is challenged appropriately in each area of the curriculum to ensure that skills and competencies are fully developed and that the child is able to pursue his own unique interests.

Reference from AMS website:

Why are Montessori schools all work and no play?

This is a common misunderstanding of Montessori education. 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. They engage in these activities with joy and focus—intent on mastering new skills independently!

Reference from AMS website:

I’ve heard that Montessori teachers don’t really teach. Is this true? If so, what do they do?

When you observe a Montessori teacher at work you may be surprised! You will not see her standing in front of the classroom teaching the same lesson to the entire class, because the Montessori curriculum is individualized to the needs, interests, and learning style of each child. Often you will find her on the floor, working with an individual child. With the older children, she may be giving a small group lesson, or demonstrating a lesson or activity that the students will then complete on their own.

One of the many roles of the Montessori teacher is to observe each child and the classroom community as a whole and make adaptations to the environment and lesson-planning as needed to support each child’s development. As the Montessori teacher observes, he is determining when and how to introduce a new challenging lesson to a student, and when to review a previous lesson if a skill has not yet been mastered.

While a Montessori student may choose her activities on any given day, her decisions are limited by the materials and activities in each area of the curriculum that the teacher has prepared and presented to her. The teacher’s observations inform each child’s personalized learning plan and allow each child to move through the curriculum at an appropriate pace and level of challenge.

Reference from AMS website:

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 that can happen when the size of the class is somewhat larger. A larger, multi-age class can encourage students to rely on themselves and their peers as resources, rather than going directly to a teacher for support first.

Montessori classes at the Early Childhood level and above might include 20 – 30 students whose ages span 3 years. All members of the community benefit from this configuration. Older students are proud to act as role models; younger ones feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead. And all children develop their independence as they problem solve with their peers within their classroom community.

Classes for infants and toddlers are smaller, with typically 10 – 15 children. Often the teacher-to-child ratio for this youngest age group is set by state licensing standards.

Reference from AMS website:

How is discipline handled in a Montessori classroom?

It is the development of self-discipline that is encouraged and valued. By maintaining a carefully prepared, structured environment that encourages exploration, creativity, and choice within clear boundaries, the child learns self-control and problem-solving skills that foster independence and responsibility. In this setting, discipline is viewed as a maturation process that evolves, supported by guidance from the teacher. With gentle, prudent assistance, children eventually become comfortable and equipped to accept the consequences of their own behavior. Skilled AMI-trained teachers use Montessori materials and activities to promote a classroom atmosphere that reinforces personal discipline and harmony by offering each child the opportunity to gain a sense of direction, confidence, cooperation, and self-control.

Reference from AMI/USA website:

Do children have difficulty transitioning to a public school after going to a Montessori school?

Moving from a Montessori school to another school setting is an issue often raised by parents and family members. Happily, the habits and skills a child develops in a Montessori class last a lifetime and stand a child in good stead no matter where they go. Montessori children tend to be adaptable, working well alone or with a group. They have solid decision-making skills, practical problem solving abilities, and generally manage their time well. Since children in a Montessori classroom are also encouraged to share ideas and discuss their work, fitting into new situations is made easier thanks to good communication skills.

Reference from AMI/USA website: