Such Nido and toddler schools, which are quite popular in the US and Europe is slowly catching up in India too. And Chennai is all set to get its first such Montessori school next week.
“We hope to be an extended support for working parents who spend less time with their kids,” says Shankari Subbiah, principal of Redwood Montessori School, which hopes to train infants. “There is no teaching but only letting the child to discover its skills by experience. Even concepts such as colour is conceptualised,” says Madhura Kumar, another partner in the school.
Children start responding to adults from 5 months and so they need a lot of communication at this age, says Shankari. With most mothers joining work as early as three months these days, these schools will help them a lot, she feels.
“There is greater awareness among young parents who want something new for their children,” says Uma Shanker, director, Centre for Montessori Training in Chennai. “The system has gained lot of popularity owing to awareness and we train about 40-45 teachers a month,” she adds.
On Nido training, Uma says, “Though Dr Montessori had developed a training system that covers from birth till 18 years, only primary concept is most popular in India. But if infants are given a conducive environment, there is bound to be a lot of positive changes in them.”