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Why Parent and Child Montessori?

Have fun with your child.

See your child grow throughout the Parent and Child (Mommy and Me) sessions as she joyfully explores the Montessori environment, experiments with the Montessori materials, and discovers the children around her.

Meet other parents.

Eight families with similarly aged children join each Parent and Child session. Parents have the opportunity to socialize both in class and on the playground.

Develop your parenting toolkit.

The infant and toddler years are exciting, but also challenging. Montessori principles can help you make the most of this precious time. Each week, our trained Montessori guide will offer thoughts on topics that are on every parent’s mind. Leave with practical tips for applying Montessori ideas at home.

Try out the Montessori program.

Parent and Child (Mommy and Me) Montessori is your chance to experience “Montessori in a nutshell.” You and your child will be in a Montessori classroom, experience some of the typical daily activities, and learn from an experienced Montessori teacher. Seeing is believing: if you are at all unsure if Montessori might be right for your child and family, you’ll have your answer after this class! 

“Parent & Child / Mommy and Me was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the Montessori approach. With this program, I got to see how Montessori preschool works in practice, what actually happens in class every day. I knew that once my daughter attended preschool, I wouldn’t be able to be there with her and see what she does every day. It was great to be able to experience the Montessori program together, so I can relate to her world once she starts preschool at LePort this fall.”

Gina G.LePort Parent & Child Parent

“I am a huge advocate of Montessori Parent-Toddler Programs. I loved the first program I attended with Caspar many years ago. There is only so much Montessori you can learn online and in books. Getting a first hand experience is invaluable. If you have a toddler and are even just slightly the littlest bit interested in Montessori I encourage you to check out a program near you.”

KylieMontessori blogger

Parent and Child Program Choices

Infant Parent and Me (2 – 17 months)

Weekly topics such as home environment, movement, order, sleep patterns, independence and language acquisition will offer you moments of clarity in parenting your little one. You will be with your child as she explores simple Montessori materials and joins circle time. You’ll learn a great deal about child development while making new friends in a “mom’s group” atmosphere.

Toddler Parent and Me (18 – 36 months)

Weekly topics such as fostering independence, toilet learning, discipline, language acquisition and preparing the home environment for your active explorer will give you new insights into how you can optimally support your child’s development. You will be with your child as she works with Montessori materials, enjoys arts and crafts, joins circle time, learns to serve herself snack and plays with other toddlers on the playground. You’ll be able to make friends, find like-minded parents and toddlers for play dates, and learn much about child development, Montessori theory and practice.

Intro to Primary Parent and Me (2 years 9 months to 3 years 6 months)

The Intro to Primary Parent and Child program is an ideal next step as you move toward the preschool age. It’s a great way to try out the Montessori program, to help your child transition, and to learn how to apply Montessori principles at home with an older child. Each week, we’ll explore a specific topic your child would encounter in the Montessori preschool program. We’ll start with self-care skills, such as dressing and independent toileting, then move on to involving your child in food prep and ideas for independence in eating. We’ll show you how to support sensorial exploration, arts, crafts, music and movement for preschoolers. Finally, we’ll introduce you to some Montessori ideas around literacy and early number skills. You’ll be with your child and guide him as he explores, always with the coaching and support of an experienced Montessori instructor. After this class, you’ll be better prepared to both apply Montessori ideas at home, and to help your child transition into our Montessori primary program. And, of course, you’ll be able to make friends and find like-minded parents and preschoolers for play dates.

Spanish and Mandarin Options for Toddler Mommy and Me

Classes led by a Mandarin or Spanish speaking instructor who will incorporate culture, language and experiences in her native tongue. Children will be spoken to in Mandarin or Spanish. Due to the varied language levels of  parents, the instructor may speak English to explain any Montessori or other parent topics of interest.


Parent and Child Program Details

  • Parent and Child / Mommy and Me groups generally meet once a week for 8 weeks, 1 ½ hours per week. Summer sessions run shorter; check the schedule for details.
  • Mommy and Me sessions start four times each year: January, April, July and September
  • Offered at multiple LePort Montessori locations.
  • Infant programs welcome children who are between 2 and 17 months at the start of the session; Toddler programs welcome children between 18 and 36 months; Intro to Primary programs welcome children between 2 years 9 months and 3 years 6 months at the start of the session.
  • Mommy and Me sessions are guided by a consistent, experienced Montessori instructor.
  • Each child attends with a parent or caregiver. Twins and multiples encouraged to attend with an adult responsible for each child. Due to class space please limit one parent or caregiver per child per class.

Parent and Child Enrollment

  • The Parent and Child (Mommy and Me) program is offered at multiple LePort campuses; see below for schedule details.
  • Registration is first-come, first served. Register early: past Parent and Child sessions have filled weeks before the session starts.
  • Registration for future Parent and Child Sessions will open approximately four to six weeks prior to session start.
Registering more than one child?

If you wish to register for more than one class or have more than one child to enroll, please register for only one class per payment transaction. Alternatively, please give us a call so we can add you to the class manually.



Infant Classes


Irvine Spectrum South
Saturday at 8:30am with Stacey Dee (Starts 1/11) - View
Saturday at 10:30am with Stacey Dee (Starts 1/11) - View

Huntington Harbor
Saturday at 9:00am with Emmy Zappa (Starts 1/11) - View
Saturday at 11:00am with Emmy Zappa (Starts 1/11) - View


Toddler Classes


Irvine Spectrum South
Saturday at 8:30am with Ana Marques (Starts 1/11) - View
Saturday at 10:45am with Ana Marques (Starts 1/11) - View

Irvine Westpark
Saturday at 8:00am with Carmen Calvo (Starts 1/11) - View
Saturday at 10:30am with Flor Pfeifer (Starts 1/11) - View

Irvine Woodbridge
Tuesday at 3:30pm with Janine D'Penha (Starts 1/14) - Class Full
Thursday at 3:30pm with Janine D'Penha (Starts 1/16) - View
Saturday at 10:30am with Janine D'Penha (Starts 1/11) - View
Saturday at 8:30am with Karla Melgar (Starts 1/11) - View

Huntington Harbor
Wednesday at 3:30pm with Daniela Hoyle (Starts 1/15) - View
Saturday at 9:00am with Rebeca Jimenez (Starts 1/11) - View
Saturday at 11:00am with Rebeca Jimenez (Starts 1/11) - View

Lomita
Saturday at 8:30am with Brittany Larsen (Starts 1/18) - View


Toddler (Spanish) Classes


Huntington Harbor
Thursday at 3:30pm with Daniela Hoyle (Starts 1/16) - View


Toddler (Mandarin) Classes


Irvine Mandarin
Saturday at 8:30am with Suet Chow (Starts 1/18) - View


Intro to Primary Classes


Irvine Spectrum North
Saturday at 8:30am with Emma Jones (Starts 1/11) - View
Saturday at 10:30am with Emma Jones (Starts 1/11) - View

Lomita
Saturday at 10:30am with Brittany Larsen (Starts 1/18) - View


Intro to Primary (Spanish) Classes


Huntington Harbor
Saturday at 9:00am with Mar Aguirre Palacio (Starts 1/11) - View

Parent and Child Instructors

Mar Aguirre Palacio

Mar Aguirre Palacio

Mrs. Mar Aguirre Palacio was born and raised in Spain. She holds two bachelor’s degrees in education, one for Infant (0-6 years) and one for Primary (6-12 years). Over the last 10 years, Mrs. Palacio has been working with children of different ages. In 2011, she moved to London to continue improving her English, and began working in a Montessori environment where she discovered her passion. Mrs. Palacio worked in a Montessori environment for 4 years, and during this time, she earned her AMI 3-6 Diploma through the Montessori Institute of London. Mrs. Palacio is very happy to be part of LePort Montessori’s Lower Elementary Bilingual classroom. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and discovering new places around the world. She also likes long walks on the beach and salsa dancing.
Carmen Calvo

Carmen Calvo

Ms. Carmen Calvo, the third of nine sisters, was born and raised in Mexico City. She was the first in her family to go to college, earning her B.A. in Education from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. Later, she went on to earn her AMS Primary diploma, as well as her AMI Elementary diploma. She first discovered and fell in love with the Montessori method through researching educational options for her own children. Ms. Calvo has been a Montessori directress internationally since 1993, and completed her AMI Montessori teacher training for the 0 to 3 age group at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Additionally, she has taught Spanish as a second language to toddlers through adults. Ms. Calvo’s love of travel has sent her from New York to Panama, Hawaii to Russia; her knowledge of world cultures inspires and enriches her teaching.
Suet Chow

Suet Chow

Ms. Suet Chow joined LePort as a Toddler Assistant Teacher in September 2008 after running a licensed family childcare for ten years and working in a Montessori toddler class for four years. In addition to earning her AMI Assistants to Infancy (0-3) teaching credential, Ms. Chow also received her Early Childhood Education Certificate of Achievement with an Infant/Toddler Emphasis from Irvine Valley College. Born and raised in Malaysia, Ms. Chow speaks fluent Mandarin, Cantonese, and Hakka. Having attended a Chinese Immersion school herself from elementary through high school before immigrating to the United States, Ms. Chow knows first-hand the value of learning different languages. She believes childhood is a time of natural creativity and curiosity that is best supported in a Montessori classroom. Ms. Chow continuously looks forward to meeting Mandarin speaking parents as she teaches Toddler Mandarin Immersion Parent & Child classes.
Janine D

Janine D'Penha

Ms. Janine D’Penha is a Montessori Toddler Head Teacher who earned her diploma from the Ratan Tata Institute in Mumbai, India and completed her AMI Montessori teacher training for the 0 to 3 age group at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Ms. D'Penha also earned her master’s degree from Mumbai University, studied classical music at Trinity College in London, and earned her Certificate of Early Childhood from the Auckland University of Technology. She looks forward to sharing her love of children with families in her Parent & Child program.
Stacey Dee

Stacey Dee

Ms. Stacey Dee is a Montessori Infant Head Teacher. Her love for teaching began during her senior year of high school while assisting in a toddler classroom and teaching gymnastics. She attended California State University, San Marcos and received a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a minor in Spanish. She received her Early Childhood Teaching Certificate from Riverside Community College in 2008, and pursued her AMI Diploma for ages 0-3 years from the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Ms. Dee joined LePort in the fall of 2009 and finds the "Ah-ha!" moment the most rewarding part of teaching. She loves to see children master the materials and take pride in their work. In her spare time, Ms. Dee loves spending time with her daughter and looks forward to sharing her tips for positive parenting from infancy and beyond in her Parent and Child classes.
Daniela Hoyle

Daniela Hoyle

Ms. Hoyle graduated from Florida State University in 2004 with a degree in journalism. While traveling and pursuing her journalism career, she discovered that one of her biggest passions was teaching. To support her extensive international travel, Ms. Hoyle began teaching both English and Spanish to children aged 4-12 and fell in love! After ten years of teaching internationally, she decided to return to the United States to focus more intensely on her teaching career.

Ms. Hoyle completed her AMI Montessori teacher training for the 0 to 3 age group at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. She has also completed numerous early childhood education courses and continuously finds ways to expand on her knowledge so that she can keep growing as both a teacher and mother. She finds children to be both fascinating and inspiring and loves how their minds develop so rapidly. She takes pride in her role as a guide in assisting children in developing their minds and becoming better human beings. Ms. Hoyle enjoys spending time with her son, who also has a Montessori education, and she loves reading about the development of the child's mind and the many ways in which they learn.
Rebeca Jimenez

Rebeca Jimenez

Ms. Rebeca Jimenez has worked in the child development field for many years. She has completed more than 25 units in child development. In 1998, she received a certificate as a preschool director and was a preschool director for 5 years. She enjoys teaching children and seeing their growth academically. She is very excited to be part of LePort Schools.
Emma Jones

Emma Jones

Ms. Emma earned her B.A. in Marketing from the University of Thailand, and received her primary diploma from MISD. She has worked with children from 3 to 6 years old for over a decade. Ms. Emma has traveled abroad throughout the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and volunteered at the United Nations Organization. She enjoys learning about different cultures and has studied many languages including French, Japanese, Turkish and Arabic, in addition to her native Farsi. Ms. Emma has a son and husband that make her life colorful, and she enjoys skydiving, biking, skiing and writing in her free time.
Brittany Larsen

Brittany Larsen

Ms. Brittany Larsen, a South Bay native, holds two Montessori teaching credentials from UC Irvine, and has twelve years of Montessori teaching experience at the Toddler, Primary, and Elementary levels. Outside of work, Ms. Brittany loves art, science, drawing, painting, and visiting museums. Her greatest hope is that her students leave her classroom with a passion and love of learning.
Ana Marques

Ana Marques

Mrs. Ana Marques is originally from Brazil, where she worked as an administrator at private schools for many years. After immigrating to the United States with her family, Mrs. Marques focused her career more directly on childcare, working for private preschools, raising her own son, volunteering at his school, and nannying. She studied child development at Saddleback College and Laguna Technical College, and hopes to earn her master’s degree in this area. In her spare time, Mrs. Marques enjoys cooking, reading, and doing outdoor activities with her husband and her son. Ms. Marques completed her AMI Montessori teacher training for the 0 to 3 age group at the Montessori Institute of San Diego and is very proud to be a member of the LePort Montessori team!
Karla Melgar

Karla Melgar

Ms. Karla Melgar is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development and minored in Human Services. Ms. Melgar enjoys working with children and families and has previously worked at various locations where she was able to work with hands-on with children. Ms. Melgar is excited to be part of the LePort family!
Flor Pfeifer

Flor Pfeifer

Ms. Flor Pfeifer was born and raised in California and has always been extremely passionate about working with children. She first attended Orange Coast College where she completed her early childhood education and earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts. She then graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2015, where she earned her BS in Child and Adolescence Development. In the summer of 2017, she went on to complete her AMI Montessori training from MISD.

Outside of the classroom, Ms. Pfeifer enjoys going to the beach where she can listen to the sound of the ocean, and spending time with family and friends.
Emmy Zappa

Emmy Zappa

Ms. Emmy Zappa is originally from Sebastopol in Sonoma County, California. Growing up, Ms. Zappa was very active in Girl Scouts, and often volunteered her time to assist younger troop members. She was also active in sports, volunteered as a referee at children’s soccer games, and played competitive volleyball, continuing on to the collegiate level at Santa Rosa Junior College. At Santa Rosa, she earned an Associate of Arts degree in both psychology and social & behavioral sciences. She also attained her Skills Certificate in Child Development: Associate Teacher. Ms. Zappa started working with young toddlers while she was still attending Santa Rosa, working as the lead teacher in a classroom for two-year-olds. Later, she also worked with the 3-6 age group, but her interest always gravitated towards younger children. Most recently before joining LePort, Ms. Zappa worked as the lead teacher in a Montessori infant program, where she provided a safe and welcoming environment for both children and parents, planned developmentally-appropriate activities and exploration, and maximized learning opportunities to feed the curiosity of the young children under her care.

Ms. Zappa is also passionate about continuing her own education and professional growth. She is currently working toward a bachelor’s degree at California State University Long Beach (with a double major in Family Life Education and Early Childhood Development). Ms. Zappa completed her AMI Montessori teacher training for the 0 to 3 age group at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. She is always looking for opportunities to improve, whether it be through self-reflection, through her interactions with children, families, and fellow educators, or through courses, workshops, and readings. Ms. Zappa believes that it is critical to respect the dignity and unique personality of each individual child and family.

Stay in touch with LePort Montessori

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