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. Adults are encouraged to attend whether or not they speak the language. Children will be spoken to exclusively in either Mandarin or Spanish.

Parent and Child Program Details

  • 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 LePort campuses in the LA South Bay/Palos Verdes area, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Irvine, Carlsbad, Solana Beach and San Francisco.
  • 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 (nannies or grandparents are welcome, too!) Twins and multiples encouraged to attend with an adult responsible for each child.

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 6/22) - Class Full
Saturday at 10:30am with Stacey Dee (Starts 6/22) - Class Full

Saturday at 8:30am with Laura Garcia (Starts 6/22) - View

Solana Beach
Saturday at 10:30am with Faride Assad (Starts 6/22) - View

Toddler Classes

Irvine Spectrum North
Saturday at 8:30am with Monica Anahi Salgado (Starts 6/29) - Class Full
Saturday at 10:30am with Monica Anahi Salgado (Starts 6/29) - Class Full

Irvine Spectrum South
Saturday at 8:30am with Ana Marques (Starts 6/22) - Class Full

Irvine Woodbridge
Tuesday at 3:30pm with Janine D'Penha (Starts 6/25) - Class Full
Thursday at 3:30pm with Janine D'Penha (Starts 6/27) - Class Full
Saturday at 11:00am with Janine D'Penha (Starts 6/29) - Class Full

Saturday at 10:30am with Laura Garcia (Starts 6/22) - View

Solana Beach
Saturday at 8:30am with Valerie Golden (Starts 6/22) - View

Toddler (Spanish) Classes

Solana Beach
Saturday at 8:30am with Faride Assad (Starts 6/22) - View

Intro to Primary Classes

Irvine Spectrum North
Saturday at 8:30am with Emma Jones (Starts 6/29) - View
Saturday at 10:30am with Emma Jones (Starts 6/29) - View

Saturday at 8:30am with Manoha Ratnayake (Starts 6/22) - View

Parent and Child Instructors

Monica Anahi Salgado

Monica Anahi Salgado

Ms. Monica Anahi Salgado is a Montessori Toddler Head Teacher. As an AMI Montessori Toddler Guide, Ms. Anahi Salgado received her Early Childhood Education permit from Irvine Valley College in 2003. She joined the LePort Montessori team in 2010 with over ten years of experience teaching in private preschools, as well as experience with second language learners. Ms. Anahi Salgado pursued her Association of Montessori Internationale 0-3 Diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego and looks forward to sharing her knowledge and experience as a mother, teacher, and partner in raising children in her Parent & Child classes.
Faride Assad

Faride Assad

Originally from the beautiful city of San Diego, Ms. Assad completed her Associates Degree in Child Development from Southwestern College, Chula Vista in 2011 and her AMI Training Assistant to Infancy from the Montessori Institute of San Diego in 2017. Prior to joining LePort, she worked as an Accounting Clerk for Brink’s Incorporated for over 6 years. Ms. Assad also worked as an Assistant Teacher at San Ysidro Child Care Center as well as a Montessori School in Chula Vista with children aged two to five. Ms. Assad is extremely passionate about childhood education and says, “We are the key to success in the children's life.” Outside of work, she enjoys arts, crafts and spending time with her family, especially her “petson” Biggie.
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 & Child classes.
Laura Garcia

Laura Garcia

Laura Garcia received her Assistants to Infancy Association Montessori International certification from the Montessori Institute of San Diego in 2018. Prior to her training, she received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Baja California. She has been working with children for multiple years, including work at a children's hospital called Hospital Infintil de las Californias.

In Ms. Laura's spare time she enjoys hiking, taking road trips, and doing yoga.
Valerie Golden

Valerie Golden

Ms. Valerie Golden was born and raised in sunny San Diego and is a graduate from The Montessori Institute in San Diego, an AMI accredited school. Ms. Golden received her Early Childhood Education units from Penn Foster College and started her teaching career in an elementary school specializing in special education. After 15 years, she made the decision to pursue a career in a Montessori school where she was a toddler after-care teacher. Prior to joining LePort, she was a valued staff member at Santa Fe Montessori.

Ms. Golden’s passion for the growth and development of children is apparent through her positive work with the students. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Golden loves spending time with her two beautiful children.
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.
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!
Manoha  Ratnayake

Manoha Ratnayake

Ms. Mano moved to the United States in 1979 after completing her AMI training in Sri Lanka. She moved to Minnesota and has over 40 years of experience working with children as a lead teacher and director in Montessori schools as well as traditional preschools. After spending decades in Minnesota, she and her family moved to California due to the warmer weather. She obtained her ECE credits shortly after moving to CA and has been working in Montessori schools ever since.

Ms. Mano believes that every day is a new day and is full of potential. She loves the energy that young children bring. She believes in the Montessori principle: "show me how to do it for myself," and enjoys seeing this come to life in the classroom.

When not at work, Ms. Mano enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, going to plays, gardening, meditating, and exercising. A fun fact about Ms. Mano is that her daughter is also a Montessori teacher and works at LePort Montessori Carlsbad Village!

Stay in touch with LePort Montessori

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