How to start a Wildflower Toddler Home-Based Coop
1. Begin by seeing if there is an existing toddler home-based coop in your area with space.
Currently, there are existing toddler in-home programs in Cambridge. Reach out to Katelyn Shore email@example.com to be put in touch. If there is no program with space, proceed to step 2.
2. Name your program.
Generally, the format that we take is: [Flower] Montessori [School/Coop]. For example, Wildflower Montessori School, or Bluebonnet Montessori Coop. Since the home-based toddler programs are coops, you would just need to choose a flower, and then you have your name.
Example: Juniper Montessori Coop
3. Find other families.
Find 4-5 other families with children who are in the same age-range (0-18 months, or 18-36 months). You may have friends already with children around the same age range. This is the best place to look. Beyond that, local parenting email lists are a very effective way of tapping into potential interest (in the Cambridge area, for example, Somerville Moms is a great list to send to).
An email to prospective families may look something like this:
"Bluebonnet Montessori is an 8-week home-based Montessori playgroup starting this fall. We currently have 2 available spaces for interested families with children between the ages of 18-36 months.
The Bluebonnet Toddler Home-based Coop provides a Montessori-trained infant/toddler facilitator who gives three Montessori parenting training sessions and joins at each playgroup to lead activities and discuss Montessori concepts around our children's development and interests. We meet on Fridays (11:30-1:30), rotating between our homes in Cambridge. An 8 week session of playgroups, plus 3 training sessions, costs $200."
4. Find a Montessori facilitator.
Once you have a your group, get in touch with Katelyn Shore (firstname.lastname@example.org), who can help you find a toddler-trained Montessori facilitator.
5. Attend the training.
Before the playgroup starts, there is a four-session parent training that all parents in the playgroup must attend. The facilitator has these scheduled around once per month.
6. Schedule the sessions.
Once you have a facilitator, you can set a regular time for your sessions. The sessions will be the same day each week, for 2 hours a day. We recommend Doodle to poll parents about which day/times works best for them. And then we recommend e-mail and Google Calendar to communicate the schedule to parents.
7. Attend the sessions.
The sessions are playgroups, with lots of time for children to play and parents to ask questions about parenting. There is a curriculum during the 8-week sessions, which is a high-level overview of the curriculum of a toddler teacher training, but with a specific focus on home life. You can find a rough curriculum here.