Maria Montessori called the period between birth and age six the first plane of development. She characterized the children as having an "absorbent mind" or the ability to literally absorb, like a sponge, all kinds of information about their environment and culture.
The Early Childhood program is designed for children 3 to 6 years of age. The Early Childhood children need a "prepared environment" that provides the opportunity to develop a sense of order, concentration, coordination, independence and social skills.
The multi-age grouping of children corresponds to Maria Montessori's theory of child development, which is rooted in a three-year cycle. In the multi-age setting, the children learn both from each other and because of each other. Younger children get a chance to look ahead and see what is coming next by watching the older children. Older children have the opportunity to reinforce their knowledge by sharing it with the younger children.
Montessori Early Childhood education both enhances the young child's knowledge in the present and establishes the foundation for true comprehension on a more abstract level later in life.