Early Learning Centre

Embodying the Montessori philosophy, our Early Learning Centre provides the ideal preparation for young minds.

The Early Learning Programs were established to meet the needs of our preschool children who are intending to continue their primary education at Southern Montessori School.

The small group structure enables our teaching staff to observe and work with children more closely, while fostering the development of strong social bonds between the children. As well as Montessori methodology, our Early Learning Centre places a strong emphasis on the development of independence as well as emerging literacy and numeracy skills.

Educators and parents work closely together to support the children in their acquisition of the skills they will need as they head towards their formal education. The small group structure of this learning environment assists children and their families to make a successful transition from the preschool, into primary school life. Children in our Preschool Program, in the year before starting school, may also apply for our Friday Program where there is a greater emphasis on literacy and numeracy activities to assist them further in their transition to full-time school in the following year.

The Preschool and Early Entry children have a range of session options running from Monday to Friday.

The Early Learning Centre caters for young children in distinct education programs: Baby Steps, Toddlers, and Preschool.

Please take a moment to view our rating against the National Quality Standards.

The Early Learning Centre is located at:

Southern Montessori School Campus
53 Galloway Road
O’Sullivan Beach SA 5166

Baby Steps and Toddler Program

The Baby Steps and Toddler Programs provide a unique opportunity for parents and children to learn together in a Montessori environment, guided and supported by a trained coordinator.

Dr Maria Montessori developed her approach to education by observing children’s development during their early years. She believed that education begins at birth and that the first six years of life are critical for setting the foundation for their future learning and development. She observed that during these early years, children learn through their senses when their ability to absorb information is at its highest.  These early years are therefore critical for the formation of positive attitudes towards learning.

The Baby Steps Program at Southern Montessori School aims to provide both the children and their parents the opportunity to take their first steps of discovery into the Montessori way of life. The environment is designed to reflect the child’s need for order, beauty, reality, and simplicity. The Montessori materials for this age group are specifically designed to provide children with opportunities to:

The Montessori materials for this age are specifically designed to provide children with activities which:

      • refine the senses
      • promote language development
      • heighten spatial awareness
      • foster an understanding of mathematical concepts.

Through the Montessori practical life activities, the children will also be encouraged to develop skills, which will lead to greater independence, such as fine motor control for self-feeding and care of their environment.

Baby Steps is designed for (approximately) the 8 months – 24 months child and Toddlers for 24 months – 3 year old child, accompanied by their parent/carer and are an ideal first step into the Montessori Preschool.

The Baby Steps program is conducted by Katie (Kate) Ball who holds both a teaching qualification (BA Early Childhood Education) and Graduate Diploma in Montessori Education. She would be happy to answer any of your questions about the Baby Steps Program at katie@southernmontessori.sa.edu.au. You and your child are welcome to attend a come and try a session before enrolment. All enrolment inquiries should be directed to admin@southernmontessori.sa.edu.au.


These programs are an ideal first step into Montessori education.

A morning in Baby Steps (Click for additional information)

Baby Steps Session Times:

Wednesday 10.30 – 12.00

Toddler Program Session Times:

Tuesday 9.15 – 11.15

Friday 9.15 – 11.15



The Montessori Preschool is structured to facilitate children’s inquiring minds within a secure, family-like environment. Children are encouraged to construct their own understanding of concepts through their exploration and interaction with the Montessori learning materials.

The Centre aims to foster a love of learning that will stay with the children throughout their lives. To this end, the program is organised to enable children to access a wide variety of learning experiences.

The Montessori materials are carefully designed and researched to match the developmental needs and characteristics of children.

Self-discipline is fostered by engaging children in decision making, by encouraging task completion, and by creating a classroom climate where the right to learn is respected at all times.

The program aims to nurture:

  • the growth of independence
  • a strong interest in learning alongside good work habits
  • a willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions

The Preschool is also a preparatory step into the Early Entry and Primary programs.

A variety of program options are available at the Preschool.

Morning Programs – 9.00 – 11.45

2 morning sessions – Monday & Tuesday
2 morning sessions – Wednesday and Thursday
4 morning sessions – Monday to Thursday

Afternoon Programs – 12.30 – 3.15

2 afternoon sessions – Monday & Tuesday
2 afternoon sessions – Wednesday & Thursday
4 afternoon sessions – Monday to Thursday

Full Day Programs – 9.00 – 3.15

2 full day sessions – Monday & Tuesday
2 full day sessions – Wednesday & Thursday
4 full day sessions – Monday to Thursday
1 full day session – Fridays (available to children in the 12 months prior to starting in Reception in addition to participating in either of the 2 full day programs.)

This program is for children aged 3 – 5 years. Please note that children must be toilet trained to be considered for this program.

4 Year Old Friday Program

The Montessori 4 Year Old Friday Program is designed as an extension to the Preschool Program and is an aid in the smooth transition from the Preschool environment into Reception.

This program is designed for children in the year before beginning their formal schooling. It runs in much the same way as the Preschool sessions but with greater emphasis on developing school readiness behaviours and early literacy and numeracy skills.

As well as the academic preparation, participation in whole school assemblies and other whole school activities helps prepare children socially and emotionally for the next step into formal schooling.

Fridays from 9.00am – 3.15pm