Registration for Spring 2015 is now open! Spring sessions start in April.  View here.

Why Mommy & Me Montessori

Have fun with your child.

See your child grow throughout the Parent & Child (Mommy & 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 & 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 & Child (Mommy & 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! 

"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." Click here to read more. Kylie, Montessori blogger

Parent & Child Program Choices

Infant Mommy & Me (2 – 17 months) View Sessions

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, joins circle time and participates in infant massage. You’ll learn a great deal about child development while making new friends in a “mom’s group” atmosphere.

Toddler Mommy & Me (18 – 36 months) View Sessions

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 Mommy & Me (2 years 9 months to 3 years 6 months) View Sessions

The Intro to Primary Parent & 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 & 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 & Child Program Details

  • Mommy & 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 & 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, Northern San Diego area (Encinitas) 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 & 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 & multiples encouraged to attend with an adult responsible for each child.

Now Enrolling for Spring Parent & Child Sessions
Starting in April

  • The Parent & Child (Mommy & Me) program is offered at nine LePort campuses; see below for schedule details.
  • Registration is first-come, first served. Register early: past Mommy & Me sessions have filled weeks before the session starts.
  • Registration for future Mommy & Me Sessions will open approximately four to six weeks prior to session start:
    Summer 2015: July 6th – August 15th
    Fall 2015: September 21st- November 14th
    Winter 2016: January 25th – March 19th
    Spring 2016: April 4th – June 4th

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 Sessions

Saturday at 10:30am (Starts 4/18)

Fountain Valley
Saturday at 9:00am (Starts 4/18) - Class Full
Monday at 9:30am (Starts 4/20) - Class Full

Huntington Harbor
Saturday at 8:30am (Starts 4/18)

Saturday at 12:30pm (Starts 4/18)

Irvine Spectrum South
Saturday at 8:30am (Starts 4/18) - Class Full
Saturday at 8:30am in Spanish (Starts 4/18)
Saturday at 10:30am (Starts 4/18) - Class Full

Toddler Sessions

Saturday at 8:30am (Starts 4/18)

Fountain Valley
Thursday at 9:30am (Starts 4/16) - Class Full

Huntington Harbor
Tuesday at 10:00am (Starts 4/14)
Saturday at 8:45am in Spanish (Starts 4/18)
Saturday at 10:45am (Starts 4/18)

Irvine Woodbridge
Thursday at 3:45pm (Starts 4/16) - Class Full
Saturday at 11:00am (Starts 4/18) - Class Full

Irvine Orchard Hills
Tuesday at 3:30pm (Starts 4/14) - Class Full

Irvine Westpark
Tuesday at 3:30pm (Starts 4/14) - Class Full
Thursday at 3:30pm (Starts 4/16) - Class Full
Saturday at 8:30am (Starts 4/18) - Class Full

Irvine Mandarin
Saturday at 8:30am in Mandarin (Starts 4/18) - Class Full

Irvine Spectrum North
Saturday at 8:30am (Starts 4/18) - Class Full
Saturday at 10:30am in Spanish (Starts 4/18) - Class Full

Irvine Spectrum South
Monday at 3:30pm (Starts 4/20) - Class Full
Wednesday at 3:30pm in Spanish (Starts 4/15)

Monday at 3:30pm (Starts 4/13)
Saturday at 8:30am (Starts 4/18)
Saturday at 10:30am (Starts 4/18) - Class Full

Intro to Primary Sessions

Fountain Valley
Wednesday at 9:30am (Starts 4/15)

Irvine Spectrum South
Tuesday at 3:30pm (Starts 4/14)

Irvine Westpark
Saturday at 10:30am (Starts 4/18) - Class Full


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., Mommy & Me parent

Parent & Child Instructors

Karen Almanza
Karen Almanza completed her Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Assistants to Infancy course with the Montessori Institute of San Diego after graduating from California State University, Dominguez Hills with a Bachelor’s of Science in Child Development and Family Studies in 2010. Before coming to LePort in 2011, she worked for six years as a Teacher’s Assistant and Special Needs Aide at the Palos Verdes Peninsula School District and as an Assistant Teacher at the San Diego State Child Development Center. Having worked as a Head Infant teacher at the Huntington Harbor campus since it opened Fall 2012, Ms. Almanza is eager to share her love and knowledge of infancy with parents.

Monica Alvidrez
Monica Alvidrez is a Montessori Toddler Head Teacher. As an AMI Montessori Toddler Guide, Ms. Monica Alvidrez received her Early Childhood Education Permit from Irvine Valley College in 2003. She joined the LePort Schools team in 2010 with over ten years of experience teaching in private preschools, as well experience with second language learners. Ms. Alvidrez 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 the her Parent & Child classes.

Julianne Belanger
Julianne Belanger, a Montessori Toddler Head teacher, has been working as a Lead Teacher in Montessori schools for the past 8 years in the Minneapolis area before moving to Southern California. She is AMI trained at the Assistants to Infancy (0-3) level from The Montessori Institute in Denver, CO and Primary trained from The Montessori Center of Minnesota in St. Paul, MN. Juli is truly passionate about Montessori education and her work with toddlers and their families. She feels extremely fortunate to have found the LePort Montessori teaching community in Southern Caifornia. When Juli is not teaching, she enjoys yoga, running, gardening, and being outdoors enjoying the sunshine, ocean, and palm trees. She is excited to offer Parent & Child programming for the Lomita area families.

Carmen Calvo
Ms. Carmen Calvo is a Spanish Immersion Montessori Toddler Head Teacher. She was born and raised in Mexico City, the third of nine sisters. 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 has pursued her AMI 0-3 Diploma from Montessori Institute of San Diego. Additionally, she has taught Spanish as a second language to toddlers through adults and excited to offer an authentic Spanish Montessori program to families in Orange County.

Kirsten Carlin
Kirsten Carlin, LePort’s Parent & Child Coordinator, received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1988 and her Infant/Toddler American Montessori Society Teaching Credential from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies & University of Colorado in 1995. In 2010, she earned her Child Development Site Supervisor Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Ms. Carlin has extensive experience with the Montessori Method, with children of all ages, particularly infants & toddlers, and especially with parents of very young children. Prior to joining LePort Schools, Kirsten created Montessori infant & toddler learning environments in Alaska & Arizona before running her own First 5 CA grant-funded Montessori program in her home for children infant-primary (0-6). A parent of two girls who attended Montessori school before coming to Leport, Ms. Carlin is a strong proponent of the Montessori Method and enjoys sharing her love of early childhood with parents.

Suet Chow
Ms. Suet Chow is a Montessori Head Teacher in the Mandarin Immersion program. Having received her Early Childhood Education Certificate of Achievement with Infant/Toddler Emphasis from Irvine Valley College. Her past work experiences include running a licensed family childcare in her community for ten years. Ms. Suet joined LePort in September of 2008 and has been working as a toddler assistant teacher at the Irvine San Marino campus. Ms. Suet completed her AMI Montessori teacher training for the 0 to 3 age group at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Ms. Suet loves working with children. She believes childhood is a time of natural creativity and curiosity. It is a time to motivate children in a positive way and encourage them to discover, learn, and grow! Ms. Suet is excited at the opportunity of teaching the Montessori program she loves in her native Chinese language, equipping children with the foundation for joyful learning and giving them the gift of bilingualism.

Elizabeth Darst
Elizabeth (“Beth”) Darst is a Montessori Primary Head Teacher. She graduated in 1993 from Oregon State University with a B.S. in History and received her AMI Diploma from the Montessori Institute Northwest in 1995. She then taught at a Montessori school in Portland, OR for the next twelve years. Mrs. Darst grew up in Irvine and graduated from Irvine High School. She was very happy to return in Irvine with her family and friends. A mother herself, Mrs. Darst loves sharing the Montessori method with families in the Parent & Child program.

Stacey Dee
Stacey Dee is a Montessori Infant Head Teacher. As an AMI Montessori Toddler Guide, Ms. Dee’s 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 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 at our brand new campus.

Ivette De Haro
Ivette De Haro, a native Spanish speaker, is a Montessori Head Infant Teacher who received her Associates Degree in Liberal Studies from Saddleback College and is currently working towards her Assistants to Infant credential with the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Her love for children inspired her to focus on Childhood Development, leading her to earn several Early Childhood Education units. She didn’t hesitate to begin her journey at LePort Schools when the opportunity presented itself in early 2013. She has loved every minute of it. Ms. Ivette finds no greater joy than helping children explore their curiosity in their environment and reach new milestones. In her spare time, Ms. Ivette loves going to the movies, the beach and spending time with her family and her two dogs. She is excited about offering a Parent & Child class in Spanish for Infants!

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 recently completed her AMI Montessori teacher training for the 0 to 3 age group at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Earlier, Ms. DPenha 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.

Veronia Jaramillo
Ms. Veronica Jaramillo is a Montessori Toddler Head Teacher who was born and raised in Southern California. She has worked in the preschool setting since 1999. She holds a Montessori Assistants to Infancy Diploma (ages birth through 3) from the Montessori Institute of San Diego. In addition, Ms. Jaramillo has completed numerous early childhood education courses and continues to improve herself by participating in various courses and seminars. She is a dedicated teacher who loves and respects the children and is supportive of each child’s unique individuality; she delights in watching their independence and love of learning grow.

Elizabeth Monsen
Liz Monsen was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She received a BA in History from Reed College, an AMI teaching diploma from Montessori Institute Northwest and a M.Ed. from Loyola University. Prior to joining LePort, Ms. Monsen worked as the Lead Guide of a bilingual primary classroom in Portland, Oregon. She was first introduced to Montessori while studying history and was particularly drawn to the theory behind the teaching method. One of Ms. Monsen’s main teaching goals is to support each individual child toward becoming an independent person, alive with curiosity and self-confidence. She finds joy and satisfaction through her work with children. In her free time, Ms. Monsen enjoys cooking, sewing and hiking. She is excited to offer Intro to Primary class to area preschoolers!

Ana Leticia Mora
Ms. Mora, a Primary Lead guide at LePort Carlsbad Village, was born in Mexico and earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish Literature and Recreation System Management from San Diego State University. She discovered her passion for the Montessori Method when she started to work in a Montessori school in San Diego as a Spanish head teacher. She pursued her AMI diploma at the Montessori Institute of San Diego and completed her studies in May 2013. Outside the classroom Ms. Mora loves to read good literature and enjoys movies as well as music.

Ana Rivas
Ana Rivas, a Montessori Head Toddler teacher, was born in Peru. She studied child development and general education at Fullerton College. Later, she went on to pursue a biology degree at California State University – Fullerton as well as her AMI Montessori training from the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Ms. Rivas has been teaching young children, from infants to preschool children, for over ten years, and has been with LePort Schools since 2008. Ms. Rivas loves outdoor activities with her husband and two children, such as hiking, camping, and going to the beach. For her, the Montessori method is a way of life. She believes that empowering children to discover their own potential is the foundation of a successful society.

Alejandra Tryon
Alejandra Tryon is a Spanish Immersion Montessori Primary Head Teacher. An AMI Montessori Primary Guide, Ms. Alejandra Tryon, originally from Colombia, earned her five-year bachelor’s degree in psychology and child education from the prestigious La Sabana University. She has presented academic papers on “The Theory of the Mind in Autistic Children” and “The Importance of ‘Meaning’ in Teaching”. Back in her home country, Ms. Tryon worked with children for over eight years, including experience working with autistic children, and several years of experience teaching at a Montessori School. After relocating to the United States, Ms. Tryon jumped at the chance to combine her Spanish language skills with her love of being in a Montessori classroom. She’s excited to share her culture and Spanish language in her Montessori Parent & Child classes.

Kyoko Uchida
Ms. Kyoko Uchida is a Montessori Toddler Head Teacher who has been working with families and young children over 12 years. She has more than 8 years as a Montessori Guide. Over the years, she has not only worked as a classroom teacher but has also conducted a number of home visits to meet the unique needs of individuals and their families. With her sincere love of human development, particularly her focus on infancy to toddlerhood, and child language acquisition, Ms. Uchida earned her B.A. in Linguistics at UC Davis and M.Ed in Education at Loyola College. She believes that Montessori method is the most respectful and peaceful approach to bring up children of all cultural backgrounds. She welcomes everyone from any background to her Parent & Child classes as each family grows with using the Montessori philosophy.

Parent & Child (Mommy & Me) Photo Gallery

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode