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Teacher Training Institute
The Prepared Montessorian Logo
The Prepared Montessorian Logo
Teacher Training Institute






Nido & Toddler Montessori Teacher Diploma (0-3 Years Old)

Specializing in educating children ages 0 to 3, this certification training offers a unique and comprehensive approach to learning about how the Montessori method came to be, how to practice it, and the science that informs the way it functions in real-life classrooms today. Designed for experienced educators looking to earn a Montessori Teacher Diploma from a MACTE-accredited institution and for those beginning their careers in Montessori education.
Download Diploma Brochure
Nido & Toddler Montessori Teacher Diploma (0-3 Years Old)

Certification Overview

The path to certification is organized into three phases (Foundational Studies, Continuing Studies & Capstone), covering a broad range of topics including teaching methodology, childhood development, Montessori Theory, Montessori curriculum and more. It is delivered in a variety of ways to support multifaceted learning and provide both structure and flexibility to your circumstances.

Certification Overview

Certification Training Overview

Watch this short video to connect the training details together and understand the learner journey.
2023 Summer Daytime Cohort

2023 Summer Daytime Cohort

Community Workshops + Seminars

Our cohort starting June 6, 2023 starts with 3 weekly community workshops on Tuesdays (3:30-5 pm ET) to orient to their learning management systems, resources, and schedule, and begin practicing lessons and fulfilling assignments. The learner then moves to a period of independent work where they will receive the most current practice sessions schedule to attend and will need to maintain a personal study schedule until their chosen seminar schedule.

  • June Daytime Paced Out Seminars: 12-3:30 pm EST on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 6 - August 17. Deadline to finish Foundational Studies would be August 25.
Apply for 2023 Summer Daytime Cohort
2023 Academic Catalog & Calendar

2023 Academic Catalog & Calendar

Want to look ahead at future cohorts? Would you like to see the schedule for the Continuing Studies Seminars and get an idea of how long the training could take you? View Foundational Studies and Continuing Studies Seminar schedule in our catalog to determine a potential path and timeline.

View Academic Catalog & Calendar
In-Residency FAQ

In-Residency FAQ

Want to plan ahead and see what to expect with in-residency? We have answers to the frequently asked questions regarding travel, lodging, meals and more. Check out the doc below and if you have further questions, please email or join a weekly info session by RSVPing at this link:

Access the FAQ document
Our students tend to start the course with a strong sense of love and appreciation for young children. It is my privilege to see that love deepen throughout the course as they learn more about what young children need during the earliest phases of growth.
Monique Shen
Monique Shen
Nido & Toddler Teacher Trainer

Certification Overview

Our delivery of the training involves online seminars and discussions, in-person immersive learning experiences, individual study, and in-school teaching practice.

Our online seminars are offered at different times of the day in order to make it possible to attend classes wherever you are in the world, and our live offerings can be completed in one of several locations we bring our coursework to.

True to Montessori philosophy, we assess learning and performance in a way that encourages student-driven goal setting. This means that students can submit each assessment when they feel they have mastered the subject at hand. We review assessment material and collaborate with students so that they can make improvements where necessary.

When you complete all training components, you will obtain a fully certified diploma from Prepared Montessorian Institute, which is accredited by MACTE.


The diploma program requires a time commitment of approximately 800 hours. It typically takes between one and two years to complete these certification training requirements, depending on your personal circumstances and how rapidly you are able to complete the degree program requirements. We begin a new cohort almost monthly.

Tuition & Financial Aid

$5000 for the entire certification training (excluding travel and technology costs).

If you need to travel to your practicum site or in-residency, the costs are your responsibility. Any supplies and technology need to access the training (i.e., laptop, internet, webcam) are also your responsibility. Once in-person student teaching resumes, adult learners are required to have at least one field visit by a Prepared Montessorian consultant. Adult learners will be responsible for the expenses for this field visit (travel, accommodations, meals, etc).

Applicants can request either or both a scholarship and payment plan. Prepared Montessorian Institute evaluates applicant's responses and references in each cohort to determine the pool of applicants that are requesting scholarships and subsequently, determine if and how much of a scholarship is awarded. Payment options are as follows:

  • Pay in full within the first month of training
  • Pay in 5 installments
  • Pay first installment prior to start of training in order to be onboarded into training
  • Pay subsequent monthly payments in the 4 consecutive months following the start month
  • Installment fee of $10 (US) added to each monthly installment
  • Pay in 10 installments
  • Pay first installment prior to start of training in order to be onboarded into training
  • Pay subsequent monthly payments in the 9 consecutive months following the start month
  • Installment fee of $10 (US) added to each monthly installment

Details of financial package will be outlined in training offer if accepted into program. You will need to accept those payment terms as part of your acceptance into the training.


Prepared Montessorian Institute is accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council of Teacher Education (MACTE). Known and respected across the world, it is the only accrediting body for Montessori teacher education programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Training Delivery


This training is academically rigorous and requires a mastery of listening, speaking, reading, and writing at a high level in English.

All of our seminars and discussions are in English, but we do have supplemental support for Spanish-speakers who can keep up in English but express themselves in Spanish writing with more fluency. If you have questions regarding the level of English comprehension needed, please email us by completing the form at the bottom of the page.


You will have training components in all these formats:

  • Live
  • Online
  • In-Person
  • Self-Paced

Since we largely based online, access to reliable high-speed internet and video/webcam to be on-camera in class is needed. Furthermore, the in-person components requires you to have access to a Montessori Nido Toddler classroom for materials practice, observations, and practice teaching. In general, you will need to the technological know-how of how to learn and operate the following types of software:

  • web browser navigation (i.e., Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge)
  • video call (i.e., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, webcam)
  • word processing and reading software (i.e., Google Docs, Microsoft word)
  • media software (i.e., taking photos and videos, webcam, playing videos)

We will onboard you to our learning management system which houses all your resources and assignments. We will provide instructions and support yet you will need to learn how to proficiently navigate the system in order to complete your training.


* You could use this Time Zone Converter if you need to convert the schedule.

Please be sure to review your cohort's Foundational Studies schedule prior to applying to ensure that it fits your time. See certification components and structure below for further details.

Certification Components

Materials Practice

For access to materials, you will coordinate with a local Montessori school to practice with their materials when students are not present (i.e., weekends). If you do not have a school confirmed during Foundational Studies, you work with our training team to recreate the materials with items that can be likely be commonly found on your own.

Practicum (Classroom Observations & Practice Teaching)

You will need to coordinate independently with a local Montessori school to be a practicum site to plan out your classroom observations, materials and lessons practice, and practice teaching hours. You will need 50 hours of observation and 320 hours of practice teaching hours. We can assist with connecting you with our partner network of schools.

A qualified practicum site should meet the following criteria:

  • is fully equipped with Montessori and other appropriate material for the age range in which you are studying
  • runs an authentic Montessori curriculum (i.e., not Montessori-inspired)
  • contains a group of 6 or more mix-aged children in the program associated with the age range you are studying.

Furthermore, the practicum portions of your studies that it is highly recommended that you have supervision by a qualified lead guide. First, you will observe the qualified lead guide and then be supervised by the guide for your practice teaching. A qualified supervising guide is a guide:

  • with a Montessori teacher diploma from a MACTE-accredited institution
  • and at least one year of post-certification Lead Guide experience in the same age range in which you will be studying

If there is not a qualifying Supervising Guide, the guide-in-training is designated as a "Self-Directed Guide" and will have additional review and support required from the Prepared Montessorian Institute training team.

Training Structure

The path to certification is organized into three phases (Foundational Studies, Continuing Studies & Capstone), covering a broad range of topics including teaching methodology, childhood development, Montessori Theory, Montessori curriculum and more. It is delivered in a variety of ways to support multifaceted learning and provide both structure and flexibility to your circumstances. Below are further details about the different ways in which you gain and apply the knowledge.

Types of Experiences

Community Workshops

Community Workshops take place in every phase. These are not classes. They are online structured working meetings led by a coach with the goal of helping you plan and provide guidance for your independent work. We will be practicing presentations together, discuss Montessori spotlights and provide time to ask questions all as part of a community that shares the same goals. Be prepared to practice with Montessori exercises and materials and see how a Montessori classroom functions through video observations. Our community workshop schedules ares optimized during the US work day so learner can have access to Montessori materials since many learners work in schools.


The seminars are live online classes on a set schedule; in other words, you will need to attend on specific dates and times. The seminars are designed to ground you in different topics to be a successful Montessori lead guide. They involve an overview of Dr. Montessori's discoveries in childhood development, the practical application in the classroom, the curriculum and classroom materials, and the ways in which modern educators give lessons using those specialized materials. Most seminars require interaction and participation in breakout rooms and using other interactive tools.

Album Study

At the pace of your choosing, album study allows for the deep study of every lesson and activity that makes up the Montessori curriculum through engagement with our online album library. For reference, there are about 200 lessons in the Nido & Toddler Albums. Each lesson has written and/or videos instructions by experts on how to deliver the presentation. This structured process of self-study will guide you through the scope and sequence of the Montessori curriculum and help you master each Montessori “presentation.” The materials covered in the Albums are critical to your classroom practice and success, and much of your time will be spent here.

Classroom Observations

50 hours of classroom observations are required in your training. You will apply your knowledge of observation and practice the skills that are required to deepen your understanding about how Montessori works and the child. There are up to 20 hours of virtual classroom footage available to help you complete some of your observation hours virtually. The remaining hours will need to be completed in-person in a Montessori classroom at the age level you are studying for.

Practice Teaching

You will go from practice to reality by implementing the theoretical studies into a real-world classroom learning how to work with children and the classroom community (parents, school leaders, other guides). You will be required to be at a Montessori classroom for 320 hours to complete your practice teaching. During your practice teaching, you will have 4 practice teaching reviews conducted by one of our field consultants for assessment and feedback. At least one of these visits will be in-person; the others will be remote. It's possible that, depending on your location, you may need a consultant to travel to you. The costs of traveling for the consultant (i.e., transportation, lodging, food) will be on the learner's expense but capped at $750 total.

Overview of Each Phase

Below is an overview of the experiences (i.e., content details, frequency, associated assessments) in each of the three main phases of the certification training.

Foundational Studies (3 to 6 months)

  • Community Workshops (4 weeks with the same cohort and ongoing open workshops)
  • Seminars + Pre / Post Seminar Assignments + Assessment for seminars
  • Album Study Assignments, Control of Errors, and Assessments
  • 20 hours of classroom observation

Begin your studies with 4 weeks of community workshops dedicated to your cohort to orient yourself to your prepared learning environment. Build the relationship with your instructor and your fellow community of learners and create the support system that you will need to cheer you on through this journey. After the first 4 weeks of working together, you will attend weekly ongoing open community workshop with other learners in the program to continue making progress in your Album study until the start of your online Seminars. The deadline to complete all the assignments for Foundational Studies is typically two weeks upon the completion of the seminars.

Continuing Studies (6 to 9 months)

  • Community Workshops (ongoing open community workshops)
  • Seminars + Pre / Post Class Assignments
  • Album Study Assignments, Control of Errors, and Assessments
  • 30 hours of classroom observation

Build upon the learnings from Foundational Studies, the seminars in Continuing Studies will take a deeper dive into 1) the role of observation by practicing the skill with an instructor and fellow learners, 2) classroom leadership topics and 3) Montessori curriculum and theory. These live, online discussions are offered at convenient times with several options throughout the year.

Furthermore, you will continue your album studies and associated assessments and observation hours in the classroom. You begin your practice teaching requirements during the Continuing Studies phase and will need to coordinate the schedule and logistics with your practicum site.

Capstone (3-6 Months)

  • Community Workshops (ongoing open community workshops)
  • 3-week in-person In-Residency
  • Album Study Assignments, Control of Errors, and Assessments
  • 160 Hours of Practice Teaching and 2 Teaching Reviews
  • Final Assessment

During this phase, you will complete all of your album study and pass all assessments. You will also complete the last 160 hours of practice teaching and 2 more practice teaching reviews. There will be assessments given for the album study as well as one final assessment that will cover topics from the entirety of the program.

The In-Residency portion of this phase is a set schedule where you will need to attend on specific dates and times at a specific location. This portion of the training takes the learning from the other components to deeper and more advanced levels through an in-person immersive learning experience at one of our training centers. We study and discuss parent involvement, child development, and advanced Montessori presentation skills. We offer the in-residency workshop several times throughout the year and in different locations so you can plan for the in-residency opportunity most convenient for you.

Current Locations:

  • Lake Forest, California: available to all learners
  • Chantilly, Virginia: only available to learners whose tuition is fully sponsored by their employers
  • Austin, Texas: only available to learners whose tuition is fully sponsored by their employers

Want more information?

Click HERE to access further details about the training structure.

Click HERE to access a Diploma Courses brochure.

You could use this Time Zone Converter if you need to convert the Foundational Studies schedule.

Have further questions?

Have further questions?

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Meet Your Instructors

Mariana Serralde
Mariana Serralde
Mariana Serralde is our Senior Trainer. Mariana has been a Montessori educator for more than 20 years, working as a Children’s House Guide, Head of School, Montessori Mentor and currently as a Senior Montessori Trainer. She holds an AMI Primary Diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego, a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education with a specialization in Second Language Learning. Her passion for Montessori and diverse experience across the world brings about an empathetic approach to spreading Montessori pedagogy. Mariana has worked and supported several teachers and schools throughout her journey, including bilingual Montessori environments at all levels and collaborating in the development of a dual-language Montessori model for one of the first public dual-language Montessori schools.
Monique Shen
Monique Shen
Monique Shen is our Nido and Toddler Trainer. After earning her BA in Psychology from Stony Brook University, Monique continued to pursue her interests in developmental psychology and found that her true passion was in early childhood education. She graduated with her AMI Montessori Diploma for the 0 to 3 age group from The Montessori Training Centre of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and is currently pursuing a dual master's in Early Childhood and Special Education. Monique has opened and led toddler communities, and has also worked as part of the training team in international Montessori training courses in Mexico City for Nido and Toddler guides seeking Montessori certification.
Laura Kalama
Laura Kalama
Laura is our Nido and Toddler Trainer. Over the past 15 years, Laura has been actively involved in early childhood education. She studied education with an emphasis on music at Bridgewater College, Virginia, then moved to California to work with infant and toddler families. She received her Montessori training from the Prepared Montessorian and served as a Lead Nido Guide before joining our team.


Take the first step to open up future possibilities, and become a fully certified Montessori teacher in under 15 months.

To help bring forth a Montessori future, we have combined unprecedented accessibility with deep rigor and high standards. Our programs provide a variety of flexible options that accommodate your goals and schedule, while ensuring you receive a quality educational experience.

  • Discover course information and program details
  • Explore tuition, payment plans, financial aid, and direct job placement
  • Join a community of adult learners passionate about delivering Montessori education
Contact Us
Fill out the form and a Learning Advisor will get in touch via email within 24 business hours.

We host weekly certification training information sessions on Fridays from 3:45 pm – 4:15 pm Eastern Time. If you’d like to join the Zoom call, please RSVP via this link: