MCDC Montessori School For Preschool & Kindergarten

Experience an enlightening, private stroll through our Montessori schoolhouse and gardens and see why we are the “Hidden Gem of San Diego”

Montessori School for Preschool & Kindergarten Education For Our Children Of San Diego & Poway Since 1978

We at Montessori Child Development Center believe as Dr. Maria Montessori did that:

Given the right Montessori educational environment, young children could learn almost anything.

It is important that a Montessori school provide all the proven tools and methods developed by Dr. Montessori and perfected for the modern world as we do at MCDC.

Children will thrive in a complete Montessori school true to the Montessori Method, not just a few tools here and there.

These Montessori learning materials must be in constant use by the children.

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Our classrooms are designed to promote independence, self-direction, and self-discipline.

Teachers allow children to create extensive knowledge of their world through exploration and observation, following their interests at their own pace with the guidance of the adult.

Highly qualified Montessori teachers observe and offer direction and support while children build their emotional, social, cognitive, and creative abilities.

The results are children who are engaged and interested in learning, and eager to advance.

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Montessori Child Development Center in Poway serves preschool and kindergarten children in the San Diego communities near Ramona, Scripps Ranch, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Escondido, 4S Ranch, Sabre Springs, and many others.
Years Of Service
The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.
Maria Montessori

Call (858) 748-1727 To Schedule Your Private Tour

Marijane Schafer is the Montessori Preschool & Kindergarten Executive Director At MCDC

Marijane Schafer

Founder & Executive Director Of San Diego's Montessori Child Development Center (MCDC) in Poway

I believe young children thrive in a Montessori preschool & kindergarten educational environment where they are treated like the unique individuals they are and are guided by teachers who love children and understand their needs.

At MCDC, children experience a deep sense of security and are motivated to learn by the warm, home-like setting that we have created for them. Situated in a large house re-designed for school use, surrounded by trees, vegetable and flower gardens, selected farm animals, and a big, grassy play area, learning at our Montessori school extends beyond the classroom to the gifts of the natural world.

I opened Montessori Child Development Center in 1978 to provide parents in our community with a quality Montessori learning alternative for their children. We have remained intentionally small to maintain a close relationship with each child and their family. As ever, the staff and I are committed to giving every child an opportunity to discover and develop to their potential.

Thank you for your interest in our Montessori school; I hope that you and your child can visit our school soon. Please wander through this website and then come by and see for yourself how children here learn to become happy, healthy, life-long learners and capable individuals.

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Hear What our Montessori Parents Are Saying…

A++++.  MCDC has been an amazing experience…My son is innately curious and the hands-on style that the preschool Montessori educational system provides has catered to his style.  During his kindergarten year, he was doing presentations, reading books, excelling in math, and even giving a speech during his graduation.  It's amazing to see a 5yr old get in front of 50+ plus people and give a 4-5 minute speech.

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Sam A. – Dad

MCDC is by far the best Montessori preschool in San Diego. It was home for our two children and we are so glad it was. It truly enhanced their desire, drive and joy to learn. MCDC is a very special place that customizes the learning to the child, thus empowering each student to enhance their joy for learning, problem solving and their education. As our children have moved on in their education we continue to see the results of such a strong foundation that was laid out by MCDC and its staff. Thank you so much for all your love, dedication and commitment to creating lifelong joyful learners.

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Cathy & Aurelio Ramos
Cathy & Aurelio Ramos – Mom & Dad

The Kindergarten year at Montessori Child Development Center has really see my twins flourish and grow as individuals. The responsibilities of teaching others, organizing events and being the guiding lights held up as example to the younger children has definitely matured and benefitted them. The growth in their self-confidence has been quite considerable… If you are wondering if Preschool & Kindergarten years at MCDC are worth it, the answer is ABSOLUTELY!

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Beth P – Mom


Some of our most common questions.

When is the best time for a child to begin Montessori Education?

Nature has given children special forms of mental powers which aid in their self-construction. The first of these powers is the “absorbent mind,” the ability to absorb all aspects of one’s culture and civilization without effort or fatigue. This mental approach is indiscriminate, incorporating both good and bad, and begins at birth.

Children also experience sensitive periods in their development. During these periods, they seek certain stimuli with immense intensity, to the exclusion of others. These are transitory periods in which they develop specific mental functions, such as movement, language, order, refinement of the senses and social awareness. They occur universally at approximately the same age in all children. If a child’s need for specific stimuli is not met during the sensitive period, he loses the opportunity for optimal development.

What he can learn almost effortlessly at this critical time will take effort on his part later. Dr. Montessori devised special materials to aid children in each sensitive period. Between the ages of 2 and 3, a special sense of order, concentration, coordination, and independence emerges. This time is ideal to begin a child’s training in Montessori, as she is at the perfect period to build a strong foundation for future learning.

How do Montessori children adjust to public schools?

Children who have been in a Montessori environment are generally very flexible and adjust quite easily to a public school situation.

They are generally better students and spend their time in more productive ways because of their self-discipline, independence and positive attitude toward learning.

What about socialization and group work Within A Montessori Preschool & Kindergarten Classroom?

Socialization is very much a part of a Montessori classroom. In the classroom you will notice children interacting continuously: younger children inspired to do more advanced work by observing and learning from older ones, and older children learning through teaching and helping younger ones.

Daily the class gathers to sing and read stories, and lessons in grace and courtesy, an important component to building the classroom community, are often given in small or large groups. A Montessori classroom has often been described as a “natural social setting,” with children free to interact with one another.

For whom is the Montessori method designed?

The Montessori method is an approach to learning, and as such, has no distinction of class or intelligence. It has been used successfully with children between the ages of 2 1/2 and 18, in all parts of the world, from all socioeconomic levels representing the average, gifted, special needs, emotionally disturbed and physically handicapped child. It is not associated with any particular religious persuasion.

Does Montessori employ current research and theory in educational methods?

Montessori is not a closed or static system of education. While there are certain materials and methods that have been proven effective through many years of use, Montessori is as much an attitude about education and children, as it is a specific method.

We, at MCDC, are always aware of the current trends and how they affect young children. We maintain traditional values in our environment for the security of the child, and are always prepared to assist children in negotiating the confusing world around them.

Proudly serving :

San Diego, CA
Poway, CA
Scripps Ranch, CA
Ramona, CA
Rancho Bernardo, CA
Miramar, CA
Rancho Penasquitos, CA
Carmel Mountain, CA
4S Ranch, CA
Fernbrook, CA
Black Mountain Ranch, CA
Del Mar, CA
La Jolla, CA
Santee, CA
Torrey Pines, CA
Midway, CA
Del Dios, CA
Solana Beach, CA
Kearny Mesa, CA
Encinitas, CA

And many more of our Greater San Diego Communities!