Openings for Infants 8 months and younger: September 2023 (1 space), November 2023 (2 spaces), and December 2023 (1 space). Must be 8 months and younger at the time they begin. Call us at 914-607-7600 to get more info about enrollment.     Interested in a career in Montessori education? You've come to the right place. MCC has opportunities for teaching assistants and substitutes. Give us a call to see if you are a good fit for working with our Montessori team today!    Call 914.607.7600 today to schedule a Tuesday or Friday tour to see our beautiful new facility.

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MCC will be closed for children on the dates listed below

Friday, March 17, 2023: Staff Professional Development

Wednesday, April 5 – Friday, April 7, 2023: Spring Break

Monday, May 29, 2023: Memorial Day

Monday, June 19, 2023: Juneteenth Holiday

Monday, July 3 – Wednesday, July 5, 2023: Independence Day/Summer Break

Wednesday, August 23 – Friday, September 1, 2023: Center Renewal (Includes 3 teacher workdays) 

Please note: Tuesday, August 22, 2023, is the last day of the program year with a 5:45 Graduation Ceremony for EC children heading off to Kindergarten and their families.

EC Children wear a white top.


Program Year September 2023 – August 31, 2024

Start of Program Year for returning children: Tuesday, September 5, 2022

Start of Program Year for new children: Wednesday, September 6, 2022


MCC will be closed for children on the dates listed below:

Monday, September 4, 2023: Labor Day

Monday, October 9, 2023: Indigenous People Day

Thursday, November 23, 2023: Thanksgiving Day

Friday, November 24, 2023: Day after Thanksgiving

Thursday, December 21, 2023- Monday, January 1, 2024: Winter Recess


Monday,  January 1, 2024: New Year’s Day                                                     In

Monday, January 15, 2024: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Monday, February 19 – Friday, February 23, 2024: Mid-Winter Recess

Friday, March 8, 2024: Staff Professional Development Day

Friday, March 29 – Monday, April 1, 2024: Spring Recess

Monday, May 27, 2023: Memorial Day

Wednesday, June 19, 2023: Juneteenth Holiday

Monday, July 1 – Friday, July 5, 2023: Summer Recess

Wednesday, August 21- Friday, August 30, 2023: Center Renewal (Includes 3 teacher workdays)


Other Important Dates Please Mark Your Calendar:

Thursday, September 14, 2023:  Picture Day: Infant Cove, Toddler Sun & Sky, EC Meadow, Siblings

Friday, September 22, 2023: Picture Day: Infant Sea, Toddler Sand, EC Mountain, make-ups

Thursday, September 21, 2023: International Peace Day(EC children wear white)

Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Winter Solstice Celebration EC only/EC wears white top

Tuesday, January 16, 2023: Re-enrollment contracts due for 2024-2025 Program Year

Tuesday, August 20, 2024: Graduation Ceremony EC graduates and Families/Graduates wear white top

Tuesday, August 20, 2024: Last day of the program year

Monday, September 2, 2024: Labor Day    

Tuesday, September 3, 2024: Start of next program year for returning children

Wednesday, September 5, 2024: Start of next program year for new children



‘Help Me to Do it Myself!’

By K.T. Korngold

“We chose Montessori because we wanted our toddler to experience independence and develop confidence. For our daughter that has meant, “I can do it” and “I want to do it!” — B. Patel, Montessori parent

How do Montessori programs foster independence in toddlers? From a very young age, children are supported in learning to do things for themselves, rather than having things done for them. Montessori teachers give toddlers “just enough help.” In this way, the environment helps toddlers develop confidence by actually learning how to do things for themselves.

Being independent lays the foundation for a strong sense of self and for having healthy relationships later in life. Toddlers learn to take off and put on their coat and their shoes. They learn how to wipe the mucus from their nose. They learn how to wash their hands and how to use the toilet. Toddlers learn how to pour a drink into a cup, how to carry a tray, how to safely carry a chair. Toddlers also learn how to clean up a spill, because spills can happen. In this way, toddlers are free to move around the environment: to get a drink of water whenever they are thirsty; to move the chair if they want to sit in another spot; to safely carry their activities from the shelf to the table or floor. Toddlers feel a sense of connection to the larger community because they contribute to the whole: by setting up lunch, watering the plants, putting their work away when they have completed it if they are able, and giving assistance to a friend.

The teacher’s role

A Montessori toddler program is based on Dr. Montessori’s ideas and writing, which reflect the importance of meeting the development needs of toddlers and the importance of creating a prepared learning environment to meet those specific needs. The head teacher in a Montessori toddler program has had training in children ages birth to 3 and holds a Montessori teaching credential for that age group. This training informs not only the specific design of the environment, it also guides the adult in the practices and techniques for working with very young children, as well as the art of observation and the process of ongoing self-reflection.

The adult is seen as a guide, rather than teacher. She designs and creates a safe environment that supports and encourages exploration. She chooses beautiful, natural, and engaging materials that invite curious and joyful learning. She models a calm demeanor with interactions that foster cooperative social interaction. The adults in the environment model the acceptance of mistakes as a natural part of learning and growth without judgment, criticism, or negative facial expressions.

Coordination, choice, and the real world

The toddlers move about freely in their Montessori environment in order to develop physical coordination and support freedom of choice. They may lift heavy objects and carry them from one place to another. They are free to exercise their muscles as needed, not only at a specific time for “gym” or “movement”, because within the classroom there are places to jump, spin, and experiment with balance, such as bars to pull up on, a small step to climb or a rocking boat. In this way, toddlers are able to strengthen their core muscles, practice balance, and develop muscle coordination.

The Montessori classroom is dedicated to discovery of the real world rather than opportunities for pretend play. The Montessori toddler learns to safely use the tools of the hand, for instance – a fork, spoon, scissors, writing utensils, screwdriver, hammer, and paintbrush. Rather than play in a make-believe kitchen, the toddlers cut their banana for snack or peel and slice an egg at lunch. Instead of playing in the dress up corner, the toddlers engage in learning how to dress themselves, by practicing with a button or zipper, and by putting on and taking off clothing.

Giving the gift of time

Traditionally, adults often show their love by doing things for the child, such as picking them up and carrying them from one place to another, putting on their coat, wiping their nose. Adults are efficient and want to get things done as quickly as possible. For toddlers the goal is not to get it done quickly, but rather to learn how to do it by themselves. It is the greatest gift we can give a child, to slow down and patiently give them the time they need. Whether that means walking slowly, waiting without speaking to allow a child time to let the words come, or dealing with a little bit of mess because the child poured their own milk, Montessori teachers show their care for the child by helping the child to gain independence: modeling and showing how to do things, patiently breaking tasks down into smaller steps, and giving child-size tools to enable the child to succeed, to help the child to do it themselves.

Hallmarks of Montessori

One of the hallmarks of the Montessori program is a schedule that preserves a long, uninterrupted “work” time to support the development of concentration and to allow spontaneous activity. The child is not guided or directed, following a predetermined schedule or required activities. Another hallmark is that the program takes a child-centered view of children: giving them freedom to explore the space and select their own activities of individual interest. An array of hands-on materials is available to attract and engage the toddler. This fosters concentration, develops problem-solving skills, and encourages intrinsic motivation.

The activities are designed to enable children to recognize when the task has been completed successfully, rather than be dependent on the adult for validation or correction. The materials and activities are beautiful, many made of natural materials, such as wood, and with as little plastic as possible. Activities and interactions enhance a spirit of generosity, awe, and wonder, with opportunities to provide meaningful help to others. The toddler has experiences designed to cultivate a love for nature, such as planting seeds, collecting pine cones, and sorting sea shells.

“The classroom setup, as well as the teachers, really allow each child to develop their own individual skills and talents. Every day, I am amazed at what I see the children doing – from serving and clearing their own food, to caring for plants, and even making their own soap. More importantly, they all seem so happy and fulfilled.” — W. Baldwin, Montessori parent

Language and environment

From the moment of their birth, babies are absorbing language and developing their receptive language skills. During the first three years of a child’s life, they literally transform from an infant who cries to a child who speaks more than 200 words. A Montessori toddler environment is rich with words and language, with many opportunities to name objects, parts of the body, animals, foods, plants, colors, instruments, and tools. Surrounding toddlers with a fertile language environment, without it being loud or overwhelming, and also providing times of silence and quiet, encourages their natural tendency to develop receptive and expressive language abilities.

We know that infants and toddlers are easily over-stimulated by sensory input, but the soothing, calming atmosphere of the Montessori toddler classroom provides a safe haven. It is the quality of calm in the classroom, combined with enabling the toddlers to do as much as possible for themselves, that makes Montessori toddlers so content. The environment is a peaceful, caring, joyful place for learning, connection, and the development of independence. It seems far removed from the tantrums and struggles of a time known as the “terrible” twos. In fact, Montessori toddler teachers love this time of life and are dedicated to making it a truly remarkable time for the children in their care.

“When my daughter was first learning to separate from me, she naturally gravitated toward working with the baby dolls (holding, swaddling, and washing) in a way that allowed her to be the nurturer. Her teachers encouraged her, which not only gave her a sense of calm and happiness in her brand-new environment, but also contributed to her feeling that she had a special job while at school. It is clear to our family that the Montessori principles are helping our daughter to flourish and prepare her for independence, self-awareness, and lifelong learning.” K. Zanot, Montessori parent

K.T. Korngold is the director of the Montessori Children’s Center, one of the first full-time, year-round Montessori childcare centers in the United States. The newly opened location in West Harrison, N.Y. provides Montessori childcare for children from ages 3 months to 6 and has rolling admissions as spaces become available. She is the CEO of the Center for Montessori Education|NY (CME|NY), a pioneer in Montessori teacher and administrator education, which offers Infant and Toddler (0-3) and Early Childhood (3-6) teacher education training and training for Montessori School Administrators for an American Montessori Society credential.

K.T will be traveling to Hanoi, Vietnam in November 2019 to offer a course in Montessori Infant and Toddler teacher education.

Contact Us

Phone: 914.607.7600
Address: Montessori Children’s Center
220 Westchester Avenue | West Harrison, NY 10604
Interested in our program for your child? Come Visit!
Please call ahead to schedule a time with the Director to visit the Center.
Interested in employment opportunities

Please email your current resume along with a cover letter to

our Director, K.T. Korngold 

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About Us


MCC is a supportive community, applauding the individual and diverse gifts of children and adults.  As a dedicated, authentic Montessori program, we recognize the child as the foundation of peace.  To that end, our classrooms are safe and nurturing environments where the child is allowed to explore and discover his or her unique place in the world.  Our Montessori teaching enables us to strive to understand the individual needs of each child in our care, including their physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs, while we create an interdependent community to help propel success and support development.

Our environments are aesthetically designed to invite the child to learn with a full heart, mind, and spirit. We work closely with families to support and nurture the healthy development of children.  Our teachers are supported and sustained with ongoing Montessori training and professional development in a warm, familial environment that inspires dedication and personal growth.

As a small business, we contribute to the local economy by using local resources and drawing employees and business support from the surrounding area.

Offering the highest quality in childcare and education services appropriate to the needs of the communities we serve, our program is designed to invite the child to learn with a full heart, mind, and spirit, and to support and nurture the parents and teachers who surround each child on their important journey from infancy to early childhood.

Our logo exemplifies the ideals of our Center.  We are, at our heart, a Montessori Center, supporting the children in our care, at each level of their development—infant, toddler, early childhood—as they reach their potential.  We aim to assist them as they grow toward independence, confidence, and self-esteem, and to help each develops a lifelong habit of learning, curiosity, and collaboration.

It is the light of their natural intelligence that we look to nurture.



The Montessori Children’s Center was opened in 1991 at the invitation of Maureen Ryan-Carr, the Assistant Administrator of Burke Rehabilitation Hospital.  Maureen invited Carole Wolfe Korngold, Director, and Founder of the Center for Montessori Education|NY (CME|NY) to bring Montessori to the grounds of the hospital in the form of Montessori childcare for the employees of the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and the surrounding White Plains community.   Maureen wanted to provide a deeper educational curriculum with the childcare that was present on the Burke campus in order to improve the benefits Burke Rehabilitation Hospital would be providing their employees.  In 2018, we moved to a new location at 220 Westchester Avenue, West Harrison and began a new chapter of serving families in the Westchester area.

In addition to directing the Montessori Children’s Center, CME|NY has a teacher education program for Montessori teachers.  CME|NY offers Infant and Toddler (birth to 3 years), Early Childhood (ages 2.5 – 6), training for an AMS Teaching credential, as well as as a Credential program for Montessori school heads, principals, and school leaders.

Led by K.T. Korngold, CME|NY serves as a resource for many Montessori schools, providing workshops, consultations, and training to independent, public, and charter schools throughout the United States.   

K.T. Korngold has been CEO since 2011.  She brings with her a lifetime of dedication to authentic Montessori principles and practices and a long connection with the programs of CME|NY.   K.T. was instrumental in the original design of the Montessori Children’s Center.  K.T. is a certified AMS CMTE|NY Infant and Toddler specialist and wrote a column for Tomorrow’s Child entitled “Bringing Montessori Home.” K.T. received her AMS CMSM credential in July 2013.  As a child, K.T. was part of the model classroom of the first Montessori education program for Head Start teachers in the United States, a training that Carole initiated in Albany, NY in 1967. As CEO of and the Center for Montessori Education|NY, K.T. helps ensure that the symbiotic relationship between adult and child education continues to support the best experiences in Montessori.


Who We Are

The Montessori Difference

Montessori Principles