Montessori Schools in Des Moines

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Montessori Schools in Des Moines

Des Moines, Iowa is full of great schools to choose from for your kiddos. Whether it’s private or public we are very lucky to have a plethora of quality school choices. 

If you aren’t familiar with Montessori, here is a summary: Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms, children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process.

There are 3 Benefits of choosing a Montessori School

  1. Each child is viewed as a unique individual. Montessori education recognizes that students learn in different ways and have a variety of learning styles. They support that by providing hands-on activities. 
  2. One of the guiding principles of Montessori is helping children develop independence. They provide children with choices that foster their independence in a different educational approach.
  3. Most Montessori schools use multi-age classrooms which creates a “family” like structure. Older children can be mentors and role models for younger children. 

Here are some tips that can help sort out the best fit for your child

  1. Take a tour! You can’t get a feel for the school just by their website. You need to see the facilities, meet the teachers, and see the students in action.
  2. Look for a low student-to-teacher ratio. If you are paying money for the school, you want your child to have as much individual teaching and attention as possible.
  3. Does the school provide a family-type atmosphere? Some families may want to experience this to be similar to home school, with that family environment.
  4. Does the school offer the chance to explore nature? Exploring nature is a big part of the Montessori principles.

Here is a list of Montessori schools in Des Moines, Iowa

Cottontail Creek Montessori School

Address: 7297 NW Fisher Ln, Ankeny, IA 50023

Programs: Pre-primary session (2-3 years), Primary classes (3-6 years), part and full-day options

Cottontail Creek Montessori School is located in Ankeny. They follow the philosophy of Maria Montessori in a quiet and country setting. Cottontail Creek encourages development through practical and sensorial activities. 

Cowles Montessori School 

Address: 6401 College Ave, Windsor Heights, IA 50324

Programs: Early Childhood, Lower Level (1st, 2nd, and 3rd), Upper Level (4th, 5th, 6th), Middle School (7th & 8th)

Cowles Montessori School is Iowa’s only public Montessori school! They use the Montessori learning principles and also align with the Des Moines Public School essential curriculum. The classrooms are set up in multi-age groupings where children can learn from each other. Their application process begins on July 1st for the following school year. So if you hope to enroll for 2025-2026 then mark your calendar for July 1st, 2024 to apply. It never hurts to join the waiting list! 

Montessori Children’s Center

Address: 8509 Alice Ave, Clive, IA 50325

Program: Children 2-5 years old, part-time or full-day programs, offered year-round

The Montessori Children’s Center was established in 1974. They are a family-owned business that keeps family and learning at the core of its center.  Each day is filled with hands-on learning activities that support the child.  They incorporate foreign language, sign language, music, and movement into the day. 

Montessori’s Children’s House 

Address: 1505 42nd St, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Programs: 18 months through 7 years, summer programs, before/after school programs

Montessori’s Children’s House has served the Des Moines community for over 50 years! This school has programs for children 18 months through 7 years of age. They offer primary Spanish immersion. They have enrichment programs throughout the school year for children 4-7 years old. These include drama, music, the zoo, and a few others too. 

Guidepost Montessori

Address: 605 Hickman Rd, Waukee, IA 50263

Programs: Nido (6 weeks to 12 months), Young Toddler (12 months to 2 years), Toddler (2 to 3 years), Children’s House (3 to 6 years)

Guidepost Montessori recently opened in 2023 in Waukee. The classrooms are made up of mixed-aged groups and the learning is set at each child’s pace. Parents receive daily photo and video updates. Their mission is for every child to achieve their independence. The last year at Guidepost is referred to as the “Kindergarten Capstone” so they will prepare a child academically for first grade following that year. 

Jackie Fioritto

Jackie Fioritto

Hi, I’m Jackie. I am a teacher who recently became a stay-at-home mother of two. My husband and I moved to Des Moines from Green Bay, Wisconsin a few years ago. Originally, I am from Chicago, Illinois. My family has loved exploring Des Moines and all that it has to offer!

3 thoughts on “Montessori Schools in Des Moines

  1. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Our kids go to Cottontail Creek Montessori School outside of Ankeny and we love it!

  2. This is our son’s 3rd year at Cottontail Creek Montessori. Ms. Betsy and Ms.Bailey are both amazing.

  3. Any idea on the range of tuition for the Montessori Children’s house so I can get a sense of costs? Looking at the 24 month program, either half or full day?

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