Assistants to Infancy


The Montessori Assistants to Infancy Training began in 1947 in Rome. Based on thousands of hours of observation of infants and very young children, the work predated many contemporary findings, including self-hypnosis for childbirth, gentle birth, the awareness of infants, the importance of touch and communication, as well as language, music and joy in the environment. Open space and interesting objects encourage free movement and exploration. Special clothing, furnishings and toys made with careful attention to detail are designed in response to the observed needs of the infant.

waganVertIn 1980, Dr. Silvana Montanaro, a psychiatrist who lectured the courses in Rome, integrated the training with current research and offered the first AMI accredited Assistants to Infancy Training. In 1982, she brought this course to the U.S.

A to I students are prepared to work with parents perinatally, to assist with the infant at birth, to prepare beautiful and responsive environments, and to work in infant and toddler communities in schools, day care settings, hospitals and wherever children under age three are found.

A to I courses are two summers long, with assignments in the intervening academic year. During the summer sessions, students prepare their own reference manuals (albums) and timelines of child development. Some hand-made materials are required (you may be surprised by your hidden abilities.) Progressive relaxation sessions are offered daily.

June 10, 2019 – August 2, 2019

The first summer’s work begins with an overview of Montessori theory and practice, following the child’s natural development and focusing on the period from conception to age three. Obstetrics, hygiene, and nutrition cover the anatomy and physiology of reproduction, fetal development, birth, health issues, and the puerperium (the first eight weeks after birth). We consider the preparation of supportive and beautiful environments and their adaptation to the child’s changing needs; emphasis is on the home and family environment, but easily applied to group settings.

Between the two summers, students complete 250 hours of observation of children from birth to three at home and in group settings. Each student completes one week of student teaching with children in either a Nido or Infant Community. During that week, the student is visited for support and evaluation by a course staff member, either in Denver or at one’s own location. Travel and lodging expenses are the student’s responsibility.

June 8, 2020 – August 7, 2020

The second summer adds a study of child neuropsychiatry and of environments for children in a Nido and an Infant Community (out-of-home settings), including appropriate materials and activities.

The first summer ends with a practice written examination and conference. Comprehensive written and oral examinations are given at the end of the second summer – offering an opportunity to consolidate and share what was learned.

Required Reading:

Montanaro, Silvana Quattrocchi, M.D.
Understanding the Human Being
Medical Text – Purchased only from TMI

Montessori, Maria, M.D.
Education for a New World
The Absorbent Mind
The Child in the Family
The Discovery of the Child
The Formation of Man
The Secret of Childhood
The 1946 London Lectures

Standing, E.M.
Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work

Recommended Reading:

Eliot, Lise, PhD.
What’s Going on in There?

Erikson, Erik
Childhood and Society

Kaplan, Louise
Oneness and Separateness

Stern, Daniel
The Interpersonal World of the Infant

Resources for Books:

The Montessori Institute has a library with all of the required and recommended reading. You may check these books out on an overnight basis when you are in Denver for the summer.