Nido (12 - 18 months)

Our youngest children - from 12 to approx. 18 months - are cared for in the Nido. Our caregivers are experienced and qualified professionals who work according to the principles of Montessori education.

Pedagogical principles

In addition to the educational principles of Maria Montessori, we also apply the findings and experience of the infant researcher Dr. Emmi Pikler in the care of the nursery children. The two pedagogical approaches overlap or complement each other in terms of content.

Respect and active participation in all care activities

Respect for the infant and toddler as unique and competent beings is the foundation of our approach. We have great faith in the child's innate need to learn and develop. Thus, from the very beginning, the child is perceived as a competent partner, not an object. Even infants are involved in all things that affect them. They are informed about what will happen next so that they can adjust to it.

Care is also - and especially - about the caregiver and child working together as partners. This requires a very special presence and attentiveness on the part of the carer. The basis for all the caregiver's actions is close participant observation. The more competences the child acquires, the more he or she is involved in the care activities.


Since we have a fundamental trust that the child himself is the initiator of his learning and development process, we do not try to teach the child things, but prepare a safe, age-appropriate, challenging and at the same time emotionally warm environment in which he can develop trust in himself and his abilities. For example, the child develops gross motor skills not by us doing gymnastics exercises with them, but by giving them the time and space to practice and repeat these skills relentlessly.

Holistic approach

In order to build a child's personality in all areas - physical (motor), emotional, social, cognitive and spiritual - appropriate attention must be paid to all areas from the very beginning. Current brain research shows very clearly that emotional development is fundamental for the further development of the entire personality [1].


A child is always learning - and at his or her own pace. Each child has his or her own schedule to acquire certain motor skills, such as turning around, sitting upright, crawling or walking. With us, the child is not pushed to do anything. Rather, we provide an appropriate, stimulating (but not over-stimulating) environment so that the child can develop according to his or her own needs. The child is given plenty of time to immerse himself in its "work" and the caregiver will never interrupt it in the process. "Give me time", Emmi Pikler's basic principle, is also our guiding principle in our work with the children.


If given the opportunity, an infant can learn to make decisions for himself at an early age. To do this, however, it needs the appropriate freedom to choose activities for itself that meet its mental and physical needs. The sense of achievement it experiences in this process strengthens its self-esteem and self-confidence. It learns from the beginning that it can solve many of its problems on its own. An attentive caregiver makes sure that the child gets just enough help so that it can help itself.

Continuity and security

The first 18 months of a child's life have a special significance for the ability to form attachments. The quality of the bonds, in turn, has a decisive impact on the ability to form relationships later in life. Continuity, predictability and sufficient time are basic prerequisites for building secure attachments. They give the child emotional security and allow it to build trust in the world. Therefore, each caregiver has primary responsibility for four to five children and is always responsible for the care and supervision of these children. However, this does not mean that she does not also care for the other children in the group. Ideally, the caregiver also accompanies her group of children until the end of the casita time, i.e. until they are about 3 years old.


Observation is the foundation of our work. The knowledge we gain from observing the child helps us to support its independence and autonomy and to set new impulses for its developmental process. The development of each child is documented throughout the year. This is done through written observations and checklists. The results of the observations are recorded in an educational book for each child and are the basis for the developmental discussions with the parents.


The transition to the next group, the casita, takes place smoothly - usually between 18 and 24 months. However, the timing depends primarily on the child's individual development. Crucial for participation in the activities of the Casita is the ability to walk safely with free hands and thus have their hands free for the "work" that is a normal part of everyday life there: baking, setting the table, sorting and folding laundry, and much more.

Read more about everyday life in our Nido:
The child from birth to 18 months
The prepared environment in the Nido
The curriculum

Many interesting articles on this topic can be found in: Hermann, Ulrich (Hg.): Neurodidaktik. Grundlagen und Vorschläge für gehirngerechtes Lehren und Lernen. Beltz: Weinheim & Basel, 2009.