At TODDLERS ON THE HILL (ToTH), Capitol Hill’s first Montessori school for toddlers and preschoolers, founded by a group of neighborhood parents in 2012, we nurture independence, confidence, and creativity within a peaceful social setting. A certified teacher leads each three hour session. We are an authentic Montessori program licensed by the District of Columbia’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) for children ages 15 months to 6 years. Our low adult to child ratio ensures our children are nurtured and time spent at ToTH is quality time.

Why Montessori?

This unique and widely-lauded education method, developed more than a century ago by Italian physician Maria Montessori, is built around the concepts of self-directed learning, mixed-age classrooms, collaboration, creativity, and social responsibility. We value the 120 years of cumulative observation and research on this method and we feel that a school based on the Montessori Method is the best that we can offer the toddlers in our neighborhood.


Why Toddlers?

Experts tell us that our earliest interactions with our environment determine our ability to learn, to regulate our emotions, and to be psychologically healthy. Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child has found that early childhood experiences between 0–3 years actually alter gene expression, shape brain architecture, and affect long-term development. According to the The University of Chicago’s Economics Professor, Nobel Laureate James Heckman:

  • “Early learning confers value on acquired skills, which leads to self-reinforcing motivation to learn more.
  • Early mastery of a range of cognitive, social, and emotional competencies makes learning at later ages more efficient and therefore easier and more likely to continue.”
  • “Intervening at an early enough age can actually raise the IQ of the participants.”

What parents are saying about us:

Toddlers on the Hill is hands-down the best preschool in DC. ToTH brings together the wealth of the Montessori tradition with teachers that truly care about the children, parents, and the community. ToTH has transformed the way I parent and better equipped me to understand my toddler.
“ToTH is our extended family. It’s a wonderful, supportive, diverse community which we are proud to be a part of.  Our daughter is independent, expressive, confidant and  determined- all qualities cultivated through the ToTH program. What is taught in the classroom is most evident on play dates- ToTH kids know how to work emotions out with each other (and clean up without much coaxing which is an amazing bonus).  Can’t wait for our son to be old enough to start!”
Nadia polishing a mirror
“Toddlers on the Hill is a Montessori oasis within the city.  We are lucky to have strong and dedicated teachers, and our daughter can’t get enough!  We have been pleased with her development and the community at large.  We are super lucky!”

“Natalie, thru the Montessori curriculum, gave a structure and a vocabulary to the way we are raising our daughter. not only did she nurture and grow our child, but she gently guided us as well. We love ToTH and are so excited our daughter will be there for another year.”

“To me, as a parent volunteering in the classroom, one of the hugest benefits to our family is the advice and support I get every week, in terms of how to raise my child to be independent, creative, and confident in her own decisions. We parents, and the caregivers we rely on, tend to rush to solve (or avoid altogether) normal problems that our children need to face in order to learn from them.”

“Natalie and Nathaly are dedicated and caring teachers, with whom our children feel confident and secure. During my time in the classroom, I observed the teachers fostering the children’s sense of independence and curiosity, while being endlessly patient and kind.”

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