About CH

A Montessori Early Learning Center

915 Tiger Avenue
Columbia, MO 65201

(573) 443-2825 phone
(573) 874-4056 fax

Affiliated with the American Montessori Society
licensed by the State of Missouri for day care
a not-for-profit corporation, tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Code. Children’s House tax ID# is 43-0987900.
a school providing Montessori education to children without regard to race, nationality, ethnic origin or religious beliefs.

Montessori at CH

The Children's House of Columbia is an early learning center offering a Montessori program in which each child, respected as an individual, is encouraged to develop his/her total personality at an individualized pace and within an individual growth style. Children's House is committed to principles of respect for each child, concern for the worth of the individual and the ideal of human brotherhood. Children's House provides a program relevant to the needs of children in a rapidly changing world. The curriculum is experimental and open ended, the atmosphere is one of personal support and caring, stressing the development of skills, concepts and values through the child's own experiences.

In the "prepared environment" of Children's House, the child may chose activities in the areas of daily living, sensorial education, language arts, music, foreign language, science, small and gross motor play, fantasy play, etc. The child's independent effort is fostered and individuality is honored. The out‑of‑doors classroom is available to the child as an extension of the indoor environment

The Montessori classes include a toddler class for children age 2 to 3.5 years and preschool classes with mixed age groupings. There is an extended day class for older children to the age of 6. The ungraded aspect of the classes encourages social interaction between children and adults in a familial way which nurtures respect for and appreciation of others. Each class is staffed by a certified Montessori teacher and one or more assistant teachers.

Mission Statement

Our mission, at WSMS, is to provide a Montessori environment, as prescribed by the American Montessori Society, where all children can thrive emotionally, intellectually, socially, and physically while developing love of learning.

Our history

Our school was founded in 1972 by Carolyn and Richard Angus and Mary Angela and Walter Johnson with the goal of providing a Montessori education to children and has been in operation continually since. Children’s House has, since inception, been affiliated with American Montessori Society (AMS is recognized by the United States Department of Education). Memberships with the National Montessori Teachers Association and the International Montessori Council are also maintained. The school is located on Maryland Avenue in two adjoining residential houses. One house contains a large Montessori mixed-age class and the other house contains two smaller classroom settings.

In 1997, Mary Windmiller took over from Mary Angela Johnson as Children’s House’s Director and still holds that position. Windmiller started at Children’s House in 1984 as member of the teaching staff. Her nearly 25 years with the organization provides important continuity of business practice and philosophy. Currently, Children’s House employs about 12 full time and 8 part time teachers, aides, cooks and maintenance staff. Approximately 90% of teaching staff holds Montessori training or certification. A professional music teacher is under contract to conduct five music classes weekly and efforts are underway to develop a resident artist program. Spanish lessons occur three times weekly and optional gymnastics and swimming instruction is offered annually. Children’s House operates from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, 12 months a year (closed for national holidays and for a short break in August); part time enrollment options are available, but only on a 5-day a week basis.

Presently, Children’s House serves 80 children, ranging from 2 years of age to 8, from all over Columbia and nearby communities. Children’s House maintains a strong commitment to providing the uniqueness of a Montessori-based educational opportunity to all children without regard to race, gender, color, creed or national origin. To that end, we work with Missouri’s Division of Family Services, First Chance for Children and the USDA Child Care Food Program to provide tuition assistance to families in need. Currently 18% of our enrollment receives some sort of assistance.

Children’s House is an incorporated, not-for-profit 501c3 entity. Our Board of Directors is advisory and historically consists of a parent, a teacher, an alumni parent and the director. Current Board members are: Mary Windmiller, Michael Fields, Virginia Morgan, Julie Grasela, Jeanne Mihail, Susan Fields and Jennifer Toohey.

Faculty and Administrators

More about Montessori


American Montessori Society

North American Montessori Teachers Association

International Montessori Council

Montessori Connections

Who is Maria Montessori?

Michael Olaf


Montessori Foundation Magazine
Montessori Life



915 Tiger Avenue
Columbia, MO 65201

(573) 443-2825 phone
(573) 874-4056 fax


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