On this page, we cover private and independent schools in Vancouver, BC that offer Montessori programs. This may include Montessori schools in North, West, and Downtown Vancouver, Yaletown, and Gastown. It may also include regions in the Greater Vancouver Area (GVA) and Metro Vancouver, such as Surrey, Richmond, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, and White Rock.
For a more detailed guide to Montessori education, including an extensive discussion of the Montessori method and philosophy, read our introductory guide.
There are lots of private Montessori schools in Vancouver. These schools vary in terms of their classroom practices, curricular approaches, program offerings, and special needs support. The schools listed below reflect this diversity. They can be filtered for a wide range of features.
The Maria Montessori School (est. 1991)
Surrey, British Columbia
Authentic Montessori Preschool. Students completing our 3 year program at The Maria Montessori School test extremely well. We balance academics, exploration and skills guided by your child's natural interests. View profile
$2,500 to $4,000
For general advice on how to choose and evaluate private schools, check out our choosing a school guide and advice from top education experts. For advice on selecting Montessori schools (including preschools), see our Montessori choosing guide. You can also read our guides to questions to ask private schools and questions students get asked at school interviews.
Private school expos are a great starting point for finding a school. The Vancouver private school expo allows you to speak with many private schools, some of which are Montessori schools—all in one place. Find a Montessori school near you.
Another great resource in your school search is the Our Kids parent discussion forum. The forum is an ideal place to discuss options and debate topics related to Montessori schools and preschools. Our community of parents, educational experts, school officials, and alumni can help answer your questions and stimulate your thinking.
Attending open houses is a great way to learn more about schools. For general advice on open house visits, check out our guide on school visits.
The cost of Montessori schools in Vancouver tends to be lower than the cost of other private and independent schools in Vancouver. In fact, Montessori schools are usually on the lower side of private school tuition in general.
Private school tuition can range from $5,000 to over $30,000 per year for day students. There are no public Montessori schools in Vancouver, though some public schools use certain Montessori principles.
Many schools offer needs-based financial aid, such as bursaries or tuition relief. Other schools, though not as many, offer scholarships, which are given based on merit—for instance, in academics or athletics. You can learn more about need- and merit-based financial aid in our dedicated guide. We also discuss preschool costs in general.
Below, you’ll find the range of costs for Montessori private and independent schools in Vancouver:
|Tuition (day school)||Students receiving financial aid||Grade eligibility for financial aid||Avg. aid package size (annual)|
Average class size
Special needs support
|Montessori||Student-paced||Supportive||18 to 20||No support|
Montessori schools, in Vancouver and other cities, often have large mixed-age classes with high teacher-to-student ratios. They also tend to have lots of interaction, student-to-student teaching, and group and independent work.
Below, the Montessori philosophy and teaching approach is discussed in more detail. For more comprehensive coverage, see our main Montessori school guide.
The Montessori philosophy of education is unique. Some of the main principles of this philosophy are the following:
Student-centred: Similar to Waldorf and Reggio Emilia schools, students are free to move around the class, choose their own work, and determine the pace of their studies. This can make for a dynamic learning environment. Kids often choose work that’s engaging and stimulating, in this setting, which can give rise to a love of learning.
Uninterrupted work time: Montessori schools give kids lots of uninterrupted work time, especially at the elementary level. In many schools, they’re given at least one 3-hour, uninterrupted work period to focus on their chosen work, free of interruptions. Uninterrupted work periods are believed to improve children’s concentration, self-discipline, and work habits.
Concrete learning: Learning tends to be concrete and hands-on. At the primary and elementary level (and sometimes at the secondary level), kids work with lots of different concrete materials, including “manipulatives”—or self-correcting puzzles.
Kids also work with blocks, rods, spindle boxes, and many other materials. Concrete learning engages many of the senses. And, research has shown that it can speed up learning, especially for younger kids.
No external rewards: In primary and elementary school, kids aren’t given tests or assignments, or graded on any of their work. Kids also aren’t praised very much, and when they are praised, it’s for effort—not outcome. Progress is assessed informally, through observation and developmental rubrics, rather than formally, through grades or report cards.
Montessori teachers rarely provide direct instruction. They almost never stand at the front of the class and lecture to all the students. And when they do lecture, the lectures are usually short, interactive, and engaging.
More often, though, teachers move around the class, and give lessons to or guide students. They usually work with students one-on-one or in small groups. They often encourage students to repeat and practice activities, and they plan projects to meet each student’s learning needs.
Montessori teachers' primary role is to connect students with their work, rather than to impart knowledge to them. Teachers are thus viewed more as “guides” or “mentors” than “teachers” in the traditional sense.
Montessori schools, in Vancouver and other cities, have mixed-age classes, with kids aged 0-3 (toddler), 3-6 (primary), 6-9 (lower-elementary), 9-12 (upper elementary), and so on. The mixed-age classroom informs the teaching approach and learning environment.
Most Montessori classes have lots of group work. Kids work together in small groups on projects and tasks, with some guidance from the teacher. Montessori kids help each other, and older kids often mentor their younger classmates, by helping with them with their work and modelling appropriate behaviour. This can reinforce knowledge and skills learned in the classroom, for both older and younger kids.
There are Vancouver Montessori schools in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Burnaby, and other locations. Under the guidance of a skilled teacher, children in Montessori schools feel safe in expressing emotions, taking risks and seeking help. Your son or daughter will be in an environment that helps develop his or her independence, confidence, concentration, motor skills, reading, writing, and much more.
The Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA) is a registered not-for-profit corporation that supports Montessori administrators and schools in Vancouver and elsewhere throughout the country. It also accredits Montessori schools in Vancouver. Similarly, the Canadian Montessori Teacher Education Institute (CMTEI) provides Montessori instructors with courses which teach them about the philosophical theory and practical application of all aspects of a Montessori education.
All of Vancouver's private schools are accountable to the British Columbia Ministry of Education. This governmental body inspects and regulates all private schools within the province and teaches instructors about their obligations in the classroom.
Studies show that Montessori education helps students succeed in university, live a balanced lifestyle, and gain an acute sense of social responsibility.
B.C. provides many private schools with partial funding. The provincial government helps such institutions based on the quality of the education that they offer and their contributions to the community. Over 85% of B.C.'s private schools receive some funding. Tuition for these institutions typically begins around $5,000.
However, there are other ways to help you pay for Montessori schools in Vancouver. Some of these include:
Our Kids' 18 tips to cover tuition has much more information on how to make private school affordable.