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About Us


We are a Montessori Christian-based early childhood education center. We address the diverse needs of the young child within a Christian atmosphere. Based on the philosophy and principles of Maria Montessori, SJMCC develops the whole person by leading the child to a respect for self, others, and the environment.

History of Saint Joseph Montessori Children's Center


Sister Patricia Hill (right) founded the Montessori Children’s Center. The Montessori school began with 18 three and four year olds and three staff members. It was originally called the King Center. It moved to its present location on the grounds of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth campus in Nazareth, Kentucky. The name of the school was then changed to Nazareth Montessori Children’s Center.

Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year, the program transitioned to the Saint Joseph Montessori Children’s Center as a mission of the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral of Bardstown, Kentucky. The SJMCC Board and staff are proud of the partnership with Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral and Saint Joseph School.

The success of the Montessori program is exhibited by its tremendous growth. Over 1000 students have passed through the doors and currently the staff are now educating the children of former students! The children in our school range in ages from 2 1/2  years through Kindergarten.

Our Philosophy


  • Multi-age classrooms include a three year age span of children. Older children teaching younger children provides a sense of community, while building self esteem and leadership skills.
  • Self correcting materials within the environment. Children learn through their own errors to make correct decisions.
  • Individual learning takes place within the environment. Montessori curriculum provides a plan for each child to learn at a his or her own pace.
  • Children are quiet by choice out of respect for others within the environment. The Montessori classroom allows children to find the “inner peace” that is a natural part of their personalities.
  • There is an emphasis on concrete learning rather than on abstract learning. Children experience learning concepts in concrete “hands on” ways.
  • The Montessori classroom provides a child-centered environment. All the materials are easily within the child’s reach, placed on shelves at their levels. The tables and chairs are small enough for the children to sit comfortably while the pictures and decorations are placed at the children’s eye level.
  • The children work for the joy of working and the sense of discovery. Children in the Montessori classroom have opportunities for leadership and they delight in learning new tasks and sharing them with others.
  • The environment is “prepared” for the children. Everything in the room has a specific place on the shelf. The work progresses from simple to more complex; having the room organized this way allows the children to choose work that is appropriate for them.
  • The teacher plays an unobtrusive role in the classroom. The children are intrinsically motivated by their own interests and curiosity.
  • The items found on the shelves in the classroom are “materials” rather than “toys”: The children “work with the materials” rather than “play with the toys”. This allows the children to gain the most benefit from the environment by giving them a sense of worth. This is the same sense of worth adults experience as they go to their jobs and do their “work”.