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Overview
  • Programs
  • Our Team
  • Reviews

About Children’s Garden Montessori

Located off Spengler Street, behind Washington River Protection Services inside the Tri-Cities Research District Business Complex in Richland is Children’s Garden Montessori, a Cadence Education® School.

Here, our trained, qualified and caring staff takes a Montessori, hands-on approach to learning and provides quality programming and dedicated teachers for children from 1 year old to 8 years old.

Our students are encouraged to be active and creative explorers, as well as independent, self-confident and inquisitive learners. Each child is treated as an individual and encouraged to progress at his natural ability while still reaching desired age-level goals. In addition to core curriculum offered for preschool through second grade, we provide before and after school care for enrolled school age children.

Children’s Garden Montessori is lauded for its warmly decorated, homelike environment found throughout the school. Our family-friendly policy is one that welcomes parent visits any time of the day. We host monthly events and parties celebrating major holidays that lend a fun, celebratory feel on campus. We also offer multiple age-appropriate playgrounds and an outdoor learning environment.

Programs Offered

  • Toddler Care (ages 1 year to 3 years)
  • Primary (ages 3 to 6 years)
  • Elementary (ages 6 to 8 years)

Our Philosophy

Our many years of experience and deep commitment to the importance of each child’s early educational experience drive the school to continually grow.   We work to meet the unique needs of each child stressing the importance of each classroom as a community and working to build strong social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills.

Children’s Garden Montessori strives for diversity in our staff, parents and children.  Each member of our school is treated as an individual, with a general sense of respect for individuality being important.

Our Team

Kaitlynn Smart

Kaitlynn Smart

Director

Meet Kaitlynn Smart, the Director. Kaitlynn has been with Children’s Garden Montessori for over a decade! Kaitlynn has a strong passion for early childhood education and is a natural at her position. Kaitlynn assists parents with enrollment, billing, and other school policies and procedures. Kaitlynn has two beautiful children, Hadley and Mason!

Cheryl Ornstein

Cheryl Ornstein

Montessori Program Director

Children’s Garden has been a part of my family for the past 25 years. I built the curriculum for the 1st and 2nd grade classroom from the ground up. I hold a Masters Degree in Elementary Education and a Montessori Certification. Recently I joined as a school administrator to assist in further training, guidance, and development of our toddler through elementary programs. A piece of being the Montessori Program Director still allows me to utilize my teaching skills and fulfill my passion of providing a strong and accelerated learning environment for children. I am proud to be a part of the school. I am married to my husband, Rick and together we have three grown boys who are now married and giving me beautiful grandchildren!

Amber Lehew

Amber Lehew

Lead Teacher in Nest

Amber has recently relocated from the great state of Texas, where she worked previously in a Montessori School. Amber holds a Master’s Degree in Education and loves teaching these little one year olds! Amber has primarily worked with toddler aged children for over 2 years. Amber will soon be married to her fiancé Eric, who works for Bechtel. Amber and Eric love to explore the area, try new food, and spend time with their dog!

Kimberly Goude

Kimberly Goude

Lead Teacher in Rainbow Room

Meet Kimberly Goude, the Lead Teacher in Rainbow Room. Ms. Goude has been with the school since 2009. Ms. Goude is a kind and compassionate teacher. Ms. Goude enjoys anything to do with holidays, children, and animals. She holds her Montessori credential for primary aged children.

Tina Lucas

Tina Lucas

Lead Teacher in River Room

Meet Tina Lucas, our lead teacher in River Room. Tina has been at Children’s Garden since 2006. Prior to Children’s Garden, Tina worked at a Montessori school in Yakima. Tina loves watching her youngest daughter, Kiera compete in cheer competitions. Tina enjoys traveling to the Seattle area to visit with her sisters and spending quality time with her daughter, Ashley. Tina holds her Montessori Certification for Primary aged Children.

Stacey Kennedy

Stacey Kennedy

Lead Teacher in Sunshine

Meet Stacey Kennedy, our Sunshine room lead. Stacey holds a Montessori Primary Certificate and has been with Children’s Garden for over 2 years. Ms. Kennedy enjoys watching children grow and loves it when her students show her the new lessons they have mastered. Stacey enjoys camping, hiking, and spending time with her three wonderful children.

Sofia Olvera

Sofia Olvera

Lead Teacher in the Branch

Meet Sofia Olvera, Lead teacher in the Branch. Ms. Sofia enjoys spending her days with these busy 2 year olds! She is a kind and patient. Ms. Sofia is bilingual and speaks both English and Spanish to the children each day. Sofia enjoys spending time with her family on the weekends. Sofia currently holds her Montessori teaching credential for toddler aged children as well as a state certificate from Columbia Basin College in Early Childhood Education.

Reviews from Parents

4.6 Rating based on 107 Reviews
Tricia O. • Yelp
October 06, 2021
(This review is based on their customer service) This childcare location was closest to my office at the time,  and highly sought after with parents and fellow co-workers.   It was full when I was looking for an opening for my daughter's age group,  so they asked me if I was interested in being on their waiting list.  I agreed and enrolled my daughter in a childcare location closest to the hospital.  When an opening did come,  my daughter was becoming acclimated to her classmates and teacher so I declined at the time but they had offered to keep her on the waiting list for the next opening just in case.   I thought that was so generous!   Please do visit this place and see if they fit your child's needs and wants for a classroom while you work.
verified
Aliya Alisheva • Google
September 20, 2021
My daughter has been going to this awesome place for over a year now. Let me tell you - taking her here was the best decision ever that I made for my child so far. Her teachers are fabulous and VERY attentive. She learned so much already! When she was an infant I did take her to a different daycare and wasn’t comfortable with that place at all and we had to take her out within a few days. Luckily, after she turned 1 Childrens Garden had an opening for us! Since we were already in the midst of the pandemic we weren’t able to actually go inside the building, but it didn’t matter - the teachers everyday send us updates and pictures of my child doing her activities so it feels like that I am there too. Definitely recommend this place!
verified
Heather Healy • Google
August 11, 2021
My child has been enrolled in their youngest daycare class for two months now, and I couldn't be happier with the quality of the program and staff at Children's Garden. The staff are always available to talk or answer questions, and they use an app that gives updates every day on diaper changes, food eaten, naps, and attaches pictures. I am at ease that I feel completely comfortable sending my child there everyday and he loves going. I don't have experience with other daycares in the area, but this is truly a top notch facility dedicated to helping kids learn and development and not just a "daycare".
verified
Amber Key Winsor • Facebook
July 28, 2021
We have been attending Children’s Garden Montessori since November 2020. My little boy was very nervous when he first started. He has loved getting to know each of his teachers and friends in class. He knows all of his classmates and teacher’s names and talks about them at home all the time. He looks forward to coming to school everyday. He has already learned so much attending Children’s Garden. We recommend Children’s Garden to anyone looking for a fantastic school for their child. The staff is wonderful and we appreciate them for all of their hard work.
verified

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Preparing Your Child to THRIVE

Your child is unique, and we are happy to provide an educational, fun and nurturing environment where each child can develop and thrive in order to build a bright future with unlimited possibilities.