Montessori Child FAQs
If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for in our FAQ’s please contact Jessica and Andrew via email@example.com
Do I need a PayPal account to place an order?
If you have a PayPal account you are certainly welcome to use this payment method but you can also use a debit or credit card. Simply proceed through the steps of the Checkout and when you reach the “PayPal” gateway just click the option of using your card rather than an account!
Why are some of the product descriptions so long?
We believe that the true value of 'Montessori Child' is as a service not just a shop. Each item we feature has been chosen by a qualified and experienced Montessori educator, so a lot of thought has gone into the selection of each resource. We like to share these thoughts with you in the hope that this will inspire, engage and inform our Montessori adults. It is our aim that our product descriptions will:
- Help you learn how to identify the features of quality, Montessori-inspired resources.
- Inform and inspire you about various possibilities for activities and uses of each products.
- Extend the longevity and developmental value of the resources by providing ideas about how to use, extend and maintain them.
- Provide information about the Montessori philosophy and method.
- Offer insights into other educational or developmental theories to help you better understand and support the needs of the child(ren) in your care.
Each product description is almost like a blog post focusing specifically on that particular resource. You don't have to read them all at once - you might decide to purchase the product based on the first sentence, but we hope that as time goes on you might return to the post when seeking guidance about how to present or extend the activity with your child(ren).
Please note: Some of our products feature shorter descriptions. These were inherited from the prior owner of Montessori Child and provide all the fundamental information you need to make an informed choice about the product. It is our aim to expand these in the near-future to the level of information consistent with our newer resources (which feature the longer descriptions).
Why and how does Montessori Child manage to offer the low standard $12* shipping-rate across Australia and are there any exceptions?
Montessori Child is operated by a Montessori teacher, and as such I know first-hand how challenging it can be for educators and families alike to afford the resources and materials that the children in their care deserve. We are aware that if we charged a sliding scale for shipping, with bigger orders attracting a higher shipping fee, then this might discourage parents or teachers from including all of their intended items in the order and ultimately the people who would be disadvantaged by this are the children. Therefore we feel it is important to keep shipping costs low so that parents and educators are more easily able to access and afford their chosen resources.
We achieve this goal by utilising recycled shipping and packing materials (which also aligns with our Environmental Ethics Policy),by using creative “Tetris-style” packing patterns to fit orders into smaller parcels or packages and, in some cases, by simply absorbing some of the costs ourselves.
The vast majority of our orders fit into the $12 shipping rate but there are a few items we offer that are particularly bulky/heavy and these can attract an additional handling fee. Where this is the case you will be advised within the item description and the additional handling fee will be added to your overall order in the checkout process.
Who do you ship with & when will my order arrive?
Our primary courier service is Fastway. Most orders to physical addresses will go through Fastway. Orders to PO Boxes will be sent through Australia Post. In some instances alternative shipping options will be utilised in order to keep our flat-rate shipping cost so low. When you place an order you will receive a confirmation email when your order has been shipped which will include a Tracking ID so you can monitor the progress of your parcel. In most instances your order will arrive in between 1-3 business days of placing your order (this time can be slightly longer to rural areas).
Do you offer International Shipping?
We consider international shipping on a case-by-case basis. We ask customers from outside of Australia to please Contact Us or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a list of your chosen items and your shipping address. We can then put together an invoice including actual shipping costs and send this to you so you can decide whether to formally move ahead with the order.
Due to our commitment to eco-friendly practices we try to avoid international shipping in instances where the potential customer could source the same items from a closer supplier. Many of our products are Australian-made but others are imported from international manufacturers, and we therefore feel it would be environmentally unfriendly for products to come from the Northern Hemisphere down to Australia and then back again as this would create a needlessly large carbon footprint. So when we receive an email from an overseas customer we may try to guide you towards closer suppliers of the same products.
Which brands do you stock?
We feature high-quality items from a range of renowned brands, both local and international. These include;
We are always on the lookout for new and innovative products - so if you are a designer or manufacturer and you feel that your product would suit our ethos please feel free to contact us so we can review your proposal.
How do you choose the 'Age Range' for each product?
Our 'Age Ranges' (as accessed by the 'Shop by Age' menu) are based on observations and expertise acquired through Jessica's own Montessori Pre-school environment. Most of our products are chosen because Jessica has experienced these in the classroom environment and wishes to share them with other schools and families. Therefore we are able to use our own first-hand knowledge of how children interact with these resources to allocate them to 'age ranges' on our site.
A product might appear in more than one age range because it has value to children across a broader span of development. One item might appear in our Toddler collection, our Pre-school (3-6) range and our Primary (6-12) group because the Toddler might engage with a presentation of the fundamental basics, a Pre-schooler might acquire independent mastery of the task, and a Primary school child might enjoy the refinement and consolidation that comes from revisiting the experience or may engage in a deeper, more complex investigation.
We suggest that you use the age ranges as a broad guide - with a sense that an item appearing in a particular collection will have some sense of inspiration, engagement or delight for a child within that age range - but please apply your own judgement and knowledge when choosing materials for your child or your class.
We also remind you that part of the beauty of Montessori Child is that you have direct access to a trained Montessori educator. It is impossible for us to outline every single scenario or skill-set in our product descriptions but if you contact us at email@example.com to enquire about a specific product then Jessica can help to suggest tailor-made presentations, solutions and ideas to suit your particular child or classroom. Don't be afraid to ask - that's what we are here for!
How do you choose which products to feature on Montessori Child?
We are extremely discerning about the kinds of resources that we offer. In fact, one of the most valuable aspects of Montessori Child is the number of products that we don’t offer. We are very selective, so you don’t have to spend hours trawling through an overwhelming quantity of mediocre products to try to find something special; we have already done all of that work for you! We have searched through the catalogues, websites and stores of multiple suppliers to find the ‘best of the best’. We have already found the needle in each haystack and when you arrive at Montessori Child you are looking only at the ‘needles’, with none of the ‘hay’ to distract you! For more information please read About Our Products.
Why don't you feature the full range of formal Montessori classroom materials?
This is, quite simply, because there are already many wonderful Australian suppliers of these materials. We respect our colleagues enormously and do not wish to duplicate their work. We are able to differentiate by providing access to supplementary, complementary materials for the classroom and home but if you are looking for the formal Montessori materials we recommend:
What if my items arrive damaged or not as I expected?
Any item damaged during the shipping process will be replaced, and this is covered by the insurance provided within our shipping fee.
If your item arrives in good condition, but it is not what you expected or you have changed your mind, we invite you to please contact us to discuss your concerns. We are extremely confident about the quality of products that we provide but ultimately we realise that each child, each family and each classroom is unique so there may be instances where a product arrives and you realise it might not be the perfect fit for your environment. Please get in touch so we can help to resolve your issue, either by advising you on ways that you can adjust/present the product to suit your needs or by helping to arrange a return or exchange.
Why does the wrapping / package of my item appear to have been opened?
As part of our 'quality control' process we perform random checks on each new shipment that we receive. This consists of choosing a single unit to open and check for flaws, damage or problems. If we find that it is in pristine condition then we will return it to its packaging and/or reseal the box. If we discover a problem we will check more of this same product to ascertain whether it is an error in a single unit or if there is a persistent flaw. So if your product arrives and the packaging seems to have been opened before (and carefully resealed) then you can simply be reassured by the knowledge that it has passed our quality control test!
Please note: We do not resell returned/used items as new. If an item has been returned due to a fault then we do not resell the item. If it has simply been returned due to change of mind, but has already been opened/used, then we will either list it at a discount in our Preloved section or will donate it to charity, offer it as a special gift or use it within Jessica's Montessori classroom.
A note about our product descriptions:
Our descriptions are written in good faith based on the specifications/information given to use by manufacturers/suppliers, along with our own observations, measurements and experiences. We endeavour to provide honest and realistic descriptions of our resources. However, we recognise that there may be instances when our descriptions deviate slightly from your experience with the product. This may happen, for example, because the manufacturing process has changed but we were not informed or because the product itself incorporates individual variations (for instance, our Natural Products range of shells/gemstones will not all be uniform).
Always refer to the manufacturer's recommended age range, as specified on product packaging, in determining whether an item is appropriate for use.
Age ranges, anecdotes within product descriptions and images on this website are illustrative only and do not constitute an endorsement or safety recommendation and do not override the recommended age restrictions. Our ranges, descriptions and images simply reflect the personal opinion and personal experience of the retailer and should not be taken as a guarantee.