Welcome to Montessori Institut Dortmund

Working as a Montessori Guide is very different from teaching traditionally. We see ourselves as Assistants to Infancy. We help him to find his individual path and to explore the world around him. It is a challenging task which involves a lot of preparation and self-reflection. The outcomes of our work are satisfying and joyful. Being a Montessori Guide is more than a job - it is a passion.


Karey M. Lontz, M.A., Associate Director of Training for Assistants to Infancy, holds AMI diplomas for the 0-3 and 3-6 levels. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising from The University of Georgia and a Masters in Education from Loyola College. She has been working in the Montessori community since 1998. She has Montessori teaching and administration experience in private schools, early head start, and AMI teacher training. In addition to her administrative and training work, Karey is in regular contact with local and international Montessori schools for teachers, assistants and administration workshops, trainings, and evaluations. She is qualified as an AMI examiner and international trainer.

Vanessa Fichtl is a mother of two daughters, works, and lives in Dortmund, Germany. While trying to find childcare for her eldest daughter she was introduced to the Montessori Educational System and found her own beliefs mirrored many of those found within the pedagogical method. She started to work in Montessori schools in 2007 and holds an AMI Assistants to Infancy Diploma from The Montessori Institute Denver since 2009.
She regularly attends conferences, workshops and trainings over the Montessori Pedagogy, including Pediatrics and Neurological Research on a regular basis. In 2013, Vanessa opened her own Montessori Childrens House in Dortmund. Her wish to actively promote the Montessori Pedagogy for children under three years of age while making it more accessible in Germany helped her along the path to founding the AMI-Certified Montessori Institut Dortmund.


The Montessori Assistants to Infancy Training began in 1947 in Rome. Based on thousands of hours of observation of infants and very young children, the work predated many contemporary findings, including self-hypnosis for childbirth, gentle birth, the awareness of infants, the importance of touch and communication, as well as language, music and joy in the environment. Open space and interesting objects encourage free movement and exploration. Special clothing, furnishings and toys made with careful attention to detail are designed in response to the observed needs of the infant.

In 1980, Dr. Silvana Montanaro, a psychiatrist who lectured the courses in Rome, integrated the training with current research and offered the first AMI accredited Assistants to Infancy Training. In 1982, she brought this course to the U.S.

A to I students are prepared to work with parents perinatally, to assist with the infant at birth, to prepare beautiful and responsive environments, and to work in infant and toddler communities in schools, day care settings, hospitals and wherever children under age three are found.

A to I courses are two sessions long, with assignments in the intervening academic year. During the sessions, students prepare their own reference manuals (albums) and timelines of child development. Some hand-made materials are required (you may be surprised by your hidden abilities.)

The first summer’s work begins with an overview of Montessori theory and practice, following the child’s natural development and focusing on the period from conception to age three. Obstetrics, hygiene, and nutrition cover the anatomy and physiology of reproduction, fetal development, birth, health issues, and the puerperium (the first eight weeks after birth). We consider the preparation of supportive and beautiful environments and their adaptation to the child’s changing needs; emphasis is on the home and family environment, but easily applied to group settings.

Between the two sessions, students complete 250 hours of observation of children from birth to three at home and in group settings. Each student completes one week of student teaching with children in either a Nido or Infant Community. During that week, the student is visited for support and evaluation by a course staff member, either in Dortmund or at one’s own location. Travel and lodging expenses are the student’s responsibility.

The second session adds a study of child neuropsychiatry and of environments for children from 12 to 36 months in an Infant Community (out-of-home setting), including appropriate materials and activities.


The first session ends with a practice written examination and conference. Comprehensive written and oral examinations are given at the end of the second summer – offering an opportunity to consolidate and share what was learned.


The application consists of:

A completed, signed application form,
a statement of intent, three professional references,
a medical form and official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended.

An application fee of 100 Euro must accompany the application when submitted.
A personal interview is also held.

Download the application (PDF) here:


Minimum enrollment

A minimum enrollment must be reached by January 15, or the course will be postponed or cancelled. After the minimum number is reached, applications will be accepted until one week prior to the course opening.

Admission requirements

MID actively seeks students of diverse backgrounds and interests. The applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree; exceptions may be made under special circumstances. The applicant must demonstrate suitability for training – maturity, integrity, creativity, intelligence, and an aptitude for psychological insight and understanding. TMI admits students of any race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or national origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to its students. MID does not discriminate in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policy, loan program, or other school-administered programs.


The tuition for the course is 7600 Euro. A refundable deposit of 100 Euro is due upon acceptance into the course. The balance of tuition can be paid in full on the first day of school, or in two payments.

The Montessori Institut Dortmund recommends that a minimum of 300 Euro is budgeted by the student for books and other supplies for the course.

Traveling and housing expenses are not included in the tuition.

Tuition refund policies

The tuition refund policies of Montessori Institut Dortmund are

Tuition fees will be refunded to any student who cancels the enrollment contract within 72 hours until midnight of the third day (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays), after the enrollment contract is signed by the prospective student.
Tuition fees will be refunded if the training is cancelled due to self-imposed behavior of Montessori Institut Dortmund.


The Course is split into two semesters.
Inbetween the two semesters students should take time for observations, Homework and Material Making.

The next Course is held from March 7th 2016 to April 29th 2016 and February 27th 2017 to April 28th 2017.


The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) was established by Dr. Maria Montessori to maintain, propagate, and further her ideas and principles for the full development of the human being. AMI, with headquarters in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is the oldest recognized authority on Montessori education worldwide. AMI/USA is our branch office in the USA.

For more information on AMI you may contact them at:

161 Koninginneweg
1075 CN Amsterdam
The Netherlands

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