James and Suzanne McCormick Montessori Child Care Center

“The role of education is to interest the child profoundly in an external activity to which he will give all of his potential” 
                      - Dr. Maria Montessori

Welcome to the McCormick Montessori Child Care Center (MMCC). I am honored to be the program director of this vibrant and dedicated staff at MMCCC.  For the past sixteen years, I have worked with children from three to eighteen years old as a certified Montessori educator, Spanish teacher, master teacher, principal and parent. It is both rewarding and humbling to observe and guide the child on his/her path as they emerge through each continual stage of development.
MMCCC is unique; we have a long history of over 27 years of providing an excellent educational environment for our Swedish Covenant Hospital employee’s children of all backgrounds. Our experienced, well-qualified staff and our beautiful grounds and classrooms facilitate the development of the whole child; while focusing on their intellectual, physical, social and global awareness and building up a solid foundation of essential 21st-century skills.  We foster self-independence, problem-solving skills, concentration and joy of learning through the Montessori curriculum.

With a clear focus on the mission and vision of Swedish Covenant Hospital and the McCormick Child Care Center, I look forward to being part of your child’s educational journey.

Norma A. Guzmán

The Program

Montessori Approach

Maria Montessori began her professional life as Italy’s first female physician in the late 1890's. Using her keen scientific observation skills, she developed a theory of child development and education based on “following the child.” The Montessori approach is designed to assist children in acquiring the skills and self-confidence necessary to fulfill their potential. By building on interests, nurturing enthusiasm and respecting individual needs, children can achieve self-discipline, independence, self-mastery and a life-long love of learning. The philosophy is based on three equal components: the child, the adult and the environment.

The Child

Montessori philosophy states that young children possess an “absorbent mind” that allows them to easily assimilate information and understanding through all of the senses. Also, children have “sensitive periods” when their interests and abilities for acquiring certain skills are at a peak.

The Adult

The role of the adult in a Montessori classroom is best described as a facilitator who observes the readiness and interest of the child and becomes the link between the child and the environment.

The Environment

A Montessori classroom is a carefully prepared environment. Materials are specifically designed and chosen to provide a sequential, concrete and attractive curriculum. The opportunities for learning are extensive and appropriate to the child. Through touching and manipulating concrete materials and objects, children are introduced to basic concepts in mathematics, language, science and geography.

How Many Children Do You Serve and What are Their Ages?

The Center has six classrooms - one infant, two toddler and three preschool rooms.
Our classrooms are comprised of children of mixed ages and genders.

    Infant Program (Six Weeks – 15 Months)

    There are five full-time spaces available in the Infant Room, reserved for the children of Swedish Covenant Hospital’s employees. Basic Montessori materials and philosophy are introduced. Children are given time to independently explore and play with many types of objects (e.g. balls, blocks, books, instruments). Establishing a warm and affectionate relationship between the children and caregivers is a cornerstone of this program. The teacher-student ratio is one to four.  

    Toddler Program (15 – 36 Months)

    There are 15 full-time spaces available in each of our Toddler Rooms. These spots are reserved for the children of Swedish Covenant Hospital’s employees. Basic Montessori materials and philosophy are continued in this program and other activities, such as line time, are introduced. Some other common activities include singing, readings books, art projects and independent play time. Once again, developing a loving and compassionate connection between the children and caregivers is very important for this program. The teacher-student ratio is one to five.

    Preschool Program (36 Months – Five Years) 

    66 full-day spaces exist for the Three to Five Years Old Program. In these rooms, basic mathematics, language and sensorial materials, as well as practical life and geography concepts, are introduced through Montessori educational philosophy and structure of the environment. Children are also encouraged to developed positive relationships with both peers and teachers. The teacher-student ratio is one to 10. 

Is There a Wait List for Enrollment? How Long is It?

There is a consistent wait list for the center. SCH employees take preference in enrollment. Applications will be put on the wait list, based on the date received. There is a $50 non-refundable application fee. While we have on-going enrollment, most of our new children are enrolled in the late summer/early fall (as our graduates leave the program, and space becomes open). 

How Many Days Per Week Can a Child Come to the Center?

Children can attend the Center from two to five days a week. The specific days, and number, are determined based on the parent’s needs and classroom availability. 


What Do You Do to Keep the Children Safe?  

Security and safety are extremely important to our Child Care program. Some specific security measures include:

  • Completing Background and Criminal History checks on all employees and volunteers.
  • Permitting only authorized persons to enter the building and/or pick up children.
  • Keeping all outside doors locked at all times.
  • Routinely fingerprinting and photographing the children, in conjunction with the City of Chicago and Lifetouch Portraits, for official records.
  • Having our staff trained in CPR and First Aid procedures. 
  • Posting all the names of children with allergies and asthma in each classroom, so all staff is aware. 
  • Having a fire alarm system which rings automatically at the Fire Department and conducting fire drills on a regular basis. Smoke/heat detectors have been installed in every room. Fire extinguishers are readily available for use throughout the center. Fire drills are completed monthly.
  • Having a fully enclosed playground, with direct supervision of the children at all times. 

What Do the Children Eat While at the Center?

All our programs include hot lunch and two snacks (morning and afternoon). Lunch is provided by Gourmet Gorilla Inc., which specializes in local and organic food for kids. The center also provides infant formula as needed. Snacks are available through the Swedish Covenant Hospital Food Services Department. Food menus are available to parents so they are aware of what the children are eating. 

What if My Child has a Special Food Restriction or Allergy?

The names of all children, along with their known allergies or food restrictions, are posted in each classroom. The center follows a strict no-nut policy. Vegetarian entrees are available. Parents can provide soy products for any dairy restrictions, if needed.   

Do the Children Get to Play Outside?

Absolutely! The children play outside one to two times a day (weather permitting). We have a completely enclosed 32’ x 60’ playground on the west side of the building. The children also routinely play on the pedestrian parkway in the front of the center and take walks to River Park (west of Francisco Ave.).

How Do You Handle Discipline Issues? 

We believe in positive guidance and discipline techniques, focused on developing a child’s strengths, rather than punishment. Forms of discipline may include having the child “take a break” and sit quietly for a few minutes, discussing the problem and solution with the child and diverting the child’s attention to another activity. Parents and classroom staff will be made aware of any patterns of disciplinary issues and will cooperate in carrying out the specific plan developed for that child’s behavior. Children will not be excluded from outdoor playtime as a form of discipline. 

Does the Center Provide Diapers and Wipes?

Parents are responsible for supplying diapers and wipes. 

What About Toilet Training? Do the Children Need to be Potty-Trained? 

Children in the preschool rooms must be toilet trained. Children in the toddler rooms are in the process of being potty trained. The staff works with the families to accomplish this.

Do the Children Go on Field Trips?

Given the young age and large number of children, we do not transport the children on any field trips. Occasionally, we will bring special programming to the center (e.g. musical performances, petting zoo, etc.)    

What Forms of Payment Do You Accept?

Payment for Child Care Services is accepted by credit card. SCH employees also have the option to pay by payroll deduction. 

How Frequently Do We Pay for Services?

Credit card charges or payroll deduction occur bi-weekly, coinciding with the Swedish Covenant Hospital pay day, and will be done two weeks in advance of services.

Do You Charge a Late Pick-Up Fee?

Families who pick up their child(ren) within fifteen minutes after the center’s closing will be charged $15 per child. After 15 minutes, an additional dollar per minute per child will be added to the fee.   

Do You Allow for Breastfeeding and/or Storage of Breast Milk?

Yes, we have an “open-door” policy on breastfeeding and nursing mothers are welcomed to nurse their children while they are at the center. In addition, our infant classroom has a refrigerator/freezer designated for the storage of breast milk.

Our Campus

Where Are You Located? 

The Child Care Center is located on the Swedish Covenant Hospital campus – south of Foster Ave. and west of California Ave. The building is between the Galter Medical Pavilion, Healing Garden and Main Parking Garage. 

Where Are the Hours of Operation? 

The center is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. It is open year-round,
except on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. We occasionally close early throughout the year (e.g. Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve). Parents will be notified well in advance of any early closings. 

2016-2017 McCormick Montessori Calendar>>

Where Can I Park My Car?

There are eight reserved parking spots for “Child Care Drop-Off” on the north side of the Swedish Covenant Hospital Main Parking Garage. These spots are strictly reserved for people dropping off or picking up children from the Center. Parents must obtain a Parking Pass from the office in order to park in these reserved spots. Otherwise, cars may be ticketed. Employees of the hospital are required to sign up for the parking payroll deduction plan. They are not permitted to stay parked in the reserved spots for their entire work day.   

How Can I Get More Information or Schedule a Tour of the Center?

Please call Emily Flatley at 773-907-1008 or email us.


Thank you for considering the James and Suzanne McCormick Montessori Child Care Center affiliated with Swedish Covenant Hospital.

The center is currently full and Swedish Covenant Hospital employees take preference in enrollment; however, applications will be put on the wait list based on the date received. There is a $50 non-refundable application fee. While we have on-going enrollment, most of our new children are enrolled in the late summer/early fall (as our graduates leave the program, and space becomes open). 

Please find the Child Care Center application form here>>

Click here to view the Child Care Center rates and payment information>>

If you would like to schedule a tour you can please call us at 773-907-1008.