An authentic Montessori school for our changing world
Serving children from ages 6 weeks to 6 years.
Ivy Montessori Children's House is a member of the Wildflower Network of schools, in Pittsburg, California. Wildflower is an ecosystem of decentralized Montessori micro-schools that support children, teachers, and parents. Wildflower aspires to give all children and families the opportunity to choose high-quality, beautiful learning environments as they follow life’s unfolding journey.
Ivy Montessori offers a high-quality Montessori education in a beautiful home learning environment, designed to facilitate effective early childhood growth and development for our youngest learners. We seek to integrate families into an educational community that reflects the rich diversity of the East Bay.
"The needs of mankind are universal. Our means of meeting them create the richness and diversity of the planet. The Montessori child should come to relish the texture of that diversity."
- Dr. Maria Montessori
"Selecting an early education and care facility for our daughter was a significant decision for us, laden with expectations and hopes. We sought an environment that would not just watch over her but one that would cultivate her individuality, self-awareness, and confidence. Our experience with Dr. Tracy Epps and Ivy Montessori Children’s House has been nothing short of transformative, profoundly impacting our daughter's developmental journey as well as our journey as new parents. When our daughter first started at Ivy Montessori Children's House in 2021, she was 6 months old at the time and we were immediately struck by the nurturing and inclusive atmosphere that the Ivy cultivates. The transition from home to a new environment is often fraught with challenges, but Dr. Tracy ensured a smooth and comforting adaptation for our daughter. A core tenet of the Montessori philosophy is fostering independence in children, a principle that is vividly embodied in their approach to childcare. We witnessed a remarkable growth in our daughter's independence, evident in her daily activities. She started making small decisions, like choosing her outfits or selecting books to read, activities that previously she would look to us for guidance. This newfound independence of course comes with parental challenges, but also has been a joy to watch. It has not only made her more self-reliant but also instilled in her a sense of pride in her abilities. In addition, Dr. Tracy has created a supportive community among the families which meets regularly to discuss important topics such as emotional development, positive parenting, Montessori lessons, and to answer any questions the parents may have to help navigate their development as supportive Montessori parents. Self-awareness is another critical aspect of the Montessori method, and it has been incredible to see our daughter develop a keen understanding of her emotions and actions. Dr Tracy has a unique way of guiding children to recognize and express their needs in a healthy and constructive manner. This approach has enabled our daughter to understand and begin to articulate her emotions, making her more self-aware and emotionally intelligent. Confidence is the third pillar of growth we have observed in our daughter since she joined Ivy Montessori. The environment at the center, which encourages exploration and learning at one's own pace, has played a significant role in building her confidence. She is open to trying new things, asking questions, and participating in activities. The holistic development that Ivy Montessori Children’s House promotes goes beyond academic learning. It encompasses essential life skills that are crucial in shaping well-rounded, independent, and confident individuals. We have seen our daughter thrive in this environment, growing each day into a more self-aware, independent, and confident child, ready to explore the world with enthusiasm and curiosity. Our experience with Ivy Montessori Children’s House has been deeply gratifying. We are incredibly thankful for Dr. Tracy’s unwavering commitment to each child’s growth and well-being. We wholeheartedly recommend Ivy Montessori to any parent looking for a nurturing, enriching, and supportive early childhood education and care environment." - Ria Anne Arceo
"As an educator, caregiver and mother herself, Dr. Tracy understands the needs and wants that each of us parents have. Ivy Montessori isn’t a place where you drop off your child and take off for the day wondering if they are taken care or whether they are participating in any lessons, Dr. Tracy keeps us updated with their daily activities and invites us to partake in discussions about what is going on throughout the week. Our toddler started attending Ivy’s classroom when she was two years old and will be 4 years old soon, and she has thrived under Dr. Tracy’s care. We admire all the families and relationships formed at Ivy, all because Dr. Tracy has created a safe and comfortable environment for us to speak openly. And most importantly, Dr. Tracy loves and cares for our children like they are her own. It’s a beautiful community!” - Jessica Pak
“From the moment we met Dr. Tracy, my husband and I knew that we wanted to send our daughter to Ivy Montessori Children’s House. Her passion for early childhood education was something we immediately sensed in that first meeting. At Ivy Montessori, Dr. Tracy strives to provide the best environment to support the development of children entrusted in her care. Everything from the physical space to the curriculum has been thoughtfully planned out to support the overarching goal of fostering independence in children through play and exploration of the environment. Dr Tracy is open, honest, communicative and is always willing to share her expertise and knowledge. I feel that Dr. Tracy truly goes above and beyond to foster a strong relationship with us as parents. She also connects parents together and encourages us to form a community to support each other outside of school. Our daughter has been at Ivy Montessori for more than 2 years now and we have been amazed at her development. At 3.5 years old, she is fiercely independent and precocious. She loves going to school and often speaks fondly of her daily lessons and activities at school. We are incredibly grateful for Dr. Tracy’s care, support and guidance thus far, and I appreciate having her as an integral member of my daughter’s 'care team'.” - Hana Rahim
“How many people can say their kid’s preschool teacher is an Army veteran with 4 advanced degrees? And that is just the beginning of a long list of Dr. Tracy’s qualifications and accomplishments! She is inspiringly dedicated, comfortingly warm, masterfully professional, and disarmingly self-aware. Our initial meetings with her already convinced us that our daughter would be in good hands, and 2 unforgettable years have proven how right we were. As first time parents, we were nervous about pretty much everything, but Dr. Tracy’s exemplary honesty, integrity, vulnerability, and kindness put us at ease and showed us the way. Not only has our daughter grown leaps and bounds under her expert care, we have also learned even more about parenting from Dr. Tracy than we would have guessed. Her emphasis on social-emotional development has been unbelievably validating and foundational in our growth as parents and in the way we have cultivated our own relationships with our daughter. Her advice and wisdom have helped us persevere through excruciating meltdowns and incessant parental anxieties. Dr. Tracy has poured her heart and soul into this school, and it shows. Neither Dr. Tracy nor the school she created is perfect. Like her, Ivy Montessori Children’s House is courageously human and refreshingly real. We could not imagine a better home away from home for our daughter.” - William Besson
“I don’t even know where to start. Anyway, let me begin by saying, meeting Dr Tracy by itself was a great blessing. We were extremely impressed by our first encounter. We were thus eager for our daughter to join Ivy. At the time, there was no opening at Ivy. We kept on trying again and again. Finally, Dr Tracy informed us that there was an opening for our daughter. Our daughter is a pandemic baby. She was born during complete lock down and so apart from her parents and grand parents, she had no other external exposure. However, for the 1st two years of her life, she was lucky to have her parents and grandparents attend to her and love her full time. At home we talk to her in our native language. When she joined Ivy, she quickly adopted. She is picking up very quickly, English and other important tasks. She loves Ivy and her friends and can’t wait to go to school. Every morning she rushes to give huge hugs to Dr Tracy. Dr Tracy’s approach is holistic. She provides not only things they need to learn to join pre-school but also things they need to learn to be independent and be responsible for themselves, their community and their environment. Dr Tracy does not only bring our children together but she has also enabled us parents to be a community. Thank you Dr Tracy and Ivy. We are lucky and blessed.” - Adiam M.
Founding Head of School of Ivy Montessori Children’s House
Tracy Epps began her Montessori journey 20 years ago as a parent with her now adult son, Greylon, and continues the journey with her two toddlers, Joaquin & Vioney. She has three diplomas from the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI): Assistants to Infancy (birth to 3), Primary (3-6) and Montessori for Aging & Dementia. She holds a M.Ed. in Montessori Education from Loyola University of Maryland, a master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a masters and doctorate in Psychology from DePaul University.
Dr. Tracy is very passionate about giving children the best start for a healthy life. She has a special interest in promoting healthy relationships between children and their parents, families, and caregivers. Dr. Tracy‘s extensive training and early childhood certifications include:
Infant-Parent Mental Health, UC Davis
Resources for Infant Educarers® (RIE): Foundation Course
SonRise® Autism Treatment Center of America
Suzuki® Early Childhood Music Education
Monart® Draw and Learn
Zumbini® (fitness, music, and dance for 0-4 year olds), and
Pikler Advanced Intensives:
Engaging in Dialogue with Infants/Toddlers
Respectful Care and Relationship with the Adult
Self-Initiated Motor Development
Previously, Dr. Tracy served as a faculty in management and psychology at DePaul University, a personal and executive coach, an organizational consultant, and a research psychologist (active duty) and education specialist (reserve) for the U.S. Army.
Dr. Tracy is especially enamored of infants and toddlers, whom she sees as fearless explorers filled with wonder. She is excited to bring the first Wildflower Montessori home school to Pittsburg and the NorCal Hub.