MONTESSORI How to Get the Your Most

buyer’s guide
Premium Products
for Safe and
Smarter Learning
Quality Products
from Quality Factories
How to Get the Most From
Your Montessori Materials!
Safe Products
Safe Products
for Safe and
Smarter Learning
Purchasing Montessori materials that promote and
guarantee child safety should be every educator’s top
priority. It is every educator’s responsibility to provide
children a quality learning experience but also a safe one.
Become educated and research what has and can be done
to ensure child safety in the classroom. The U.S. government
has recently made strong efforts and strides to impose federal laws
to further promote child safe products but it starts with you! Learn
and become aware of safe product attributes to increase your
knowledge of how to select safe Montessori materials for your
classroom. Smarter decisions today can guarantee safer
learning tomorrow!
Total lead content must be under 300 parts per million (ppm) and
under 100 ppm by August of 2011
Paint or Surface Coating lead content must be under 90 ppm
Child Safety: Consumer Product
Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
n a strong effort to further protect and create awareness amongst
today’s child products consumers, the U.S. government passed the
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA-HR4040) under
the Bush presidency in 2008. This federal law targets consumer
products used by children under 12-years old and was placed in effect to:
• Improve Product Safety
• Increase Manufacturer Accountability
• Enhance Data & Record Keeping
The CPSIA protects children by limiting total lead content (by weight)
within a child product’s material composition, substrate(s) and paint or
surface coatings. Manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers of
children’s products are all subject to the same stringent guidelines and
Phthalate (industrial chemicals used to make plastics) concentrations must be under 0.1%
Toy Safety Standard, ASTM F963-07 is mandatory and third party testing
reports are required for proof of compliance
Only Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) accredited 3rd
party, independent laboratories can issue authorized testing reports
German TUV Rheinland
Group Laboratory
n order for products to be CPSIA compliant, they must be tested at
a CPSC accredited 3rd party, independent laboratory. With over
140 years of company history and industrial experience, the
German TUV Rheinland Laboratory is the largest and most credible
independent testing laboratory in the world.
Spring 2011
TUV has one of the most comprehensively equipped United Kingdom
Accreditation Service accredited facilities in Europe. It is recognized
for independently testing and certifying conformance to a wide range
of international standards, regulations and holds over 100 accreditations and approvals.
Be aware which CPSC accredited laboratory tests your current
supplier’s products to ensure testing document reports are legitimate
and meet federal laws.
Exceeding Expectations and
Safety Requirements
ontessori materials are used by educators and
children throughout the world and product
quality should not fluctuate from one classroom in one region to another. Research and look to
purchase products that carry certifications for both your
local government but also surpass global and foreign
standards. Although your local government may not
require some accreditations, a product carrying foreign
safety certifications further guarantees you are providing children a safe education.
CE Mark
The European Union currently imposes the most strict
regulations world wide for consumer products to enter their
markets. The CE mark is a mandatory conformity mark that designates
products fit to enter the single market in the European Economic Area (EEA).
Look for the CE Mark on your Montessori materials because it guarantees
compliance with European Union EN-71 Toy Safety Standards upon TUV
Rheinland Laboratory Group testing. This certification also ensures
consumers that the manufacturer, or authorized representative placing the
product on the market, declares that the product meets all the essential
requirements of the relevant European Directive(s). European Directives
requiring the CE mark could include: Toy Safety, machinery, etc.
Factories whom claim compliance but do not fulfill the CE, European Union
safety standards are providing false information and unsafe products!
Save Now but at Who’s Cost?
aving a few dollars on today’s Montessori materials purchase
could have ill effects on a child’s long-term health. Don’t
sacrifice child product safety and quality for discounted
products and pricing. Know the products you are purchasing and the
supplier whom manufacturers them to rest assured they are in full
compliance with all federal safety laws and regulations.
Most discount vendors are able to offer heavily discounted prices
because they do not incur expensive laboratory testing fees or quality
management system implementation costs at their production facilities.
If a manufacturer does not openly and actively list their product’s
compliance or safety achievements, they most likely do not have
accreditations or certifications. Know your suppliers and the
products that you’re putting in the hands of children. Ask yourself
three simple questions each and every time you’re about to make a
purchase from any supplier:
1. Are they familiar and comply with the CPSIA HR4040?
2. Can they provide credible proof of law compliance (General
Certificate of Conformity)?
3. Have their products been tested at legitimate third party testing
laboratories? If so, do they possess testing report numbers for
document tracking?
If your current or prospective supplier cannot provide adequate
answers or documentation, stop purchasing from them immediately!
Any company that cannot or fails to provide supporting third party
testing documents will be legally prohibited from importing and/or
selling their products in the U.S. market; thus making their products
Don’t be caught purchasing illegal products or supporting manufacturers of dangerous children’s products! Children and parents
depend on you for a safe and valuable learning experience.
Become educated to ensure child
safety in the classroom.
Safety You Can Trust
company meeting the CPSIA HR4040 regulation guarantees
their products are child safe and trustworthy. Be sure to use
products carrying the CPSIA HR4040 certification in your
classroom to promote safe and healthy learning!
Now that you’re aware of what entails a legally safe child product, next
time you’re ready to purchase Montessori materials be sure to check for:
CPSIA HR4040 conformity
General Certificates of Conformity (GCC) are readily
available and offered by the manufacturer
CPSC accredited independent laboratories were used for
product testing and traceable testing reports were issued
As trustworthy role models, children’s safety and educations are put into
your hands. Be responsible and aware of the product choices that are
available to you and your classrooms. Invest in safe products for safe
Quality Products
Quality Products
from Quality Factories
Product quality doesn’t start with a product
being placed in the classroom but at the manufacturing level and facility in which it was
produced. Companies can, and should, dedicate themselves to ensure educators and parents
of product safety and quality through enforcement
of the highest quality control standards.
The US and European governments, along with other
international organizations, have established industry
standards that acknowledge and accredit manufacturing
facilities for their commitment to safe and quality manufacturing with strict quality control systems intact.
Factories that apply and become certified for these global standards are recognized as factories of the world. These factories further support the claim that quality and safe products can be manufactured in any region of the world as long as effective management systems are in place.
Credibility You Can Trust
anufacturers, who are committed to honorable
products through efficient and precise production
processes, seek accreditation by world governments and other international organizations.
International Organization for Standards (ISO):
This non-governmental organization is the world’s largest
developer and publisher of International Standards. It forms
and establishes a connection between the public and private
sectors. ISO is a network comprised of national standards institutes of
160 countries (one member per country) and is centralized in Geneva,
The organization’s member institutes are part of the governmental
structure of their respective countries or are mandated by their
government. The ISO network allows a consensus to be established
regarding solutions and criteria that meet both the requirements of
business and the broader needs and expectations of society.
United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS):
The UKAS is recognized as the sole national accreditation body
by the European Union. The body’s responsibility is to assess
organizations that provide factory certification, testing, inspection and calibration services; thus confirming an organizations
commitment and efforts to implement safe and responsible factory
Better Products, Built Right
uality products are a result of factories implementing efficient control and management
systems to oversee and supervise production
processes. Leading manufacturers and their factories
surpass industry standards to further strengthen their
positions as quality suppliers.
Industry standards guarantee products are being manufactured responsibly and in good quality.
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ISO 9001 – Quality Management Standards:
Quality is important and a Montessori materials provider
with an effective Quality Management System (QMS) in
place will typically meet educator’s expectations and children’s needs
better than a company whose QMS is futile or lacking.
ISO 9001 is a series of documents regulated by the International
Standards Organization that defines requirements for the QMS standard. A company deciding to implement ISO 9001, be audited and
certified by accredited bodies wants to guarantee their customers that
they offer high integrity products due to an effective QMS.
ISO 14001 – Environmental Management Standards
Premium quality Montessori materials are both durable
responsible to the environment as manufacturers are aware
of the impact and long-lasting effects their production processes have
on the environment.
ISO 14001 is the global specification for an Environmental Management System (EMS). Manufacturers who impose this industry standard have met stringent requirements for establishing an environmental
policy; determining environmental aspects and impacts of
products/activities/services; planning, implementation and operation
of programs to meet objectives and targets; and management review.
Manufacturers implement a proficient EMS to establish an organized
approach and strategy to systematically and effectively reduce the
impact of the environmental aspects that are controllable.
International Products
in the Classroom
any Montessori material suppliers outsource
production and source raw materials overseas.
This notion is widely acknowledged by educators and parents of the Montessori community.
Outsourcing products and raw materials allows manufacturers to better control costs and offer materials at
lower prices.
However, parents and educators need to remain aware
whether these foreign products meet industry production standards, US federal laws and regulations and
other governmental restrictions. A large majority of
outsourced products are manufactured in Asia and
imported to the US market. It is well documented that
there has been issues and massive recalls of toys and
products produced in China as recent as 2007.
In conjunction with the United States and European
Union governments’ urge for China to strengthen its
supervision of all toy factories and their products enter-
ing the US and European markets, the Chinese government instated the CCIB Toy Exporting License to combat
and eliminate future issues.
China Commodity Inspection Bureau (CCIB)
The Chinese government, in accordance with US and
European government demands, requires the national Quality
Inspection Committee to re-audit all toy factories against revised and
increasingly stringent quality criteria. In order for manufacturing
licenses to be renewed, all factories must pass these very strict audits.
The CCIB Exporting license guarantees that a product manufactured in
China complies with all mandatory safety requirements of the destination country and is accompanied by officially recognized documentation. In this case, a product carrying the CCIB Exporting License
increases the likelihood that the products are in compliance with the
United States CPSIA HR4040 federal safety standard.
Companies can, and should, dedicate
themselves to ensure educators and
parents of product safety and quality
Montessori education is a global learning experience that can be
partnered with materials produced and manufactured from all over the
world. If you are aware that your current supplier imports its materials
from Asia, or China specifically, make sure the manufacturer carries the
CCIB Exporting License that displays these certificate logo
with license number to ensure safe products are entering
your classroom.
With the world’s nations working together in a collective effort to
impose universally strict child product safety standards, it further
proves that safe products can be produced in any region of the world as
long as appropriate safety and quality control guidelines are in place
and effectively imposed.
The Smart Start
When quality products are partnered with an educator’s commitment and
guidance, children can expect to receive quality education and experience unparalleled growth. Look for suppliers whom have achieved the
following factory accreditations and certifications:
ISO 9001: Quality Management Standards
ISO 14001: Environmental Management Standards
CCIB (China Commodity Inspection Bureau) Exporting License
Make sure your materials' supplier carries the logos above to promote
safe products. Vendors who do not display these logos with an audit
certification number are either providing false information or have
failed their most recent testing. Be careful and aware of whom you're
purchasing from!
Getting the Most
Getting the Most From
Your Montessori Materials
There is more to a “Premium” Quality Montessori product than
just the word “Premium.” Manufacturers can claim their products as “Premium” and “Best” quality but what really distinguishes a great product from an acceptable one?
A Premium Quality product is Premium from start to finish: from
the initial design and blue print stages, through sourcing
of raw materials and production processes,
into your classroom and hands the of children.
Are you using Premium Quality Montessori
materials in your classroom?
Authentic Designs for
Authentic Education
remium Quality Montessori materials need to be designed
and produced in accordance with their intent of use and
purpose. Because these educational tools are essential to
their coinciding exercises, they must represent appropriate sizing and
quality for children to fully absorb crucial learning experiences.
Only products manufactured according to the Authentic Blueprints
based on Association of Montessori International are classified as
Premium quality Montessori materials. It was the Nienhuis family who
collaborated with Dr. Maria Montessori and her son, Mario Montessori,
to develop the first Montessori materials. These blueprints guarantee
materials to be precise and fit for Montessori teachings.
The authentic blueprints contain crucial technical and manufacturing
details that outline and manage the product’s safety control. Many
discount vendors whom produce Montessori materials, simply copy
the designs of Premium Montessori materials paying no attention to
the safety controls and aspects of the products.
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Quality From the Inside, Out
roduct durability and strength are telling when
distinguishing between Premium and secondary
materials. A product can have the design and look
of an authentic Montessori material but it needs to be able
to stand up to the everyday wear and tear of a classroom
and child use.
Product component composition and the materials used
during production can tell educators and consumers
plenty about the durability and quality of the product in
question. Look for these resources during your next Montessori materials purchase!
FSC and PEFC Certified Lumbers:
Beechwood and Baltic Birch Plywood offer increased
strength and aesthetic appeal over inferior basswood and
rubber woods.
Purchasing products manufactured from FSC and PEFC certified
lumbers guarantee that the natural resources were properly harvested
and from responsibly managed forests. Using FSC and PEFC certified
lumbers contribute to the preservation of our environment and helps
fight deforestation.
Water-Based Paints and Finishes:
Water-based finishes and coatings are not only technologically advanced but better adhere to natural woods; thus
eliminating products’ paint from chipping through normal
classroom use.
These finishes prolong the classroom life of Montessori materials and
better protect children as they eliminate harmful Volatile Organic
Compounds (VOCs) released into the air during coating processes,
unlike traditional lacquers used by discounted vendors.
Stainless Steel:
Some Montessori materials require metal components or
materials during production. Look for the use of stainless
steel whenever metals are necessary. Stainless steel offers
superior strength; thus minimizing bending and improving the durability and extent of classroom use. Stainless steal will not corrode or rust
like traditionally used copper or lead components.
ABS Plastics & Acrylics
Although Montessori materials are traditionally produced
from wood, premier manufacturers may replace component
parts and pieces with enhanced materials to improve
product strength and durability.
Sturdy ABS plastics and acrylics may be substituted for wood and
glass materials in the production of products such as Color Tablets and
any material requiring Bead materials. These high quality, non-toxic
plastics will not chip or disintegrate but are guaranteed to showcase
the true colors and presentation of Montessori materials, avoiding any
color confusion for children and enhancing their learning experience.
Organic Glue
A premium Montessori manufacturer will offer products
assembled with technologically advanced, organic glue versus
wood glue. Unlike traditional wood glue, organic glue is
non-toxic and produced from all natural plant derivatives allowing it to
better cohere and bond to wooden parts.
Laser Cut Precision
Laser-Cut processes are utilized to accurately portray materiLASER als in their intended sizes, shapes and proportions.
Montessori education heavily depends on proper materials to
correspond with learning exercises and lessons. This automated and
precise cutting method is far superior to that of traditional die-cutting and
by hand procedures that often result in non proportional and incorrectly
depicted materials; degrading the lesson’s value.
Manufacturers can claim
but what really distinguishes
great from acceptable?
Invest in your Child’s Education and Safety
uality education starts with an educator’s commitment and
dedication to lesson plans and exercises, aided by the
child’s willingness to learn but without proper materials
these efforts can be hindered. Provide your students a quality education by making sure your Montessori materials incorporate these
advanced production processes and components:
Designed and Produced from the Authentic Nienhuis Blueprints
Use FSC and/or PEFC Certified Lumbers
Water-Based Finishes & Paints
Stainless Steel for Metal Component Parts
ABS Plastics & Acrylics
Organic Glue
Laser Cut Precision
Using Premium quality Montessori materials in your classroom and
daily lesson plans enhance an exercise’s effectiveness and impact,
allowing the child to better understand, retain and grow from their
newly obtained knowledge and Montessori experiences.
Educated Decisions are the Best Decisions
Just like in any educational setting, a well-prepared and enthusiastic student will succeed in his or her studies and experiences. The same can be said
of educators when purchasing Montessori materials for their classrooms. An educated decision is the best decision.
As you’re now aware, there are quite a few factors that need to be considered when purchasing and investing in Montessori materials. Here’s a helpful
“Study Guide” review for your reference before your next, big purchase!
Product Safety
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA HR4040)
- Most stringent US Federal Safety Law for Children’s Products
- Certifies that child products contain legally limited levels of lead
in paints and finishes
German TUV Rheinland Laboratory
-World renown and industry leading, CPSC accredited testing
laboratory with over 140 years of experience and accreditations
-Permitted to issue legally recognized testing documentation and
CE Mark
- Certifies products have passed the European Union EN-71 Toy
Safety Standards
- Required of all products entering the European market
Factory Achievements & Accreditations
International Organization for Standards (ISO)
- World’s largest and most recognized developer and publisher of
international standards.
- Large global network allows for a consensus to be established
of both business and the broader needs of society.
United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS)
- Sole national accreditation body of the European Union.
- Responsible for assessing an organizations commitment and
efforts to enforce safe and responsible factory processes.
ISO 9001 – Quality Management Standard
- Series of documents defined by the ISO that defines
requirements for the Quality Management Standard (QMS).
- To qualify, a company must be audited and certified by
accredited bodies proving it has an effective QMS in place.
ISO 14001 – Environmental Management Standard
- Global specification for an effective Environmental Management
System (EMS).
- Accredited manufacturers have met stringent requirements in
their organized approach and strategy to systematically and
effectively reduce their impact on the environment.
China Commodity Inspection Bureau (CCIB)
- An exporting license that guarantees a product manufactured in
China complies with all mandatory safety requirements of the
destination country.
- A factory must be re-audited under new regulations by the
Quality Inspection Committee in order to have their
manufacturing license renewed.
Product Quality
Authentic Nienhuis Blueprints
- Maria and Mario Montessori worked with the Nienhuis family in
outlining the official blueprints for Montessori materials
- Contain crucial technical and manufacturing details that outline
and manage the product’s safety control.
FSC and PEFC Certified Lumbers
- Guarantees that the natural resources were properly harvested
from responsibly managed forests.
- Promotes Green products and contributes to the preservation of
our environment while fighting deforestation.
Water Based Finishes
- Most technologically advanced painting and coating process
that enhances paint durability and prevents chipping.
- Non-toxic and prevents harmful Volatile Organic Compounds
(VOC) from being released into the air in classroom
Stainless Steel
- Offers superior strength and minimizes bending of materials
- Will not corrode or rust like traditional copper or lead
ABS Plastics & Acrylics
- May replace wood components to increase product strength
and durability; thus enhancing product longevity and
classroom use.
- Non-toxic and will not chip or disintegrate like traditional
materials and components.
Organic Glue
- Technologically advanced and non-toxic.
- Derived and produced from all natural plant derivatives,
allowing it to better cohere and bond wooden parts.
Laser Cut Precision
- Used to perfectly portray Montessori materials in their intended
shapes, sizes and proportions.
- An automated and precise cutting method far superior to
traditional die and hand cutting procedures
Children deserve the opportunity to obtain the best
education possible. Provide them the premium quality
materials necessary to achieve this. With educators,
parents and manufacturers working together and
committed to safe and quality products, you can provide
children the learning experience they deserve.
Montessori Outlet, Inc.
Montessori Outlet:
Premium Quality at Outlet Price
As the world’s leading Montessori materials devel-
holds numerous industry accreditations; further
oper, producer and distributor, Montessori Outlet
confirming our factory’s superior quality control and
dedicates itself to provide customers the best value:
responsibility to the environment. Premium quality
Premium Quality at Outlet Price.
products are not determined by manufacturing
Montessori Outlet offers the safest Montessori
origin but design authenticity, raw materials used
materials throughout the industry while incorporat-
and production processes.
ing the most technologically advanced production
Our Premium quality materials are guaranteed to
processes and product resources.
withstand classroom use and grow with your
Our world
renown manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China
children through their learning experiences.
Spring 2011
Montessori Outlet: Making a Difference
ontessori Outlet is setting industry and educational standards for Montessori materials and products. Our dedication and
commitment to provide, safe Premium quality Montessori materials has lead us to attain the following achievements:
70% Off Nienhuis Pricing
99% Compatibility with Nienhuis Products
All Products are Tested at German TUV Laboratories
FSC & PEFC Certified Lumbers
• Safe Products
- CPSIA HR4040 Safety Law
- USA ASTM-F963 Toy Safety Standards
- European EN-71 Toy Safety Standards
Competitor Comparison Chart:
Montessori Nienhuis
• Legally Owns the Authentic Blueprints?
• Operates Its Own Production Facility?
• Professional Knowledge on How to
• Factory Is ISO-9001 and 14001 Certified
• Factory is Governmentally Certified by CIQ to
• Factory is Legally Certified by the CCIB
• Products Passed the TUV Test?
• Products Comply with European Toy-Safety
• Products Comply with American Toy-Safety Standards?
• Products are Made of Water-Based Finishes?
• Products are Made of FSC and PEFC Certified Lumber?
Produce Safe Montessori Materials?
through the UK National Quality Association?
Legally Import Wooden Toys to the USA?
to Produce Montessori Materials?
Standards and Have CE Mark?
Live Customer Service Support?
Offering Products at Affordable Prices?
Stocking inventory without major backorders?
Free Return and Exchange Policy?
Montessori Outlet and You
t Montessori Outlet, child safety and product quality are our top
priorities. We voluntarily impose more rigorous standards on our
own manufacturing facilities and staffs than required by
international safety organizations to further ensure our products are the
premiere choice of educators.
Our premium products partnered with your commitment to providing a
valuable learning experience further guarantees that children will
achieve the quality education they deserve.
Web. • Email. [email protected] • Toll Free. 888.MOUTLET • Fax. 800.891.3880
Montessori Outlet, Inc.
1926 West Holt Avenue
Pomona, CA 91768
TEL: 888.MOUTLET (668-8538) • FAX: 800.891.3880 • EMAIL: [email protected] • WEB: