The following is the text from this section of the 2009-2010 edition of The Joyful Child, Montessori from Birth to Three. To see other sections of this publication return to: http://www.michaelolaf.com/JCcontents.html
A child will develop more fully—mentally, emotionally, and physically—when she is free to move and explore an ever-enlarging environment. But in order to give the child this wonderful freedom, we must explore the home or daycare environment with a fine-tooth comb. When a child is free to leave his floor bed and to move about his room, and later the other rooms—careful attention must be paid to covering plugs, taping wires to the wall or floor, removing poisonous plants and chemicals, and removing any objects that could harm the child. As the child begins to crawl quickly and to walk, the adults must continue to childproof the house.
A 2-foot high gate which can be stepped over by the adult, creates safe and interesting spaces for the child through the house. At first the gate can be kept at the door of the child's room. Later, when the child is exploring outside his room, it can be used to protect the child from unsafe rooms, the home office, the kitchen, or any other place that is not yet childproofed.