Infant/ Toddler - 3 months to 3 years / Full Day
Arrival and Departure
Arrivals and departures involve the rituals that set the tone for the child's away-from-home experience. At arrival time, warm, leisurely greetings from our staff help to assure infants and toddlers that even though their parents must leave, they are in the hands of trustworthy people who will respect them and keep them safe until their parents return.
Our teachers help children separate by encouraging parents to establish a daily morning ritual for their children to depend on. At departure time, the teachers' pleasant, friendly good-byes and warm wishes for return allow children to reunite with their parents; they are relieved to see their parents and, at the same time, know that the adults saying good-bye care about them and they feel comfortable with returning to the center the next day.
Feeding and Mealtime
Babies' feedings and children's mealtimes go beyond fulfilling a basic need for nourishing food. For infants, these times provide close physical contact with an attentive adult. When a young infant's cries of hunger are met with a full bottle and the comforting arms of a teacher, that child is able to grow and thrive because he or she learns to trust the world as a place where people recognize and respond to an infant's needs. For the older infant, mealtime is a time to eat but also to explore new tastes, smells, and textures and try out self- feeding with fingers, a spoon, and/or a cup. As toddlers eat, they usually enjoy interacting with others and being part of the meal-time conversation. They also continue to explore and try new foods and gain skill at feeding themselves.
For infants and toddlers, the brief routines of bodily care diaper changes, dressing, washing, and using the potty or toilet occur frequently and fairly regularly throughout the day. This means whenever children are wet or soiled, before and/or after eating and napping ' generally every hour or so, depending on the age.
Naptime in an infant and toddler program occurs both on demand, when children tire, and as regularly scheduled parts of the day. Naps provide the sleep and rest that are necessary to children's growth and development.
Small Group Time
Small Group Time is a sustained block of time when infants and toddlers can investigate and explore materials and actions and interact with their peers and caregivers. In a supportive and safe environment that affords interesting materials and opportunities as well as space to move in various ways, each child chooses what to do based on personal interests, inclinations, and level of development and ability. Small Group Time provides children with a virtually uninterrupted period of exploration and play.