Infants and Toddlers
You are looking for a safe, secure "home away from home" where your child can learn, play and grow. We have designed a nurturing, creative world for infants to help their minds and bodies develop. Our Center Directors, teachers and staff work with you to not only make a smooth transition into our program, but to have it happen with smiles on both your child's face and your own. We are committed to creating a strong bond with your child to ensure the best start in life.
It is a whole new world when babies take to their feet. They walk, they talk and they begin to develop relationships with each other. Our program is filled with real-world, concrete sensory experiences, emphasizing the importance of their environment and relationships. Your child will build cognitive, language, motor and social skills, while beginning to explore the continually expanding world around him or her. Our teachers provide an unparalleled level of interaction while individually nurturing each child.
- Age-appropriate toys, games and music are provided to stimulate development.
- Your child receives nurturing personal care to build self-esteem.
- Stimulating activities and group interactions generate interest and curiosity as your child grows.
- Your child is encouraged to play and explore to promote cognitive and motor skills.
- You will enjoy regular communication with teachers, including daily notes, so that you are informed about your child's day.
Your Infant-Toddler's Day
Components of the Infant-Toddler Daily Routine
The primary infant and toddler daily routine components are arrivals/departures, one or more group times, choice time, and outside time. Additionally, the day includes caregiving routines such as naptime, meal times, and other forms of bodily care (for example, diapering, using the toilet, washing, and dressing), and for some older toddlers, planning and recalling. Transition times occur between each of the daily routine components.
Caregivers follow the overall daily routine as consistently as possible while supporting the individualized daily routines of each child in their program. The adults strive to understand the individual temperaments of each child and assist with smooth transitions between segments.
Here's what each part of the routine looks like:
Arrivals and Departures - Caregivers work with parents to ensure that arrivals and departures are pleasant and reassuring for children. These times allow children to extend the bonds of trust they have with their parents to new adults - the caregivers in the program. The physical locations where arrivals and departures take place depend on the needs of children and their parents. It is important that adults take cues from the individual children about how the children feel while entering and leaving the care setting.
Group Times - In small groups of older infants and toddlers, caregivers provide a particular set of materials for children to explore in a common activity. This way children remain in close contact with the caregiver while having a shared experience with other children. Although the adults introduce the activities, children remain free to make choices about materials and how to use them. Adults follow the children's cues (for example, deciding how long the activity lasts, based on children's interest levels).
Choice Time - During this part of the daily routine, caregivers are attentive and offer emotional and physical support to children as the children play and explore their environment at their own pace. Caregivers tailor their responses to children's ideas, engage in give-and-take communication with the children, imitate children's actions, support children's play with other children, and assist children in problem solving. They also support older toddlers in planning and recalling their choice-time activities.
Outside Time - This segment of the day allows infants and toddlers to explore the outdoor world. Using strategies similar to those employed at choice time, adults support children's exploration and interests, providing open-ended materials and a variety of experiences. When not in a stroller or a caregiver's arms, young infants who are not yet crawling will spend time on a blanket lying on their backs and looking around, reaching for objects, and feeling the sun and air. Older infants sit and explore toys and natural objects, crawl, and pull themselves up to a stand. With assistance, they may swing or go for a wagon ride. Toddlers will use the open area of the play space for a wide range of physical movements, simple games, and problem solving as they pursue their interests.
Bodily Care Routines - In addition to strengthening bonds with children during bodily care times, caregivers also use them as opportunities to share control by finding ways for the children to play an active role. Caregivers fit these times around children's exploration and play. Frequency of naps is based around each child's individual needs, with quiet alternatives provided for nonnappers. Adults also accommodate children's individual styles of waking up. Similarly, adults take cues from children about feedings and diaper changes rather than asserting control to make the schedule more convenient for themselves.
Transitions - The timing of transitions is flexible, based on children's needs and engagement in their play, and the shift in events or activities should be kept low-key and comfortable. Caregivers organize the parts of your day in a logical fashion, just as one would do in one's personal routine. They strive to avoid unnecessary transitions, such as having children remove all their outdoor wear after playing outside and then putting it back on again to go home after a brief indoor group time.
Adult Team Planning Time - This time happens every day in a High/Scope program. It can occur during children's nap time, before children arrive, or after they leave. The teaching team meets to discuss their observations of children's developing abilities and interests, focusing on these observations as they plan activities and review the materials in the classroom.
It is important to plan a daily routine that makes sense to children and flexes to meet their needs, yet is consistent. Following the same routine day after day gives infants and a toddlers the sense of security they need to make choices and take risks, which will open the door to exciting learning opportunities.
Key Learning Experiences
High/Scope® Infant and Toddler Key Experiences © 2000 High/Scope® Educational Research Foundation
Sense of Self
- Expressing initiative.
- Distinguishing self from others.
- Solving problems encountered in exploration and play.
- Doing things for one's self.
- Forming an attachment to a primary caregiver.
- Building relationships with other adults.
- Building relationships with peers.
- Expressing emotions.
- Showing empathy toward the feelings and needs of others.
- Playing with others.
- Imitating and pretending.
- Exploring building and art materials.
- Responding to and identifying pictures and photographs.
- Moving parts of the body (turning head, grasping, kicking)
- Moving the whole body (rolling, crawling, cruising, walking, running, balancing)
- Moving with objects.
- Feeling and experiencing steady beat.
- Listening to music.
- Responding to music.
- Exploring and imitating sound.
- Exploring vocal pitch sounds.
Communication and Language
- Listening and responding.
- Communicating nonverbally.
- Participating in two-way communication.
- Exploring picture books and magazines.
- Enjoying stories, rhymes, and songs.
- Exploring objects with one's hands, feet, mouth, eyes, ears, and nose.
- Discovering object permanence.
- Exploring and noticing how things are the same or different.
Early Quantity and Number
- Experiencing "more".
- Experiencing one-to-one correspondence.
- Experiencing the number of things.
- Exploring and noticing the location of objects.
- Observing people and things from various perspectives.
- Filling and emptying, putting in and taking out.
- Taking things apart and fitting them together.
- Anticipating familiar events.
- Noticing the beginning and ending of time intervals.
- Experiencing "fast" and "slow".
- Repeating an action to make something happen again: experiencing cause and effect.
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