Our infant program provides a supportive environment that helps babies feel safe and secure. We meet the needs for attachment, provide opportunities for movement and activities that engage all senses in order to support developmental growth.
Infants in our program develop secure attachments because of attentive caregivers who love and nurture them. We value feeding and diapering times since they are special moments shared between infants and our staff which helps strengthen bonds.
We believe that infants learn through movement when they are given the opportunity to freely explore their surroundings. Younger infants are provided with materials within their visual field to meet their developmental needs for staring, tracking, and pointing. As infants mature, they are given the space and the opportunity to use natural materials with different textures, that encourage the developmental skills of grasping, rolling over, and sitting up. When infants become mobile, they explore the environment that is created to provide open spaces and child-size furniture to support pulling up, cruising and walking.
Because each infant has personal preferences as it relates to their senses, our program provides opportunities for children to use these sensual preferences to both get acquainted with the space around them and to investigate or interact with a variety of materials.
THE FAMILY’S ROLE IN OUR INFANT PROGRAM
Families support a child’s need for routine with a consistent daily schedule and a child’s need for attachment by taking part in open, daily communication with the ELC staff caretaker. Face-to-face, playtime videos and the Tadpoles App are also examples of ways families stay connected with ELC staff. Families are welcome to provide items such as pictures, loveys, blankets, or objects from home, as we know that supports an infant’s need for comfort.
We ask that families provide comfortable, non-restrictive clothes that support an infant’s need for movement. Infants take part in daily play and outdoor play (when weather permits), so having protective footwear that covers the infant’s feet will support his or her need to explore the environment, allowing them to learn how to use their gross motor skills.
We ask that families remain open to ideas about new ways to explore different materials that support an infant’s natural curiosity through the use of their senses. When entering into the infant’s environment, please use quiet voices to assist children in developing concentration skills when working with materials.
We ask that families develop a respectful and cooperative relationship with our teachers through open, reciprocal conversations about our childcare program and the needs of their child(ren).
THE TEACHER’S ROLE IN OUR INFANT PROGRAM
Our teachers carefully observe infants as they interact with the space and the materials in their environment as well as how they interface with other children in order to gain a deeper understanding about the infant’s individual developmental needs. The teacher uses these observations to plan for both the environment and experience to support unique needs with special consideration to attachment, movement, and learning through senses.
Our teachers build safe attachments with infants through loving and nurturing interactions, and responding to infant’s cues. They provide meaningful and fun opportunities for movement and the engagement of all senses through offering the choice of natural materials.
In our Early Learning Center, it is very important to us that families feel heard. Please do not hesitate to let us know how we can best support you and your baby! Because communication is important to us, we provide a daily log (Tadpoles App) that documents the basic needs, individual experiences and learning that take place each day. We will also sit down with you during an annual parent/teacher conference to make sure we are meeting your expectations!