Our program for infants sets its pace around the needs and unique differences of each child. Our younger infants have a primary caregiver who centers her day around the schedules of those for whom she cares. This care, while meeting basic needs for food, diapering and adequate rest, goes beyond that. This keen observer plans and enhances the interactions and activities the infant's behavior is identifying.
Routines are the curriculum for an infant's day. Every moment of a young child's day offers opportunities for learning. The skilled educator catches these moments and helps each baby establish trust, discover and feel good about herself, tackle a motor task, realize the power of language, and begin to understand this strange new world from many angles. This is accomplished as each teacher keys into the verbal and nonverbal messages the child is sending.
An infant teacher, with the education and understanding of early childhood development, knows that rich verbal interactions with children help them to understand that language is a tool for identifying and expressing their needs, ideas, and feelings in later life. Each of our caregivers accepts that infants developmentally need to explore the world through mouthing and touching and allows for this, viewing it as a valuable learning experience. This teacher is alert to the need for proper sanitation measures and follows them consistently and conscientiously. As the teacher looks at the environment, she views it from the child's eye and creates a cozy, inviting, and stimulating place for children.
Infants need to view the world from many angles, and are allowed that experience. This includes crawling, being carried, stroller rides, outdoor play, climbing, and rocking so that various perspectives are gained. Diaper changing, feeding, and other routines are viewed as vital times for communication, self discovery, and socializing. They are encouraged to master feeding themselves despite the messiness that accompanies this activity. While being supportive of infants in their quest for competence, our teachers look to the parents as the best resource in working with their children. Early childhood educators view themselves as professionals with children and with parents.