Infants (2 months-15 months)
Children in the infant area follow individualized schedules which are planned cooperatively by the parents and lead teacher. Each schedule is modified as the child’s development and parents’ desires dictate. The staff’s primary goal is to help infants develop a sense of trust and pleasure in relationships with their care givers, and in their new environment. The staff to child ration is 2:5, with 8 infants enrolled.
Philosophy of the Infant Program
- that in order for infants to develop trust, their needs should be responded to quickly, and with sensitivity and respect for their temperament and for their home routines
- infants are competent. They communicate their needs and feelings through body language, vocalizations and crying, and gestures. It is our job to learn to “read” what they are telling us and be responsive to their communication with us
- that it is important to provide age-appropriate learning opportunities, in all areas of development
The infant curriculum is guided by The Creative Curriculum, for Infants, Toddlers & Two’s, published by Diane Trister Dodge, Sherrie Rudick, and Kai-lee’ Berke. This curriculum is a comprehensive curriculum which includes goals and objectives for children’s learning in all areas of development: social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language. These 4 developmental goals are carried out through the care giving, the environment, and activities in the infant program. Sensitive care giving is a major component of the program, because it builds the foundation of trust that children need to be successful throughout life. The environment reflects diversity, beauty, and nature and is designed to convey a sense of calmness. Activities provided on a daily basis, such as music time, sensory activities, reading books, and outdoor experiences, are appropriate to the developmental stage of the baby.
If you wish to learn more about The Creative Curriculum you can log onto their website at www.teachingstrategies.com and click on the infants, toddlers, and two’s side bar.
Toddlers (16 months-32 months)
A structured day is planned indoors and outdoors for the toddler children, dependent on their particular schedules. Appropriate activities that foster the growth of each toddler’s self-help skills, language development, social awareness, and positive, non-aggressive problem solving are incorporated. Nap time is scheduled in the afternoon. The staff to child ratio is 1:5, with 12 toddlers enrolled.
The Philosophy of the Toddler Program is to help toddlers feel safe and respected along with encouraging the toddler to develop in all areas (cognitive, social/emotional, language, physical and self-help) according to their individual ability using developmentally age appropriate practice. Relationship with the child and the child’s family is also an important piece of the program. It is important to have parent involvement and create partnership with the parents so that the teacher and parent can work together on their child’s development. (Theorist: Brazelton and Greenspan)
The Toddler Curriculum that is used in the classroom is The Creative Curriculum, published by Diane Trister Dodge* Sherrie Rudick*Kai-lee’ Berke. The Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers & Twos is a comprehensive curriculum that helps teachers achieve the very best program for children under three. If the interactions children have are nurturing, consistent, and loving, and the experiences they have are appropriately challenging, then infants, toddlers, and twos grow and flourish. If you would like to learn more about the curriculum you can log on to their web site at www.teachingstrategies.com and click on the infants, toddlers, and two’s side bar.
Preschoolers (33 months-5 years)
Activities of social, motor, language, cognitive and sensory experiences are planned for the preschool children. This is done through emergent curriculum where the children’s interests are observed, followed, and documented. Activities are then planned in all developmental areas which are connected to the children’s interest area. They include large and small group activities for the day, music experiences with song or dance, story telling and role playing, creative movement activities, finger plays, arts and crafts, woodworking, outdoor play and special field trips. Naptime is scheduled in the afternoon. The staff to child ratio is 1:7, with 25 preschoolers enrolled.
The Philosophy of the Preschool Program is to provide children with endless opportunities to explore and investigate the world in which they live. The children's interests are paired with educational experiences (in all developmental domains) that are relevant, engaging, and meaningful. We believe that children who become active participants in their learning will continue this trait through their educational careers. To assist the children in becoming active learners, we have adopted an emergent (project based) curriculum.
It is only as children search for answers to their own questions via discussion, investigation, and experimentation that they begin to grasp and understand complex concepts that are foundational to later learning. Rather than use teacher directed thematic units, teachers integrate curriculum goals carefully within open-ended projects of inquiry chosen by the children (Katz & Chard, 1989).
The framework is provided by the Early Childhood Indicators of Progress: Minnesota's Early Learning Standards. The primary purpose of these Indicators are to provide a framework for understanding and communicating a common set of developmentally appropriate expectations for young children within a context of shared responsibility and accountability for helping children meet these expectations. These early learning standards are broken down into six main domains, each of which are described in further detail using the links below. The framework provided by the Early Childhood Indicators of Progress is enhanced by the use of The Creative Curriculum® for Preschoolers Assessment tool. This a comprehensive national tool used to in all types of early childhood settings, including inclusive and early intervention programs. To learn more about The Creative Curriculum® for Preschoolers Assessment tool please follow this link: www.teachingstrategies.com
To view the complete Early Childhood Indicators of Progress please follow this link: http://cfl.state.mn.us/mdeprod/groups/EarlyLearning/documents/Publication/009530.pdf
The Lindgren Child Care Center is an observation resource and training laboratory for the campus community. As such, parents will see student observers in classrooms in addition to the regular staff on a weekly basis.
- Infant Curriculum, Appendix III-L
- Toddler Curriculum, Appendix III-M
- Preschool Curriculum Appendix III-N