Lindgren Child Care Center

Toddler

(16 months to 32 months)

A structured day is planned indoors and outdoors for these toddler children, dependent on their particular schedules. Appropriate activities foster the growth of each toddler's self-help skills, language development, social awareness, and positive non-aggressive problem solving. Nap time is scheduled in the afternoon.

The philosophy of the toddler program

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 a partnership with the parents so that the teacher and parent can work together on their child’s development.

Curriculum

Developmental Domains of the Toddler Curriculum

The Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers and Twos. https://shop.teachingstrategies.com/page/76108-Creative-Curriculum-Infants-Toddlers-Twos.cfm#product_overview 

The 38 research-based objectives are the heart of the curriculum and define the path teachers take with children. The objectives identify the behaviors, skills, and knowledge that are most important for school success. Even though school is a few years away for young children, the foundation for future development and learning is established in these very important early years.

Developmental Areas: The objectives are organized into nine areas of development and learning. Four of these areas focus on child development: social–emotional, cognitive, physical, and language.

Content Areas: The remaining five areas focus on content learning, which has its roots even in these younger years. While some of these skills are ones that children will begin acquiring in preschool, teachers and caregivers can support content learning from infancy by creating a language rich environment; building trusting relationships; and individualizing the experiences that they provide throughout the day on the basis of children’s strengths, needs, and interests.

Assessment

Our chosen assessment tools are designed to be family friendly and cover all developmental domains.  The Toddler Curriculum is enhanced and modified to meet each child’s needs according to assessment results. The Lindgren Child Care Center uses the following screening and assessment tools:

We use a variety of opportunities to assess children and share information with parents/guardians.  Our assessment procedures align with our program curriculum and philosophy, in that they are non-intrusive to children’s play, they are done indoors and out, and used to help teachers follow children’s interests- guiding curriculum planning and designing the classroom environment. Information gathered throughout on-going assessment is used to determine individual needs, create goals with the families and discuss/implement plans for how these needs can best be met. The ultimate goal of assessment is to evaluate what developmental areas the child needs more experiences with and to inform planning in the classroom and at home. 

Constructivist Approach

The Lindgren Child Care Center classrooms utilize the following curriculum and theoretical approaches that fall under the Constructivist umbrella. The constructivist approach encourages self-directed discovery, hands-on, and experiential learning derived from previous experiences.  Depending on the individual children that are enrolled within the different classrooms, the below theorists and approaches are used eclectically to implement the infant curriculum:

Vygotsky: Vygotsky believed that cognitive development was a journey children explored with others.   With the assistance of expert partners and guided participation, children are able to connect new experiences with what they already know. 

Piaget: Piaget provided support for the idea that children think differently than adults and his research identified several important milestones in the mental development of children.  He believed that children went through four stages of cognitive development which helped them understand the world around them, just like a scientist.

Reggio: A constructivist approach that embraces the importance of the natural environment, children’s own thinking and development. It is self-guided through active engagement with people, materials and the environment.

Pedagogical Approach: Hands on approach using the different learning styles such as listening, discovering, discussion and doing.

Project Approach: It is a child-centered philosophy that allows children to become active learners as they work, learn and grow within the environment.

The above theories and approaches are integrated throughout the day, weeks and months to support the children’s learning.