Infant Environment

It is a priority to keep the Infant areas as clean as possible.  We ask that everyone remove their shoes before entering the Infant area where we have crawlers.  All bibs, burping cloths, wash cloths and crib sheets are washed separately in hot water and are never shared.  At the end of each day and on an as needed basis, we use a bleach and water solution to clean cabinet tops, mats, tables, play equipment, etc.  We use a variety of toys for each day, every evening these toys are washed in the dishwasher.

In order to keep our classrooms sanitary and to keep germs at bay we need your help.  Kindly wash your hands, preferably with soap and water, or by using the hand sanitizer provided at each entrance before visiting your child’s classroom.  Your child will be required to wash his/her hands at the following times at minimum.  When coming in from outdoors, before meals, after toileting and whenever soiled by materials or bodily fluids.  The number one best tactic to eliminate contagious elements is to consistently and properly wash hands and it is important that all adults in our Center follow the same procedures.  We appreciate your cooperation in keeping our environment healthy.

Furthermore, to help keep our Infant environment as germ free as possible, we ask that you keep your child home when he/she is sick.  Please refer to the center’s Health Policy for proper guidelines.

Please take the time to sign-in and sign-out your child each day both at the computer by the main entrance and by filling out a daily sheet in the classroom.  We use individual daily record sheets for every child.  Each morning upon drop off you will fill out the top portion and we will take care of the rest.  At the end of the day this sheet is yours to take home and you will be able to review this record sheet for information such as, feedings, diaper changes, napping times along with a teacher’s anecdote regarding your child’s day.

Feedings, Diapering and Napping

Our environment is set up to meet the needs of each individual child as much as possible in a group setting.  Infants are fed, diapered and napped according to their needs.  As you can imagine, in a room of 6 children there will inevitably be times the teachers are faced with multiple needs at the same time.  We fully recognize this potential and tackle this challenge in many creative ways.  We ask parents to provide us with information about your child’s routines, before their first day, to help us become familiar with your child’s schedule.  We are aware that children’s schedules change as they grow and we make adjustments as needed.  Please feel free to discuss with teachers any questions you may have.

We have found that babies begin their day best with a full stomach.  We ask that parents feed their child breakfast before they arrive.  For safety reasons, as babies grow older, we encourage them to sit in a high chair while drinking their bottle.  Please make sure your child has an extra bottle of milk, formula, etc. in the event they run out.  Please do not send in any glass containers!

After your child is 12 months old and is able to have the items on the menu you have the option of placing him/her on our lunch program here.  There is an additional cost per day until he/she turns 18 months old. Our lunch program consists of a hot lunch each day that is prepared and delivered by Avon’s cafeteria.  See your child’s teacher for a menu if you are interested in joining.

As children are beginning to master their self-help skills, we encourage them to use sippy cups and utensils.  As children progress and prepare for their next group teachers will work with the children and help them be more prepared for any meal time routines that they will now be participating in.  For example, when moving from Infants to Toddlers to have children drinking from sippy cups when possible rather than bottles.

Children’s diapers are changed every 2 hours and after every bowel movement.  Staff, at every diaper change, use disposable gloves.  We also use disposable paper on the changing table that gets thrown out after each change.  Furthermore, the changing pad is sanitized with a bleach and water solution after every change.

The younger Infants each have their own crib.  All cribs are consistently placed in the room at naptime so children have a familiar place to rest.  In the Infant Area crib sheets will be provided by the center and changed and laundered daily.  Following the 1996 recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics, we nap babies on their backs only.

Curriculum

The Infants are learning all about their world each and every day. Our goal is to ensure that not only are children’s basic needs being met but they are meeting developmental milestones as well.  We provide a developmentally appropriate environment in which the teachers take great care to have interactions that facilitate their development in all areas (cognitive, physical, socio-emotional, and language).  Much of our experiences with children in the Infant Area are rooted in providing opportunities for children to explore their environment and build trusting relationships. Teachers plan for the various areas of development on a weekly basis and post the plans in the classroom for your convenience.

Assessment 

We look at assessment as an ongoing process. We use a portfolio style assessment center wide that begins upon your child’s first day in the program.  This portfolio will include work samples, observations, documentations of your child’s development and a biannual written report that will be shared with you during parent teacher conferences held in the Fall and Spring.  The portfolio will remain at the Center and travel through each group with your child and will be yours to take home when your child leaves the program ready for Kindergarten.

If you have any questions or concerns, as always, please feel free to let us know. We will be happy to set up time to discuss your concerns.

Parent Meetings

Individual parent-teacher conferences will be held biannually.  In addition, the Infant teachers host an Orientation each fall.  We try to provide parents with information that we feel is important.  Please let us know if you have a special topic of interest so we can gather information to share with the group.  If at any time throughout the year you would like to meet individually with the teachers, please feel free to consult us and schedule a convenient time.

In addition, we view our program as a resource to you and there will be times we offer workshops that you may find of interest.  These will take place at both lunchtime and in the evenings on occasion and we hope to see you take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about matters that affect your child’s development.

Appropriate Clothing

Please bring your child dressed in comfortable clothing. Also, having layered clothing can be helpful in ensuring your child is comfortable at all times.  Older infants often get messy when practicing self-help skills and they freely explore art and sensory materials with their hands.  We try to keep smocks on children to protect their clothes but accidents sometimes happen.  You may  want to save your child’s best clothes for the weekend.  Please check your child’s extra clothes box regularly and keep stocked with clothing appropriate for the season.  Footwear needs to be appropriate for indoor and outdoor play.  We ask that closed toe shoes be worn for our walkers and climbers.

Outdoor Play

Outdoor time is an important part of our Infant group. We believe that children benefit from this experience, so we intend to spend time outside daily year round to provide large muscle development and offer a change of scenery for the children as they explore their interests.  For this reason we ask that you be aware of this and provide any additional and necessary seasonal clothing.  For example, in the winter please provide: hats, waterproof gloves/mittens, and waterproof snowsuit, an extra sweatshirt or sweater, and appropriate foot gear.  On exceptionally cold days children will stay indoors.

During the summer months the mobile infants will experience water play outdoors so they will need the following: a bathing suit, water shoes, hat, and a towel.

We apply sunscreen to your child, once you give us written permission, 2 times a day before going outdoors.  Please send in a labeled bottle of sunscreen and we would be happy to apply it to your child along with written permission. We request that you apply sunscreen before your child arrives at the Center to ensure that your child’s skin is protected.

If your child is not feeling well and you feel he/she should remain indoors, please keep him/her at home.

Transitioning

When it is time for your child to transition to the next group the teachers will prepare you and your child in advance.  We like for children to feel as comfortable as possible as they enter their new group so several measures are taken to make it a positive experience for everyone.

First and foremost your child’s current teachers will be preparing your child by helping him/her adapt to the next group’s schedule and expectations while still in their current group so there will be no drastic changes for the child.  For example, Toddlers and Preschoolers tend to be more on a group schedule based on the children’s natural feeding and napping patterns so the teachers will help prepare each child for this new schedule.

Teachers will then start visiting the next group with your child to help them feel comfortable and will stay with him/her until he/she seems comfortable.  These visits are short at first and eventually encompass an entire day.  We find that once children have  experienced eating and napping in their new group they have shown that the transition is a success and then your child will be officially moved.

A schedule will be given to you in advance so you are aware of the times your child is visiting the next group and a transition conference will be scheduled with the teachers of the group your child is entering.

All transitions are based on children’s developmental needs and with the focus being on the best interests of the child.  Also, availability becomes a factor. For example, your child may seem ready for the next group but there is not an available spot.  Rest assured that teachers are always recognizing children’s developmental needs and can accommodate all children no matter what classroom they are physically placed.