Welcome to the Toddler Group

We look forward to working closely with you and your child to ensure a comfortable and happy experience for everyone.  Group care may be new to your family and we would like to take this opportunity to welcome you and help you get acclimated to our program.  Please use the handbook as a reference and guide to help answer any questions you may have regarding your child’s day while he/she is in our care.

Communication is very important to us.  An open dialogue between staff and families is imperative to provide quality care. If you have any questions or concerns, please bring them to our attention as soon as possible.  If it is not convenient at drop –off or pick-up time, you can always call once you get to work.

There are a few things your child will need. Please bring in the following items prior to the first day:

  • All completed paperwork (most notably- the Medical Statement and Immunization reports – your child will not be permitted to stay if we don’t have these items in hand)
  • A blanket and a standard size crib sheet for their sleep mat
  • Extra clothes, including weather appropriate shirts and pants or shorts, socks, and underwear if needed.   LACCC provides the storage bin and it is placed in your child’s cubby
  • June – August: Water play gear (bathing suit, water shoes, towel, and sunscreen)
  • November – March: Snow gear (snow pants, water proof boots, hats, and mittens)
  • Diapers and at maximum 2 boxes of wipes per month (teachers will request them on daily sheet when your child is running low)

Toddler Daily Schedule

7:00 – 8:30am Children from both groups combined Planned activities to help children transition from home
*8:30 – 9:00am Interest areas are open Art, Blocks, Dramatic play, Sensory, Stories, Manipulatives, etc.
*9:00 – 9:35am Diapers, Hand Washing Interest areas open
Teachers facilitate children’s free choice play
9:35 – 9:50am Snack Time
*9:50 – 10:30am Teacher Directed activities provided
10:30 – 11:20pm Outdoor Time and Large Motor Activities
11:20 – 11:30pm Hand-washing
11:30 – 11:50pm Lunch Time
11:50 – 12:30pm Diapers,  Quiet Activities
12:30 – 3:00pm Rest Time and Quiet Activities
3:00 – 3:20pm Diapers and Hand washing
3:20 – 3:35pm Snack
3:35 – 4:30pm Outdoor Time and Large Motor Activities
*4:30 – 5:00pm Diapers, Hand washing
Teacher directed activities provided
5:00-6:00pm Children combined
Calming Activities to help children transition to home

*indicates the gate between the two groups may be open

Appropriate Clothing

Please bring your child to the Center dressed in comfortable clothing that can be easily washed and managed by your child.  Toddlers often get messy when practicing self-help skills.  Also, we encourage children to freely explore our sensory materials with their hands.  We use smocks to protect their clothes, however accidents sometimes happen.  You may want to save your child’s best clothes for the weekend. Also, we ask that all clothing and sneakers with super-heroes be left for home as well, in accordance with the Center policy.

We spend much of our day running and jumping, therefore children should arrive wearing closed toe shoes so their feet can be protected and slips can be prevented as much as possible.  Over-alls and belted pants are often difficult for children to manage who are learning bathroom skills.  We encourage comfortable, easy to remove clothing with an elastic waistband to aid in potty training and encouraging their self confidence.

PLEASE MAKE SURE ALL ITEMS ARE LABELED WITH FIRST AND LAST NAMES!

Meal Times

During lunch and snack times, children experience family style dining with the teachers and the other children.  Toddler lunches are provided by the Center and consist of a main dish, a vegetable, milk, and fruit or yogurt.  We provide children with as much milk or water as they would like during snack and lunch times.  We also provide bottled water throughout the entire day.  The children drink out of cups and we offer plenty of opportunities to use them throughout the day. Therefore, we ask that you please leave your child’s sippy cups at home.  These sippy cups often get lost or broken when they come to the center.  Furthermore, your child may have difficulty understanding why they cannot use their sippy cup throughout the course of the day.  One way to avoid these problems is to bring the sippy cup in the car on the way to the center, but make sure it remains there.

Please have your child fed at home before arriving each morning – a hungry child makes for a tough separation and foods from home are difficult for us to manage and keep children with allergies safe.  The only exception is that between the hours of 7-8am there will be a “breakfast table” provided.  Foods brought from home for consumption in the Center must be “Nut free” and healthy.  The Center emphasizes helping children learn healthy choices.

Furthermore, there are children in our program with various food allergies, please respect the teachers guidance when foods enter their classroom.  They are only trying to ensure the safety of everyone.

Toileting

Children entering the Toddler group at the beginning of the year will most likely start off wearing diapers.  We change the diapers every 2 hours or whenever they appear soiled.  Diaper changes are done in the bathroom, where toilets are available for those who would like to use them.  Unless the child has a bowel movement, we take the diaper off while he or she is standing.  We encourage the Toddlers to pull their pants up and down and to take off their own diapers.  These practices allow the child to help with the process and practice toileting skills.  After their diaper is removed, all children are encouraged to “try.” All children practice proper hand washing techniques after any bathroom attempt.

When you feel that he or she is getting ready to start using underwear, let us know so we can be consistent with your toilet teaching techniques. We request that you meet with your child’s teacher to discuss your child’s readiness signs to toilet train and what supplies we will need such as extra changes of clothes and shoes in the event the child has an accident in their clothing. For those who are beginning to wear underwear, frequent trips to the bathroom will be made.  We do allow pull-ups, however, they must be the Velcro sided kind for easy removal. Overall, pull ups are still discouraged as it is our experience that children still “feel” like they are in diapers.

In order to keep our classrooms sanitary and to keep germs at bay we need your help.  Kindly wash your hands with soap and water before visiting your child’s classroom or at minimum use the hand sanitizer placed by both entrances.  Your child will be required to wash his/her hands at the following time at minimum: when coming in from outdoors, before meals, after toileting, after touching animals 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.

Toys from Home

Please leave your child’s personal toys at home.  These toys often get lost or broken when they come to the Center.  Also, when one child has a personal toy or object other children have difficulty understanding why they cannot play with it.  Sharing is a difficult concept that we do not expect Toddlers to fully grasp.  When we set up the learning environment, we try to have as many of the same toy as possible, in order to avoid confrontations.  One way to avoid the problems that personal toys can cause is to allow your child to bring the item in the car on the way to the Center, but make sure it remains in the car.  This way, the toy will be waiting for him or her at the end of the day.

If your child likes to sleep with a certain soft toy, this can be arranged.  Sleeping cuddlies will be used at naptime and they will be placed inside the naptime storage bin.

Outdoor Time

We try to take the children outside as much as possible.  During the winter, we may spend less time outside but we plan on going out every day, weather permitting.  Please be sure that your child comes prepared with clothing that will keep your child warm and dry during our time outside (a jacket, snow pants, boots, a hat, a scarf, and mittens).  If your child is not feeling well and you think he or she should remain indoors, please keep him or her at home.  Going outside is an important part of our day!

Transitioning to Preschool

We would like the children to feel as comfortable as possible as they enter their new group, so we begin visiting Preschool before the official move takes place.  The children will go over to the Preschool area with one of their teachers.  The teacher will stay until the child appears to be comfortable and engaged in an activity.  The visits last about thirty minutes at first and will extend to an entire day by the end.  Each child will experience eating and napping in their new group before he or she actually moves over.

The decision to move to Preschool is based on the child’s development level and the availability of a spot in the Preschool group.  Children begin eligibility at 2 years 9 months.

Assessment

We look at assessment as an ongoing process.  We use the portfolio style assessment which includes work samples and observations together to portray a well-balanced representation of each child’s development.  Throughout the year, we will be collecting art samples and written observations to be shared during Bi-annual conferences.  We will be holding parent-teacher conferences in the Fall and again in the Spring.  Parents or teachers may request an additional conference at any time during the year.  If you have questions or concerns in between conference times, please feel free to let us know.  We will be happy to set up time to discuss your concerns.

Parent Involvement

One of the most important aspects of our group is parent involvement.  Becoming involved in your child’s group gives you a perfect opportunity to observe your child’s day at daycare.  It also gives you the opportunity to work closely with your child’s teachers and understand the dynamics of the group.

Listed below are some examples of how you can become involved.  Please talk to your child’s teachers about a convenient time and day to offer your services.

Read a story

Share a hobby or special talent with the group

Collect materials for projects

Make games or toys

Furnish dress-up clothes

Donate books to the center

Donate music to the center

Loan books or tapes to the group

Speak at parent meetings

Help with cooking activity

Become a Board Member

Attend workshops and meeting

Please let the teachers know if you would be interested in any of the above activities, or if you have a suggestion to add to the list.

If you have any knowledge or experience with other cultures, please share it with our group.  Toddlers often enjoy examining different objects, listening to interesting new music, or tasting different foods.  We would like to celebrate diversity within the group by sharing our different cultures with each other.

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the Toddler Group!!