The infant program provides infants 6 weeks to about 12 months with a safe, supportive, nurturing, and stimulating environment. With a small group size, a small child to teacher ratio, and a variety of available play materials, infants thrive in their classroom environment.
The infant program is designed to enhance each child's individual capabilities at different developmental stages. Toys, equipment, materials, and activities, are varied and frequently changed. A nurturing "educarer" gives the love and individual attention that babies need to form secure attachments. She rocks, holds, cuddles, lovingly gazes, soothes, comforts, smiles, sings, and talks to each infant throughout the day. The "educarer" also takes special care to meet each child's needs by offering stimulating activities that help children develop in a natural progression.
Our infants spend much of their waking time on the floor, exploring, and playing. Floor time is one of the best ways to support a baby's physical development and sense of competence. We limit the amount of time babies spend in high chairs, exersaucers, swings, cribs, and other restrictive containers, so that our infants have plenty of time to develop their muscles, skills, and body awareness. Younger infants are provided with "Tummy Time", a great way to strengthen the upper torso, which will lead to crawling, and eventually will help with gross motor skills, such as athletics, and fine motor skills, such as writing.
In our infant program, we also spend a great deal of time on developing language skills. Research shows that the quantity and quality of language heard in the first years of life directly relate to future school success. Language development in infants is more than just babbling. It is also consists of listening, understanding, and knowing the names of things. Therefore, our "educarer" constantly talks to each baby, responds to infants' sounds, sings, reads, and plays music throughout the day. She exposes them to new experiences, points to and names objects, and uses common words over and over. "Baby Sign Language", a natural form of communication which enhances language acquisition, is also used, and parents are encouraged to use it at home as well.
Communication and cooperation between parents and teachers is the key to our partnership in providing the best care and education possible. Parents and teachers work together to customize a routine and schedule that is appropriate for each baby's individual needs. They also discuss the infant's personality, preferences, development, and activities, on a daily basis. At the end of each day, a "Cuddle Gram" is given to each parent that reports diaper changes, nap times, feedings, activities, and more. Parents are encouraged to visit anytime during the day. Additionally, workshops on best practices for infants and toddlers are offered for parents and teachers.