Ages 2 weeks and up
When parents are looking to put their newborn baby into infant care, the first thought that often comes to mind is “Who can take care of my baby as well as I can?” That is why our infant teachers know that what they do on a daily basis makes a difference in the life of a child as well as their parents. Parents need to feel reassured that their child’s every need will be met, just as if they were taking care of the baby. They need to feel comfortable, welcomed, and informed on a daily basis. They need verbal as well as visual proof of how their child’s day was, and above all, they need to see that their child was cared for and loved.
How our teachers soothe, feed, diaper, and encourage our infants to try new things may all seem routine, however their actions play a significant role in each babies emotional health and social-well-being. By providing them a rich and stimulating environment supported by healthy, trusting relationships with their teachers, we are setting the stage for a lifetime of learning. The art to providing quality infant care is centered around the dance of attunement. Each baby’s needs are met in a way that is specific to the child thereby building a unique connection between the baby and teacher. An attuned teacher “listens” to and shows respect for each child. For example, before picking a baby up, she will hold out her hands and watch for a signal that the child is ready to be held.
Our babies are learning through play. As their interests in the world around them are “emerging”, our teachers are giving them the confidence to explore and make sense of their world through simple problem solving, recognizing of patterns, learning from trial and error, asking questions, listening to others, simple planning, observing, and listening to stories. For example, if a baby is showing interest in music, we can introduce different types of instruments, listen to various styles of music, and learn to paint fast and slow. As they play, our babies are working on sight and sound location, building their motor skills, and exploring their senses. For optimal cognitive development, our infants and toddlers are provided with a multitude of provocations each and every day. Provocations are open-ended materials that provoke curiosity, thought, and inquiry.
The environment plays a major role in each baby’s happiness. Our classrooms are always inviting to the eyes as well as the senses. The rooms are adorned with low hanging decorations and photos of the children’s families. They are also equipped with a variety of places to sit and allow our babies to see and hear things from a variety of perspectives. There are different play spaces-smooth floors, carpets, and play mats along with grassy outdoor spaces. There are also numerous opportunities to watch and observe what the other babies are doing and to see and hear new things. Since the babies are learning how to move their hands and feet, we give them new and interesting things to put them in. A variety of sensory materials are presented to the babies to feel and explore on a daily basis.
Most importantly, our teachers talk with the babies. We ask them questions and share conversations with them. We interact with them in ways that will help promote their thinking and reasoning about what it is that they are doing. We are building healthy relationships full of trust with both our babies and their families-and it is the best job in the world.
“He who holds the child by the hand, holds the mother (and father) by the heart.” – Unknown
American Developmental Psychologist, Erik Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development suggests that the foundation of one’s personality is established in the first few years of life. This begins with the development of secure attachment which can be defined as the emotional bonds between people. Research supports the understanding that attachments, created during the early years, impact the way a child builds relationships as an adult.
At All Around Child, we practice the continuity of care philosophy. Infants are paired with a primary teacher that ideally loops throughout the program with a particular group of children from birth through age three and potty-trained. This practice promotes a healthy and secure attachment between child, teacher, and family.
As your child’s first teacher, you are our partners, collaborators and advocates for your children. We respect parents as each child’s first teacher and involve you in every aspect of your child’s day. We are here to support your family.