Toddler Program: 1 year to 2 1/2 years
During these years a child learns how to relate to others; express feelings and needs; solve problems; become competent in many areas.
In the Early Learning Centers each child’s routines associated with hellos/goodbyes, diapering/toileting, eating, napping and dressing are respected. Each child’s emotional needs are responded to with warm comforting holding, rocking, singing, etc.
A Day In The Life Of A Toddler
As Justin enters the building in his father’s arms, and he struggles to get down.
“Do it myself” he says as he tries to carry his backpack loaded with necessary items including his favorite blanket for naptime. Justin’s father knows how special the staff in the toddler room are. He knows how demanding and rewarding time spent with a toddler can be.
Justin enters the classroom and stands quietly at the doorway. His enthusiam has suddenly dissipated and he wants “up, please”. Separation and independence are hallmarks of the toddler years and staff understand this.
After a few moments the toddler teacher approaches and holds out her arms to Justin. She greets Justin with a warm smile as Justin’s father passes him to her. “Daddy is going to work now. Why don’t we go to the window and wave good-bye. Then we can read a story”. Justin agrees to the plan and the morning proceeds smoothly.
Breakfast soon arrives and Justin joins his friends at the table. While utensils are available and encouraged fingers are also acceptable. Children experiment with new foods and devour old favorites while learning to “keep hands to yourself”. Conversation is carried on in words and sign language. Signs for “more” and “all done” help encourage language development and independence.
After indoor play at the water table and in the housekeeping area it is time to go outside. Toddlers are active and need many opportunities for large motor activity. These activities happen both outside on the playgound and inside the classroom as well.
Lunch is followed by naptime. Justin sleeps well as his day started early and he played hard. He knows that his Dad will return for him after his snack, which follows his nap. He knows the routine and it helps him feel secure.
Justin’s Dad knows that he will have lots of questions about his growing son – especially around issues of toilet training. He plans to ask the Family Support Worker for some help with that! She has always been helpful in the past.