Three things to look for when finding infant and toddler care
posted by: Guest Blogger
One of the hardest things a parent of an infant or toddler will have to do is find the right school and care for their little one while they are away at work. With dozens of options, it can be hard to sift through different programs and find the perfect fit for your family. At Little Sunshine’s Playhouse, we recommend that families focus on the following three areas when finding the right pre-school option for their child.
- Transparency- Ask yourself, if something was wrong or my child was unhappy, would I know about it? As a parent of an infant or toddler, we cannot simply ask our child if everything is okay. Instead of relying on intuition or worrying about the unknown, opt for a program that prides itself in communication and transparency. Look for a school with cameras in all the classrooms, so you can always check in and see how your little one is doing. This ensures that staff are staying up to par and keeping up with their expectations. Kiddie Cams™, cameras installed at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Pre-school allow parents to watch their child from a computer or smart phone whenever they want. Also, seek care that ensures an “open-door” policy; one that makes you feel welcome when you arrive. Ensure that staff that maintain constant communication with their families. Ask teachers and directors if their policy is to send weekly classroom newsletters, daily thorough updates, and pride themselves on communication with parents as a key to their success. A LuvNotes™ system, like the one found at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse, gives you a thorough electronic daily update complete with a picture or video.
- Nurturing Staff-Infants and toddlers should have a special place in the school’s heart! They are just learning how the world works and need caring, nurturing teachers that form deep bonds and promote positive relationships. Schools should insist that teachers provide a warm and secure place for children to grow at their own pace. A school like Little Sunshine’s Playhouse believes babies should be held during feedings, rocked to feel loved, and spend time on their tummies to discover the world around them. Music is also very important at this age, so programs that play soothing music at naptime along with familiar tunes that they learn to recognize at different times throughout the day is a must. Also, seek a program that implements sign language as a way to communicate before children develop their language skills. This helps children learn to communicate and feel like a valuable part of the classroom.
- A Comprehensive Play- Based Curriculum- Looking at the school’s curriculum is crucial in finding a good fit. A strong curriculum will focus on whole child development. This should include emphasis on learning from a social/emotional perspective, cognitive capability, and physical development. Finding a program like Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Pre-school that specializes in language development through a Reggio Emilia inspired curriculum is an added bonus, as the benefits are greatly seen in elementary school. The curriculum should focus on developing skills through play and lessons that include hands-on activities, active participation, and team building projects. Infants and toddlers should be given free rein to explore their environment. Teachers should influence curiosity and development by providing activities that promote curiosity and questioning.
“Infants and toddlers are learning everyday about the world around them and their personal interactions with that world and the people in it. A nurturing and social environment where babies are talked to, smiled at, held frequently and given opportunities to explore their own abilities and limitations instills a trust and confidence to succeed that will carry with them through their childhood and beyond.” – Rochette Dahler, CEO Little Sunshine’s Playhouse.
Infant and toddler care is extremely crucial for providing a solid foundation for a child’s educational journey. By asking the right questions and looking for the right components, you will have a child that with thrive and be confident in their ability to succeed in the classroom and in life.
Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Pre-school in Littleton maintains an identity and brand image of unrivaled distinction in early childhood education. Our facility serves as a castle for a “Once Upon A Time” experience that enables each child to develop their imagination. We use industry-leading technology in our programs to provide exclusive services such as our Kiddie Cams™ and LuvNotes™! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit littlesunshine.com to find your child’s “once-upon-a-time” school experience at one of our incredible schools!
In partnership with Mile High Mamas.