Toddlers are constantly growing, learning and changing. We have designed a “home away from home” where our youngest learners can play, and grow. Our safe, clean, healthy environment will nurture their minds and help their bodies develop. Our teachers take part in your child's every advancement and provide endless opportunities for development and discovery.
The Toddler class is made up of 12 children ages one through 2 1/2, 3 teachers and a teachers assistant. Toddler classes are M-F from 8:45-3:45 with options of 2, 3 and 5 days / week. Extended care is available beginning at 7:30am before classes begin and ending at 5:30pm after classes in order to accommodate working families' schedules.
Bright Start toddler teachers maintain the overall routine as consistently as possible, while flexing it to accommodate individual children's natural rhythms and temperaments. Although each teacher decides on the routine that works best for their primary children, the segments described below are always included during the day. It is up to the class to decide the length and order of the segments, whether particular segments will be repeated, and the content of the experiences in each segment. Each child's individual schedule is anchored around a primary caregiver who strives to understand the child's individual temperament and assists with smooth transitions between different parts of the day. Having this caregiver as a "home base" provides the very young child with a sense of security while away from home.
Arrivals and Departures Teacher's work with parents to ensure that arrivals and departures are pleasant and reassuring for children, these times allow children to extend the bonds of trust they have with their parents to the teachers in the program. The physical locations where arrivals and departures take place depend on the needs of children and their parents. Choice Time During this part of the daily routine, teachers are attentive and offer emotional and physical support to children as the children play and explore their environment at their own pace. Teachers tailor their responses to children's ideas, engage in give-and-take communication with the children, imitate children's actions, support children's play with other children, and assist children in problem solving. They also support older toddlers in planning and recalling their choice-time activities. Group Times In small groups, teachers provide a particular set of materials for children to explore in a common activity. In these group times children remain in close contact with the teachers while having a shared experience with other children. Although the adults introduce the activities, children remain free to make choices about materials and how to use them. Adults follow the children's cues (e.g., deciding how long the activity lasts, based on children's interest levels). Outside Time This segment of the day allows toddlers to explore the outdoor world. Using strategies similar to those used at choice time, adults support children's exploration and interests, providing open-ended materials and a variety of experiences. Toddlers will use the open area of the play space for a wide range of physical movements, simple games, and problem solving as they pursue their interests. Caregiving Routines In addition to strengthening bonds with children during meals, rest, and bodily care routines, teachers also use these caregiving routines as opportunities to share control by finding ways for the children to play an active role. Teachers fit these times around children's exploration and play. Frequency of naps is based around each child's individual needs, with quiet alternatives provided for non-nappers. Adults also accommodate children's individual styles of waking up. Similarly, adults take cues from children about feedings and diaper changes rather than asserting control to make the schedule more convenient for themselves. Transitions The timing of transitions is flexible, based on children's needs and engagement in their play, and the shift in events or activities should be kept low-key and comfortable. Teachers organize the parts of the day in a logical fashion, just as one would do in one's personal routine. They strive to avoid unnecessary transitions, such as having children remove all their outdoor wear after playing outside and then putting it back on again to go home after a brief indoor group time. Instead, caregivers might schedule their daily routine so outside time occurs prior to departure time. 30