At IC3 our child-centered active learning philosophy means that toddlers learn by doing. Toddlers need many different opportunities for play. They learn with their whole bodies; touching, tasting, seeing and hearing are all part of the learning process. Our planned activities are child-oriented and are based on the children’s interests and needs. The toddler environment is created to facilitate your child’s growth and learning while taking into account their areas of interest. Each area in the room is arranged to allow the child to make independent choices. By interacting with objects, materials, nature and people, toddlers begin to understand how things work.

When your child enters our Toddler Program, he or she will be in a classroom of 10 children ranging in age from approximately 18 months to three years. As a younger toddler, your child will benefit from being in a classroom with a range of ages. Increased social interaction in a mixed age setting allows toddlers to work on skills such as learning to take turns and sharing. Your child will also have the opportunity to further develop his/her emerging language skills through interactions with the teachers and with children slightly older than him or herself. As your child grows into an older toddler, they will have the opportunity to grow into a leadership role in the class by role modeling the classroom routines and rules. The older toddler also becomes the language role model for the younger toddlers.

Toddlers move between independence and dependence. Teachers support the children during this phase of development by encouraging and guiding the children to experiment with new materials, activities and equipment. Teachers are always available to offer emotional support and encouragement to the children and serve as the home base for the toddler to “check in” with their care provider for reassurance, cuddles, and words of encouragement.

When planning daily activities, singing, dancing, reading, painting, building and pretending are part of the daily program. The teachers consider all areas of development when planning the toddler experiences.

Developmental Goals

Emotional: The teachers provide a loving and nurturing environment where your child can gain a sense of self. The teachers help children label their emotions in order to help them gain a better understanding of what they are feeling as well as provide a way for them to express their emotions in order to be better understood.

Social: The teachers will help your child become a socially responsible person by encouraging him or her to communicate with and listen to others. In doing this, they are learning to trust, make friends, and feel that they are part of the group.

Cognitive: The teachers will encourage your child to grow intellectually by helping them acquire learning skills such as the ability to solve problems, ask questions, and use words to describe his or her ideas, observations and feelings.

Physical:The teachers encourage fine and gross motor development through a variety of daily experiences. The environment within each classroom grows and changes to meet the group’s abilities and needs. Opportunities are provided for children to explore his/her physical space and discover ways to move in it as they gain control of their own bodies and actions. Toilet training is encouraged according to your child’s readiness and done at your child’s own pace.

When working with young children the whole child is considered. You, the parent, are an important part of that whole. You are their first teacher. The teachers see your child in a social setting – how he or she interacts with peers and other adults. You know your child’s home life setting, fears, joys, important events and your own values. We encourage a mutual sharing of information for the benefit of everyone concerned.

Communication is a key piece in the relationship between teachers and families. A general statement of the day’s activities is posted by the teachers in the classroom. In addition, a brief summary of your child’s day will be available for you to read on a daily basis and will be available for you to take home at the end of the week. We feel that verbal communication is the most important method of communicating and we encourage you to talk with us each day about your child. In addition to daily forms of communication, we also offer parent/teacher conferences. Finally, we encourage you to spend time in your child’s classroom whether it is just to “hang out” or to assist with a special project. Our partnership with you is paramount to creating a positive toddler experience for your child.

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