Infant & Toddler Program
A Perfect Fit
More and more children are spending time each day in some type of child care setting. All children—especially infants and toddlers—need a child care setting where they can thrive with caregivers who understand how to promote their healthy growth and development. That's because young children need a schedule that is responsive to their needs, with appropriate stimulation and time to rest. They need to be talked to and played with. They need love and attention. And they need the opportunity to form the kind of comfortable, secure relationship with a caregiver that will nurture their healthy emotional development.
ENVIRONMENT & PROGRAM: YOUR BABY IS OUR BABY!
At the Meliora School, your infant will be cared for and encouraged to explore the world around them in a safe, clean, and comfortable environment filled with love. Our teachers and caregivers understand the unique responsibility of guiding an infant through their first forays into this strange and overwhelming new world which they have entered.
What is our secret? Shhhhhh…. It is our special dedication to attention, interaction and affection for the little people you entrust to us.
With the world around us picking up speed on a daily basis and with the necessity for you, our parents, to attend to the tasks which provide the best for your child, choosing The Meliora School, our people, and our program to support the continuing growth and development of your greatest treasure is a wise choice. Our parents are our partners in supporting and growing happy, healthy, and successful little learners!
TODDLERS ENVIRONMENT & PROGRAM: ON THE GO!
Everyone has had the feeling on occasion that they just can’t sit still. Some even refer to it as having “ants in the pants”. Can you imagine feeling like that all day, every day of your life for about two years? That undeniable urge to move, to go, and to do something…anything, is almost impossible to resist.
From the first steps, your child is on the move and it is a daily race for parents to keep up! Toddlers are alive with curiosity and have the energy to feed the intrinsic need to explore and discover. They do not do it through reading about it….it is accomplished through doing, through movement.
At the same time, toddlers are entering a period of language development which will be unequalled for the rest of their lives and they begin to develop more social awareness. In this time, we begin to see the unfolding and blossoming of another beautiful personality which has been added to the world and we get to hear all about it – even if we can’t quite understand it all just yet. Brain based research has demonstrated the link between language development and acquisition and the amount of movement and physical activity a child engages in during this truly explosive time of learning.
The Meliora School teachers and staff are rested, ready and able to take your child’s hand and move with them through this truly amazing time. They will help your child to harness this energy and absorb all of the fantastic discoveries that await them from our world…inside and out! All the while, keeping them safe and loved.
WHAT IS LEARNING FOR INFANTS & TODDLERS?
For infants and toddlers, play is hard work. What may seem like fun, cute or even silly activities to adults are really the ways in which these children learn about their world. According to theorists Lev Vygotsky and Jean Piaget, children learn best in a social context, so play with parents, teachers and other children is especially important for cognitive development in our youngest students. Through play, infants and toddlers explore their surroundings, understand their place in the world, develop physical, cognitive and emotional skills and learn social cues to practice their social skills.
EXPLORING THEIR SURROUNDINGS AND DEVELOPING PHYSICAL SKILLS
Learn about where they are, objects which surround them, & the people who interact with them;
Begin to put things into patterns and develop an internal order to help them understand their world;
With increased mobility, begin to physically explore the world;
Develop a blossoming sense of individuality and independence to be fostered into confidence and positive self-image.
Develop control of muscles which begins with supporting their own head;
Grow to obtain greater gross motor (large muscle groups) control over arms and legs leading to crawling and eventually walking;
Fine motor (smaller muscles of hands and feet) control which increases independence and feeds confidence as they do things for themselves;
Improvement over general coordination and balance.
DEVELOPING COGNITIVE AND EMOTIONAL SKILLS
Skills which relate to thinking and learning;
Creating order through sorting of objects and information classification;
Prime period for attaining Language skills through naming and identification (colors, numbers, etc.);
Beginning differentiation skills which lead to greater understanding through experimentation (alike & different, sensory spatial awareness like big/small – light/dark – under/over – etc.);
Beginning awareness of and ability to follow rules and receive and carry out instructions.
Development of skills related to recognizing and working with one’s emotions;
For infants, closely ties to needs…hungry or wet for example;
Progresses to envelope a young child’s ability to be “in tune” or sensitive to the moods around them and to react accordingly;
As Toddlers, they begin to recognize themselves as individuals with their own emotions and moods.
Through experimentation, they learn to manipulate these emotions, obtaining greater understanding and control as they continue to grow.
LEARNING SOCIAL CUES AND SOCIAL SKILLS
Learning to play both on one’s own and with others (adults and children);
Learning the societal rules that govern human interactions through experimentation;
Beginning to differentiate between positive and negative choices (sharing & taking turns vs. kicking & pushing for example);
Opportunities to explore and begin building an awareness of empathy.