The Infants room includes eight children from 6 weeks to 15 months, two full-time teachers, and a part-time teacher.
Infant Living Room Environment
The space is designed for infants to move, explore, and discover. The environment is free of swings, high chairs or other traditional constraints unlike a typical daycare facility. Natural lighting, thoughtfully displayed materials, and interesting manipulatives invite curiosity while promoting a calm ambiance.
The RIE/Pickler methodology encourages respectful and meaningful interactions between teachers and infants. Teachers continuously communicate intentions and outcomes to children, in order to foster their feelings of security and independence. Teachers interact with children at their level, not from above.
Organization of The Day
Our day is organized in the infant living room to respond to the rights and needs of our smallest citizens to ensure that they feel secure, safe, and loved. Each infant will begin the program year with their own unique “organizations of the day.” As the children develop and our time together progresses, their routines will become more aligned and the room will take on a more uniform organization. This is a natural flow and children constantly invite us to re-evaluate our routines through their experimentation with the environment and its materials, as well as their ever-changing interests and development.
Teachers are ready to warmly greet each family upon arrival. Each family will create its own unique rituals in saying good-bye to their child. Special messages and information for the educators are written in the communication log. Through engaging in quiet play, book reading, and welcoming the other children, parents and educators are all part of the greeting time.
Our meals are a rich social and sensual experience. We eat together whether at our communal table or while one friend is being held by their caregiver while drinking their bottle. Meals are responsive to the children’s natural rhythm and communication. Lunch is served family style in the Infant Living Room and upon their 1st birthday, table food is provided by the school. Educators support the children with their meals, and also encourage the development of self-feeding skills as the year progresses.
Morning Explorations & Outside Time
Groups of children explore materials in the living room and participate in small group discovery. The children and educators engage in a wide variety of experiences that are centered on the children’s rich interests. Light, shadow, recycled materials and clay are just a few examples of materials that are offered. These activities take place throughout the day when the children are young infants, and as they become older infants and toddlers. During this time, groups of children and educators may also go to our natural playscape or for walks around the community. Children go outside at least twice a day.
Personal care are intimate and rich parts of the day where educators engage in individual conversations and engagement. Gums and new teeth are cleaned as needed and after the consumption of milk/food. Diapers are changed every two hours or as needed. We encourage families to use cloth diapers when possible.
In the Infant Living Room, children take naps as needed. As the year proceeds and the children grow older, many of them naturally begin to transition to one nap during the day. This nap would take place after lunch. At all times the children are encouraged to rest as needed.
Children who are awake during this period of time explore the room’s materials and environment with educators, participate in small group experiences, or visit other areas of the school.
Afternoon Explorations & Outside Time
During this time, small groups of children explore materials in the classroom, participate in small group work, go to the playground or go on walks around the community.