The fundamental job of a toddler is to
rule the universe.
Developing relationships built on trust and respect encourages greater learning and provides for teachable moments in every day activities.
Toddlers are absorbing information like little sponges and so the environment and activities which are planned for or come through spontaneous interactions must reflect this.
Children require the opportunity to explore and discover within a safe and warm environment where their needs are met with love and empathy from caring educators. Our toddlers are given magical one on one time wherever possible to enhance learning and build strong and trusting relationships.
Allowing moments of uninterrupted play develops children’s understanding of themselves and small and large group activities encourage sharing, turn taking and an understanding of time.
Environmental connections are made continually throughout the day as the program and activities take in the outdoor natural environment and if able this is also incorporated in indoor play.
Children are like sponges.
They absorb all your strength and leave you limp
But give them a squeeze and you get everything back
~ Author Unknown ~
In the day-to-day give and take of good toddler child care, children and their caregivers relate in a way that looks much like a dance, with the child leading, the caregiver picking up the rhythm and following. When a caregiver reads and responds to the young child's messages with sensitivity, the child's hunger to be understood is satisfied. The conviction that "I am someone who is paid attention to" becomes part of the infant or toddler's identity.
The environment affects relationships between children. The amount and arrangement of space and the choice and abundance of play materials can either increase the chances that young children will interact positively with each other or increase the likelihood of biting, toy pulling, and dazed wandering. Our environment encourages flexible, individualized care within a group setting. With easy access to the outdoors, the daily rhythms of toddlers can be accommodated.
Having one caregiver over an extended period of time rather than switching every 6 to 9 months or so is important to the expansion of a child's development. Switching from one caregiver to another takes its toll. The child has to build trust all over again. When a very young child loses a caregiver, he really loses part of his sense of himself and the way the world operates: The things that the child knows how to do, and the ways that he knows to be simply don't work any more. Too many changes in caregivers can lead to a child's reluctance to form new relationships. Our staffing plan ensures where possible, this does not occur.
Self-reflection is key to culturally sensitive care. By exploring their own backgrounds, our educators can see the roots of some of their most basic child care practices. No matter what routine is being carried out, the values about it are shaped by our childhood, our child care training, and other cultural influences. It is essential to recognize these values and understand that they are being transmitted to the children.