Infants (0 – 18 months)

Growing_Tree_09The Infant program at Growing Tree Academy Preschool and Childcare Center is a self-contained room for children from birth through 18 months. Our goal is to create a partnership with parents that will ensure that each child receives the very best care while at the center. A partnership begins with open communication and mutual respect between families and staff. Parents are welcome to visit at any time. GTA’s daily classroom practice and programming objectives are designed to support the programs philosophy and the established long-term goals. Goals for infants and toddlers in our care include:

  •  Respecting each child as a unique and special person;
  •  Attending to each child’s physical and psychological needs;
  •  Fostering and developing a relationship with a caregiver the child can trust;
  •  Providing a safe, healthy, and developmentally appropriate environment;
  •  Creating opportunities to interact with other infants; and,
  •  Supporting children in their exploration and use of all their senses.

The Infant curriculum is designed to build infant development through caregiving and play. During caregiving routines, such as feeding or diapering, the teacher gives each child their full, focused attention. Through caregiving interactions, opportunities arise for children to learn important social, language, and self-help skills. Throughout the rest of the day we play. The curriculum throughout the center focuses on the developmental needs of the child and emphasizes the integration of cognitive, physical, and social/emotional development. Summarized below are some of the ways the curriculum meets the needs of and challenges the infant and young toddler.

  • Motor Development – Our program encourages exercise by providing a safe environment for children to practice emerging skills. We have safe places to climb and pull up; equipment to grasp to help walking; open spaces for scooting, crawling and walking; and carts to push. To improve small motor development, there are rattles to hold, shake and handle; teething toys, shape toys; and, objects to stack. Teachers further encourage physical development by expressing an interest in and acknowledging the child’s accomplishments.
  •  Language Development – Children are spoken to frequently throughout the day. Songs are sung and stories read. We build upon the children’s vocabularies by talking about the foods they eat, the things they see, objects we use in play and the names of the children and their friends.
  •  Cognitive Development – Our program encourages cognitive development by providing an interesting “hands-on” environment that invites learning. Through exploration and discovery, children begin to learn such cognitive milestones as object permanence and cause and effect.
  • Social Development – An important component of social development is self concept. Infant schedules are individualized, which fosters the child’s security about his or her environment. Holding, hugging and one-on-one interaction between teachers and children help to build a trusting bond. Children use this bond as a security base from which they explore their environment and learn about the world.