The Tangible Room
We began to offer an infant program at our center in 1998. In 1999, we built onto the building and moved our infant program into the extension so that we could make certain to have the specialty equipment and layout necessary for high quality infant care.
We take infants from 3 months to 18 months. (At 18 months, they officially are toddlers) Our infant program is only available for full time care (Monday - Friday). We are licensed for 16 infants and we have a ratio of 1 teacher for every 4 infants.
Our infant room has two learning environments that can accommodate up to 10 babies at any one time.
These areas are equipped with beautiful activity / feeding tables that can hold 8 children. The seats can be turned around as well to face the other direction. The children can often be found doing art activities such as: pudding painting, fluff art, crayon and marker fun, cornmeal collages, cheerio art etc. We use corn syrup rather than glue as these budding artists like to sample their media and work as they create. They also enjoy fingerplays and story time at the table. It is also where they enjoy their snacks and meals. We happily clean the table thoroughly between the varied activities so as to be always at the ready.
The learning / play areas also are set up with colorful mats for the children to crawl / play on, a huge variety of toys, low shelves, soft low gross motor climbers (the "crawly bumps"), as well as exersaucers, swings, and bouncy chairs.
Each child has their own locker for their personal items and clothing.
Adjacent to the learning / play areas is the separate nap room for the babies. Each baby has their own assigned crib, with sheets and we ask mom & dad to bring in a blanket, as well as - perhaps - a sleep toy to make the crib their own. Our sleep room is painted in a lovely deep wedgewood blue with a border of moons & stars with several windows to the classroom and the staff room for constant supervision.
We have four-seater strollers to take the babies for walks. They particularly enjoy seeing the vehicles driving along, visiting the nearby pet store and receiving lots of waves from passers by.
Each baby has a log book which documents their day. It indicates to the parents how they ate, slept, interacted, played, as well as diapering.
In addition to the time for free play, the infant teachers plan learning activities 1 week in advance. These activities are based upon the children's developmental abilities and are selected with specific skills in mind. Some examples would be: jumbo peg / peg boards, rolling ball games, musical instruments, mirror games, mimicking, follow the leader, bubble play, cornmeal play, water play, and many many more. Stories and songs are a part of every hour of the day.
The babies are all on their own schedules. They drink, eat and sleep according to their own needs.
If a baby has not tried all items on our menu, then it is necessary for mom & dad to provide their food & drinks but once all types of foods on menu have been introduced, then we provide 2 snacks and a lunch as well as drinks. Food and drinks provided from home must be labelled.
Parents also provide diapers and wipes.
Our infant program is a very special part of our daycare. When we opened our program, 13% of Nova Scotia daycares had infant care. This has since decreased to approximately 8%. We are often asked if we are considering closing our infant unit and we always reassure families that it is a special part of who KIDS R KIDS is. We have thoroughly enjoyed sharing and watching our babies grow and graduate through our classes until heading off to "big" school. We simply cannot imagine KIDS R KIDS without our babies.
Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions about our baby program.