Infant and Toddler Program

Infants: 4 weeks to 15 months
Toddlers: 15 months to 2 years 9 months

Giggles and Grins is our infant and toddler program for children 4 weeks to 2 years 9 months.

Our caregiver's have specialized training in the care and development of infant and toddlers with the consistency recognized to be of highest importance for families and children. The center's owner has several years of experience in early intervention settings as a pediatric occupational therapist with a strong background in the development of infants and toddlers as well as the parent perspective of having three children of her own.

Welcome to our infant room, which is designed for young infants not yet walking. Within this room caregivers work with families to learn the schedule of each individual infant and establish consistent routines. Each moment of an infant's day is important. Within an infant caregiver relationship, bonds will form as the infant feels secure, builds trust in being well cared for and loved. This bond supports the love and emotional security of his or her family.

The infant is learning throughout his day through taking in all the sensations seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting, and moving. Caregivers control these sensations through learning the communication signals of the infant knowing how to engage, calm alert infants to promote optimal development. Infants move from reflexive movement patterns to learning to control their movements. The infant caregivers at Dartmouth Children's Center are trained in the developmental movement patterns infants go through and challenge infants with appropriate toys and cushions for positioning.

As infants begin to take their first steps and move about their environment, they transition into the infant/ toddler room designed for older infants and younger toddlers. Motor skills, language and thought are rapidly developing. The environment is rich with movement exploration, push pull toys, crawl and climb toys designed for safety. Teachers challenge children with imitation skills, provide toys for thought development such as cause effect, stacking, hiding games. Teacher's model language.

 Our front infant/toddler room is an active room. Infants and Toddlers use their whole body to explore. A safe and well-planned environment is crucial for their well being. Caregivers are present to assist toddlers in an environment which is set up to peak their exploratory interests. Toddlers want to try things on their own. They are working on forming the language to express their feelings. Teachers provide patient guidance and redirection in assisting children to control behavior and impulses. They begin to provide them with choices and provide positive attention for appropriate behavior. Frequent testing and expression of opposition are recognized as part of normal development. The Older infants / toddler's schedule is routine which allows children to develop an internal sense of time and predictability.

The program and environment are individually designed to meet the needs of the families and children enrolled within a holistic developmental framework.

Communication with families will be available through multitude of means including daily direct verbal conversation, written reports on daily schedule and needs, access through voice mail and e-mail for those times when you think of something you want to remember to discuss.

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