6 weeks to 12 months
Our infant room maintains a ratio of one qualified teacher for every four children, up to a maximum of eight children.
We offer a child-centered, family-oriented infant program that is designed to promote a developmental approach to the social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth of each child. We believe these areas of growth do not evolve separately, but rather support and strengthen each other. We follow the “best practice” standards of quality care in all aspects of our program, including staff qualifications and ongoing training; health; safety & security; program requirements; room arrangement; and the daily routine care and well-being of each infant enrolled in our program.
Built upon a foundation of trust and security, caregivers encourage independence and experimentation. By arousing curiosity and interest, infants are motivated to engage in new challenges. These experiences stimulate the development of the “whole” child. The environment is designed to be a warm, safe, inviting, and challenging space for the various ages of infants, and we continue to modify the space as each infant grows. Teachers keep track of developmental changes and set appropriate goals for each child – goals that serve as guidelines for planning activities for the group and individual child.
Your baby will learn about his/her environment through exploration. Infants learn at their own paces by touching and tasting, vocalizing, and through their own play. Teachers help to facilitate play by giving each infant the opportunity to be in control of his or her own experiences and make discoveries on their own. Therefore, the infant environment is set up to encourage exploration and discovery that is both planned and spontaneous. Our infants also enjoy visiting the elderly residents of United Helpers through daily stroller walks.
The room is designed with objects that hang for visual stimulation, textures and colors throughout, and manipulative toys that even the youngest of infants can grasp and mouth. As infants become mobile and are able to crawl and pull themselves up, they begin to use pull-up and climbing structures, as well as tunnels to crawl through, mirrors to look in, and a variety of toys that can be pushed, pulled, opened and closed. Walks and outdoor experiences are provided on a daily basis, weather permitting. Our staff will work with every child through each developmental stage.
We value the need for each infant’s daily schedule to remain consistent with their schedule at home and try our best to accommodate this need. CDCC is a participant of the Child and Adult Food Program (CAFP) which allows us to provide Enfamil infant formula, baby cereals and food, as well as infant finger foods. Parents are encouraged to introduce new foods at home prior to being served at our center.
CDCC is a certified breastfeeding friendly center through The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and supports mothers who choose to continue breastfeeding after returning to work. Our staff is trained on how to handle breast milk and our classroom provides a quiet area for mothers to nurse. Mothers are welcome to come and breastfeed their child during the day.
We strive to satisfy each infants’ need for a close physical and emotional attachment. As we forge this bond, we hope to become an extension of the family unit, working cooperatively to support both family and child. Connections between home and center practices are established to maintain consistency in care and to provide parent support. Infants are given love, emotional support, and affection throughout the day. In addition to meeting all direct care needs, staff aim to provide a warm, nurturing environment and as many one-to-one interactions as possible. Both diapering and feeding times provide additional opportunities for teachers to give individual attention to each child. The changing table is an inviting place, with hanging toys that can be played with. Infant and teacher can exchange smiles, gurgles, and giggles while a diaper is changed. At bottle time, infants are very relaxed while sitting in a teacher’s lap.
The crib area is a cozy and darkened space where music plays continuously; each baby has his or her own crib with sheets, blankets, and a soft toy from home to make them feel secure. Teachers help infants go to sleep with rocking or back rubs. Infants are never left unsupervised or unattended while in our care.
Throughout the year, and on a daily basis, teachers work extensively with each family to meet the individual needs of their infant in order to provide a positive and rewarding childcare experience!