As in all Voyagers’ classrooms, the environment is yet another teacher that provides what children need and seek in order to continue learning. The infant room offers challenges and opportunities for collaboration and connections. Children find possibilities in a variety of materials and experiences that include sensory, fine, and gross motor skills development and art, music, nature exploration.
Babies begin to explore the world and the people around them from the moment they are born. A newborn’s brain is wired at birth to begin paying attention to the things that will get them through each day of life; they stare longer at faces, pay close attention to voices, and react to smells. The inborn drive to learn continues and expands as infants grow. Infants are increasingly active, motivated learners who have their own curriculum. The availability of multisensory materials, along with the teacher’s gentle guidance, facilitates each child’s inquiries and investigations.
Our teacher/researchers watch, listen, and document each child’s ideas as they go about their daily routine. Teachers are active observers who reflect on what they learn about children’s interests. Only then do they make plans. These plans allow, within safe limits, for children to discover, create and share.
All of our dedicated and friendly caregivers are trained in child development, early-childhood education and related fields. We conduct thorough background checks, relying on local law enforcement, to ensure trustworthy staff and passionate teachers provide the best care and education for every child. Our staff and teachers are trained and certified in first aid and CPR.
Our teachers communicate with parents about each infant’s current state of development and daily progress as he or she rapidly grows. This reporting is accomplished through the use of an online portfolio supported by Seesaw. This portfolio follows each child through each year of schooling at Voyagers’ Community School.
Our classrooms are cleaned each day with safe, non-toxic, green cleaning products.
Cleaning supplies are kept safely out of reach of children.
Toys are sanitized throughout the day to help prevent the spread of germs.
We help and teach children to wash their hands throughout the day by singing songs and teaching lessons about health and hygiene.
Diapering is conducted in a designated changing area.
Reggio Emilia’s “Inserimento,” which translated means “settling in,” is the approach our teachers take as they introduce both parents and babies to our environment. The teachers learn as much as they can from parents about each infant’s personality, routines, and needs. To accomplish this understanding, they allow time for parents and infants to separate and to become acquainted with the new surroundings. Our goal is for both parents and infants to feel comfortable during this first separation.
The routine of the day is predictable, but flexible so that the children know what to expect. There is a “child rhythm” embedded in the routine, so each child’s needs and interests are always at the forefront.
Children are given plenty of time to explore and play throughout the day. A gentle routine of free play, songs, rhymes, and rest are accentuated. These little ones explore both in and outdoors. They are never rushed from one activity to another.
Routines, such as sleeping and eating, are given careful attention and considered another part of the curriculum. Providing rich materials, building relationships, and being present for each child, creates a secure, safe nest in which toddlers can grow and flourish.