Voyagers’ Toddler Program Monmouth County
Each day our Our Reggio Emilia inspired Toddler Room is filled with activity. Children join in song, stories, discussions, investigations, discovery, and play. They get to know one another, learn to work together, resolve conflicts, and grow. Toddlers thrive in our Toddler Program. At Voyagers’, toddlers are seen as children with interests, ideas, and rights. Educators view each child as a source of inspiration and delight.
As infants move into toddlerhood, they are more mobile and rapidly growing in their language development. Small “conversations” are taking place among the group and they are able to experience the wider world in a whole new way.
Playing indoors and out with natural materials such as sand, water, mud, leaves, wind and light provides them with first-hand knowledge of this wider world.
Now that they are upright and walking, they experience the world from a new perspective. Imagine what a difference this makes for them as they explore and carry on their investigations! They are interpreters, inventors, idea makers and always on the go.
Voyagers’ infant program is inspired by the Reggio Emilia schools of Italy, along with the study and work of many infant notables.
- Jim Greenman – Caring Spaces, Learning Spaces
- Ronald Lally – Teaching and Learning with Infants and Toddlers, For Our Babies
- Margie Carter and Deb Curtis – Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers
Our Toddler Classroom
Toddlers are 1 and 2-year-old children
Children are welcomed to classrooms based on their age and readiness, and following conversations with parents.
Child to Staff Ratio
- Toddler 7:1
- The Voyagers’ Toddler program is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm with before and after care programs.
- We offer both 10-month and 12-month enrollment options. Families are welcome to use our program in the way that best meets their schedule.
Voyagers’ Toddler Care Approach
Positive, caring relationships are at the heart of our toddler program. Relationships are built between teacher and toddlers, among the small group of children and with preschoolers and early elementary students. With so many people invested in your child’s well-being, there’s no doubt they will learn.
We do not just oversee children we are with them in their exploration, play, and development of knowledge.
In Our Toddler Room, You’ll Discover
- Experienced and responsive teachers who focus on each individual toddler.
- A flexible and responsive environment designed to give your young voyager the chance to move freely and explore their world.
- A fenced in yard with climbing areas, a mud kitchen, an organic garden and plenty of places to discover bugs, flowers, and frogs.
- Soft seating and structures for climbing, pulling up, walking and developing gross motor skills
- Sand/water tables for early sensory development
- Instruments, art supplies, magnifying glasses, bug boxes, and blocks,
- Trains and trucks, multicultural dolls, and manipulatives for rich language and social development.
- An extensive picture book library
Teachers as Co-researchers and Caregivers
Toddlers are so creative! Active play is the toddler’s way of practicing how to be in the world. Toddlers in play are continuously learning, developing new skills, seeking out information, and gaining knowledge. The availability of rich materials, along with the teacher’s gentle guidance, facilitates the child’s inquiries and investigations.
The teachers watch, listen and document each child’s ideas and theories as they go about their daily routine. Teachers are active observers who reflect on what they learn about the children’s interests. Only then do they make plans. These plans allow, within safe limits, for children to discover, create and share.
“Every human being, whether child or adult, seems to require significance, that is place in another’s world.” (Laing, Self And Others, 1969).
As in all Voyagers’ classrooms, the environment is yet another teacher that provides what children need and seek out in order to continue learning. Therefore, the toddler room provides light, softness, challenge, and opportunities for collaboration and connections.
Children find possibilities in a variety of materials and experiences that include sensory, art, music, nature, and motor activities.
Partnership with Parents
Our teachers communicate with parents about each toddler’s current state of development and daily progress as he or she rapidly grows. This is accomplished through the use of an online portfolio supported by Seesaw. This portfolio follows your child through each year of schooling at Voyagers’ Community School.
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 want to learn as much as they can from parents about each infant’s personality, routines, and needs. This means allowing 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.
Toddlers love to explore & learn.
The routine of the day is predictable, but flexible so that toddlers know what to expect. However, 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, circle time, songs, rhymes, and games are accentuated. Children explore both indoors and out. They are not rushed from one activity to another.
The more time allowed, the more deeply they become engaged in play and discovery experiences which equal LEARNING. Routines, such as sleeping and eating, are given careful attention and considered another part of the curriculum. Allowing time, providing rich materials, building relationships, and being present for each child, creates a secure, safe nest in which toddlers can grow and flourish.