The Toddler program at CDM is based on WestEd’s Program for Infant/Toddler Care: “Good infant care is neither baby-sitting nor preschool. It is a special kind of care that resembles no other.” Our program emphasizes that infants are born wired for learning, yet vulnerable. Toddlers, like all children, have individual needs that must be met in respectful ways within the context of nurturing, responsive relationships.
Our program’s goal for toddlers is:
- to build and maintain nurturing relationships with them, while giving them lots of time and engaging, appropriate environments for exploring.
Knowing that their needs are being met in loving ways, toddlers feel safety which allows them to venture out—first learning about their world as they learn about their place in it.
Language learning becomes vital during these early years, so many opportunities for language are given across the curriculum. Singing, reading, book handling, finger-plays, story-telling, and sign language are important ways for toddlers to explore and learn language, developing a love of language at the same time.
Developmentally and age-appropriate activities and explorations, in the context of respectful relationships, enhance toddlers’ growth physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually, especially in the area of language development. Routines provide many teachable moments throughout the day. Partnerships with families ensure collaboration between home and school, thus strengthening relationships and benefitting children.