Infants & Toddlers

Infants and toddlers at CPSC blossom under gentle, loving, attentive, and emotionally responsive care provided by early childhood educators trained to meet the emotional and developmental needs of our youngest children. Teachers communicate with parents in both written and oral form, keeping parents fully informed about their child’s day and insuring optimal consistency between the home and school environment. Each child is treasured as a unique individual on his/her own journey of growth and development. Working at a ratio of one teacher to four in groups of eight infants, teachers form a close partnership with parents to effectively individualize care.

Infant care is completely individualized. Our teachers work closely with the parents to understand family preferences for their infant care and incorporate key home routines into our classroom. We work closely with parents to communicate daily events and changes in the baby’s schedule, health, development, and mood. It is important for us to ensure that parents are comfortable with the care of their children under our care, so we selectively tailor our program to each family’s preferences. Infants are provided a stimulating environment with lots of interaction time in teachers’ laps, on the floor, playing with people and toys, or outside enjoying age appropriate activities. We respond as quickly as possible to cries for assistance as well as smiles and laughter. The goal is to establish the loving, supportive, responsive relationships that all babies need for their intellectual, social, and physical development.

Toddlers need to pursue their quest for independence, and our teachers are there to lend a helping hand when needed. Toddlers can choose between many interesting activities that keep them busy and happy throughout the day. Teachers in the toddler classrooms allow the children to try new things for themselves, only stepping in to help as the need arises. One of our primary areas of focus is aiding our young children to learn how to express themselves and communicate with adults and other children. Often, teachers will assist the development of the children’s vocabulary by helping them put words to feelings and needs, supplying them with a rudimentary vocabulary even if they still can’t product clear words. Good, responsive and respectful relationships are key to achieving important toddler developmental milestones.

Infant & Toddler Teachers

Each Infant and Toddler Room has teachers who are well trained in Early Childhood Education. Our teachers understand that some of the most important learning takes place during the first two years of a child’s life. Consistent, sensitive, and responsive care helps establish a good self concept and a solid base for exploration and learning. Our care is focused on each child’s sense of security, safety, and comfort. Teachers talk to children about their surroundings, their activities and the care that they are receiving. Expressions of affection are frequent. Verbal, fine motor, large motor, and social skills are learned in an atmosphere filled with love and respect.

Out of our fourteen infant and toddler teachers, four have worked for CPSC for more than ten years, and three for more than five years. Our Toddler staff is expert in the development of children aged 12 to 24 months. Nine hold professional or advanced degrees. Those who do not currently hold degrees are currently in school with financial support from CPSC. Our goal is to support our teachers so they all hold degrees and significant coursework in Early Childhood Education.

Infant & Toddler Environments

The environment for very young children at CPSC provides opportunities for safe, stimulating exploration. Children are surrounded by different textures and colors. Pictures on the walls feature objects and people the children find interesting and are displayed and rotated on a regular basis. Developmentally appropriate toys are also rotated to provide variety and continuing challenges. Teachers sit on the floor and join children in their play. The children are taken outside to play in the infant/toddler yard on a daily basis. Both the outside and indoor environments provide many choices for activities.

Furniture for the children is designed for their comfort and ease of cleaning. There are rocking chairs so teachers can feed and rock babies comfortably. Infants and toddlers have appropriate opportunities to climb in safely on structures designed specifically for young children. Toddlers have chairs that are the right size for their little torsos and legs. The classrooms are rearranged frequently to provide new challenges and opportunities. The goal is to provide a comfortable, clean, attractive environment in which children can spend productive, enjoyable days with their friends and teachers.

Infant & Toddler Schedule

Schedules in Infant rooms (for children up to 12 months) are completely individualized. Each child’s schedule is set according to their needs and with frequent input from the parents.

Toddler schedule for children from 12 – 24 months is more predictable, and listed below:

7:15 – 9:00 Arrival & Exploring the Environment
9:00 – 9:30 Healthy Morning Snacks
9:30 – 10:00 Small Group Activities & Literature-Books
10:15 – 11:15 Outdoor Space & Play
11:15 – noon Lunch
12:00 – 2:30 Nap Time
2:30 – 3:00 Free Play & Healthy Afternoon Snack
3:00 – 6:15 Outdoor Space Activities and Play; pick-up

Infant & Toddler Program Coordinator

Natalie Hendricks
natalie@cpscstaff.com

I am excited and honored to work with the teaching teams at CPSC. Previously, I worked in infant and toddler classrooms at Google Children’s Center and Foothill Preschool. I received my degree in Child Development from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and then completed a Post-Baccalaureate Program at Idaho State University in Speech and Language Pathology. I am strongly influenced by the work of Magna Gerber and inspired by philosophy and values of the Reggio Emilia approach. I believe in the importance of building relationships with children and families by creating classroom spaces that are welcoming, inclusive, and support the development of the whole child. I strive to honor the unique personalities and inquisitive nature of the children in our community. I love that my work allows me to be always learning and growing alongside the children.