Infant Learning and Playing Programs
Each child’s daily schedule reflects flexibility to meet their individual needs. Your infant will feel safe, loved, and secure. Learning opportunities enhance your child’s development throughout the day. For our infant classes, daily logs are completed, which include feeding, diapering, napping, and activities.
Areas of educational programming for infants include:
We provide positive interactions with the children, evident by responding to their needs, sharing their accomplishments, and encouraging them to explore our environment. Each infant experiences cuddling and holding with nurturing caregivers as well as individual feeding and diapering times. Infants have many opportunities for one-on-one interaction with staff members.
We provide opportunities for children to gain control over their large and small muscles. Infants participate in activities that allow them to master skills such as rolling over, kicking, sitting, crawling, walking, reaching, and grasping. Exploration for infants takes place in a safe, nurturing environment with encouragement from teachers and staff.
Daily interactions and activities provide infants opportunities to develop an understanding of the world around them. Each infant learns to anticipate events through predictable routines. Singing, talking, and holding take place on a daily basis.
Communication includes facial expression, gestures, body movements, and verbalization. By interacting with other children and staff, infants are acquiring thousands of vocabulary words. We encourage their efforts to communicate and facilitate the introduction of sign language.
We follow the CACFP Infant Meal Patterns:
- Birth – 5 months: 4-6 oz. breast milk/iron fortified formula for breakfast, lunch, and snack.
- 6-11 months: 6-8 oz. breast milk/iron fortified formula for Breakfast and Lunch AND 0-4 tbsp. iron fortified infant cereal, meat, fish, poultry, whole egg, cooked dry beans cooked dry peas OR 0-2 oz cheese, OR 0-4 oz yogurt AND 0-2 tbsp vegetable/fruit Table food will be offered with parent permission following the restricted food guidelines.
- Snack: 2-4 oz breast milk/iron fortified formula AND 0-1/2oz bread OR 0-2 Crackers OR 0-4 tbsp iron fortified infant cereal OR 0-4 tbsp ready to eat cereal AND 0-2 tbsp vegetable/fruit
- 12-15 months: USDA recommended guidelines and CACFP meal pattern is followed for serving table food and milk.
- Formula bottles are prepared on-site. juice, medication, or cereal is never put in a bottle.
- Parents provide formula and bottles (Some center locations provide Infant Soy Formula with Iron because they participate in CACFP).
- If an infant requires formula after 12 months of age, a Special Diet Statement must be completed by a physician.
- Bottles and bottle rings must be labeled with the child’s first and last initial.
- Bottles are washed and sanitized after every use.
- If providing breast milk, we have specific policies regarding safe handling procedures.
- In order to develop self-help skills, we encourage children to hold their own bottle, drink from a sippy cup, and feed themselves as they grow. If an infant is still using a bottle after 12 months of age, a Special Needs Care Plan is required.
- Baby cereal and baby food are provided. Pureed food is prepared utilizing fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen vegetables, fruit is unsweetened and packed in natural juice or water. Commercially packaged baby food may be utilized minimally.
- Parental consent is required prior to the introduction of new foods, including baby food.
- Meals are provided for children consuming table food. Bibs are also provided.
- Each child is provided a crib. Cots may be provided at 12 months of age.
- Monthly, each crib is inspected and documented. Repairs and replacements will be done as needed.
- Annually, each crib’s brand name and model number will be checked against the US Consumer Product Safety Commissions website listing of unsafe cribs and documented on an inspection form.
- We supply crib sheets that are washed weekly or as needed. Crib sheets fit tightly and overlap the mattress so it cannot be dislodged by pulling on the corner of the sheet.
- Lightweight blankets from home are welcome for children over 12 months of age. We may not use heavy blankets such as fleece tied, comforters, or quilts. Personal blankets are sent home weekly or when needed to be washed.
- Naps are given on demand and children in the separate sleeping area are under supervision at all times.
- Cribs and cots are placed so there are clear aisles and allow unimpeded access on at least one side.
- Bumper pads, stuffed animals, pillows, blankets, or toys are not allowed in cribs, via licensing regulations.
- We follow “Back to Sleep” regulations and need physician permission to deviate from this policy.
- A child who has completed a nap or rested quietly for 30 minutes is not required to stay in a crib or on a cot.
- Children are checked every 2-3 hours or as needed.
- Parents supply diapers, wipes, cream, and/or powder. Label all packages with first and last names.
- Parents will be notified when their child is getting low on supplies and are required to replenish them.
- We go outside daily weather permitting when the heat index is below 95 degrees and:
- Real feel temperature is 45 degree or warmer for children under 12 months of age.
- Real feel temperature is 30 degrees or warmer for children over 12 months of age.
- Outdoor opportunities include stroller rides and playground exploration including sandbox, small climber, and riding toys.
- Outdoor guidelines are subject to the children’s sleeping schedules, ratio of children, and age of children in attendance.
- All children must wear shoes and/or socks at all times.
- As your child becomes mobile, shoes are required. We recommend walking shoes with good support.
- Pacifiers may be brought in. They need to be labeled with the first and last initial.
- Appropriate clothing for the weather conditions is required (snow pants, boots, mittens).
- Children are not allowed to wear scarves for safety reasons.
- At least one complete set of extra clothes needs to be available in your child’s cubby.