Choosing the Right Infant Program for Your Child
A great Infant Program will be attentive to the developmental needs of your child – cognitively, physically, emotionally and socially. Teachers in the program will deal with each child as an individual, knowing that young children pass developmental milestones at different times and in different ways. However, regardless of their age and stage, there are two key elements if your child is to flourish: love and stimulation.
1. Loving Care
Consider that love is a verb. It’s an action taken by a person in relation to another. For an infant, these kinds of actions can be a soothing word, a hug, a tickle or a response to a basic need such as hunger. When love or TLC is consistently provided for your infant, he or she will feel good, become settled and will begin to develop trust in others. Under these circumstances, your child will begin to acquire a sense of security and it is this security that provides the backbone for all other development.
Stimulation is key for early brain development. It is critical, therefore, to understand how to simulate a young child’s curiosity. Because infants experience their world through their senses, an effective Infant Program will provide a multitude of sensory activities. These will include:
• Talking to infants regularly, pointing to objects and encouraging a response
• Listening to stories, playing with books, watching puppets act out a story
• Hearing music, songs and rhymes, repeating simple rhymes
• Having a variety of objects to see, to manipulate, to explore, to feel
• Experiencing a variety of ways to move and develop one’s gross motor muscles (eg. sitting, standing, walking, climbing, throwing, catching), using different equipment
• Exploring multiple environments, both inside and outside, to expand knowledge of the world
• Learning and utilizing sign language to communicate
Specific Questions to Ask
Still wondering what to ask about a particular Infant Program? The following will get you started.
• What goals or philosophy about infant development does the program have?
• What’s the adult to child ratio?
• Does the program work with all the children as a group or work in small groups?
• What qualifications and experience do the teachers have?
• How long have the teachers been at the centre?
What you are looking for are teachers who truly LOVE infants, have an empathy for young children and want truly to make a difference in their lives. You want your infant to get personal attention, to have his or her basic needs of warmth, cleanliness, food and water met when needed. You want teachers who hold a similar philosophy to your goals, who are available to talk to, and who want to work with you.
Brant Children’s Centre has been caring for infants for almost 50 years! We aim to provide the best Infant Program possible, based on the above objectives. But, don’t take our word for it. Come and see for yourself. Schedule a tour today.