Infant and Toddler Program Goals in Areas of Development:
To help children feel comfortable in school and trust their new environment. Teachers work to establish bonds, meet each child’s individual needs, model age-appropriate social interactions, and respond to children’s cues. Indicating wants and needs, learning use of language, reaching for toys and trusted adults, and showing interest or excitement are indicators of social development in infants and toddlers.
To help children experience pride and self-confidence, develop independence and self-control. Classroom lessons focus on helping children use their five senses to learn about their environment and respond with appropriate emotions. It is important to use identifying words for emotions with infants and toddlers.
To help children become confident learners by letting them try new activities through trial and error. Teachers help infants and toddlers acquire skills such as problem-solving and using their words. Options of materials in classrooms can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, taken apart, and reconstructed in multiple ways. Messy play in both indoor and outdoor classroom environments offer creative, fun, and interesting opportunities for learning. Books and music boost language development.
To help children increase their large and small muscle skills and gain confidence in their abilities. Art experiences, toys, games, and meal times offer opportunities to strengthen fine motor skills such as holding, grasping, and drawing. Indoor and outdoor classroom spaces allow infants and toddlers safe areas to do tummy-time, roll, crawl, pull up, walk, and run with confidence.
Learn more about early childhood development and milestones with the CDC resource here.