Infant Daycare

A Brief Introduction to the Infant Day Care Curriculum

(6 weeks – 1 year old) 

Infants begin to explore their worlds through touch, sound, sights and feel from the time they are born.  Babies are learning and growing faster at this stage in their lives than at any other and are therefore brilliant and fast learners. Communication begins through smiling, mirroring and cooing; attempts to physically engage with their worlds through crawling, standing, walking, rolling, and scooting are all major milestones in their physical growth and development; grasping, reaching, swatting and shaking toys are early interactions with the world around them. At The Kids Rule Academy, we have carefully developed a day care and curriculum for infants that enhances and supports growth and learning at this unique period of rapid development. The warm and loving environment provided by the professional caregivers and teachers at The Kids Rule Academy provides one on one interactions, and personalized, individualized experiences for infants. Here at The Kids Rule Academy we strive to maintain positive, productive and meaningful partnerships with parents in order to provide the best support and opportunities for children to grow, learn and flourish. We aim to support infants in their everyday achievements and milestones to prepare them for the next exciting and new stages of their development and growth. Our daycare program is carefully designed for infants and it is through our loving, home-like environments that we seek to provide infants:

  • Support in their development of language
  • Exposure to early math and science concepts
  • Support for development of social and emotional skills and awareness
  • Small and large muscle growth to foster physical development

Language Skills

From their very first cries to their first coos and babbles, infants are built to communicate and engage with those around them. In order to get what they need, to establish bonds with those around them, and to communicate, a babies coos and cries quickly develop into babbles, gesture and mimicking. Many of these communication skills develop naturally in children, but there are ways in which we can skillfully interact with infants to encourage and support the learning of communication skills that are vital to social development. Here at the Kids Rule academy we provide an environment where our teachers support the development of communication skills through activities such as naming objects and offering descriptions of them, singing songs and lullabies, and engaging in regular conversation with infants (enough if the response is babbling and cooing!). This regular communication and exposure provides infants the framework for body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, and the various uses of language that helps them develop their understandings of communication.

Language Skills for Infants

Listening

At our Academy we teach infants to:

  • Respond to and recognize the voices of key people
  • Respond to simple instruction and suggestions
  • Move their bodies to sounds and music
  • Show interest in rhymes, songs, music, and stories

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Being spoken to regularly by our caregivers and teachers
  • Regular exposure to music and story time
  • Learning basic and simple directions and instructions such as “ Clap your hands” or “Pick up the bottle”
  • Dancing, singing and moving to popular children’s songs such as “Old MacDonald” and the “ Wheels on the Bus”

Speaking

At our Academy we teach infants to:

  • Express themselves by encouraging them to display choices and intention
  • Actively engage in communication with others
  • Look for caregivers and teachers to express needs and desires

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Being regularly offered basic choices in the classroom: “ Would you like the big blocks or the small blocks? “
  • Observing that caregivers and teachers respond to both non-verbal and verbal communications
  • Acknowledgement of cooing, babbling and gestures by caregivers, and receiving a response to it
  • The experience of one on one communication with caregivers during mealtimes

Early Reading Skills

At our Academy we teach infants to:

  • Participate in games that encourage the learning of rhymes and words
  • Explore and investigate picture books
  • Have fun with story time and reading
  • Improve skills in hand/eye coordination
  • Grasp and manipulate objects intentionally

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Regular and consistent access to age appropriate reading materials
  • Having books read to them throughout their day with us
  • Playing with large floor puzzles and word card games
  • Engaging in finger painting activities
  • Play games such as ‘Patty Cake’ or singing songs such as ‘The Itsy-Bitsy Spider’

 Making Math Count

Math and mathematical skills are an essential part of an infant’s learning because they shape the way children interact with their world. The concepts and skills learned in math help to foster early learning and the cognitive development of infants. Through engagement with geometric shapes, the patterns on toys, and the exploration of space around her, an infant is learning the most basic of concepts related to math. And through this, she is starting build critical skills for her intellectual growth by establishing the foundations for more complex mathematical concepts and skills.

Building a solid foundation in math skills is important to us here at The Kids Rule Academy, which is why we use an infant curriculum for math skills that helps children to gain knowledge important to their future mathematical development. Teachers and caregivers in this program actively encourage an awareness of math concepts in infants and help to encourage the development of foundations for future learning in mathematics.

Spatial Relations:

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Recognize words such as ‘up’, ‘under’ or ‘down’ to describe space and location
  • Awareness of space and variations within it

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  •  Our teachers and caregivers will regularly use words to describe space and location within complete, descriptive sentences “Do you want me to put the ball down?” Or “Would you like me to pick you up?”
  • Regular exploration of indoor and outdoor  spaces with other children and our staff

 Understanding Numbers:

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Recognize and understand words that represent quantity such as more, and less
  • Identify singular objects and toys

Infants will learn these skills by:

  • The use of toys such as measuring scoops and cups at the measuring table
  • Playing games regularly that involve the identification of individual body      parts one at a time: “ Touch your nose, now touch your knees”

Learning Time:

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Repeat activities to produce the same result so they can witness the same thing happening again repeatedly
  • Anticipate an event, action or activity

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Following a flexible, but predictable daily routine and schedule
  • Playing with toys that create sounds or reactions when interacted within in a certain way

Learning to Classify:

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Pick up items from a selection of other items
  • Recognize sounds and simple words to describe objects

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Hearing items described and named out loud regularly
  • Having the ability to choose from many different types of age appropriate games and toys and picking from them

Awesome Science

Investigation, experimentation and discovery are a natural part of an infant’s growth and development. Infants discover science every day through activities such as movement of their bodies, the manipulation of objects in various spaces, and exploration with their senses. Daily occurrences such as shadows on the wall, birds chirping, the taste of new foods, weather conditions such as wind and snow, and even new teeth coming in teach babies about the world around them. By learning these sensations and visions with their bodies and senses first, they are becoming aware of these things physically long before they understand the concepts with their minds. Our Awesome Science curriculum encourages children to begin processes of discovery. Our caregivers and teachers actively engage infants in sensory-touch environments that help to promote scientific discoveries and experimentation.

Problem Solving:

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Take repeated steps to solve a problem
  • Purposefully use toys and other objects in new ways

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Engaging with toys that fit differently shaped blocks into a shape sorter
  • Making various attempts to solve problems with children, for example getting a ball that is stuck underneath a table

Active Exploration:

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Use their senses to explore the various properties of toys and objects
  • How to use two or more objects at the same time
  • How to manipulate and move objects and toys

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • The regular use of safe, clean materials and toys that children can explore the sight, taste, and sounds of
  • The exploration of items and toys that begin to introduce their world; for example plastic animals and toy cars
  • Playing with toys that encourage exploring such as moving colorful beads on a track or string

Volume and Space:

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Begin to understand the concept of object permanence
  • Experiment with volume and space

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Looking for a person or object when they are out of sight such as playing ‘peek a boo’
  • Placing toys in a bucket or other containers and then emptying them out

Creativity and Arts

Infants first begin to learn about their worlds through their senses. Introduction to arts and creativity encourage rich and varied experiences with their surroundings and helps to encourage heightened use of their senses. This early exposure helps to nurture an infant’s development by capturing their interests and curiosity.

At The Kids Rules Academy our teachers and caregivers work with infants to encourage them to explore and engage in activities that assist them in discovering their creative sides. Activities such as finger painting, music, and puppetry all aid the development of these creative senses. It is by doing these simple yet engaging activities that infants begin to appreciate the wonder and beauty of the art world while developing a stronger sense of their creative self.

Visual Art:

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Use their senses to explore the world around them
  • Differentiate between basic patterns and familiar faces
  • Use simple tools such as paintbrushes and sponges to help in the development of small muscle group skills

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Exploring objects and materials of various shapes, sizes, colors and textures
  • Regularly looking at photos and illustrations in picture books and observing images at eye level on the walls of the center
  • Engagement in activities such as painting by using fingers, brushes and sponges

Music:

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Move and dance to rhythm and music
  • Experiment with sounds and various noises

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Listening and learning to move along to songs such as ‘Old MacDonald’ or ‘Open, Shut them’ which introduces infants to participation in interactive and familiar musical tunes
  • Regular access to, and interaction with, musical instruments, rattles and other objects that produce sound

Dance and Creative Movement

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Keep balance
  • Move in meaningful and coordinated ways to music and sounds
  • Respond to music through dancing and movement

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Taking guided steps and instructions from caregivers and teachers that encourage reaching or grabbing for toys and objects
  • Engaging in games like ‘peek-a-boo’ that encourages purposeful movement
  • Dancing and moving with caregivers and teachers to music and sounds to learn how one can move the body to different sounds and tempos

Dramatic Arts:

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Get involved in, and be interested in, stories and storytelling
  • Imitate actions and mirror the movements of others

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Regular story time with age-appropriate books that contain brightly illustrated images and photos
  • Exposure to activities such as dolls and puppets

The World Around Us

Infants may be young, but they can begin to lay the foundation for becoming happy, productive members of society very early on. Interactions with their social surroundings are vital at this age. The development of positive, interactive relationships with adults, spending time in their communities, the enjoyment of warm, interesting, and engaging surroundings may seem like simple experiences but they begin to shape a child’s perceptions, values and perception of self.

Our teachers and caregivers encourage infants through this curriculum to engage their curiosity through the senses to explore the world around them.  Daily activities contribute to this growth significantly and include experiences such as looking in the mirror, sitting with friends and caregivers during storytelling, relaxing during quiet time, and enjoying nature through the various senses, all help to promote awareness of self and others in infants while engaging with the natural world. Our emphasis on outside play time helps to ensure that developing young minds get time to explore and engage with nature year round.

An Infant’s Sense of Self:

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Recognize and find their body parts
  • Find themselves in a mirror or photograph
  • Develop a sense of self as separate from others and of their own bodies

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Playing games regularly that encourage the identification of body parts
  • Looking at photo albums and images from families made by teachers and caregivers to help children find themselves and identify those that are familiar
  • The use of a regular, consistent good-bye routine in this morning. This is in addition to our flexible, yet regular daily schedules.

Relationships with Others:

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Recognize and respond to familiar faces
  • Purposefully interact with peers and adults
  • Express and act with compassion and affection

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Regular, consistent care and affection from consistent caregivers and teachers
  • Playing with peer in open and cushioned spaces
  • Experiencing regular affection and compassion from teachers and caregivers

Learning Cause and Effect:

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Imitate and mirror another’s actions
  • Repetition of actions to make events happen purposefully

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Watching caregivers and teachers model imaginative play such as rocking a doll and then asking “ Can you rock the baby?”
  • Repetitive games that call for filling up buckets and other objects with toys and then dumping them out to refill them

Safe and Aware

Wonderful achievements fill the first year of an infant life! Babies are constantly working to expand their physical abilities, to discover the world around them, to develop social relationships with those around them, and to start to establish a sense of self. It is the large and small accomplishments that are made daily by infants that help to nurture and support their welling being.

From their first smile to their first step, an infant’s development is rapid and is happening every day, so here at The Kids Rule Academy, we ensure our Safe and Aware curriculum allows children to grow in a healthy and safe way. Our classrooms and play areas are all developed with the health and safety of your child in mind. Our caregivers and teachers encourage safe and healthy exploration of the various spaces and help infants develop the skills to make good, smart choices that will set the foundations for lifelong healthy choices.

Movement, Exercise and Body Awareness

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Establish an awareness of body parts and what bodies are able to do
  • Make purposeful movements
  • Enjoy physical movements and activities

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Regularly playing games that name and use various body parts: such as “This little piggy went to market” and “Where is thumbkin?”
  • Practicing simple physical skills like rolling balls, grasping and grabbing for toys, and stacking blocks
  • Playing outside regularly

Good Nutrition

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Communicate hunger and thirst
  • Enjoy and have fun at meal times
  • Become accustom to a variety of healthy flavors and various textures when they are ready for solid foods

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Listening to cues and expressed feelings; for example: “Are you hungry? Let’s eat lunch now!”
  • Receiving regular, consistent attention and encouragement during meal times
  • Trying and sampling a wide variety of safe foods from home and our kitchen

Health and Safety

At our Academy we Teach Infants to:

  • Engage in healthy habits like washing their hands
  • Explore the surrounding environment in a safe yet fun way
  • Feel secure in their health and safety needs; our teachers and caregivers are always around and ready to meet the individuals needs of infants

At our Academy Infants will learn these skills by:

  • Having their wants and needs met daily by our friendly, caring staff
  • Exposure to, and ability to play in, an environment filled with engaging materials and toys
  • Communicating and expressing needs to teachers and caregivers and receiving consistent, compassionate responses