The Infant Program
The Laurel Hill infant program is a place where your baby will begin to establish a secure sense of self. With the support of caregivers, infants begin the lifelong process of exploration and learning. While always exposing every child to the full breadth of resources and activities available to them, we are sure to allow each child’s natural rhythms and temperament to determine his or her daily schedule. The infant program maintains a ratio of 3 infants to 1 caregiver.
The Laurel Hill infant curriculum is bursting with sound, color, and texture, intended to catch and hold babies’ attention and keep them smiling as they learn! Our language-rich curriculum maximizes sensory stimulation and consistently offers brand-new, exciting experiences. Unlike other programs that provide their caregivers with a general outline of daily activities and then simply hope that there is time to include them, Laurel Hill’s caregivers are provided with specific, step-by step instructions for administering each aspect of the program. Your child’s learning is too important to leave up to chance!
The curriculum follows a detailed schedule that differs week to week. The schedule focuses on various developmental domains, including language development, tactile stimulation, and motor development. Every domain is addressed daily and activities within each domain reflect a central theme that unites all the domains. Multi-sensory experiences, exercise and dance movement, music, stories, language and more expand each theme activity.
Music and Movement:
Equipped with musical instruments, toys that make noise when manipulated, and toys that sing! Exposure to music stimulates babies desire to learn, creates feelings of excitement and enjoyment, and encourages babies’ desire to interact with others to follow, sing along and move along with music.
Plenty of board books, vinyl books, and picture card sets that our caregivers will show and read to each child. Daily exposure to reading aloud stimulates babies’ natural ability to acquire linguistic skills and is an essential element of our program.
Creative Arts & Exploration:
Equipped with a mirrored wall and photo books. Research has shown that infants are drawn to images of their own faces. Mirrors attract and sustain infants’ attention while helping them develop a sense of their own bodies and to orient themselves in space. Our mirrored wall also allows babies to maintain contact with caregivers even when they are not being held in their arms.
Gross Motor Play:
Stocked with activity walkers, large climbing mats, and push and pull play toys, encouraging development of gross motor skills including reaching, object transfer, head raising and sitting upright.
Fine Motor and Self-Help Skills Building:
Using objects such as stacking blocks and reaction toys, the center encourages the development of two skill sets. These include fine motor skills, such as grasping, raking with fingers to pick up objects, holding and manipulating objects, and self-help skills, including grasping and holding a bottle while feeding and pulling up to standing position.
Builds upon our goal of maximizing opportunities for language development by exposing children to storybooks, puppets, and soft stuffed animals that can be manipulated to create engaging tales.
Watch Me Grow Scrapbook
In the Infant Room, babies take amazing strides every day! Your child’s progress toward developmental milestones and goals will be recorded in an individualized “Watch Me Grow” scrapbook, compiled and maintained by your baby’s caregivers. Scrapbooks are shared with parents three times a year, and can be treasured always as a keepsake from your child’s precious early years.
In addition to daily chats together, parents and Laurel Hill maintain a daily written log – the Daily Baby Report. Each morning, parents complete the first part of the Daily Baby Report, describing their child’s sleep patterns, morning nutrition, and any other information the caregiver will need for the day. As the day progresses, caregivers complete the Daily Baby Report, noting feedings, diapering, naps, daily activities and temperament. The Daily Baby Report is reviewed with each parent at pickup time.
Practical Matters – Hygiene, Nutrition and Security
Every aspect of our Infant Program is designed to protect children’s health and safety,and maintaining rigorous hygiene in the Infant Room is an essential element of this goal. Laurel Hill procedures include . . .
- Building and classroom security for arrival, dismissal and pick-up of children
- Full-time nurse on duty
- Childproofed cupboards, electrical outlets and door knobs
- Finger guards on all entry and exit door edges
- Toss-away shoe covers
- Regular sanitizing of toys, floors and play, work and service areas
- Frequent laundering of bedding, washcloths and bibs
- Protective gloves worn by staff for diapering and other personal baby needs
- Changing table liners discarded after single use
- Frequent hand washing in classroom sink
- Complete sanitation procedures for safely storing food and removing waste