The Toddler room has thirteen spaces for children ranging in age from eighteen months to two and a half years of age, with three Registered Early Childhood Educators. The children are divided into three small groups of four or five with a primary caregiver for each group who takes responsibility for helping new children and children moving from the Infant room to transition into the Toddler room. The purpose of dividing into smaller groups and having primary caregivers is and enables teachers the time to observe, record developmental progress and meet with parents twice annually at parent-teacher interviews; however the three educators get to know all of the children and are equally responsible for their care and development.
Our Program follows an Emergent Curriculum Model which means the teachers follow the lead of the children by observing, recording and finding the children’s interests and developmental stages, choosing a “Big Play Idea” and then offer the children materials and activities as well as special events, which the children are excited about. Children learn best through doing what they are interested in. Through play and exploration, the Toddlers happily discover and learn and through observations then the educators enhance their environment and provide experiences which expand the children’s skills. The social and emotional well being of each child is of the utmost importance thus a warm and caring approach supports group and individual needs.
Early Learning for Every Child Today “ELECT” a document developed by experts in Early Childhood Education in Ontario, is being used as a guide to understanding each child’s development and to enhance the daily program. It describes how young children learn and develop and provides a guide for curriculum planning. When your child moves into the Toddler room, you will find your child’s ELECT booklet in his or her cubby. Please give consent by signing in order to give us permission to use this to documenting your child’s development and implement activities which enhance his or her development.
Outside the Toddler room, on our bulletin board, you will find the weekly calendar, the monthly newsletter, the menu, the program plans and the actual happenings. The daily schedule in the Toddler room is also posted. You will also find a daily communication binder in your child’s cubby summarizing how they ate, how long they slept, and anything special which may have occurred that day.
In the Toddler room we encourage all the children to become more independent by teaching and helping them wash their hands. We will gradually begin to change the children’s diapers while they are standing up near the toilet. We have two toddler size toilets that the children can use when they begin to show signs that they are preparing for toilet training. If you observe that your child shows signs of readiness to toilet train (drinking less fluids, diaper dry for longer periods of time, waking up from naps or sleep dry and showing interest in sitting on the toilet) please feel free to talk with a teacher. We will work together with you to assist your child with this milestone. On the bathroom wall, you will find a recording of your child daily diaper changes. You will find the time it occurred, with the following log – “w” for wet, “d” for dry, “*” for BM (bowel movement) “pt” for peed on toilet and “*t” for BM on toilet. We have scheduled diaper changes at least three times a day and more often as required.
During lunch time in the Toddler room we all have lunch together. Each small group of children sits at the same table with their primary caregiver each day. The children learn to feed themselves with a spoon and drink from an open cup. Initially, the teacher will assist them until they are able to be independent. They enjoy this independence and gradually manage very well with the support of their teacher.
The Toddlers daily routine allows them to engage in a variety of activities such as, free play, special activities/events, and outdoor play. In the morning and afternoon we split the group by bringing five Toddlers to the gym for some special activities, with eight remaining in the playroom. Splitting the Toddlers into smaller groups gives the teachers opportunity to meet each individual child’s needs while focusing on their interests and development. It also allows for better group dynamics for everyone as they are able to share better and play in a calmer, less busy environment.
In each child’s cubby there is folder which the teachers fill out daily letting you know how your child ate, slept and any special activities which occurred that day. Look for a communication card inside of the folder that informs you of any supplies (diapers, wipes, cream, sunscreen, extra clothes, etc.) which your child may need. This card will let you know when you have run out of supplies.
Each child’s cot is placed in their own designated area of the classroom where they enjoy their daily afternoon nap. With soft music and teacher assistance, as needed, the children have a nap of approximately two to two and a half hours between 12:15 and 3:00 pm. Although some children are used to having a bottle before nap, we gradually help the children fall asleep without drinking on their cot. By 2:15 children start to gradually wake on their own schedule and have an individual bathroom time followed by quiet play activities set up on the tables, until everyone is awake.