Child Care for Older Toddlers
Our Older Toddler rooms are designed to accommodate toddlers from 24 months to 3 years old. Groups are divided by birth date and/or developmental needs. The designated adult/child ratio in Pennsylvania for older toddlers is 1:6.
Daily Information & Communication
Daily Grams will be completed on tadpoles and emailed upon sign out at the end of the day. They will let you know when and what your child ate, when he/she slept, and when their diaper was changed. Notes on your child’s health, disposition, and other special things that were done during the day will also be recorded. We will also write reminders in tadpoles, and let you know when you may need to bring something in. Other information for parents, such as schedules, newsletters, and menus, will be posted in a designated area of the classroom. We also ask that you check your child’s cubby or mailbox and your email daily for other items such as calendars and information from the director.
Diapers, wipes, ointment, and other diapering items can be brought in bulk and stored in the cupboards over our counter. We will let you know when our supply is getting low. Please be sure to sign a permission slip that allows us to apply ointments and powder (don’t forget sunscreen!).
Extra clothes should be kept in your child’s cubby. We recommend extra onesies, a long sleeved shirt, a short sleeved shirt, 2 pair of pants/shorts, and extra socks. If your child is potty training, we may need to have several changes of clothes and underwear on hand. Little ones grow quickly, so we will let you know when to replace these items. They should also be checked periodically to assure that they are appropriate for the season. (Summer clothing should include a hat or other protective clothing/items.) When your child is changed into an extra set of clothing, we will send the soiled items home to be washed. Please remember to replace the spare set of clothes as soon as possible.
Bedding for use at nap-time should include a crib sheet and a blanket, or a small sleeping bag. Large pillows are not necessary, and are difficult to store according to health regulations; please do not send them in. Bedding will be sent home at the end of the week for laundering, and when it is soiled. “Soft” and “small” nap-time friends such as stuffed animals, a special blanket, or other “lovey” are welcome.
We have an open door policy here at Tender Years. You are welcome to come in and visit your child any time you would like. We do ask that you be considerate of the schedule in the room so as not to disrupt the activity that may be going on. If you visit at nap, turn off cell phones, please keep your voice low, or take your child out of the room. Sometimes young toddlers will cry when their parent leaves from a visit. If your child is sensitive to this, nap-time may not be the best time to visit. Also, please remember to place your purse or other personal items out of the reach of curious little hands!
Meals & Snacks
Tender Years provides a nutritious breakfast. A general menu is posted in the classrooms and can be found under the meals tab, to give you an idea of the types of snack items that we will serve. An afternoon snack is provided by parents for their child’s class on a rotating basis. Bought snacks need to be unopened and in their original wrapping. No glass bottles, please. Homemade goodies are welcome, however, uneaten portions must be sent home or thrown away. For lunch, you may choose to pack a lunch, or purchase a hot lunch from our catering service for an additional cost. Menus are available to help you make your choices. When packing lunch, please note that we are not permitted to microwave food for the children. You may pack hot foods in a thermos, or pack items that are ready to eat. All items that require refrigeration must be labeled before putting them in the refrigerator.
Each week, our toddler teachers plan activities based on a weekly theme (or topic) and age appropriate developmental objectives based on the PA Early Learning Standards. Each day, your toddler will participate in an art project or tactile activity, a gross motor exercise (indoor or outdoor), songs/finger plays, and theme-related books. We will also learn our ABCs and how to count to 10. Our Daily Schedule also allows plenty of time for free play with our many different types of toys in Learning Centers.
Observations and Evaluations
Our teachers make regular observations to track developmental progress. Several times a year we will do a formal evaluation of your child’s progress here at school. At these times, you will be given the opportunity to schedule a parent/teacher conference. You will be able to review the evaluation and discuss your child’s academic/developmental progress with the teachers and caregivers. Please remember that all children develop at their own pace, and the purpose of our evaluations is to help us plan and individualize your child’s education.
Discipline and Guidance
Toddlers are at a very curious age! They want to explore everything. They are also trying to learn their boundaries, and how to interact with others. Our caregivers use a combination of redirection and use of “calm down areas” at this age to help the children learn what is appropriate and what is not. Taking a break (two minutes, or until calm) will be used mainly in instances where the child may be doing something that could hurt himself/herself or another, or has become upset and needs to calm down. We will model appropriate behavior, and explain actions with age appropriate language to help our toddlers learn how to get along with the other children in the group and play safely in their environment.