“Baby Bernies” is a sun-filled room where babies and young toddlers are looked after with love and warmth. Our caregiving philosophy in the baby room is based on responsive caregiving, where everything a child experiences is a learning opportunity.
Planning for infants and toddlers does not necessarily involve “lessons” but rather opportunities for experiences that as individuals they can make the most out of. When teachers organize materials for the room, they take into account children’s individual differences along with their knowledge of child development. Planning is based on observations of the children using their interests, their new skills, and their reactions to materials. As the children grow and change, the teachers change the classroom environment. They may put our more challenging climbing equipment or add a building area with different toys. A classroom may look very different at the end of a semester than it did at the beginning!
Babies who are developmentally ready to eat solids are served breakfast, lunch and snack together.
Two Year Old Room
We continue to follow the practices of responsive caregiving in the two year old room. Toddlers in this room experience more organized activities to provide experiences which enhance motor development — reaching, grasping, crawling in and out, throwing, pulling; cognitive development — object permanence, cause and effect experiences, language, listening and responding to sounds and voices, and problem solving; social development — playing among others, positive peer interactions, and expressing emotions towards others.
A typical day will include storytime, free play (in doors and outside), a learning activity where the children are led through an experience like a water table or playing in the soil, and creating art projects.
Children in this room eat family-style for breakfast, lunch and snack time. They are taught to serve themselves and to practice appropriate table manners and to help clean up.
Three Year Old and Pre-K Rooms
Upstairs at Bernies the children are organized into small groups. Our small groups strive for continuity, variety and developmentally appropriate experiences. They are also flexible and respond to the needs and interests of the group. Good teachers know when to forego a planned lesson and accommodate the desires of the children. They also know when to focus, encourage and limit a child’s participation. The content of the planned small group activities covers a wide range.
In addition to small group time, the children’s schedule includes Learning Centered Free Time, Outdoor Play, Story Time, and Mealtimes.