Welcome to the Toddler Room! We look forward to working closely with you and your child to ensure a comfortable and happy experience for everyone. Center care may be new to your family and we would like to take this opportunity to welcome you and help you get acclimated to our program. Please use the handbook as a reference and guide to help answer any questions you may have regarding your child’s day while in our care.
Communication is very important to us. An open dialogue between staff and families is imperative to provide quality care. If you have any questions or concerns, please bring them to our attention as soon as possible.
There are a few things your child will need:
A blanket (if in attendance during nap time)
Extra clothes, including weather appropriate shirts and pants or shorts, socks, and underwear if needed
Outdoor Gear including Jacket, snowpants, hat, mittens/gloves, boots
A balanced lunch if in attendance during lunch time
Please remember to label all your child’s belongings with first and last name.
Toddler Daily Schedule:
The daily schedule for the children is a guide. It provides a framework for planning and organizing the daily routine and play activities for the children.
Toddlers are changed/taken to the toilet before transitions in the day and as needed.
The following daily schedule is an outline of a typical day with the Toddlers. Keep in mind that the schedule may change based on the Toddlers in the classroom on any given day.
Toddler Room Schedule:
7:30 – 9:00 Arrival and Open Play Areas
9:00 Morning Snack
9:15 Diapers / Potty / Wash Hands / Water Break
9:30 – 10:00 Free Play in Centers
10:00 – 10:15 GroupTime/ABC/Songs/Counting
10:15 – 11:00 Teacher Directed Play, Learning Centers, Art and Sensory Time
11:00 Diapers / Potty / Wash Hands / Water Break
11:15 Large Motor / Outside Time / Walks around neighborhood
12:00 Water Break
12:45 Diapers / Potty / Wash Hands
1:00 – 2:50 Naptime/Resting/Quiet Activities (after 30 minutes if awake)
2:50 Diapers / Potty / Wash Hands
3:15 – Closing Teacher Directed Play/Outside Play/Pickup
**This schedule is flexible and subject to change to meet the needs of the children.**
It is helpful to note that for safety and security reasons, we ask that children are not dropped off after 10am. If you need a later drop off, please talk with your child’s teacher.
Aside from talking face to face, we use daily sheets; these are located on top of the Toddler Cubbies, right outside of the classroom. If you would like a daily sheet, please fill the top portion so we know where your child is at for the day, and the teachers will fill out the bottom portion. During the day staff will record how your child’s mood, the diaper routines, how well your child ate, and how long your child napped and fun things that happened during the day. Please remember to sign your child in and out every day. The sign in and out clipboard is on the Infant Cubbies (early morning) or Toddler Cubbies.
Clothing while at school:
Please bring your child to the Center dressed in comfortable clothing that can be easily managed by your child. Toddlers often get messy when practicing self-help skills. Also, we encourage children to freely explore our sensory materials with their hands. We use smocks to protect their clothes, however accidents sometimes happen. You may want to save your child’s best clothes for the weekend.
We spend much of our day running and jumping, therefore children should arrive wearing closed toe shoes so their feet can be protected and slips can be prevented as much as possible. Overalls and belted pants are often difficult for children to manage who are learning bathroom skills. We encourage comfortable, easy to remove clothing to aid in potty training and encouraging their self-confidence.
During lunch and snack times, children will sit at a table with the teachers and the other children. LTDC provides a morning snack which consists of cereal, French toast sticks, cereal bars, yogurt, bananas, etc… Toddler lunches are provided by the Parent. Our afternoon snacks can vary from crackers and cheese to yogurt, to the occasional cookie. We provide children with as much Whole milk or water as they would like during snack and lunch times. We also offer water breaks throughout the entire day. The children drink out of cups and we offer plenty of opportunities to use them throughout the day. Therefore, we ask that you please leave your child’s sippy cups at home. These sippy cups often get lost when they come to the center. Furthermore, your child may have difficulty understanding why they cannot use their sippy cup throughout the course of the day. One way to avoid these problems is to leave the sippy cup in the car.
Please do not allow your child to walk into our classroom with food (including gum). We have children in our program with various food allergies. Please respect the teachers guidance when foods enter their classroom. They are only trying to ensure the safety of everyone.
For our Toddler Children who are wearing diapers, we change the diapers every 2 hours or as needed. Diaper changes are done in the classroom, although we do have access to 2 bathrooms for our Toddler friends who are potty training. All children practice proper hand washing techniques after any bathroom attempt.
When you feel that he or she is getting ready to start using underwear, please refer to our Toilet Training Policies.
In order to keep our classrooms sanitary and to keep germs at bay we need your help. Kindly wash your hands with soap and water before visiting your child’s classroom. Your child will be required to wash his/her hands at the following time at minimum: at arrival, when coming in from outdoors, before meals, after toileting, before and after using our sensory table, and whenever soiled by materials or bodily fluids. The number one best tactic to eliminate contagious elements is to consistently and properly wash hands and it is important that all adults in our Center follow the same procedures. We appreciate your cooperation in keeping our environment healthy.
Each Toddler will have a cot to lay on. Rest time starts at 1. Per State of MN licensing, all children are required to lay down for a minimum of 30 minutes. If after the 30 minute time frame the child is still awake, he/she will be allowed to get up and play with quiet activities.
Toys from Home:
Please leave your child’s personal toys at home. These toys often get lost or broken when they come to the Center. Also, when one child has a personal toy or object other children have difficulty understanding why they cannot play with it. Sharing is a difficult concept that we do not expect Toddlers to fully grasp. When we set up the learning environment, we try to have as many of the same toy as possible, in order to avoid confrontations. One way to avoid the problems that personal toys can cause is to allow your child to bring the item in the car on the way to the Center, but make sure it remains in the car. This way, the toy will be waiting for him or her at pick up.
If your child likes to sleep with a certain soft toy, this can be arranged. Please put the soft toy either in your child’s cubby or on his/her cot.
We try to take the children outside as much as possible. During the winter, we may spend less time outside but we plan on going out every day, weather permitting. Please be sure that your child comes prepared with clothing that will keep your child warm and dry during our time outside (a jacket, snow pants, boots, a hat, a scarf, and mittens). If your child is not feeling well and you think he or she should remain indoors, please keep him or her at home. Going outside is an important part of our day!
We will occasionally take walks around the neighborhood. Our walks outside of our center will happen during our scheduled outside/large motor time. If you are dropping your child off during this time, please keep in mind that you will need to find us. It’s best to call prior to drop off to see if it is a day we are playing on the playground or taking a walk.
Drop off and pickups:
We know it can be hard for you and very hard for your child to be dropped off in an unfamiliar environment especially if others may by crying. This separation anxiety is a very healthy, normal behavior. This is very short lived in the span of Toddler Development and quick goodbyes end up being the best for everyone. However, at first it may seem your child is very distressed. We work very hard to comfort him or her and distract in a positive way from your departure. Over time, the Toddlers will come right in smiling and even not want to leave! We do not recommend “sneaking out”, occasionally is fine but in the long term, this tends to leave children more stressed and less ready to settle in. The best thing for can do is have a comfortable, happy attitude. Encourage your child to have a wonderful day at school.
Transitioning to Preschool:
We would like the children to feel as comfortable as possible as they enter their new group, so we begin visiting Preschool typically two weeks before the official move takes place. The children will go over to the Preschool area with one of their teachers. The teacher will stay until the child appears to be comfortable and engaged in an activity. The visits last about thirty minutes at first and will extend to an entire day by the end. Each child will experience eating and napping in their new group before he or she actually moves over.
The decision to move to Preschool is based on the child’s development level and the availability of a spot in the Preschool group. Children begin eligibility at 2 years 9 months.
Parent conferences are scheduled two times a year typically in October and March, and may also be held anytime parents or teachers find it necessary. The Toddler years are marked by so much growth and change that conferences are a good time to discuss all the developmental issues surrounding them. Teachers put out sign up sheets prior to the times conferences will be held.
Parents sign up to talk with their child’s teacher. A developmental summary is shared with the parents during this time. Should there be any concerns that arise based on any teacher observation or assessment, a proper referral will be made with the expectation of working cooperatively with the parents to assist in their child’s healthy development.
Parent conferences typically take around 30 minutes.
Health & Safety:
We work to keep our classroom, staff, and children healthy and safe. Due to certain illnesses and their respective levels of contagiousness, we will have to send your child home if they are vomiting, have a loose stool diaper, or have a temp of 100 or higher. Please check our Health Policies for other information regarding illness exclusions.
Toys that have been mouthed in the Toddler Room are disinfected throughout the day. Teachers often will place a toy into the “mouthed toy bucket” after a child has mouthed it to be cleaned in the next batch. At the end of the day, other equipment and materials will be cleaned as well. The diaper changing area is disinfected after each use. A sanitizing solution of bleach water is used for general disinfecting equipment and toys.
Early Drop Off / Late Pick Up:
As a licensed child care facility, LTDC has classroom ratios to maintain. As parents of LTDC your responsibility is to arrive for care at your scheduled time and pick up at your scheduled time. Our staffing schedules are created around the number of children in our care and are not extended due to parents arriving early and picking up late. Please do not assume that it is okay if you are a “few minutes” late, as a few minutes can be the difference between us being in ratio or out of it. If you need a schedule change, please ask for a form. We will be happy to accommodate this change if the current number of children allows for it. If you arrive before your scheduled time, please be aware that care may be denied to you until your scheduled drop off time. Should you arrive late or drop off early, you will be charged $5.00 per 10 minutes of unscheduled care used. LTDC hours are 7:30-5:30. If you arrive after 5:30 there is an automatic $15 charge and a $1 per minute after 15 minutes.
Parents are welcome at any time to come and visit their child. For some children, multiple separations from the parent during the day may make the transition to school more difficult. If you find that your visits are more upsetting to your child than consoling, we ask that you listen to your child’s cues.
If you have questions or concerns, please speak to your child’s teacher.
We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the Toddler Room!!
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