Leaving your toddler in care can be difficult for families. The Children's Center understands that and supports families by encouraging them to visit the Center, stay with their child for a while the first few days, call whenever you wonder how your child is doing, and spend time at the Center. Our staff are highly educated and experienced. We believe in the philosophy of the Program for Infant Toddler Care, which is the training program endorsed and funded by the California Department of Education. PITC advocated for primary care, small groups, continuity of care, respect for family culture and language, the inclusion of children with a variety of special needs and abilities, and partnerships with families. The Toddler Center follows a primary caregiving staffing plan where each caregivers is responsible for 3-4 specific children. The primary caregiver is the person who is mainly responsible for the child, builds a relationship with the child's family, and most often carries out day to day routines with the child. We utilize both curriculum planning and the environment to create opportunities for small groups of children to play together. We work to keep caregivers and children together as they grow and progress on to other classrooms. Our goal is to include families in every aspect of the operation of the Children's Center, and to partner with them to create an individualized plan for the care of their child.
The Younger Toddler Classroom
The Younger Toddler Facility serves children ages 12 to 18 months in a group of 9 to 12 children. The staffing is provided by one credential teacher and several part-time student assistants. A ratio of one teacher to three or four children is maintained at all times.
The Middle Toddler Group
The Middle Toddler group serves children 18 to 24 months in a group of 12 children. One credentialed teacher and additional assistant teachers provide the staffing for this group with a ratio of one adult to four children.
Our Toddler Center provides care in small groups as the size of the group influences the quality of the toddler's experience in numerous ways. In a small group there are fewer distractions and the children's activities are more focused. It is easy for children to be heard and understood. Toddlers are better able to develop a strong relationship with their primary caregiver, and the caregiver has the flexibility to manage the needs of the children.
The Older Toddler Classroom
The older Toddler classroom serves children 24 through 36 months. A credentialed teacher and assistants provide the staffing, maintaining an adult to child ratio of 1:4.
Children and staff from the Younger Toddler group move to the Older Toddler class the following year. Once a primary care relationship is established for a toddler, our policy of continuity of care ensures keeping a small group of toddlers and caregivers together throughout the two years of the toddler period and beyond into the preschool. This policy prevents the child from repeatedly experiencing the loss of a special caregiver. An additional benefit of continuity is that the children develop strong friendships with each other.