Especially for working parents, child care for infants and toddlers is oftentimes a necessity. Moms and dads want the peace of mind in knowing that enrolling their infant or toddler in a quality child care program is a good decision for the child and themselves.
At The Gardner School, we believe child care should go beyond just daily care (or daycare), which is why our infants and toddlers program is carefully designed to encourage each child’s growing need for independence and emerging sense of self, while nurturing intellectual growth, exploration, and socialization in a safe, supportive environment. In support of this mission, here is The Gardner School’s list of the top 10 child care benefits for infants and toddlers.
- Nutrition and Care—It’s especially important for infants to maintain their own unique habits and schedules. The Gardner School’s teachers communicate directly with parents to develop a flexible feeding and diapering plan that suits a child’s individual needs. All feedings and changes are logged in the child’s daily communication updates and shared with parents through the PreciouStatus app, providing personalized love and care to the infant.
- Social Interaction—Since a young child’s self-confidence and socialization skills are developed at a very early age, The Gardner School aids in this time of development for infants and toddlers by encouraging social interaction, friendship, and learning experiences through a variety of activities. Children also benefit from interaction with adults other than their parents, which helps with potential anxiety from being left in the care of other family members or sitters on occasion.
- Schedule and Routine—While infants at The Gardner School follow their unique schedules, our toddlers especially benefit from learning structure and routine each day. Following a daily schedule can even help children sleep better, follow healthy nutritional patterns, and learn how to listen and follow instructions.
- Academic Preparation—As an academically-focused preschool, The Gardner School’s Creative Curriculum for infants and toddlers introduces children to active thinking and experimenting to find out how things work, while also assessing progress to help children reach their highest levels of development in preparation for kindergarten and beyond.
- Communication and Language Development—As both infants and toddlers learn to communicate, a quality child care program can be the perfect environment for them to learn how to express emotions and learn how to speak. The Gardner School also integrates American Sign Language into all interactions to help children communicate needs before learning to talk.
- Sensory Stimulation—Through art, music, and physical movement, infants and toddlers at The Gardner School experience learning and play activities that incite the senses and encourage exploration.
- Stronger Immune System—Several pediatric studies have shown that children who were a part of child care programs before age two were commonly less sick during elementary school than children who were cared for at home.
- Cooperative Play—Through structured and unstructured play activities during the day, infants and toddlers at The Gardner School learn how to share and cooperate with each other in soothing classroom learning centers and safe outdoor play environments. “One of the greatest benefits of child care is the opportunity children have to learn how to play well with each other through taking turns and sharing,” affirms KatySue Pillsbury, a teacher at The Gardner School of Franklin.
- Stability—Child care centers maintain regular hours and reliable environments, which can offer stability for busy parents and gives an added peace of mind. “We think of our students at The Gardner School as ‘our own.’ Having teachers and staff who are devoted, stable, and truly care is a wonderful benefit of a child care program like we offer at The Gardner School,” says Laura Leslie, a teacher at The Gardner School of Franklin.
- Parental Interaction and Support—Parents of infants and toddlers can greatly benefit from the interaction and support of other parents who are in the same season of life. The Gardner School facilitates multiple opportunities for parents to get to know each other and interact throughout the year with special events geared toward moms and dads. “Families who are involved and supportive of the school and each other can be one of the greatest benefits of a quality child care program,” says Vernise Wilson, Director at The Gardner School of Nashville.