The youngest children at UNOW learn through their senses, interacting with the environment and activities that match their individual developmental level.
You won’t find a standardized schedule hanging on the wall. Teachers in infant and toddler rooms intentionally set up the classroom furnishings based on the child’s gross motor skills. As the children grow, become more active and are able to explore independently, furniture will be added, removed or rearranged. Activities are carefully planned and presented to ensure success as well as scaffolding to the next level of skills. The environment is language rich with reading books, labeling items, word play and songs. Sensory experiences include learning to feed oneself finger foods, exploring with textures and early art materials.
Children in the younger toddler rooms start to follow a group schedule, loosely in the beginning of the year but in much more earnest in the spring as they prepare to transition to the older toddler/preschool classes. Teachers continue to think about individual developmental levels but also consider children’s interests when planning activities. Most of the day involves forming relationships, working together and communicating with words. Activities which challenge children and encourage them to use problem solving skills are presented. The classroom is divided into interest areas, there is a voluntary group time, sensory and messy play. All children, infants and toddlers, get to experience nature both outside and through the classroom windows.
Essential to the infant and toddler daily life is communication with families. Life outside UNOW impacts a child’s day therefore face-to-face interactions at drop-off and pick up time are considered part of the daily routine.
Teacher to Child Ratios and Group Sizes
Younger Infant classrooms (approximately 3 months to approximately 12 months of age)
- Group size – 8 infants group by similar age
- Staffing – 4 full-time staff dedicated to same group of 8 children.
- Ratios – 1 adult to every 3 children when the majority of children are present.
- Beginning and end of day ratios – minimum 1 adult to 4 children.
Older Infant classrooms (approximately 12 months to 24 months of age)
- Group size – 8 to 9 older infants grouped by similar age
- Staffing – 3 full time and 1 part-time staff dedicated to the same group of 8 children.
- Ratios – 1 adult or more to every 3 children during the day when the majority of children are present.
- Beginning and end of day ratios – minimum 1 adult to every 4 children
Younger and Older Toddlers (approximately 19 months to 2 ½ years of age)
- Group size – 10 to 12 toddlers grouped by similar age
- Staffing – 3 full time and 1 part-time staff dedicated to the same group of 12 children.
- Ratios – At least 1 adult or more to every 4 children during the day when all children are present.
- Beginning and end of day ratios – minimum 1 adult to every 6 children