The children are provided with a warm, supportive and loving atmosphere. The program helps children to develop trust and emotional security through positive experiences. The environment is safe and inviting as children are encouraged to develop independence. However, a helping hand is never far away. The daily schedule is flexible and is based on the individual needs of the children. Many small group activities are offered as these children's social skills are emerging.
Arrivals and Departures
Caregivers work with parents to ensure that arrivals and departures are pleasant and reassuring for children. These times allow children to extend their bonds of trust they have with their parents to new adults.
Bodily Care Routines
In addition to strengthening bonds with children during bodily care times, caregivers also use them as opportunities to share control by finding ways for the children to play an active role. Caregivers fit these times around children's exploration and play. Frequency of naps is based around each child's individual needs, with quiet alternatives provided for non-nappers. Adults also accommodate children's individual styles of waking up. Similarly, adults take cues from children about feedings and diaper changes.
In small groups of older infants and toddlers, caregivers provide a particular set of materials for children to explore and a common activity. This way children remain in close contact with the caregiver while having a shared experience with other children. Although the adult introduced the activities, children remain free to make choices about the materials and how to use them. Adults follow the children's cues (for example, deciding how long the activity lasts, based on the child's interest levels).
During this part of the daily routine, caregivers are attentive and offer emotional and physical support as the children play and explore their environment at their own pace. Caregivers tailor their response to children's ideas, engage in give-and-take communication with their children, imitate children's actions, support children's play with other children, and assist children with problem-solving. They also support older toddlers in planning and recalling their choice-time activities.