I visited a 5-star center in Guilford County with parents and their first baby. The infant room teacher and assistant have their AA degrees and many teachers have higher degrees, which coincides with the 7 out of 7 education points awarded to this 5-star center. The center was awarded 6 out of 7 program points and the additional quality point.
We had to walk through the toddler room to enter the infant room (divided by a half wall) where we saw a baby asleep on his stomach on a soft mat on the floor. Thankfully, the director picked him up. A second baby was on his stomach on another soft mat with a ridge, which he was using to help hold his little head and shoulders up. Thankfully, one of the teachers responded to his verbal cues by asking if he was tired of tummy time. There was no teacher on the floor with him.
There were three older babies sitting quietly in high chairs lined up along the wall, who had nothing to do but look around. The teachers did not interact with the babies or give them a toy to play with while sitting there. They placed two of the babies in hard low chairs that kept them upright but still didn’t give them an activity.
Toddler teachers were also providing routine care. Toddlers were sitting and waiting quietly on a wooden seat for their turn on the diaper-changing table, while others went to the open area. Toddlers waiting to be changed, as well as toddlers who had been changed, had nothing to do. When toddlers began fussing with each other over a toy that one picked up, the teacher did respond very appropriately by getting another toy and giving it to one of them.
The toddler room was small, not divided into curriculum areas, and not supplied with many curriculum materials/toys/children’s supplies.
The parents were definitely not interested. After visiting another 5-star center and a 3-star center, which I’ll also write about, they decided to look for a nanny!