Teachers in the NC Piedmont 5-star center didn’t take the babies outside the morning that I visited, even though it was included in their Daily Schedule that was posted, as required by their NC license, on the wall. Maybe because the playground was largely covered with mulch, which babies can’t walk or crawl on! I recommended adding a poured-in place surface or another smooth surface for infant crawling.
All children need to go outside….every morning and every afternoon!
I visited a NC 5-star licensed center in the Piedmont Triad area, thinking I’d have few recommendations. But when I entered an infant room, babies were lined up facing the teacher: two were in swings, three in infant seats, and one in a seated playpen. There was a mat on the floor, but teachers had placed seats, rather than babies, on of it. Being restricted to seats, swings, playpens, and cribs when awake doesn’t help babies learn to move their bodies, use their muscles, or develop their minds and personalities. Put them on the floor – on their backs unless you’re sitting with them.
Baby cribs with one side that drops down are no longer sold. The drop-down side separates too easily from the crib, and babies get trapped between the side and the mattress. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) reports multiple child deaths from unsafe cribs and the more dangerous cribs were recalled.
All of the older cribs are now prohibited from public use, including child care centers and hospitals. Cribs manufactured and sold after June 2011 must meet new federal standards for safety.
New crib hardware has to be stronger and the slats closer together. A crib’s mattress support, slats, and hardware are now required to be more durable and manufacturers have to test cribs to ensure they meet the more stringent requirements.
The CPSC asks that you tear old cribs apart before throwing them away. Don’t give them away or sell them. How terrible that another baby might die from sleeping in an unsafe crib.
The center I visited in Virginia is state-licensed and is part of a national chain known for better teacher salaries and benefits and high program quality. And children were happy and busy during most of my visit.
But some of the preschoolers didn’t have enough interesting things to choose from during the morning free choice/free play time. The classroom was equipped and teachers were involved with the children’s play, but the teachers had not planned a teacher-led activity for this time.
The lesson plan posted in the room included only one teacher-planned activity for the whole day. Teachers in this room were not using the free choice/free pay time for intentional teaching and learning.
Without enough interesting activities to choose from some children were bored and aggressive with classroom materials and with each other, and teachers were busy with re-directing and guiding.
Do you see this happening in child care and preschools? Why?