Tag Archives: infant care

How Did They Get Those Stars?

Educators and families can be grateful that NC promotes child care teacher and director education, because it’s the strongest predictor of child care quality!

And now, after attending a NC conference Saturday, I finally understand how the education points, which help determine the number of stars on a child care license, are calculated.

I’m sorry to say, however, that there’s no easy way to explain it! It requires multiple worksheets to work through the formula. I may try in a future post!

Infants on Tummies?

Just one more story from the Virginia-licensed and nationally accredited child care center I visited. A teacher placed an infant on the floor on his stomach and said it was “tummy time”. She worked around the room, changing diapers and attending to other babies, as did the other teacher in the room. After eight minutes, she noticed that the little guy on his tummy was tiring and showing an inability to continue to hold his head up, so she sat next to him and picked him up.  The problem? 

Teachers placed some infants in cribs without putting on their sleeping sacks, which make it more difficult for infants to roll over onto their stomachs.  The problem?

Responses to Young Children

Not only is the center I visited state-licensed, it’s also nationally accredited. Most of the teacher interactions with children were positive, nurturing, and responsive to the child’s needs. But there were a few exceptions. A toddler put a stick in his mouth on the playground, and a teacher took it from him and threw it on the ground, saying, “That’s nasty.” No discussion.

The scheduled time for naps was over. One little guy was still sound asleep on his cot and did not want to get up. However, nap time was over and the teacher physically picked him up from the cot and took him to the table for snacks, where he sat crying loudly.

A teacher was holding a toddler who had become upset about his mother leaving him. He slapped her, and she put him on the floor, saying, “I’m done.”

What would you have done?

Free Choice/Free Play Time

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?

Ready for Naptime

After preschoolers and pre-kindergartners finished their lunch and cleaned their places, they moved to the library area. There, one teacher read quietly to the group while another teacher helped each child one by one prepare his or her sleeping cot. At the end of the quiet story, each child lay down to rest in dimly lit rooms with quiet music playing in the background. Children knew the routine and were ready for at least a short rest after a busy morning full of activity.

What is Family Style Dining?

When I visited a child care and preschool center in Virginia, toddlers, preschoolers, and pre-kindergartners cleaned and sanitized the tables before setting them for lunch.  They put their own food on their own plates and poured their own milk.  Teachers helped the children who needed it, especially the toddlers, who usually need a little physical support with holding, serving from, and passing bowls and pitchers.

Teachers sat at the tables and ate and talked with children, guiding them in sharing a pleasant meal and conversation, just like families do at home.  Teachers use “family style dining” every day to help children learn self-sufficiency, social and conversational skills, as well as good nutrition.

After they were finished eating, each child cleaned up his own place.  Teachers guided and helped as needed but didn’t do the work for children who were still awake and engaged enough to do it themselves.  Why?  Is that what you’ve seen preschools doing?  Is that what you do at home?