Children's Cottage Infant Center

  • 6 weeks to 24 months
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There has been an explosion of research over the past decade that shows how important the first few years of a child's life are in terms of brain development.  A newborn at birth has most of the brain cells they will have for their entire life, but relatively little of the connections between them.  What happens very very rapidly is that the brain is building connections.  It is building synapses.  A baby forms 700 new neural connections per second.  This process of building the architecture of the brain is dramatically influenced by life experiences.  It is not genetically hardwired.  Our environment literally shapes the architecture of our brain in the first 5 years of life.  Our mission is to provide young children with a safe and loving environment structured to create a future of lifetime learning. 

 

Children's Cottage provides a safe, clean, beautiful, and stimulating space for your baby.  There is one teacher to 3 or 4 infants in this program. Parents communicate every morning about any special needs their infants may have on each particular day. Loving and caring teachers give each infant lots of stimulation, attention, and time. We provide the baby wipes and you provide the diapers. Since infants may be sensitive or allergic to certain foods, you provide us with everything your infant will eat or drink. When they go into the next group, we will provide healthy snacks at mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

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Program for Infant Toddler Care (PITC): Philosophy

Good infant care is neither baby-sitting nor preschool.

It is a special kind of care that resembles no other.

The Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) approach equates good care  with trained infant/toddler care teachers who are preparing themselves  and the environment so that infants can learn. For care to be good, it  must explore ways to help infant/toddler care teachers get "in tune"  with each infant they serve and learn from the individual infant what he  or she needs, thinks, and feels.

We believe infant care should be based on relationship planning --  not lesson planning -- and should emphasize child-directed learning over  adult-directed learning. Rather than detailing specific lessons for  infant/toddler care teachers to conduct with infants, the PITC approach  shows infant/toddler care teachers ways of helping infants learn the  lessons that every infant comes into the world eager to learn.

The PITC philosophy also sees the setting for care as critical.  Therefore, it helps infant/toddler care teachers design environments  that ensure safety, offer infants appropriate developmental challenges,  and promote optimum health for children. An equally important program  component is the strengthening of the child's developing family and  cultural identity by making meaningful connections between child care  and the child's family and culture.

Six program policies anchor our work:  primary care, small groups, continuity, individualized care, cultural responsiveness, and inclusion of children with special needs.   These policies create a climate for care that reinforces our  responsive, relationship based approach. They allow relationships to  develop and deepen over time between infant/toddler care teachers and  the children as well as between infant/toddler care teachers and the  children's families.

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Program for Infant Toddler Care (PITC): A Relationship-Based Curriculum

The goal of PITC is to help infant/toddler care teachers recognize  the crucial importance of giving tender, loving care and assisting in  the infants' intellectual development through an attentive reading of  each child's cues. The PITC's videos, guides, and manuals are designed  to help child care managers and infant/toddler care teachers become  sensitive to infants' cues, connect with their family and culture, and  develop responsive, relationship-based care. The training materials  provide the foundation for a style of care in which infant/toddler care  teachers study the infants in their care, reflect on and record  information about the children's interests and skills, and search for  ways to set the stage for the child's next learning encounters.