Young Toddler Room: 13 to 24 months

The young toddler is learning to move about independently and is learning to take risks as they explore the world around them. As teachers and caregivers, we support and encourage the children to discover the world around them at their own pace and comfort level. Once children become mobile, they begin to explore their world in a whole new way. According to child development theorists Jean Piaget, infants and toddlers are in the sensory/motor stage of cognitive development and are learning primarily through movement and their five senses. Making daily discoveries and practicing new skills is an integral part of daily life at DDELC for the toddler group.

DDELC’s young toddler program focuses on four areas: Fostering a secure attachment through primary caregiving, demonstrating a respect for the child, developing early communication skills and learning through play.

Secure Attachment

Building a secure attachment between caregiver and child through primary caregiving. Primary caregiving means each teacher will be responsible for the needs and care of a specific child, which allows for a secure attachment to be fostered between caregiver and child.

Early communication skills

Early communication skills are fostered continuously throughout the day by caregivers practicing baby sign with the toddlers and including them in a language rich environment. All toddlers are sang to, talked to, asked questions and provided the tools they need to foster social development both with caregivers and other children.

Demonstrating a respect of the child

The backbone of our toddler program is based on respect and teaching the whole child. We build upon that concept by trusting the toddler to be an initiator of their own activities and interests. Teachers plan activities based on the interest and capabilities of the children in the group. As the children get older, their role in their routines changes and they are able to become more involved with the process. We try to use this time during routines to connect with the child, making their routines a pleasurable experience. We demonstrate our respect for the child every time we interact with them, treating them as a unique human and not an object.

Learning through Play

The toddler learning environment is safe, challenging and also predictable which cultivates gross and fine motor skills, social development skills, and early language skills. We allow the children ample time for interrupted play, while the caregiver is there to observe and understand the child’s communication. Instead of constantly trying to “teach” the child new skills, we value and admire what the child is actually doing in the moment. We offer a variety of play opportunities for the toddlers to use all their senses to explore and manipulate objects.