The Infant-Toddler Village
Our Infant Toddler Village consists of shared spaces for our zero-to-three year olds to play, eat, sleep, learn, engage, rest, collaborate, explore, and thrive. The Infant Toddler Village is staffed at a ratio of 1:4. Teachers flow between groups and spaces, often the nursery and infants under one have a 1:3 ratio. A open floor plan allows for children to learn from one another and move through environments that best meet their needs throughout the day.
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Continuity of Care
Our Neighborhood practices continuity of care which is a system of keeping children and teachers together for their first three years. Continuity of care is backed by child development research. In the early years relationships are the basis for safety which is a prerequisite to learning. We know it is best for children to build a secure attachment with their teacher so they can feel safe to explore and learn. Though keeping children and teachers together is logistically more complicated it is crucial to creating a high-quality environment.
We work to support children to build secure attachment, and whenever possible try to keep young children with their teachers and friends. We do this with an age in place model that allows children and teachers to stay in the classroom and the materials and furniture to change as they grow.
The role of the infant-toddler teacher is not just to expand minds, create contexts for learning, introduce new ideas, and offer questions to drive learning deeper but also to be a secure relationship base. Through attuned responsive care children develop basic trust which provides the foundation brain pathways for relationships and learning.
Eighty percent of brain development happens before the age of three. The very best way for young children to learn is through play. If we believe that children learn through play then we must provide them with big blocks of time for uninterrupted play. In infancy we work to follow each child's individual needs for sleep, food, and space to play. As children get older they ease into a predictable schedule of regular meals, a mid afternoon nap, and periods of play inside and outside each day. Our goal is that young children are supported to follow their interests in our inquiry based emergency curriculum. Teachers offer children provocations to invite children's deeper thinking based on our observations of their interests.
You don't have to do this alone.
We know that parenting and teaching is challenging work. Part of the Our Neighborhood purpose is creating a space for a learning community. All caregivers are welcome to learn with us. Together we can transform the world for the next generation.