Our infant program is licensed for ten fulltime infants, ages birth to 18 months with three Early Childhood Educators.
Our infant program is in the lower level with a separate entrance and cubby area. Our indoor play space is large, comfortable and home-like. There is also a separate nap room, with a crib for each infant. There is separate outdoor play space which includes many different surfaces, such as rock walk-ways, grass, decking and sand and shaded areas.
Babies grow and change dramatically during their first year. Our program is geared toward the encouragement and development of each child at his or her own rate. Our open-door and strong parent communication policies support the development of trusting relationships between parents and teachers. Educators work closely with families to understand each infant’s unique personality along with likes and dislikes to develop the best schedule to meet each infant’s needs.
Families can observe the playroom interactions through our one-way window after drop-off and before pick- up times. Daily written communication and photograph documentation of each child’s day help keep parents connected. Our daily schedule is reflective of an emergent curriculum offering a wide variety of play, exploration and learning opportunities but is very flexible to permit each child to self-schedule based on their needs.
Sample Daily Schedule
Morning arrival and exploratory play
Diapers and Sleep time (as needed)
Outside time-walk or playground
Lunch, clean up and diapers
Sleep time (as needed)
Diapers upon waking
Exploratory play i.e. art, sensory and/or music
Outside time, exploratory play and departures
Meals and Snacks
Our program will provide a healthy menu for infants from 3 months to 16 months and transitioning to a full day care menu by 18 months. Giant Steps Children’s Centre snacks and meals are homemade and prepared on site in our kitchen by our centre cook and follow the provincial guidelines Families are asked to supply any formula, infant cereal or specialty food items required for their infants. The Public Health Nutritionist has approved our menu as healthy, varied, and enjoyable for children. Mealtime is fun, learning and social time. Educators will hold bottle fed infants and older infants will participate in family style dining opportunities that include self-feeding where appropriate.
Sign Language and Early Literacy
Sign language will be an important part of our infant program. Teaching infants sign language promotes relationship building and communication while setting the stage for beginning independence. Educators will help infants with their language development in a language rich environment that includes babbling, talking, singing, reading, encouraging language, exploring books, and listening to music in the classroom and outdoor play area.
Art and Music
Giant Steps greatly values art and music exploration in the early childhood curriculum. The infant program will include many opportunities to use their whole bodies and work with a variety of art mediums. Our music specialist will design and implement a music program and educators will scaffold these experiences in the classroom casually throughout the day. Art and music exploration provide perfect experiences for cognitive, creative, social and language development.
Infants learn about the world by way of all five senses therefore exploration is critical to their development. The infant classroom at Giant Steps will be a safe home like environment where infants will be introduced to textures, sights, tastes, smells and sounds that will encourage them to explore the classroom and outside space. Intentional, insightful, and planned sensory play permits babies to safely explore while using a combination of their senses in creative and spontaneous ways. By providing a variety of baby-friendly, open-ended, every-day materials, infants can discover how their senses work through imagination-based play and experimentation. Sensory experiences are great, messy fun and the possibilities are endless!
Play is crucial to the development of children's gross and fine motor skills. Through play, infants will practice and perfect control and coordination of large body movements, as well as small movements of hands and fingers. Younger infants are given opportunities to be placed on their tummies, allowing them to stretch and move, gaining needed core strength, which becomes essential as they begin to crawl and pull themselves up. Older infants will have opportunities to sit, stand, crawl, walk, climb, run and balance. Giant Steps educators will support motor development by planning innovative, enjoyable play activities that provide each infant with regular opportunities to move their whole body.