Early childhood education is what we know best at Westwood Children’s School. Infants thrive in an environment with positive, nurturing early learning experiences that foster their intellectual, social and emotional development, building a foundation for later school success. In our program, we care for infants from 2 months to 15 months, with an infant to caregiver ratio of 7/2.
Hours and Schedule Options
- Full year program
- Open Monday-Friday 7 am – 6 pm
- School closings:
- Closed approx. 12 days per year and 1 week during the summer
- Severe weather: we make every attempt to open to accommodate working parents but will, if necessary, open late, close early, or as a last resort close for the whole day.
- Schedule Options for Your Infant:
- Full Day: 7 am – 6 pm
- Early Pick-Up: 7 am – 3:30 pm
- Mid-Day: 9 am – 3:30 pm
- Infants are encouraged to attend at least 2 days per week.
Curriculum for Our Infant Program:
We offer our infants a curriculum focused on open-ended sensory and tactile activities that includes the following areas:
- Share Books and Tell Stories: developing language and literacy skills in infancy depends on daily loving interactions. Hearing repetitive language and having eye contact during reading help develop communication skills. Reading aloud also develops a love for books, supporting long-term learning.
- Foster Language Development as the First Step to Literacy Skill Development. At this age, infants learn to communicate through sounds, gestures and words, laying the foundation for an understanding of books and reading.
- Build Foundation to Become Strong Communicators and Enthusiastic Readers: Talking, reading aloud, and singing all stimulate children’s understanding and use of language. “Action songs” and finger play activities foster this interaction and support early learning.
- Support Your Child’s Imagination and Creativity through fun, playful learning activities.
Science & Math
- Focus on Sensory Play: Exploring different materials, such as water and play-doh, and interacting with them builds a foundation for later science and math exploration.
- Develop Thinking Skills: Starting at birth, children have a need to understand how the world works, from beginning associations such as, “I cry out, someone comes,” to later figuring out how more complex things work.
- Learn About Cause and Effect: Children learn this basic concept through play, e.g. they build a tower and knock it down.
- Explore Animal Science: Your infant will explore nature and learn about the animal kingdom through weekly visits with Matthew Coughlin, affectionately known as Mr. Matt.
- Exposure to Foreign Language from the Beginning: studies show that from birth, children can learn foreign languages. Exposing your infant to foreign language through sound and non-verbal cues is a key component of our program: through stories and simple words, your infant will become familiar with:
- Spanish: basic sounds
- American Sign Language (ASL): non-verbal cues
Social Emotional Learning
- Build Trust and Confidence: Infants thrive in a warm, nurturing environment, where they can trust their caregivers and know that when they express their needs, they will be met.
- Feel Safe and Secure: By being in our caring, nurturing environment with our experienced teachers.
- Form Positive Relationships with Their Caregiver: Through daily interactions and nurturing relationships, infants learn to explore and follow their interests.
- Express Several Clear Emotions: Through their daily interactions, your infant will learn how to be heard, and how to differentiate several different emotions.
- Music and Art: Our youngest learners experience visual arts and music daily in our program. Your infant will explore different materials, such as play-doh, will build fine motor skills and learn to be creative. We also enjoy monthly visits from Hugh Hanley, our music specialist.
Fine & Gross Motor Development
- Fine motor development: Playing with small toys and blocks at tables or on the floor has always been a staple of learning for young children. The controlled movements of the hands helps children build and master the muscles needed later for writing.
- Gross motor development: Fun games and activities that allow your child to move, run, dance and play strengthen gross motor skills. Whether your child is lifting, dropping, bouncing, or hiding – when they are moving, they are learning to coordinate all the muscles in their bodies.
We respect each child as an individual, knowing that they learn and develop along their own timeline. As education professionals, our teachers are well-versed in child development and supporting children’s individual learning goals.
- Assessment Tool: We are proud to use Teaching Strategies Gold at Westwood Children’s School. This research and evidence-based assessment tool provides a thorough look at each child’s current development and allows teachers and parents to work together to set goals for future learning.
- Ongoing Observation:
Teachers make observations throughout their day to track infants’ progress over time. These daily observations become a digital portfolio of your child’s learning. You are invited in for parent-teacher conferences three times a year to set goals and review progress. In addition, we encourage you to talk to us at any time – we want to build an active partnership with you throughout the year.
More About the Infant Classroom:
- Each infant has their own Pack-n-Play (for sleeping) and cubby for their belongings
- The Infant classroom has its own phone for parents to call and check in during the day
- The classroom has a refrigerator for bottles and food
- Bottles are warmed up by placing them in a container filled with warm water. We do NOT use a microwave.
- Progress reports are given out throughout the year.
- Once enrolled, you will receive a supply list for your child (change of clothing, blankets, etc.)