Classes by Age
Infants change so much in the first year of life. They need a sense of safety and security to learn and grow. We understand the need for consistency so we adapt our daily routine to fit what your child needs.
During their first year, infants start to understand and retain information, and at around 5 months, recognize and show preferences for their loved ones. This also means that your child may show signs of “stranger anxiety”, meaning they may not be very comfortable with new people. This anxiety fades over time, and we support this transition by creating a loving environment in which they may feel safe.
An infant’s appearance seems to change daily. They usually triple their birth weight by the time they have their first birthday. This is only one of many physical changes your child will experience this year. They will advance from lying down to standing before you know it.
The WCDC provides a nurturing environment for infants through 12 months, ensuring our babies are cozy, safe and happy. We encourage them to be active every day, to explore the world around them and to interact with others as we sing, tell stories, and explore colors, textures and sounds.
Turning one is a rite of passage, but along with this developmental milestone comes a bit of confusion. Toddlers have developed enough to have their own ideas and wants; however their bodies and emotions still need time to catch up. For this reason we focus much of our attention on helping children to recognize and manage their feelings.
Everything is new and interesting to one-year-olds. They use all five senses to explore their surroundings. You will notice that once a toddler completes a basic task they will find such joy in this they will want to repeat it time and time again.
Over the next year your child’s language skills will typically progress from grunting and hand gestures to speaking single words and a few word combinations. Toddlers learn language from their environment they absorb everything they hear and this helps them to build on their own vocabulary skills. Toddlers also build these skills from books that have simple pictures or books with familiar or related items. We are a very literacy rich center and work daily on language skills.
Toddlers are discovering their creative abilities. WCDC believes in a “process versus product” approach to art. This simply means that we allow the children to be as creative as they wish. The end result may look nothing like we anticipated, but it is the discovery process for the child that really matters.
One of the largest areas of development for one-year-old children is physical development. Toddlers usually advance from crawling to walking and then running in this year. They tend to be very clumsy and falls are frequent, but this is all a part of the developmental process. We use toys that allow children to push and pull, as well as using music as a teaching tool. The music entices children to move and play throughout the day.
Two-year-olds are building on all the knowledge they obtained over their first couple of years. This tends to make them very curious about everything. You may have noticed that much of your child’s daily conversations are filled with “why”, “what”, and “how” questions. This prompts your child to use their language and form simple sentences. It will still be hard to understand what your child is trying to say but overtime you will learn and be able to translate for others.
Two-year-old children are working hard at their problem solving skills. They often will use a “trial and error” method to figure things out. Part of this process involves children using all their senses and exploring unfamiliar objects and situations. At this age the children are building the fundamentals for writing and reading. We work with children daily to develop these skills by reading stories and listening to books on tape. We encourage the children to “read alone”, this entails them looking through books independently, familiarizes themselves with the pictures on the page. Children during this year will do a lot of scribbling pretty much anywhere they can. These are the children’s first attempts at the written word.
Two-year-old children are very active they have mastered several forms of movement. These include rolling, walking, running, jumping, and climbing. They are working on skills such as kicking balls along with catching and throwing. They are also developing their small motor skills by performing simple tasks like eating with utensils, opening doors, and unscrewing lids.
WCDC builds on all of these skills through a variety of activities. Each day is filled with learning as your child listens to stories, sings songs, engages in art projects, expresses themselves through dramatic play, and enjoys social interactions both indoors and outdoors.
Three-year-olds make use of all five senses while learning—they learn best through play. They are able to focus more on what they are attempting to accomplish and will make several attempts to complete a task while also tuning out distractions.
Your child’s vocabulary is large and they are constantly learning new words. They have made great strides with pronunciation and can even put together sentences. It is around this age when your child will initiate conversation. We use the children’s interests to begin individual, as well as group conversations.
Children at this age will also start to notice print in the world around them. This helps them to develop their writing skills. They will start out as scribbles and over time appear more like letters. We provide children with writing opportunities in all areas of play, by simply hanging a clip board with paper and pencil in the dramatic play area children can “write down orders” as they are playing. We begin working with children at this age on logical reasoning skills through the use of puzzles, sorting games, matching games, and sequencing activities. The children are able to sort like items and explain why the items are different from one another.
Three-year-olds are much steadier on their feet. They carry out task like running & climbing with ease. They have also developed enough hand eye coordination that they can catch a ball using their bodies and two hands. Three-year-olds are also gaining control over their small muscles, this allows them to use crayons and put together simple puzzles.
Many children this age still like the comfort of a familiar adult nearby for a sense of security but they are more independent. These children are starting to build friendships and are able to play and interact with others around them. At WCDC, early learning for 3 to 4 year olds includes alphabet and number recognition, reading, handwriting, problem solving, arts and crafts, and refining hand-eye coordination.
Language, exploration, independence and an abundance of energy all describe the growing four-year old.
Your child’s language is growing at rapid speeds, using new words spoken in complete sentences. We encourage active expression, using and defining new words to ensure your child is capable of enjoying longer conversations about their needs and experiences.
Your four-year old is enthusiastically willing and able to ‘help’ and be ‘productive’. The staff at WCDC embraces and encourages this exploration of self-sufficiency by offering your child the opportunity to be ‘classroom helpers’.
It seems as though your child has endless amounts of energy. Four-year olds spend a great amount of their time being active, mastering jumping, hopping, climbing, skipping and marching. They are learning other motor skills including throwing, catching and kicking a ball. We provide for, and encourage a number of active play opportunities throughout the day to ensure your child is well-exercised and developing their motor skills.
Curiosity seems to really set in at this age. We provide children with a variety of activities that will encourage them to explore new situations and experiences. These activities can vary from classroom games, field trips to science projects.
Children are learning that we all react differently to situations. They will start to show signs of sympathy and empathy to those who are hurt or sad. They can also better manage their own emotions much better; some children will even develop coping mechanisms to deal with a difficult situation.
An important aspect of this age is the gentle guidance needed to introduce socialization concepts. We help your child learn how to play with other children and deal with issues that may arise in a positive, productive manner. The staff at WCDC is practiced and experienced in helping children relate to one another and to express their feelings appropriately, and timely.
This is a crucial time in a child’s development. they are learning and communicating on many levels and we ensure a well-rounded development opportunity.
School Age—Summer Care Program
We also offer full-day childcare when school is not in session during spring break, Christmas break and summer vacation. We plan special events and field trips throughout the week, providing the necessary ‘fun’ break needed as we all go skating, bowling, see movies and picnic in the park.