0 months to 18 months

Taking care of very young children involves more than just meeting their physical needs. Lily Pad’s caregivers see themselves as responsive professionals and teachers concerned about all aspects of children's development and thoroughly believe in the philosophy of learning through discovery and play. This approach respects each child as an individual and demonstrates sensitivity to each child's way of learning as they grow, and acquire skills and understanding at their own pace.

Lily Pad’s program supports children’s natural desire to be active and engaged learners. Infants and toddlers learn best with their entire body and all their senses in the context of trusted relationships with adults in their lives. The program for this age level consciously considers all their needs —social and emotional, physical, linguistic, cognitive, and artistic. It also encourages the development of initiative, problem-solving and self-help skills in a warm and nurturing environment.

In the social and emotional realm goals include helping the children to:

  • Distinguish themselves from others.
  • Form attachments to caregivers.
  • Build relationships with other adults and children
  • Express emotions and show empathy toward the feelings and needs of others.
  • Participate in group routines.

The children are encouraged to develop their motor skills by having frequent opportunities to:

  • Move their entire body by rolling, crawling, cruising, and walking
  • Grasp, hold, and manipulate objects
  • Interact with their peers

As language acquisition is a product of active, repetitive, and complex learning, the youngest children at Lily Pad have continuous opportunities to:

  • Listen and respond to adults and their peers.
  • Practice nonverbal communication.
  • Explore picture books.
  • Hear and enjoy stories, rhymes, and songs.

To support the children’s cognitive development, activities in the classroom are chosen to:

  • Encourage the exploration of objects
  • Develop the concept of object permanence
  • Foster understanding of same, different, more, and less
  • See things from different viewpoints
  • Offer experiences in cause and effect
  • Develop concepts about number and one-to-one correspondence
  • Increase understanding of object permanence and part-whole relationships
  • Begin to develop a concept of time by anticipating events

Even the youngest children benefit from experiencing and participating in creative activities. At Lily Pad, infants and toddlers each day can:

  • Imitate and pretend.
  • Explore building and art materials.
  • Respond to and identify pictures and photographs.
  • Listen and respond to music.
  • Explore and imitate sounds and vocal pitches.

The care and play areas for the infants and toddlers at Lily Pad are distinct and organized with activities chosen specifically for them. Napping, diapering, and eating areas are organized around the perimeter of the room with good space left open for active play.