Welcome to Sprouts! We have two inside learning spaces- a main classroom for all the children in the living/dinning room and another classroom in the bedroom that caters specifically to either our infant or toddler cohort depending on current needs the group. Our outdoor covered area is home to our parent sign in space, hooks for the children’s back packs and gear, along with the tables and hand washing space where the toddler cohort eats their meals and snacks year round. We also have a fully fenced outdoor play yard that offers a wide variety of play and exploration opportunities including a plumb tree and a garden box.
Families who have been with us for years can tell you that our space is constantly evolving and adapting- being transformed by the children, and for the children, as their needs and interests grow and change. We also modify things as the weather changes throughout the year.
Our schedule is meant to provide children with a reliable rhythm during their time with us. This allows children to know what to expect ahead of time and focus on the learning at hand. We also know that children’s needs and focused learning fluctuate and so you may find that we make modifications. One year olds will be transitioning from their individual rhythms of infancy to the large group schedule, while the two year olds will use the large group schedule regularly.
7:30 Open, before care available
9:00 All children have arrived! Welcome circle, Classroom work
10:00 Outdoor learning
3:45 Afternoon play
With the exception of planned appointments and true emergencies, we expect all children are at school, ready to learn, and transitioned into the group by 9:00. We also ask that pick-ups happen before or after the lunch/rest period so we can focus all our energy on smooth transitions and a peaceful rest time from 11:30-3.
Family preference and the USDA food program requirements will help guide our approach to offering children milk and food. We will use the baby led weaning approach with solid foods to help children be as independent as possible with their food consumption. As they are able to join, children are served healthy, homemade family style meals for breakfast and lunch. They’re also offered a protein rich afternoon snack. Infants are offered a small morning snack as well.
The food which is typically vegetarian, is cooked onsite by the teachers and seasonal, local and organic food is prioritized as well as food grown onsite. We eat “family style” and children assist in setting the table, serving themselves and clearing their place when they’re finished eating. Meals are a social time, when teachers eat with children and everyone in encouraged to enjoy the food and time together.
During meals, children always get to decide which foods they try and how much they eat. At each meal we learn about the the foods being served, including the nutritional benefit of choosing to eat it. We always encourage children to listen to their bodies, especially when it comes to eating and feeling full. Everyone helps clear their own space after meals; composting uneaten food, stacking dirty dishes, cleaning up spills and washing their hands and faces.
We will work together with families to make a plan for any child that has a dietary restriction due to allergies, medical conditions, moral or religious exemptions.
Engaged learning can be exhausting! Ideally, all children will sleep during the afternoon rest time from 12:30-3:00. We understand that one year old children may still need a morning nap and when that need arrises we will provide them with a safe and cozy space to rest as long as they need (either their nap cot inside or a wonder wagon outside).
Diapering & Toileting
During diaper changes teachers will gently explain to children what is happening with their bodies and encourage them to be an active participant in the diaper change. We practice Elimination Communication (EC). Human waste will be discussed as a normal everyday part of life and children will learn about elimination as a biological response to the many functions of our amazing bodies. We will use the actual names of body parts involved with elimination including penis, urethra, vulva, and anus. As children gain confidence in their ability to stand, we will transition them to stand up diaper changes which allows them to better see and participate in the action. As soon as they are interested in the toilet they will be invited to flush, lift the lid, climb up and sit down, and eventually let their pee and poop in to the toilet too. Diapers, wipes, and diapering cream are provided by us and included in your tuition.
We will also respect the complicated task of mastering the use of the toilet and will never respond with disgust or an attempt to shame or embarrass children who are still working towards consistent toilet use.
We believe that children of all ages need time to learn and explore outside everyday, rain or shine. All children are expected to have appropriate gear for the weather so they can be comfortable and safe while we’re out. We provide a detailed list of gear suggestions in the family handbook.