Children's Cottage Infant Center
- 6 weeks to 24 months
Children's Cottage provides a safe, clean, beautiful, and stimulating space for your baby. There is one teacher to 3 or 4 infants in this program. Parents communicate every morning about any special needs their infants may have on each particular day. Loving and caring teachers give each infant lots of stimulation, attention, and time. We provide the baby wipes and you provide the diapers. Since infants may be sensitive or allergic to certain foods, you provide us with everything your infant will eat or drink. When they go into the next group, we will provide healthy snacks at mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
To constantly improve the quality and supervision at our Infant and Preschool center, Children’s Cottage is a participant in the Program for Infant Toddler Care (PITC). This great program is collaboration between WestEd and the Child Development Division of the California Department of Education.
This is a program where an Infant/Toddler Specialist (IT Specialist) comes to our center for hands-on training for a period of 10 to 18 months. The IT Specialist was at our center throughout 2011 to observe both the Infant & Preschool programs. She reported to her directors who used her input to improve the quality and supervision at our facility. Part of the philosophy of the PITC is “Designing safe, interesting, and developmentally appropriate environments.”
We have 8 teachers who completed the Program for Infant Toddler Care, receiving 64 hours of training and 80 hours of mentoring and coaching. They also received 4 Early Childhood Education (ECE) college units as well.
PITC: Program for Infant Toddler Care: Philosophy
Good infant care is neither baby-sitting nor preschool.
It is a special kind of care that resembles no other.
The Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) approach equates good care with trained infant/toddler care teachers who are preparing themselves and the environment so that infants can learn. For care to be good, it must explore ways to help infant/toddler care teachers get "in tune" with each infant they serve and learn from the individual infant what he or she needs, thinks, and feels.
We believe infant care should be based on relationship planning -- not lesson planning -- and should emphasize child-directed learning over adult-directed learning. Rather than detailing specific lessons for infant/toddler care teachers to conduct with infants, the PITC approach shows infant/toddler care teachers ways of helping infants learn the lessons that every infant comes into the world eager to learn.
The PITC philosophy also sees the setting for care as critical. Therefore, it helps infant/toddler care teachers design environments that ensure safety, offer infants appropriate developmental challenges, and promote optimum health for children. An equally important program component is the strengthening of the child's developing family and cultural identity by making meaningful connections between child care and the child's family and culture.
Six program policies anchor our work: primary care, small groups, continuity, individualized care, cultural responsiveness, and inclusion of children with special needs. These policies create a climate for care that reinforces our responsive, relationship based approach. They allow relationships to develop and deepen over time between infant/toddler care teachers and the children as well as between infant/toddler care teachers and the children's families.
PITC: Program for Infant Toddler Care: A Relationship-Based Curriculum
The goal of PITC is to help infant/toddler care teachers recognize the crucial importance of giving tender, loving care and assisting in the infants' intellectual development through an attentive reading of each child's cues. The PITC's videos, guides, and manuals are designed to help child care managers and infant/toddler care teachers become sensitive to infants' cues, connect with their family and culture, and develop responsive, relationship-based care. The training materials provide the foundation for a style of care in which infant/toddler care teachers study the infants in their care, reflect on and record information about the children's interests and skills, and search for ways to set the stage for the child's next learning encounters.