Charlotte's Place Infant Program

Charlotte’s Place offers a child-centered, family-oriented Infant program that is designed to promote a developmental approach to the social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth of each child. We believe these areas of growth do not evolve separately, but rather support and strengthen each other. We follow the “best practice” standards of quality care in all aspects of our program, including staff qualifications and ongoing training; health, safety & security; program requirements; room arrangement and the daily routine care and well-being of each infant enrolled in our program as per the NM FOCUS Program.

From a foundation of trust and security, caregivers encourage independence and experimentation. By arousing curiosity and interest, infants are motivated to engage in new challenges. These experiences stimulate the development of the “whole” child. The environment is designed to be a warm, safe, inviting, and challenging space for the various ages of infants, and we continue to modify the space as each infant grows. Teachers keep track of developmental changes and set appropriate goals for each child – goals that serve as guidelines in planning activities for the group and individual child.

Your baby will learn about his/her environment through exploration. Infants learn at their own paces by touching, tasting and vocalizing, and through their own play. Teachers help to facilitate play by giving each infant the opportunity to be in control of his or her own experiences and make discoveries on their own. Therefore the infant environment is set-up to encourage exploration and discovery that is both planned and spontaneous.

The room is designed with objects that hang for visual stimulation, textures and colors throughout, and small manipulative toys that even the youngest of infants can grasp and mouth. As the infants become mobile and are able to crawl and pull up, they begin to use pull-up and climbing structures, as well as mirrors to look in, and many kinds of toys that can be pushed, pulled, opened and closed. Walks and outdoor experiences are provided on a daily basis, weather permitting.

We value the need for each infant’s daily schedule to remain consistent with their schedule at home and try our best to accommodate this need. Parents are encouraged to introduce new foods at home prior to being served at our center. Our staff will work with every child through each developmental stage.

Charlotte’s Place is a breast-feeding friendly center and encourages mother’s to continue breast-feeding after returning to work. Mother’s are welcome to come and breast-feed their child during the day.

We strive to satisfy each infant’s need for a close physical and emotional attachment. As we forge this bond, we hope to become an extension of the family unit, working cooperatively to support both family and child. Connections between home and center practices are established to maintain consistency in care and to provide parent support. Infants are given love, emotional support, and affection throughout the day. In addition to meeting all direct care needs, staff aim to provide a warm, nurturing environment and as many one-to-one interactions as possible. Both diapering and feeding times provide additional opportunities for teachers to give individual attention to each child. Infant and teacher can exchange smiles, gurgles, and giggles while a diaper is changed. At bottle time, infants are very relaxed while sitting in a teacher’s lap.

Our teachers spend lots of time cuddling and talking to your baby to instill trust and provide a healthy early learning environment for movement, exploration and communication.

Our infant care play area is filled with toys and books that help your baby develop at his or her own pace. Teachers sing songs and read stories to encourage language acquisition. They also pass balls and play games to develop motor skills. American Sign Language is introduced to encourage children to express their thoughts or needs. Teachers also work with the parents to ensure a balance of home and school. Together they develop the child’s daily schedule including nap times, play times and bottle times.

As part of the Infant Program, the classroom helps the child transition from Infant to Toddler as the budding explorers learn new vocabulary and self-help skills.