Classes That Child Care Centers Offer
Child care centers are facilities that provide care and education to children from infancy to age five. One of the key features of a child care center is the division of children into different classes or groups based on their age, developmental level, and needs. Here are some of the typical classes you might find in a child care center:
An infant class is typically for the youngest children, who are usually less than a year old and not walking. The ratio of caregivers to infants is usually high.
The caregivers in this class focus on meeting the basic needs of the infants, including feeding, diaper changing, and providing a safe and nurturing environment. They also introduce age-appropriate activities to stimulate the infants' sensory and motor development, such as tummy time, reaching for toys, and listening to music.
A toddler class is for slightly older children who can walk (or "toddle"). In this class, the focus shifts from meeting basic needs to promoting exploration and independence.
The caregiver-to-child ratio is usually a little higher. The caregivers in this class provide a variety of age-appropriate activities that encourage exploration, such as sensory play, art projects, and simple puzzles. They also work on social skills, such as sharing, taking turns, and following simple directions.
A preschool class is for children between the toddler years and pre-kindergarten years. This class is designed to prepare children for kindergarten by focusing on academic, social, and emotional development.
The caregiver-to-child ratio is usually still a little higher. The curriculum in this class includes pre-reading and writing skills, math concepts, and science exploration. The caregivers also work on social and emotional development by promoting positive relationships and emotional regulation.
A pre-kindergarten class is for older children who aren't yet in actual public or private school. This class is designed to prepare children for the academic and social expectations of kindergarten.
The caregiver-to-child ratio is often even higher, much like a typical kindergarten class at school might be. The curriculum in this class includes more advanced reading, writing, and math skills, as well as social studies and science. The caregivers also work on social skills, such as conflict resolution, problem-solving, and empathy.
Some child care centers offer a mixed-age class, where children from different age groups are combined. This class can be beneficial for children who thrive in a multi-age environment, where they can learn from and interact with children of different ages and developmental levels.