Designing a good infant care programme is not easy. Infants require a lot of attention and the environment they play and learn in has to be suited to their development as well as their safety. It has to be comfortable with many soft surfaces to allow kids to be able to play to their hearts content while avoiding injury. One of such preschool in Singapore is https://ourfirststeps.com.sg/east-coast/. As you consider designing a play space for infants, be aware of the following:
- Make sure that infants are able to play without the risk of injury
- Have wide spaces so they can interact freely
- Give them the ability to engage each other
- Make it easy for adults to address any issues that may arise suddenly
Safety is the #1 priority
As parents, our main concern when dropping off our infants at any childcare facility would be that their safety is ensured. While small bumps and bruises might be inevitable, it is essential that any childcare facility be designed such that any form of serious injury be avoided as much as possible. Being in a safe, healthy environment will also allow your infants to play without having to worry about their surroundings and it will reduce their stress levels overall.
One other way to ensure safety is to have a good group size to area ratio. Having too many infants packed into a small area is simply a disaster waiting to happen. Kids and children require their space and it is the childcare or infant care provider’s responsibility to ensure that they get it. A proper teacher-to-child ratio also needs to be adhered to. Having too few adults and too many infants running around the play area will inevitably mean that the environment will become more dangerous and hazardous to the kids.
Variety of play space is great for learning
Children are very sensitive to their surroundings and having a variety of places that the infants can interact with one another is a great way for them to broaden their minds and attain new and exciting experiences. For example, having child sized furniture rather than regular furniture will give them an easy and interesting understanding of the function of furniture. Having child sized chairs, tables and beds will give them an experience that they will not attain if they are in a crib or miniature playpen.
It is important to design an area which is comfortable for adults and children to interact. For example, large and comfortable couches will allow adults to hold the children in their arms or laps and allow them to read to them or play simple games in comfort.
Allowing for freedom of movement will help your child learn mobility
Children should be able to eat, sleep and play with freedom. By cloistering them up in an enclosed area, infants and children might become agitated at the lack of options made available to them. They should be able to move around without having to worry about barriers and boundaries, but still maintain their safety. This will allow them to explore under their own volition. Adults and teachers should fill this area up with a variety of objects that can allow the infants to learn and discover new experiences. These items can include:
- Arts & crafts supplies
- Rubber toys
- Play dough
- Building blocks
- Soft and sensory materials
By allowing your infant not simply just a play pen but one that is rich in materials, your infant will likely respond well to his or her environment and feel both comfortable and engaged. This comes with a variety of challenges for educators though: how do you allow the children to play with one another without fighting? What happens when a child brings an item from one area of the play pen to another area? What if they dump or break some of their toys?
This is a delicate balance that every educator has to attempt to attain in their attempt to create a truly conducive environment for their children to play in.
Meeting all the basic requirements of infant care
There are some fundamentally important aspects of infant care that need to be addressed before you can consider the infant care programme to be good:
Teacher-parent engagement: Teachers should continually update parents on their child or infant’s development. This is especially important in instances where your child makes a breakthrough, for example learning a new word or showing an understanding of mathematics.
Food and nutrition: Having a good and well designed menu will ensure that the infants get healthy nutrition and their bodies are able to grow as well as their minds.
A robust variety of activities and lessons: While every infant care programme has a slightly different approach towards education, it is important that their lessons are not haphazard and fall within a good learning framework so that children are exposed to multiple facets of learning. Basic arithmetic, language skills, spatial reasoning and basic pattern recognition are vital in a child’s growth.
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