Tips for Selecting Care for an Infant

A family should look for the following when selecting care for an infant:
  • Play areas are comfortable. Babies can lie or be held and read to.
  • Space is arranged so children can enjoy moments of quiet play by themselves, have ample space to roll over and move freely, and can crawl toward interesting objects.
  • Visual displays, such as mobiles are oriented toward the infant’s line of sights and effects are clearly visible when baby is lying on her back.
  • Sturdy cardboard, cloth, and/or vinyl books are available to baby. Babies are read to.
  • Toys provided are responsive to the actions: variety of grasping toys that require different types of manipulation; a varied selection of skill-development materials, including nesting and stacking materials, activity boxes, and containers to be filled and emptied; a variety of balls, bells, and rattles.
  • Toys are scaled to a size that enables infants to grasp, chew and manipulate them (clutch balls, rattles, teethers, and soft washable dolls and play animals).
  • Adults periodically move infants to a different spot (from the floor to an infant seat, from the seat to a stroller, etc.) to give babies different perspectives and reasonable variety in what they are able to look at and explore.
  • As infants become mobile equipment is offered that promotes free movement and testing of large-muscle skills and coordination.
Infant Functions
  1. Reaching – activity box, crib gym, etc.
  2. Climbing – pillows, foam cushions, indoor slides, etc.
  3. Pushing – popper, mower, market basket, stroller, boxes, etc.
  4. Pulling – stringed pull toys, wagons, etc.
  5. Grasping – clutch balls, beanbags, rattles, small blocks, etc.
  6. Touching – textured items, feely books, water play, etc.
  7. Turning – activity boxes, toys with turning knobs, etc.
  8. Cause and effect – pop up flip box, jack-in-the-box
  9. Target experience – shape sorter, stacking rings, giant pegs and peg boards
  10. Reading exploration – cloth books, hard cardboard books, plastic books, etc
  11. Looking – mobiles which are safely out of reach, hand held mirrors, pictures, action toys, bright colorful wall hangings within eye contact of infant, etc.
  12. Talking – dolls, telephones, puppets, pictures, photographs, etc.
  13. Listening – records and/or tapes with record/tape player, music boxes, rattles, squeak toys, etc.
 
* Information based on NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Developmentally Appropriate Practices and CCC Provider Assessment

Tips for Selecting Care for a Toddler

A family should look for the following when selecting care for a toddler:
  • Areas are conducive to a toddler’s daily activities. Open areas for push and pull toys, art, eating, and water and sand play activities. Soft areas set aside for a quiet play.
  • Artwork displayed just above reach, but low enough for toddlers to look at. Caregiver displays pictures of children and their families.
  • Environment and schedule are predictable and repetitive allowing toddlers to form expectations, repeatedly practice emerging skills, and feel the security of a familiar routine.
  • Space is organized into interest or activity areas (art, water/sand, dramatic play, construction, etc.) for solitary or parallel play.
  • If possible the room is separated making it difficult for running toddlers to disturb toddlers engaged in concentrated play, and creating clear traffic patterns.
 
Toddler Functions
  1. Climbing – stairs, small gym, boxes, etc.
  2. Pushing – doll carriage, mowers, poppers, shopping cart, etc.
  3. Pulling – stringed pull toys, wagon, etc.
  4. Crawling through/under – boxes, tunnel, furniture, etc.
  5. Stacking – boxes, blocks, etc.
  6. Throwing – soft balls, balled newspaper, bean bags, etc.
  7. Riding – riding toys, kiddie cars, pony on wheels, etc.
  8. Rocking – rocking horse, rocking chair, rocking boat, etc.
  9. Grasping – squeeze toys, small stuffed animals, cups, spoons, bean bags, etc.
  10. Pounding – pounding bench, xylophone, boxes and spoons, pots, pans, and large plastic  spoons, etc.
  11. Turning – telephone dials, toys with turning knobs, toy radio, containers with screw lids, etc.
  12. Fitting together – puzzles, large pop beads, etc.
  13. Filling and dumping – sand and water, containers with objects, etc.
  14. Pouring – sand and water play, etc.
  15. Cause and effect – busy box, jack-in-the-box, etc.
  16. Target experience – shape sorter, giant pegs & peg boards, stacking rings, etc.
  17. Stacking/nesting – stacking toys, nesting toys, rings, boxes, etc.
  18. Matching – any sets of objects that can be matched by characteristics, such as color,  shape, size, etc.
  19. Reading exploration – cloth books, hard cardboard books, plastic books, etc.
  20. Looking age-appropriate colorful wall-hangings within eye-contact of the toddler, small  hand mirror with safety glass, magazines, photographs, pets, action toys, etc.
  21. Talking – dolls, puppets, telephones, books, pictures, flannel boards with accessories,  photos, etc.
  22. Listening – records/tapes with record/tape player, musical instruments, music boxes, etc.
  23. Observing – magnifying glass with things to look at, pets, natural substances such as shells, rocks, gourds, or pine cones, mirrors, etc.
  24. Exploring fluid play experience such as sand/water, rice, etc.
  25. Sensory – items you can smell, touch, taste, hear, etc.
  26. Problem-solving – simple experiments such as sink/float, magnets with things to pick up, scale with things to weigh, nesting cups, counting frames/experiences
  27. Creative (stroking) – items/experiences that support the stroking motion, such as easel  painting with appropriate sized brushes and paper, easel drawing with crayons, chalk, markers, etc.
  28. Creative (smearing) – non-toxic shaving cream, paint, paste or glue, finger-paint, etc.
  29. Creative (molding/squishing) – play dough and accessories, non-toxic shaving cream,  sponges, finger-paints, goop, etc.
  30. Creative (tearing/cutting) – scissors, magazines, newspaper, wallpaper, tissue paper, etc.
  31. Creative (crafting) – collage items with paste/glue and appropriately sized paper, etc.
  32. Imaginative/dramatic play – kitchen area (stove, sink, refrigerator, picnic basket, play  food, etc.), table and chairs, telephones, cleaning items, iron/ironing board, doll  furniture, multi-cultural dolls, doll clothes, accessories for care-taking, feeding,  diapering, sleeping, etc. dress-up clothes for men and women (hats, ties, purses,  shoes, costumes, etc.)
  33. Self-help skills – items/experiences that encourage skills such as lacing, buckling, snapping, zipping, buttoning boards, etc.
 
* Information based on NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Developmentally Appropriate Practices and CCC Provider Assessment

Tips for Selecting Care for Preschoolers

A family should look for the following when selecting care for a preschooler:
  • Caregivers provide affection, comfort children when they cry, and reassure them when fearful.
  • Caregivers support 3-year-olds’ play and developing independence, helping when needed, but allowing them to do what they are capable of doing.
  • Preschoolers may revert to toddler/babyish behavior when feeling shy or upset.
  • Opportunities are provided for preschoolers to practice and develop newly develop self-help skills. Provider remains patient with occasional accidents.
  • Caregivers provide opportunities for different types of play (alone, parallel play, with one or two others) Caregivers read stories or play music allowing children to enter and leave the group at will.
  • Provider encourages sharing and taking turns, but doesn’t expect children to give up favorite items.
  • Large amount of uninterrupted time provided for self-chosen tasks and activities.
 
Preschooler Functions
  1. Throwing – balls, frisbees, ring toss, horseshoes
  2. Jumping – hula hoops, jump ropes, basketball, hopscotch, etc.
  3. Hitting – bats, tennis racquets, ping-pong
  4. Hanging – monkey bars, jungle gym, rings, etc.
  5. Climbing – climbers, tree houses, forts, etc.
  6. Balancing – balance beam, board, painted lines, etc.
  7. Sorting/Classifying – items that can be sorted or classified by color, shape, lotto games, file  folder games
  8. Matching – Objects that can be matched by characteristics, pegs and peg boards, puzzles, file folder games, card games, etc
  9. Math readiness – beads and laces, sequence puzzles or boards, patterning activities, file  folder games, measuring cups and spoons with things to measure, carpentry, etc.
  10. Eye/hand coordination – peg and peg boards, puzzles, lacing sets, blocks, tracking mazes,  sewing, etc.
  11. Stacking/nesting – items that can be stacked or that nest inside one another
  12. Reading exploration – big books, quality literature books, children’s story books, provider made books, books made by the children, etc.
  13. Talking – puppets, flannel board with accessories, records/tapes with record/tape player, etc.
  14. Writing experimentation – writing materials that encourage scribbling drawing, copying, invented spelling, etc.
  15. Reading readiness – file folder games, sequencing puzzles, patterning activities, story telling
  16. Sequencing, shape sequencing, computers with appropriate software, etc.
  17. Observing – magnifying glass and things to look at, pets, natural substances such shells,  rocks, gourds, or pine cones, mirrors, etc.
  18. Exploring – fluid play such as sand, water, rice, etc. with appropriate accessories, etc.
  19. Sensory – items that you can smell, touch, taste, hear, etc.
  20. Problem solving – simple experiments such as sink/float, magnets with things to pick up,  scale with things to weigh, nesting cups, counting frames/experiences
  21. Creative (stroking) – items/experiences that support the stroking motion, such as easel  painting with appropriate sized brushes and paper, easel drawing w/crayons, chalk,  markers, etc.
  22. Creative (smearing) – non-toxic shaving cream, paint, paste/glue, finger-paint
  23. Creative (molding/squishing) – play dough and accessories, non-toxic shaving cream,  sponges, finger-paints, goop, etc.
  24. Creative (tearing/cutting) – scissors, magazines, newspaper, wallpaper, tissue paper, etc.
  25. Creative (crafting) – collage items w/paste/glue and appropriately sized paper
  26. Imaginative/dramatic play – kitchen area (stove, sink, refrigerator, picnic basket, play  food, etc.) table and chairs, telephones, cleaning items, iron/ironing board, doll  furniture, multi-cultural dolls, doll clothes, accessories for care taking, feeding,  diapering, sleeping, etc. dress-up clothes for men and women (hats, ties, purses,  shoes, costumes, etc.)
  27. Self-help skills – items that encourage such skills as lacing, buckling, snapping, zipping, buttoning boards, etc.
*Information based on NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children)
Developmentally Appropriate Practices and CCC Provider Assessment

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