The infant classes are made up of 8 children and 2 full-time teachers. The infant team also has a support teacher that helps both classrooms. The teacher/student ratio in the infant class will not exceed 1:4.
The infant class welcomes the youngest child with a warm, nurturing and loving environment and professional educators dedicated to the care, growth and development of each child. Developing trusting relationships and secure attachments is one of the most important elements of the infant program. When babies feel safe and secure they will thrive under positive interactions with caregivers and parents and will be more engaged in experiences planned by the educators designed to foster development, curiosity and wonder as they explore each new situation.
In addition to daily planned experiences and activities, the Atelierista (studio teacher) and Music teacher provide additional experiences to provoke integration of learning domains and to build cognitive and social/emotional connections within the context of the daily life of the child.
The age of the children ranges from 3 – 12 months at the beginning of the school year in August. The Willow School’s general policy is to move children up to the next class as a group with at least one of the educators at the beginning of a school year. As much as possible we utilize “looping” in which a group of children and educators remain together for two or more consecutive years. We believe that this process promotes strong relationships and a strong sense of community in each classroom. However, we also take into consideration each child’s individual needs and development. While the age range of the infant and toddler classes is a guide for placement, adjustments may be made when they are in the best interest of the child and the school community.