Toddlers is based on the third floor of our 108 Ehad Ha’am building. The baby group is housed at one end of the provision in a separate room, with its own facilities, but as the babies grow over the course of the year, they will slowly integrated into the Toddlers group. There are 35 children on the third floor, 8 of whom are in the baby group.
We have two main rooms for the Toddlers, plus a sleep, rest and quiet room in case the younger children need to sleep before or after the group nap time. The Toddlers will be arranged into 4 colour groups; Red, Blue, Green and Yellow, and each day one of the staff will be assigned to meet the care needs for a each colour group.
During the day, the children are free to move and choose between the learning centres, tables and activity rugs in both rooms and in the garden, where we favour a ‘free-flow’ approach. Our practitioners based around the entire space encourage and support children to engage with each learning centre, and to develop the next steps on their personal learning journeys. There are also adult led, structured activities, whole group time (with two-colour groups together), such as circle time, and also a daily ‘colour group’ time where children have focused activity and adult engagement based on the needs of the specific group.
During the day, the children have their morning and afternoon snack in their colour group, and at lunch time, there are two sittings, and two groups dine together each day.
Our morning snack includes a range of different raw vegetables each day and is accompanied by whole meal bread with Tahini. Afternoon snack consists of a fresh fruit platter, based on fruits that are in season. At the end of the day, the children also have dried fruits; raisins, before they go home.
In Toddlers, when one of the children have a birthday, we invite parents to join us at the end of the week, on a Thursday afternoon to join with the child’s colour group, and have a birthday circle.
Learning and play Centres
The learning and play centres are the areas within the rooms that we set up and furnish with specific resources to support specific areas of the early years foundation stage. The learning and play areas have a rug, table or specified area for play and exploration. Each morning, and each afternoon the staff carefully plan how to set up and lay out each learning and play centre based on the children’s needs, interests and schema.
Examples of learning and play areas that we create daily are:
- Role Play
- Small World
- Fine Motor
- Art and Design
- Emerging language and Literacy
- Numer and emerging awareness of mathematics (number, shape, size concepts etc)
- Gross Motor
We of course change nappies whenever the children need us to, if their nappies are very heavy, or if they have had a bowel movement. However, roughly every three hours, we have a set time, when we change all the nappies to make sure that they are always feeling comfortable and fresh. This is built into our daily routine. As children grow older during the year, some children may start to use the potty. We can help you plan this transition from nappies to potties, its important that we build a strong partnership and work together consistently using the best approach for your child. Talk to us when you feel the time is right, and we’ll plan with you. Usually girls start to transition around their second birthday, and boys a few months later. BUT… every child (and every family) are different!
Tidy up time!
Scattered throughout the day are a series of ‘Tidy up Times’ – these are accompanied with a song, and each child has a specific task to help with. This helps up to keep the nursery organised and accessible and teaches the children to have a sense of responsibility and ownership over their space.
Adult Initiated Activities
These are activities that are planned and led by adults, based on the children’s needs, and the Early Years Foundation stage guidance for the Toddlers age group. Across the week, we implement adult initiated activities that focus on each of the areas of learning. Everyday we undertake a painting activity (painting with brushes, painting with rollers, painting with sponges, painting with hands etc). Not all children will do all adult initiated activities, as the provision is based on children’s choice, however we do monitor what children take part in, and over the course of the week encourage them to take part in a range of different opportunities.
Each day the children have circle time. During circle time, we sing songs in English and Hebrew, we talk to the children about the day, and other things relevant to our world, such as festivals, events and other things going on. We sing a good morning song, and welcome each child to the circle, this is very important as their hear their own name and the names of the other children.
After lunch, the we lay out the children’s matrasses in one of the play rooms, and they go to sleep with the support of our staff. Depending on the children, and the parents’ preferences, the children sleep for 90 – 120 minutes usually. Some of the younger children may still need to take naps in the morning or later in the afternoon; in which case, they use our dedicated quite and resting room, off of one of the playrooms. Generally we find, that as the children get older that one nap after lunch is sufficient, but we work hard to support the children, whatever their needs.
We review our routine on a regular basis, and month by month make incremental changes as the children grow, their needs change and their attention space grow. Usually, part way through the year, we review the routine and planning ‘whole-scale’, and we communicate this to you when we do. Also, during the course of the year we rotate resources and equipment, bring in new items, or items that have been in use by the older groups.
Our day in Toddlers is split into segments, and you can see the full routine laid out in its segments below:
This is a flexible routine, which we may change and adapt on some days to best support the children.
Our basic hours are Sunday to Thursday, from 7:30am until 4:30pm, with the option of a 5:30 finish. Fridays from 8am until 1pm is also optional. Click here to see attendance options and prices. Our dedicated staff are early years trained and provide a 1:5 ratio, with additional staff available when required, such as during settling-in periods.
During the year children will start to show a higher degree of independence and participate more fully in structured activities and organised sessions for more sustained periods and they learn to sit comfortably at tables and chairs, and will start to express their own needs. Language is still emergent, but children will begin to use words and sentences more as the year progresses.