The classroom focuses on two basic needs of the infant—a safe bonded relationship between adult and child and the development of the child’s growing sense of self and independence
The word ‘Nido’ is derived from the Italian word meaning ‘nest’ and it conveys the spirit of the infant environment. Our classrooms are comforting, warm and inviting with care being taken to provide nurturing, calm stimulation to enhance the development of the young child. The classroom focuses on two basic needs of the infant—a safe bonded relationship between adult and child and the development of the child’s growing sense of self and independence. The simplicity and aesthetic order of our Nido environment support safe discovery of the world as the child sensorially explores the environment. These spaces are then thoroughly enhanced by the tender care and developmental support offered by our staff.
Trust is a basic need that must be nurtured in the young child. Our trained staff care for and respectfully respond to the needs of each infant and in so doing encourage the development of that trust and convey a message of unconditional love and acceptance. As the child develops, this trust will serve to foster risk-taking and learning.
- The Nido classrooms have 9 children each ranging in age from 8 weeks to 18 months.
- The adult to child ratio is 1:3 with a Montessori Certified Lead and two assistants.
- The Nido program strives to foster independence, physical development, and language development for the infants. This is achieved by having and open, safe classroom where the children are not inhibited by items such as playpens and walkers.
- The Nido classrooms refrain from the use of pacifiers in order to teach the children how to self-soothe.
- The children sleep on futons instead of in cribs. This allows the child to understand that sleep is a choice that she makes for herself instead of something that is forced on her by an adult putting her into a “container”. Children fall asleep and wake up feeling self-assured and independent.
- Children under the age of one are free to sleep when they are tired and eat when they are hungry. Around age one the teacher will begin to work with the parents to get the child on a regular eating schedule and one nap per day in order to prepare the child for the Toddler Community.
- The parents and the teacher must work together VERY closely during this time in order to ensure that there is consistency between home and school.
LUNCH, SNACKS, & DIAPERS
- Parents are responsible for providing all food items for their children under the age of 12 months. The classroom is able to store both breast milk and formula for the children under age one and milk or soy milk for children over age one.
- Breast milk must be removed from the freezer every Friday in order to prevent weekend spoilage due to a power outage.
- All children are weaned off the bottle by 12 months.
- Children will begin to wean on to solid foods by 5-6 months.
- For all meal times children sit at the table and use bowls, spoons, and open cups. Sippy cups are not permitted in the school.
- Parents supply all diapers, cream, and extra clothes for their children.
- When the child is able to stand up on her own, the teacher will ask the parents to bring in pull-ups in order to begin the process of standing diapering.
AREAS OF INTEREST
- There is a room for nursing mothers in the community room. This is a private space for mothers to breastfeed and/or pump breast milk.
- Hooks for coats and hats are provided outside each classroom. The hook is for the child’s coat and bag and the clip is for the child’s hat. Children are required to have a hat every day. Each child has a basket in the classroom for extra clothes.
- Every classroom keeps daily charts on the children. These are posted on the wall inside the classroom and documents every time a child eats, sleeps, works, or has a bodily function.
- Sign language is used in all Nido classrooms in order to help the young child communicate effectively.
- The children go for walks inside the school as well as around the neighborhood in buggies that seat six children at a time. The Nido also uses wagons for this purpose. Staff maintain a ratio of 1:4 during walk times.