Infant Toddler Care

Ages 3 months to 3 years

Our infants and toddlers are cared for in small groups of 6-12 children. A separate space within this area is set aside for infant care. This accommodates the particular needs of very young babies who spend much of their time eating and sleeping before they become mobile.

Once a child is creeping or walking, there are large spaces for active exploration, areas for messy activities, and small, soft places for quiet reading, singing, pretend play, or one-on-one play with a teacher or friend.

We follow your child’s cues

Every young child has particular preferences, rituals and routines, but there’s one thing they all have in common: a need for consistent, responsive caregivers. At Gretchen’s House, children do not comply with a daily schedule that is convenient for teachers. Rather, we follow every infant’s cues and allow them to eat and sleep on demand.

As children develop a more predictable daily rhythm, we continue to meet their individual needs and routines. We provide consistent, yet flexible routines that balance active and quiet play.


    A primary caregiver

    Each infant and toddler has a primary caregiver who is with them most of the day, records activities on the daily log, and is the primary caregiver who communicates with parents. Teachers in a room share care of all the children, however, so that all caregivers are a familiar, comforting presence to both children and adults.

    The teacher-to-child ratio in our infant toddler rooms




    All of our infant and toddler classrooms implement the research based HighScope Infant and Toddler Curriculum.  The curriculum focuses on responsive caregiving and how these kinds of adult child interactions help to create supportive, trusting relationships. 

    Activities are based on suporting children in become active learners. Our skilled teachers create environments, both social and physical, that encourage children to explore and discover the world around them.

    Children at Gretchen’s House explore the world with all of their senses indoors and out. A typical day includes singing, exploring art materials, playing alongside other children, dancing, and musical instruments. We value our Nature Explore certified outdoor environments and use them everyday. 



    Infants and toddlers take naps and rest when they indicate to us that they are tired. Infants have their own crib in an attended room. We practice Safe Sleep as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Cribs do not have bumper pads and infants are put on their backs to sleep in in accordance with safe sleep practices. Bedding is washed weekly or more frequently, as needed.

    Toddlers sleep on mats with their own blankets and comfort items. Our daily schedule is consistent, but flexible and reflects the preferences of the children. 


    Diapers and Feeding

    We provide disposable diapers at the centers. Families who prefer to bring in cloth diapers may talk with the center director to make these arrangements. 

    We feed infants and toddlers on their schedule, when they indicate they are hungry. Families provide formula or breastmilk for bottle fed babies. We also welcome breast feeding moms (or any family member with flexibility) space to feed your infant at the center. You can read about our guidelines in the Infant Feeding Purple Page.

    Snacks and lunch are provided by the center for older infants and toddlers. Our menu is created in collaboration with a nutritionist and reviewed annually.

    *Families at our WISD location send in lunch or purchase it from the school cafeteria. 



    To learn more about how our programs target infant development, please click on the appropriate Active Learning Brochure. Remember that milestones for each group are averages. The age group brochure above or below your child’s actual age may be more appropriate for your child and this is still perfectly normal development.

    Download a Brochure