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18 months to 36 months

Arrival and Departure

Arrivals and departures involve the rituals that set the tone for the child’s away-from-home experience. At arrival time, warm, leisurely greetings from our staff help assure toddlers that even though their parents must leave, they are in the hands of trustworthy people who will respect them and keep them safe until their parents return.

Our teachers help children separate by encouraging parents to establish a daily morning ritual for their children to depend on. At departure time, the teachers’ pleasant, friendly good-byes and warm wishes for return allow children to reunite with their parents. They are relieved to see their parents and, at the same time, know that the adults saying good-bye care about them, and they feel comfortable with returning to the center the next day.

toddlers and soil project

Feeding and Mealtime

Toddler’s mealtimes go beyond fulfilling a basic need for nourishing food. Mealtime is a time to eat and explore new tastes, smells, and textures, as well as learn the use of a spoon, fork, and cup. As toddlers eat, they usually enjoy interacting with others and being part of the mealtime conversation.

Bodily Care

For toddlers, the brief routines of bodily care and using the potty or toilet occur frequently and regularly throughout the day. As they get older, and if the child shows readiness skills, parents and teachers will discuss and agree on the planned potty-training process.


Naptime in a toddler program occurs when children tire, and as regularly scheduled parts of the day. Naps provide the sleep and rest necessary for children’s growth and development.

Small Group Time

Small Group Time is a sustained block of time when toddlers can investigate and explore materials and actions and interact with their peers and caregivers. In a supportive and safe environment that affords interesting materials, opportunities, and space to move in several ways, each child chooses what to do based on personal interests, inclinations, and level of development and ability. Small Group Time provides children with an uninterrupted period of exploration and play.

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