We believe that the best way to respond to children is individually. Infants, because they tend to be less predictable and their needs more urgent than older children, demand immediate attention from a caregiver. Infants depend entirely upon adults for physical and emotional sustenance; the quality of adult interactions with them is particularly important.
It is through meaningful interactions that an infant develops her sense of a calm and ordered world. These interactions nurture a child's trust and help her develop emotionally.
The centerpiece of Cornerstone's infant program is social contact: infants are held, talked to, looked at (eye to eye), cooed at, touched, stroked and patted. Their actions are mimicked. They are exercised, washed and changed frequently. They are responded to quickly; their cues are read and acted upon without delay. All this human contact encourages babies to communicate and helps them develop the self-confidence to explore their environment.
The infants' environment allows them to alter and investigate it in ways they choose, when they choose. It is clean, colorful and interesting. There are toys and materials to attract the attention and challenge the ingenuity of infants. The playspace, whether indoors or out, encourages mobility and discovery through exploration. The adult is the home base for the exploring infant, the sounding board for vocalization and a helper when things seem too difficult to manage.
We encourage infant children to develop basic competencies. As they do they develop a positive image of themselves. Over time infants learn to express preferences, avoid unpleasant experiences and develop a sense of cause and effect. They learn to group and compare, to understand distance, space and perspective. They imitate sounds and develop ways to relate to others verbally.
As infants cross the threshold to "toddlerhood," we encourage them to explore, socialize, solve problems and use language.
A Typical Day in the Nursery
This infant care program schedule is flexible enough to accommodate individual children's needs, so times may vary. Feeding, changing and napping routines are interspersed with holding, patting, touching and talking to the children for comfort and stimulation throughout the day.
You complete the Infant Daily Log. We assess your child's needs regarding diapering, feeding and napping routines based upon the information you provide and establish a schedule for the day.
Outdoors your child may reach for bubbles, roll balls, or ride in a swing. Indoors, she may explore different textures, sounds, sights and smells.
After lunch, we play soothing music and gently stroke your child's back to provide comfort and security as she falls asleep.
Outdoors your child may play with water and sand, discover a gentle breeze, and gaze at billowing clouds. Inside she focuses on music, investigates cause and effect toys and exercises her arms and legs.
Together, we share information about the day's events including your child's feeding, sleeping and eating routines. You take home with you a copy of the Daily Log to refer to if needed and then store in the Keepsake Binder we have provided for you.
Cornerstone provides infant formula, milk, juice, water and strained or mashed baby foods successfully introduced at home for your infant, subject to your instructions, your pediatrician's recommendations and our inventory. We add new foods at your request subject to their availability. Staff members hold infants during feeding until they can sit in a high chair. They later graduate to sharing a small table with other children at snack and meal times.
We provide a complete report of each infant's daily intake of solids and liquids to you at pick-up time. You provide a similar report to the staff at drop-off time. Take home copies of these reports are provided daily.
Nursing mothers are welcome anytime. Let us know your schedule so we don't interfere.
Note: Formula that Cornerstone defines as medicinal rather than strictly nutritional (e.g., Alimentum) will not be provided by the Center.
We cannot extend credits in exchange for any foods you provide.
Pacifiers, nursing bottles, bottle liners, bibs, nipples and nipple collar assemblies are personal preference items which you must supply. Please remember to mark all personal property you bring to the Center. Cornerstone provides all crib linen.
(Including dropping one or more days)
We require at least thirty days written notice of your intent to withdraw your child (or drop a day or days) as long as she remains under fifteen months of age. You forfeit your deposit [or a pro-rata part of it] if you withdraw without this notice. See Withdrawal/re-enrollment for our policy regarding children over fifteen months of age.
A Teacher leads Cornerstone's infant group of eight children. Other caregivers assist the Teacher who reports to the Program Director. Infant activities occur most frequently in groups of four under the leadership of a single caregiver, always under the supervision or direct control of the Teacher.
The infant space is "shoeless" to keep it clean enough for the children to crawl and play in. We appreciate your accommodation in removing your shoes before you enter.