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Old 06-21-2012, 07:30 AM   #1
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Daycare toddler room expectations?

For those of you with kids in a traditional daycare center, what are the expectations of the toddler room kids? I'm talking 1-2 years. We are considering switching daycares. He'd switch in August at 15 months and start in a room where:
1. No bottles.
2. Naps are on a mat on the floor
3. Only one nap a day

I forgot to ask about self feeding skills. DS doesn't do any of these things yet, and he doesn't use utensils. Is he really that behind developmentally? What are normal expectations for a center at that age?

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Old 06-21-2012, 07:43 AM   #2
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Re: Daycare toddler room expectations?

They'll all eat snacks and meals together at a table. My kid was always terrible with utensils, but it wasn't a big deal in his toddler room. He just ate with his hands a lot. We sent sippy cups or open cups for milk, and he did fine with that. Naps were a harder adjustment, but he got into that routine after a couple weeks. My son actually has trouble napping and one of his teachers ended up rocking him to sleep for nap time in the toddler room for a little while. I think toddler rooms are more structured than the infant ones - everyone does the same thing and the same time - but the transition won't be as bad as it seems because the teachers know it is a pretty major shift for them. I wouldn't worry. I wasn't sure my kid was ready, but he made the switch okay, and it turned out he could do a lot of things I didn't even know he could do.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:53 AM   #3
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Re: Daycare toddler room expectations?

I don't have a toddler in daycare but worked as a preschool teacher. Our school started at 2 as we were a preschool/daycare not just daycare. 2 year olds were not allowed bottles or sippys- they drank out of plastic cups for snack and lunch. And when I say drank understand they are not expected to do it perfectly or well in the beginning. Its part of the education at preschool. But they do have to drink from the regular cup. They are expected to spill and make a mess- its part of the process.

I would check on the mats on the floor thing. I have worked in 2 states now and in both any child 3 and under are on a sheet/blanket covered cot- this is a state requirement. So I'd check that one out. Pretty sure in both states any kids under 2 require cribs for naps.

For a 2 year old it is 1 nap a day. I did work very briefly in a daycare that had 1 year olds, I am trying to remember what they did. I'm a pre-k teacher so I was rarely in that room. Seems like sippys were allowed but not bottles and naps were directed by the child. They were in cribs. At that age he will probably be expected to try to use utensils but not expected to master it. More then likely they give items the kids can pick up, because its a bit time consuming to feed 6 kids with a spoon.

We found that kids pick up stuff pretty quickly when they are not rescued all the time- not saying that is happening with you lo. But we saw it a lot- parents often underestimate their lo's abilities. A lot of parents would be surprised at what their kids can do.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:59 AM   #4
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Re: Daycare toddler room expectations?

My DD is 14 months now and still in the infant room. When she returns after summer she will go into the next room. Her teachers now are helping her transition, but she already uses sippy cups and self feeds, but not with utensils. I mostly send finger foods anyway. She only takes one nap there now and then naps at home later in the afternoon.

She will also be on a mat for naptime and they sit at little tables to eat, but with a tot lock chair to start with. Then they transition to a normal chair. I think at 15 months, that's what you'll find at most centers.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:13 AM   #5
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Re: Daycare toddler room expectations?

Sounds right to me.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:28 AM   #6
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DS's class at daycare switched to the toddler room when he was nearly two and the younger kids were about 18 months (the classes change room together each year, and they will move to the pre room in August). A few months before the switch they transitioned the kids to one nap a day at the same time (1-3 although it started slightly earlier) on cots, and that's what they still do.

As far as I know most of the kids were off bottles and feeding themselves long before that (he started in the infant room, but it was the older infants, and most were switching from bottles to sippies around age one; DS never took a bottle). But they were still using sippy cups at the beginning of this year (they have since transitioned to regular cups).

So, it sounds pretty normal although if some of the kids are closer to one than two is wonder if they'd have trouble with some of those things. I was always happy that DS was one of the older kids, because it gave him more time to adjust to things.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:45 AM   #7
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This is a type of daycare that transitions everyone in August. The idea though is that they have the same teachers for the first 3 years. DS wasn't there for the first year, so it will all be new to him. The only official criteria is that they be 1 year by September 1st. That being said, there will be 4 of the 8 in his room that were with one of the teachers this past year. So, they have been working on all this stuff as a group. In fact, for those 4 infants, there is only one crib in the current infant room and that is only because they are required by the state to have one for fire drills. None if the kids sleep in it. They are also older than DS by a few months. I think most have February/March birthdays and DS is a May baby. I know another one of the new kids that are starting with DS and he is 8 days younger than DS. They are currently in daycare together and we will both be making the switch to the new place in August. I know nothing about the other two new kids to start this fall. This is only one of three NAEYC accredited daycares in our town, and the others we have no hope of getting into because of priority waitlists.

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Old 06-21-2012, 09:19 AM   #8
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Re: Daycare toddler room expectations?

I think that's really nice to have the same teachers for so long. That's one thing I'm not so happy with about what DS has been through with daycare - he's just going to be 4 in September and he's already had so many teachers (not just classroom changes, but we've moved too). He switched at 11 months to a toddler room, and was the youngest in that room but managed to do just fine. He moved through the classes with all the same kids, so that was nice too. The age gaps that seemed so big in the toddler room turned into great friendships by the time preschool came around.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:25 AM   #9
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Re: Daycare toddler room expectations?

I do think that daycares in general expect and encourage kids to reach these self help skills faster than a kid would need to at home. It is no big deal to bottle feed a 15 month old but in a daycare, they cant hold and feed 8 kids for every bottle of the day. So the idea is that each kid is taught how to do as much as possible for themselves as soon as possible. With that said, the teachers will help your son learn this and the best thing you can do is start transitioning him now to self feed, drink from a sippy, take one nap a day. You can call the school for any particular expectations, they are all a little different.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:56 AM   #10
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I just have to mention that if it is NAEYC they have to conform to stiffer regulations than non NAEYC (at least in my state). The regulations are based on best practices for the children and are very strict about making sure everything is age appropriate. With this in place I'm sure your son will be fine. When I taught daycare years ago, the daycares were not NAEYC accredited and 2 out of 3 of them were not the best daycares. If only I knew then what I know now.
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