The Mangrove Class: Young and Older Toddlers
Young Toddler Starfish Group: 20 months (must be 2 by 12/31 of this calendar year)
Older Toddler Otters Group: 24-36 months (turning three after 9/1 of this calendar year)
*Children must be bottle weaned and no longer take a morning nap
Our Mangrove class is a multi-age program for children ages 20 months to three years. In a Reggio Emilia inspired toddler program, developing good relationships is primary. For most families, it is the first time they are enrolling their child in a school and we want the experience to be one everyone is comfortable with. We use current research about what is important for children’s good mental health and academic development to provide a solid beginning for our youngest children.
We use attachment theory to guide our interactions with the children so that they have a healthy bond with the teachers of our school. Without a strong foundation in trust, a child’s brain is stressed and learning cannot take place.
Our Mangrove classroom is bright and spacious, rich with lots of materials and equipment that develops the whole child. The most important goals we have for the children are to develop their receptive and expressive language skills, fine and gross motor skills, social/emotional skills and sensory skills. In addition to lots of time outdoors and exploring and learning in the classroom centers, children are asked to begin to sit together for short teacher-led instruction sessions, which develops the ability to follow directions, an important readiness skill. Children are also learning how to play together in a socially appropriate way, practice impulse control, and use self-help skills such as washing hands, changing their clothes and using the bathroom.
There are two classes that share the space: the younger toddler group called the Starfish and the older toddler group called the Otters. The teacher to child ratio for the Mangrove class is 1:6.