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Our program assists developmental growth by providing the freedom to learn, explore, and experiment within the child's environment. The days of the children are filled with a variety of developmentally appropriate activities. Whether experimenting with sand in the sensory table, painting, snuggling with a book, or involved in group activities, the emphasis is to allow the children to have choices in his/her environment - to explore - and to learn freely.
There may be times when children may be placed in a grouping with different children and staff than parents are familiar with. This is done to effectively maintain child/staff ratios throughout the day. Any staff member assigned during these times is qualified to work with the age group in their care.
The benefits of these "combining" times allow the children and staff to get familiar with the children and their families throughout the center. The practice aids the children and staff when a child advances from one program to another by familiarizing them with each other. Often siblings get time to interact with one another and may ease the separation process upon arrival. The age-appropriate groupings are done within the NYSOCFS regulations as well as taking into consideration the personalities and needs of each child.
The Center provides care for infants six weeks through eighteen months old in the Infant Suite. One teacher in accordance with the Office of Children & Family Services regulations can care for a maximum of four infants. The group size for infants is limited to eight.
The Toddler 1 program cares for children ranging in age from 12 to 24 months old. One teacher can care for a maximum of four Toddler 1 children. The group size for Toddler 1's is limited to eight.
The Toddler 2 group ranges from age 18 to 36 months old. Five toddler 2's is the maximum number of children for one teacher in this age group. The total group size can be ten children.
Originally, the Center had one preschool room for children ages 3 - 5. Now we are able to have two preschool rooms. The first one is designated for 3's and early 4's. We are able to accommodate 14 children in this room with 2 teachers.
The other preschool room is for 4's and early 5's (PS4). We are able to accommodate 16 children in PS4. A combination of groupings is possible with this age range. Teacher-child ratios is one to eight.
Activities for children from five to nine years old after school hours(3:30-5:30 P.M.). Full day programs when public schools are closed for vacations are available. This area serves as the large motor area during the morning and the school aged children room in the afternoon.
The SUNYPotsdam child care center, Inc. is the recipient of a Health and Safety Grant award from the Family Benefits Committee and a grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern New York, Inc. With these grants we were able to expand our services by adding two new program areas. One is known as our Progressive Room and is for children ages 6 weeks to 36 months. According to the Office of Children and Family Services Regulations, we can only mix certain age groups of children. As they are growing and changing, the room is changing with them, hence the name "Progressive Room". The room will operate in the same manner as our Infant, Toddler 1 and Toddler 2 programs with special attention to developmentally appropriate practices.
The Progressive room can also lend itself to be a "flex" room. Although the room was designed as an infant/toddler room, we have also used this room as a preschool classroom. Each year, we assess the needs of the Center and the ages of the children on our waiting list. From this information, we are able to decide which birth date range to use for enrollment in the Progressive classroom.