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Emphasis is placed on enhancing the development of the physical, intellectual, social and emotional changes that will help your child to explore her world and make sense of it. Everything Grows will provide Toddlers with sleep mats, all toys and learning equipment, snacks and drinks.
One of the most commonly missed indicators on the Environment Rating scales is using proper handwashing techniques for children and teachers.
For preschoolers, studies have shown that deficiencies in handwashing have contributed to many outbreaks of diarrhea among children and caregivers in child care centers. The correct handwashing procedure is as follows: Hands must be wet first with warm water, which helps loosen soil, including infection-causing organisms. The most important tip that teachers can use to teach children how to wash hands correctly is to role-model by washing their hands correctly.
One helpful tip that can help children remember the steps is to have a poster with pictures of a child (preferably one of the children in the class), performing each of the steps. Finally, if you are having trouble with the amount of time it takes to wash all of the children’s hands during transitions, one way you can do it is to wash as a group. One of the more challenging criteria to meet on the Infant-Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ITERS-R) is taking infants and toddlers outdoors to play for an hour every day. During the first few years of life, infants and toddlers are trying to make sense of their world.
The outdoor equipment should challenge children, but should be based on realistic expectations about what children at this age can and cannot do.
Beyond the activities already mentioned, there are many interesting and fun experiences that you can provide for   both infants and toddlers outdoors. Create a texture path on the ground using assorted textures, such as carpet squares, rugs, grass, and resilient surfacing. For toddlers: Continue to add more materials that reflect the variety of developmental skills. The ITERS-R does require that infants and toddlers spend an hour a day outdoors, weather permitting. Remember that the experiences that infants and toddlers have outdoors while they are in child-care, may in fact, be the only opportunity they have to really explore the outdoors. The ERS (Environmental Rating Scales) Team at Clayton Early Learning is holding one of their bi-annual trainings here on campus this week. The Importance of Training: One of the first things we’ve learned with our involvement using the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scales (ERS) is that training before implementation is critical.
Coaching Support is Key: Another thing we learned along the way is the importance of coaches and their role in the “Improvement” part of this process. Reliability equals trust: The third thing we’ve learned along the way is how important it is to have a reliability system for our Quality Ratings. Incentives: Because child care is so expensive to implement at a “quality level” the fourth important thing is that we need to provide incentives for programs that participate. For parents, who are the consumers, it’s also important that they buy in to this system and that they no longer accept poor quality care for their children. So as we look to introducing more quality improvement measures for our child care centers and homes, it’s important to take what we have learned and improve upon it.
Clarifying the learning objective can be used anytime-during group, free time, and even in routines, like meals and snack time. And as teachers it’s also important to recognize our role in preventing children’s access to outdoor time. Cognitively, exposure to natural settings may be widely effective in reducing ADHD symptoms.
If you haven’t heard the news, the rules and regulations for Child Care Licensing are changing for child care centers in Colorado. In response to these findings, there was a big push in Colorado to improve the quality of care in the state. Throughout this process, the Environment Rating Scales have been important tools chosen by the state to measure the overall quality of centers and homes.
The Scales have also been shown to provide stable results if classrooms do not improve quality, yet are sensitive to organized attempts to improve early childhood environments.
See that child over there?  The one who is getting ready to go off to Kindergarten but hasn’t learned her letters or numbers.
This April at the  Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference, the keynote speaker, Geoffrey Canada spoke about this topic as it relates to the educational field. So as this school year is coming to a close and we have been assessing our children who are heading off to Kindergarten next year, I worry.
This year a study was published out of the University of Michigan based on a survey called the “Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort", which contains data on 8,900 babies at 9 months of age and 7,500 of those same babies at 2 years of age.
So looking beyond these alarming statistics, what are some of the things we can do to help prevent obesity in infants?
Finally the last thing we can do is encourage physical activity with our infants and toddlers.  Late last year an Institute of Medicine study committee was charged for the first time with developing obesity prevention recommendations specifically for the 0-to-5 set. And because this is such new and important information, please feel free to share it with anyone you may know who is pregnant or has a young infant.
The other day I was listening to the morning program on a local radio station and they asked the question “what has 39 times more germs than a public toilet seat? Science and the “War on Germs”: Our “war on germs” has been around as long as we have been around. The media and the “War on Germs”: The media has also played a big part in how we look at germs.
The toddler room offers a variety of activities for 1½- to 3-year-olds as they make the transition from infants to active and independent children. The classroom is a language-rich environment with books on low shelves that the children can look through at any time. Activities include musical games, dramatic and puppet play, exercise and movement games, circle time, art, story time and many other activities that will enhance fine and gross motor skills. Many studies have shown that unwashed or improperly washed hands are the primary carriers of infections, particularly among infants and toddlers.
Research has shown that infants are especially vulnerable to infectious disease between 6 months and 9 months of age, when the protection of being in utero wears off. In child care centers that have implemented a hand-washing training program, the incidence of diarrheal illness has decreased by 50%. Often times it is the teachers who are not doing the procedures correctly, rather than the children. One of our home providers came up with putting water in a spray bottle which she then sprays onto the children’s hands (hands are wet step). It just takes some creativity (like what was mentioned above), some persistence, and some supervision.
We often hear from providers that “parents don’t want their infant outdoors because they’ll get sick” or that “there’s no time to take young children outside when there are so many routines and individualized schedules.” So why is it important to take infants and toddlers outdoors? One of the ways they do this is by soaking up every noise, every sound, and every experience that they have. Even infants, who do not have the ability to physically play with others, are able to watch others, which is the first step in social development (Oesterreich, 1995). According to Gabbard (1998), the “window of opportunity” for acquiring basic motor movements is   from prenatal to five years of age.
Toddlers need space and materials that will help them act out prepositions-over, under, on top of, inside, outside, behind, in front of, up, and down (Rivkin, 2000). Because they are exploring their world, they often taste it first, which can result in more exposure to germs or to choking hazards. All anchored equipment should be designed for toddlers, based on the new ASTM F 2373-05 guidelines for children ages 6 months to 23 months. Point out the leaves moving, let them feel the leaves or grass, and point out the nature sounds that they hear.
The children can crawl along this path to explore large motor skills and sensory stimulation (Miller, 1989). Bring out riding toys and trikes, wagons to pull, baby carriages with dolls, large trucks to push, etc. By taking infants and toddlers outdoors, you are providing wonderful opportunity and you are setting up a good model for parents to follow. Because of this, it only seemed appropriate to republish Brenda Cobb-Hoge's blog on Early Childhood Classroom assessment from last spring. We have been assessing quality in many of our classrooms and family childcare homes for over 12 years, primarily through the use of the Environment Rating Scales (ECERS-R, ITERS-R, FCCERS-R). Providing overview trainings for teachers, providers and Directors on the tools as well as more in-depth training for coaches was key to improving quality based on the tools because it gave everyone the “why” behind the indicators and assured everyone that they could pick and choose the indicators that they felt was important to implement in their program. As some communities began using the Rating, their programs were getting money for materials based on their ERS scores but we weren’t really changing the quality. As the Qualistar Rating has become more “high stakes” having well-trained Rating Specialists whose reliability is checked regularly has been crucial in building trust in the system. Whether the incentives come in the form of grants for staff training or coaching or whether it comes in the form of higher reimbursement rates, programs need support to make “quality” happen. We want providers invested in improving the quality of their classrooms; that they really understand that quality is something you work on every single day – not just the day or month of the rating.
Yes, the problem that we continue to face is that many parents’ choices in child care may, out of necessity, be driven by costs of programs rather than the quality. And like any suitcase, there are some things that we take with us but we never use, and some things we forgot to bring along or couldn’t fit that are critical to our journey. Was there something teachers insisted that you learn that you never used and you wouldn't even know when or why you should use it?
Right now, we are observing classrooms across Denver using the CLASS™ Pre-K tool and one of the indicators that classrooms score low on is Clarity of Learning Objectives.
Basically what an advanced organizer means is that you state what the objective of the lesson is or what children should be focusing on prior to starting the activity. This is one of my favorites because there is always one child in your classroom that gets the conversation “off-track.” Now whether that child is really getting the conversation “off-track” or whether they are making some connection you aren't aware of is something that you don’t know. The important thing is to practice because it’s not something that comes naturally to most of us. Often the first thing to get the blame is children’s increased access to computer games, the internet and television.
In a recent study based on interviews with preschool teachers in Ohio, Participants noted physical and socio-emotional benefits of physical activity particular to preschoolers (e.g.

Physically, outdoor play increases fitness levels and builds active, healthy bodies which helps combat the current rise in obesity among children.
In addition, schools with environmental education programs score higher on standardized tests in math, reading, writing and listening.
Unstructured active play with others, including with parents, siblings, and peers, is a major opportunity to cultivate social skills. Time to start taking action by not letting another generation of children grow up without having an opportunity to play outdoors. In the last few weeks there has been a state-wide debate over whether Child Care Licensing rules should be limited to regulating health and safety aspects of centers or whether they should move beyond that to encompass aspects of “quality” in children’s learning environments and interactions with caregivers. Colorado’s involvement can be traced back to the 1990s when child care centers in Colorado were part of the Cost, Quality and Outcomes study that was published in 1995. These efforts resulted in the formation of organizations, like Qualistar (formerly Educare Colorado) and local Early Childhood Councils. The Environment Rating Scales have been used for the past 30 years around the world (current versions are ECERS-R for preschool, ITERS-R for infant and toddler classrooms and FCCERS-R for family child care homes).
The proposed new rules and regulations for licensing do include indicators from the Environment Rating Scales, most from what the Scales define as “minimal” level of quality and a few from what is defined at a “quality level.” Most of these requirements are not new for centers since many programs have been involved in some sort of quality improvement effort. Canada mentioned around blame is that there are a lot of excuses that we, as a society, have for why our children are not doing well in school and the “blame game” is more prominent when talking about why lower-income children aren’t succeeding. Yes, many of them are leaving Clayton Educare knowing all of their letters, letter sounds, and rhymes and they seem fully ready for Kindergarten. He is also a poet and has written a poem titled “Don’t Blame Me.” He recited this poem at the end of his speech. The babies’ weights were based on CDC growth charts and infants in the 95th percentile were categorized as “obese” while infants in the 85th to 95th percentile were counted as “at-risk.” Researchers found that even at 9 months, many babies fell into these two categories. Well, as early as 3 years of age, obese children have elevated levels of inflammatory markers that have been linked to heart disease that is manifested later in life.  At a summary of the “Conference on Preventing Childhood Obesity,” it was remarked that, “The prenatal period, infancy, and early childhood may be stages of particular vulnerability to obesity development because they are unique periods for cellular differentiation and development”. Should infants go on “diets?” No, definitely not.  But there are some other solutions that will help. The report, due in about 18 months, will look at the role of sleep and early feeding patterns, as well as physical activity.
In an article published in the Ecologist Report, Garry Hamilton writes that “Ever since microbes were identified as the source of infectious diseases, humans have been intensifying efforts to stamp out germs, dreaming of a day when these invisible enemies are no more.
The "hygiene hypothesis" is a theory that young children who are exposed to a variety of germs will have a lower risk of developing asthma and allergies later in life. In 1998, media began reporting about bio-terrorism and the likelihood that we would someday be attacked not with weapons, but with an incurable disease. Should we go to extremes and put ourselves and our kids in a germ-free bubble or should we roll around and dirt and never wash our hands?
Through individual attention and respectful interactions, the teachers help the children learn about and deal with transitions, foster autonomy in the children, and assist children in understanding limits.
In addition, staff will work with all toddlers to teach and encourage basic hygiene including washing of hands and face.
Toddler staff will chart on a daily basis food consumption, diaper changes (if still required), naps, progress in toilet training and daily observation of your child’s behavior, personality, emotional development, including peer interactions.
Your daughter is learning self-help and independence as she gets a cup and puts a sandwich on her plate. She see’s you and runs over and exclaims “I made good choices today daddy!” She has so much to share about her day! They say that following the proper procedures are “impossible.” We want to clarify why handwashing is important and give some helpful tips about how to wash correctly. Since many infected people carry communicable diseases without having symptoms and many are contagious before they experience a symptom, staff members need to protect themselves and the children they serve by carrying out hygienic procedures on a routine basis. From that point, it takes until children are 2 years of age before their immune systems are fully functioning. Another study found that handwashing helped to reduce colds when frequent and proper handwashing practices were incorporated into a child care center's curriculum. The soap lather also helps to loosen the soil and brings it into solution on the surface of the skin. By being good role-models children understand not only how to wash but it emphasizes the importance of washing.
The programs that are the most successful at handwashing are the programs that have the teachers supervising the procedures.
She then applies dispenser soap to each child’s hands, and they sing a song together as a group (soap and 20 sec. One thing to remember is that if children and teachers are absent because they are sick, the children are not learning. Caring for our children: National health and safety performance standards-Guidelines for out-of-home care.
Effect of Infection Control Measures on the Frequency of Upper Respiratory Infection in Child Care: A Randomized, Controlled Trial.
When an infant feels the leaves or the toddler notices the airplane in the sky, they are more inclined to verbalize this experience because it will elicit a favorable response by their caregivers. During this time the brain gathers and stores information, and a solid foundation for movement activities is built.
Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that all potential choking hazards are removed from the area and that caregivers are in close proximity to children so that they can remove unwanted objects from mouths.
It should be made of materials that will not get too hot in the summer or too icy in the winter.
Many playground manufacturers are not aware of these new standards therefore, it is important to check with them before purchasing equipment.
Attach musical toys, activity centers, and mirrors to the fence at different levels for children who are still crawling and for children who are standing. Bring some music outdoors so that children can practice dancing, jumping, and twirling outdoors. Thelma Harms, who is one of the authors of the Environment Rating Scales, often speaks of an old Swedish saying that says “there is no bad weather, only bad clothes.” If you travel to different sites across Colorado you will see this reflected on the Western slope where infants and toddlers are dressed in snow suits, gloves, hats, and boots to go outside in the winter. As Colorado begins building a new version of the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), it’s important to reflect on what we have learned along the way – and what challenges remain. We also had TA services where someone would come in and help the program “get ready for the rating” which worked for the “month rating window” but it really didn’t help create lasting improvements.
Yes, not everyone can be consistent 100% of the time due to the high variance in the types of programs Rating Specialists encounter, but by having highly reliable Raters, program disputes over the observation portion of the rating have decreased over time. Yes anyone can “pass the test” on any of these quality measures, but to really commit to quality every single day is extremely important. I’m fairly certain that if you asked any parent, they would prefer to put their child in a quality program if we could find a way to make it affordable.
Some of these include the buy-in of providers and parents, approaches and tools for working with Dual-Language Learners and Staff, support for the wide array of curricula that are being used by our programs, funding for our improved QRIS system, and having resources in place in all areas of Colorado and for all types of programs. Most teachers have a plan for what children are going to learn each and every day they are in school and most lesson plans have objectives stated.
For example, if your classroom is doing a unit on sea animals and last week you talked about whales and this week you are introducing dolphins, you can use an advanced organizer by saying “We are going to read a story about whales and then a story about dolphins. So you want to make sure that you acknowledge what they are saying but then you want to re-orient back to the planned objective.
Put up little reminder statements in your centers, write the objective on your board so you remember to tell the children what and why they are learning this, and practice with your co-teachers.
Spending time outside also raises levels of Vitamin D, helping protect children from future bone problems, heart disease, diabetes and other health issues.
All of this leads children to develop social and emotional capabilities such as empathy, flexibility, self-awareness, and self-regulation which continues into their adult life. Because if those of us who had the opportunity to spend the entire day outdoors have raised children who don’t have the same opportunity, what kind of children will our children raise? Media portrayal of this debate has mostly focused on whether child care centers should be further regulated, the cost of adding “quality” for the centers, and what the specific criteria should be to determine whether a center is licensed or not.  What the media have not discussed is the history of child care quality improvement efforts in Colorado as well as the research behind how we define quality child care and the long-term outcomes for children. This study looked at the quality of child care in 4 states and the effects of quality on children’s development. Research has shown that these instruments can be used reliably and consistently across a wide variety of settings and cultures, including programs that use different curricula, programs that serve at-risk populations (such as Head Start), and corporate programs, family child care homes, and military programs.
From there, classroom staff can create a plan to make identified improvements in the areas that are important to them.
Canada has been the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ), which The New York Times Magazine called "one of the most ambitious social experiments of our time." The HCZ designs, funds, and operates a holistic system of education, social services and community-building programs within Harlem to counter the negative influences of crime, drugs and poverty and to help children complete college and go on to the job market. The teachers blame the families, the families blame the teachers, the schools blame the government, the government blames the schools, and so on and so forth.
This statement has been magnified by the numerous studies demonstrating the association between rapid or accelerated infant weight gain and subsequent obesity as well as type 2 diabetes mellitus.
In general, parents and caregivers of infants should choose physical activities that are interactive, stimulating, easy to do, and that can be incorporated  into their daily routine to reinforce the concept that physical activity is rewarding.
The battles that have been won — the defeat of polio, the dramatic decline of infant mortality in the west, the eradication of small pox worldwide — spur the endeavour onward.
Last year researchers from Erasmus University in the Netherlands found no evidence for either a long-term protective or harmful effect associated with day care attendance in their study involving nearly 4,000 children followed from birth through age 8. And then the media and a few select scientists starting looking at our living spaces and found that not only could we be attacked by terrorists but that  we were being attacked in our homes by high levels of illness-causing germs in our bathrooms, beds, kitchens, and should we leave our homes, taxis, airplanes and our hotel rooms. We were also told that children were bringing germs home from their adventures in the outside world and that is what was also causing us to be sick. The group size for this classroom is 12 children and the adult child ratio for this classroom is 1:4.
Your daughter learns a familiar finger play, “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed!” Sharing stories encourages your daughter’s language development.
During Guided Freedom Time, your daughter goes to the water table and begins to fill and pour various containers and talks about how it feels.
She is praised for using her please, thank you and good table manners when asking for more juice. Finally, when handwashing is done correctly by children and adults- there can be a 17% reduction in respiratory infections for young children. This does not necessarily mean that teachers need to be at the sink with the children (although this is recommended for younger children and at the beginning of the school year), but that they are watching from wherever they are in the classroom and reminding children when steps are missed and praising them when it is done correctly. So it really is worth taking the time and effort to make sure that handwashing is done correctly. American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, & National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care.

So, not only is being outdoors an enjoyable experience for infants and toddlers, it’s critical for cognitive development.
If the mountain communities waited until the weather was “appropriate,” they would only get to be outside from June-October. It will also help ensure that they will take better care of our world when they are adults. Centers and homes that have been provided with individualized coaching have focused on not just the “test” but rather on more introspection, goal-setting, and education, and again, quality in these programs has improved over time.
In our programs who have invested the time and energy to work on quality every day, the benefits to the children enrolled in those programs can be life-changing. And while this is just a small list of what we’ve learned and what we still need to answer, it’s a start. When I was in high school, my math teacher insisted that I must learn how to do logarithmic functions and tried to assure me that I couldn't possibly have a career without knowing this.
But do we take the time to verbally explain to the children “what is it they are learning and why they are learning this?” Often times we don’t. Think about things that are the same between whales and dolphins and things that are different about them. You know that you have achieved success when your children can tell you what it was that they were learning. For most of us, including myself, I think about all of the time I spent outdoors as a child. The two fundamental principles of the HCZ Project are to help kids as early in their lives as possible and to create a critical mass of adults around them who understand what it takes to help children succeed. What will happen to them when they enter Elementary School?  We hope that we have taken responsibility for them while they’ve been here and that we have shown families how to be involved in their child’s education.
When these same infants turned 2 years old, just under 14% were at-risk and almost 21% were obese. Further, numerous studies have now shown that overweight infants and toddlers are at increased risk of staying overweight as they age.  So based on this, the current focus on preventing childhood obesity should not only be focused on children 5 years and older but should in fact, start at infancy and possibly pre-natal. They can also target more intervention techniques to mothers who smoke during pregnancy.  And once the infant is born, encouraging mothers to breast-feed longer rather than using formula, helping parents to realize what signifies a hunger cry versus needing alternative soothing, and teaching parents sleep-lengthening techniques to help infants get the appropriate amount of sleep will all help prevent obesity.
Also limiting the amount of sedentary activity will greatly help.  This includes limiting infants and toddlers access to television, limiting time in “containment” devices such as swings, bouncy seats, high chairs and cribs, and encouraging free movement and exploration. And as I checked myself into a hotel this morning and was face to face with those elevator buttons, I hesitated for a brief moment to ponder which body part should I use to press the button.
Recent setbacks such as the threat of new pathogens, the return of old enemies and the development of antibiotic resistance, remind us that we must never let down our guard. Lead researcher Daan Caudri, MD stated that “If day care attendance truly was protective, we would expect to see this protection persist, but that is not what we saw. So we started washing, sanitizing, and limiting children's exposure to that outside world.  But even doing that wasn't totally effective so companies started developing products (like antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers) that would help protect us. All doctors and researchers on both sides of the germ-debate agree that the best thing we can do is to wash our hands with soap (not anti-bacterial) and water, especially when we eat, use the bathroom and are out in public places.
This is something that requires teamwork between parents and staff to ensure success for your toddler!
Hands must then be rinsed, which moves the lather off into the sink, as well as the soil from the hands that the soap brought into solution. She then has them line up at the sink and they rinse their hands under running water (rinse step).
Because children are still mastering balance, there must be enough room to move without hitting a hard surface or sharp edges. They do not need high equipment, ladders, or climbers because they haven’t mastered taking large steps. The HAPPE  (High Autonomy Physical Play Environment), provides a great list of games for toddlers that can be played outdoors. As coaches have begun working with the Raters, it has become more of a unified support system for the program, which has been very beneficial. What other things have you learned from our ERS journey that we need to pack with us in our “Quality Suitcase” as we embark on this new direction? Well, as it turns out, other than the math modules I had to take in college, I have never had to do a logarithmic function and I’m pretty sure I wouldn't even know when to use one. In the summer, my neighborhood friends and I would get up and spend the entire day outdoors.
In a study conducted in the late 1990’s, Rhonda Clements surveyed 830 mothers throughout the U.S. Since the ratings given to programs affected funding, a reliability system for Qualistar raters was created.  Additionally, coaching and technical assistance became available to help classrooms improve their quality. Items on this include providing good supervision of children and meeting standards to help keep children healthy.
The school also has high expectations for the families it serves by making sure that they are highly involved in their child's education as well as high expectations for the community. But some children  have a lot of things stacked against them before they enter the door of their Elementary school. As infants get older, other interventions include delaying the introduction of solid foods until 4-6 months of age and teaching parents and caregivers about infants’  responses to new foods.
The elbow was of course the most logical choice and my elbow has become quite talented since the “war on germs” first started.
In the war on germs, the wisdom says, there's no such thing as going too far.” And for the most part science hasn’t gone too far. And yes, they also agree that our children need to be given the opportunity to play in that dirt. Finally, hands must be dried with a single-service dispensed towel, which prohibits the spread of germs between children.
Set up obstacle courses where toddlers can climb over and under material and walk a curved path. We played at the park, we played at the school playground, we searched creeks for roly-poly’s, and we rode our bikes all around our part of town (and yes, with no helmets ). 85 percent of mothers cited television viewing and 81 percent cited computer play as among the reasons why their children played outdoors so infrequently.
Because individual teachers determine daily schedules and ultimately make the decision whether to take the children outdoors, they serve as gatekeepers to the playground. Results showed that 12% of the centers were rated “less than minimal in quality” and 15% of the centers were rated “good”.  The remaining sites fell between those two points.
Since 2004, 968 centers and 326 homes have been rated by Qualistar – about 30% of licensed settings in the state of Colorado.
By everyone taking responsibility for each child, these children are successful. However, if we keep blaming each other the problems and lack of responsibility continue to grow and, in the meantime, that child never learns to read and the schools keeps passing that child and their “problems” off to the next teacher.
Will school administration, teachers, families and the community use barriers like poverty, or challenging behaviors as an excuse to blame someone else when learning doesn't happen? Parents often interpret the initial rejection of new foods as “she doesn’t like it”, and the food is not offered again.
Scientists are working hard every day to make sure that there are new drugs to combat the “large germs,” such as H1N1 which was running rampant across the nation last year. So it is no wonder that we are afraid, especially with all of the conflicting information that we are being given. So as for me and the elevator buttons, when I go back downstairs to get dinner, I’m not going to use my elbow, but rather my fingers. Without these steps, potential infection-causing organisms will remain on the skin and then  those can be transferred between teachers and children. This process is very quick and it eliminates a lot of the issues of children waiting at the table and in line for a long amount of time. So, it would make sense that childcare providers would want to provide a stimulating environment for infants and toddlers, both indoors and outdoors. Playing with riding toys, trikes, wagons (where they can put other materials in it), and different sizes of balls are just as interesting as climbing onto a structure. And finally, provide a garden outdoors so that children can learn about soil, plants, and insects. Work with your parents on providing appropriate clothing for all kinds of weather and a change of clothes for when children   get dirty.  Also set up a clothing donation box so that parents, teachers, or other adults in the program can drop off winter clothing that no longer fits their child.
But the one thing my teacher neglected to tell me was, “what is it that I need to know and why do I need to know this?” In other words, what was the objective behind logarithmic functions and how is it relevant to my life? Our play wasn’t organized by the adults and there were no boundaries to our creativity-okay, maybe a few boundaries like “don’t attach that rope to the highest tree limb and try to swing off of it.” We stayed outside until we were called in for dinner and then, if it was a great day, we would all meet again after dinner to play a game of “Kick the Can” before bedtime. And in Levanto, Italy, every day after school the children of all ages would meet and play in the town center.
However, in the same survey, most of the mothers admitted that they themselves restricted their children’s outdoor play, and 82 percent cited safety concerns, including fear of crime, as reasons for doing so. This includes teaching children social skills to help learn how to deal with peer conflicts, for example. Or will they take responsibility and ensure that all children learn, no matter their background?
However, the infant’s initial response about disliking the food is usually transient, and that infants’, toddlers’ and preschoolers’ intake of new healthy foods will typically increase if the infant has repeated opportunities to taste them.
But is this level of concern necessary and what is exactly fueling this “war on germs?” Is it science and research or is it the media?
For infants, providing grass, balls, push toys, tunnels, and a ramp for crawling is just as stimulating as having a slide or a baby swing.
Some were playing on the playground, some were organizing a soccer game, and some were riding their bikes.
What is our role here at Clayton in continuing to make sure that all children succeed, even after they leave?  So many questions where the answer is critical for  each child's success.
Even if infants and toddlers are only out for 5 or 10 minutes because the weather is bad, it will help prevent illness and it will give them some of those sensory experiences that are so critical for their development. The only time I can think of when I’ve seen that many children playing recently is indoors at the Cherry Creek Mall where children were climbing on the “Looney Tunes” characters. Yes, it’s good they are playing but it’s indoors and it’s  "Looney Tunes" rather than nature.

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