Even before children walk into the classroom, the environment is considered and prepared with two-year-olds in mind. We have many cars for driving, spatulas for flipping play dough and babies to wash in the water table. A typical day consists of choice time, clean-up, circle time, snack, outside play and a goodbye circle. In our part time two-year-old classes, adult family members or caregivers come to class on a rotating basis and provide snack and a drink to share with all. This ‘special day’ is beloved by children and their grown-ups. The adult stays in the classroom and is the ‘helper.’ He or she supports the teacher by participating in the day’s activities. Helpers get to know all the children in the class as a vital part of the two-year-old program!
Our two-year-old program is often the first school experience for many children. We give them the time they need to warm up to their classroom, teachers and new classmates. We know this is a time of transition and that separation can be a difficult process for both parents and children alike. We are here to support you with the process (here are some reading resources to help with the transition). Children are encouraged to bring a comfort item to school and we plan home visits by the teachers for all children new to Paddington. Just prior to the first day of school, we host a Popsicle Pop-In where children can visit the school and see their new classroom. By the time school begins, it is our hope that families and children are comfortable with the school setting. Children learn what it means to go to school, the daily routine in a classroom and how to cultivate new friendships!