The Lehigh University Child Care Center is an extension of the family and welcomes parents to visit their children at the center at anytime. It is all of us working together that helps to raise each child at the center.
There are many ways that parents can participate in their children’s activities at the Lehigh University ChildCare Center. Parent involvement at the center can improve children’s education and child care experiences. Opportunities for parent involvement include, joining the Parent’s Committee and becoming an active volunteer, helping with special events at the center or visiting the center and volunteering.
Parents are encouraged to talk to the director and teachers about their children’s development. It is this sharing of information that helps the center staff to provide the very best care for every child. The teachers will display children’s works and projects. Daily schedules are posted in the rooms and menus are placed in children’s cubbies and also posted throughout the various rooms. Parents are always welcome to come to the center at any time. Parents are encouraged to participate in classroom activities, join us for lunch or for a walk. Realizing that we are an international center, children and their parents are invited to share information about their cultures and countries of origin. Children truly enjoy having their parents spend time with them at the center. Parents are responsible for the safety and well being of their child (ren) any time in which they are together at the center (special events, drop-off and pick up times).
Parent – staff communication can take place at arrival and departure times for children, through e-mail, written notes or telephone calls. Discussions concerning a child’s development and progress usually require more time and should take place in a private location. Parents are asked to schedule phone conversations or personal meetings with their children’s teachers to discuss such issues. There is a notebook in the foyer for parents to write notes about their children. Though parents will tell the teachers that an authorized individual, other then themselves will be picking up their children on a specific day we ask parents to write this information on the tablet or notebook in the foyer.
The Parent Committee provides support to the child care center director, staff and families through parent networking opportunities, recognition events, fund raising opportunities and communication tools. The goal of these efforts is to increase and expand communication between the director, staff and parents and raise overall awareness of the center among the Lehigh community.
Parents of Infants and Babies
Parents are always welcome to visit their infants and babies. Parents may borrow strollers and take their children for walks, may rock them in our rocking chairs or just visit and play
Activities for infants and babies involves different opportunities that lead to new experiences and the beginning of learning. Teachers take advantage of care giving “moments”(i.e. changing diapers and singing songs) transferring these moments to meaningful and positive experiences for a child’s healthy development. The infant/baby area provides a safe environment full of opportunities to explore and have fun. Teachers organize the rooms to provide new opportunities which will foster motor development (reaching, grasping, crawling, sitting, pulling, grabbing and holding objects), cognitive development (recognizing familiar faces, object permanence, cause and effect actions), language development (listening and responding to sounds, voices, stories and music) and social development (playing with others, peer interaction and expressing emotions in various situations).
Young children under the age of 12 months are fed according to their individual schedules. As children grow and begin eating solid foods and are able to sit in a high chair, their eating needs will change and the eating times will be adjusted toward a group schedule. Parents are required to bring breast milk and or formula. Other foods are supplied by the center. Each child in the baby room has a chart, which is posted and lists daily, what a child eats and drinks as well as other information about the child’s day (activities, bowel movements and special notes).
Parents usually bring 2-3 bottles, which include nipples for their child to use at the center. Though the center does have bottles and nipples many parents prefer to bring their own. For those parents breast-feeding we ask that several feedings of breast milk be brought to the center, which we will freeze and use upon need. Mothers are always welcome to come and breast feed their infants at any times during the day. Our infant room is very cozy and has rocking chairs for the mothers to use.
Bottles are heated in a small crock pot with water. Only breast milk, water and formula will be placed in a child’s bottle. Juice is served in a tippy cup. Exceptions to this may be made with a note from a child’s doctor stating that other foods need to be mixed with formula or breast milk and served in a bottle. Cereal and other foods will not be mixed in a bottle for convenience.
Infants and babies sleep according to their own schedules. Usually around the age of 15 months children begin to sleep on a small cot for afternoon naps in a group setting. All of the bedding for infants and babies is provided by the center and is laundered at the center. Each child will have his/her crib or cot. Children do not share cribs or cots.
Infants and children under the age of 12 months are placed on their backs to sleep in a crib. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development highly recommends this sleeping practice for children under the age of 12 months.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children mandates that all accredited child care programs follow this practice of sleeping for children under the age of 12 months. . Only in situations when a child has acid reflux or other health issues which may warrant another sleeping position (diagnosed and written on a child’s medical form) and /or with parent’s written preference for his/her child to sleep also on her back, will the child be placed on his/her back for sleeping.
The center provides disposable diapers and wipes for children. Children are changed throughout the day at regular intervals and upon need. From time to time, children may develop diaper rash and parents are encouraged to bring in salve for their child’s rash.
Parents should bring two or three changes of clothing for their infants or babies. As the seasons change, the baby room teachers will inform the parents of appropriate clothing that should be included in a child’s cubby for outdoor play.