Our loving, knowledgeable & dedicated teachers focus on building relationships with parents and children to create a bond that will continue to strengthen over time with love. We know this is the foundation children thrive on!
Our Infant Room serves children ages 8 weeks up until 18 months of age. There can be up to eight infants in care during a day. There are two teachers in our infant room working together, ensuring the ratio of four infants to one teacher is always maintained. All of our teachers are thoroughly trained in high-quality infant care before stepping into the classroom. Our lead teacher is Infant Nursery Supervisor qualified. Every teacher is also required fifteen hours of training every year in early childhood development and best practices. Through observation, learning your child’s cues, and consistent parent/staff communication, we build a loving, joyful relationship with your child. This close relationship enables us to individualize personal care.
To aid communication between the infants and the teachers, not only do we pay close attention to their individual cues, we also teach the infants sign language. An infant has the ability to pick up sign language much sooner than verbal skills in their development. In this way, it is much easier for an infant to communicate their needs to a teacher, whether it is simply asking for more food or for help in a task.
Homestar has an open door policy for the whole school. Parents are free to stop by whenever and join in on our day! For the infant room, we find this especially important. Parents are welcome to stop by to breast feed or simply have some time to play with their child. We welcome and encourage a close relationship between the parents, infants and staff to create a family-like environment. We know that it optimizes the child’s care when there is communication, relationship and respect between the parents and staff.
In conjunction with the Homestar philosophy towards nature, the infants spend much of the day outside, weather permitting. The infant program has a peaceful and lovely outdoor playground geared specifically towards the infants’ developmental needs. Whether it be playing at the water table for the older infants or simply laying under the great tree, we make sure that all of our infants get the experience in nature that they need.
Homestar Practices and Policy
- Health, safety, and positive parent relationships are top priorities.
- Children are guided and supported in their social & emotional development.
- Loving, respectful, responsive care by dedicated staff.
- Play, self-discovery and self-expression are at the heart of the day.
- Nutritious whole foods – positive eating experiences.
- Age appropriate materials and activities/experiences.
- Consistent practices among staff.
- Outside play time, developing a relationship to nature.
- Educational information and a parent support group.
- Regular exchange of information.
Caring for your child is serious business to us, at the same time, we want Homestar to be a home away from home as a playful, nurturing, safe environment. Your child will experience love, acceptance, respect, laughter, song, discovery and more. We dedicate ourselves to preserving the magic of childhood!
FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)
Infant Program Questions
How often are diapers changed? We never let a child sit in a wet or soiled diaper. Diapers are changed as soon as needed. However we also have scheduled diaper changes every one and a half hours to two hours.
Do you allow cloth diapers? We do not allow cloth diapers in accordance with state regulation. All diapers must be disposable so that we can maintain a clean, sanitized environment.
Do you leave children to cry in their crib? We do not practice allowing children to cry in their cribs, however if is a parent’s wish that we allow a few minutes of cry time before nap we will follow the parents’ home routine as closely as possible, without any emotional distress to the child.
Do you hold the infants? Absolutely! We love our infants and want to show our love to them. We hold them, cuddle them, rock them and sing to them. This is a very caring environment – no child goes unloved here at Homestar.
Do you use any sort of discipline at Homestar? We believe in redirecting and never shaming a child. We never use harsh tones and try to avoid overuse of the word “No.” We do not believe in discipline but rather teaching natural consequences to an action. We prefer to show, lead, and help rather than tell.
What does it mean to transition into the infant room? When a family decides to start at Homestar we enter them into the program at a gradual pace. This allows for the infant and parents to get use to the environment and daily flow, as well as develop a close relationship to the teachers. We believe that it could be traumatic for both the infant and the parents to simply drop their child off all day long to an unfamiliar environment and unfamiliar people.
What a transition looks like:
- First day at Homestar: Both the child and parent/s stay in the infant room for about an hour and a half to simply be in the environment.
- Second day of Transition: The parents stay for about fifteen to twenty minutes and then leave their child at Homestar for roughly an hour and a half.
- Third day in the infant program: The parents drop off their child for about 3 hours.
- Fourth day at Homestar: The child is dropped off at Homestar for half a day.
- Fifth day of Transition: The child is able to stay for the whole day.
*Transitions may vary depending on the child. Some transitions take a longer time depending on the child’s disposition. A transition can be difficult if a parent is too anxious and not ready for their child to be in daycare, or if there is not consistency between the teacher and parent. We always like to remind parents that there is no “regular” transition. As every human being is different, every infant will have a different experience transitioning into the Infant Room.
When does an infant transition into the Toddler Room? Depending on the child, we can transition the child into the Toddler Room as early as 15 months and as late as 18 months old. An infant must be sure on his/her feet and able to feed himself/herself. There is also the element of the child’s emotional readiness, which is determined by the teachers and parents.
How often do the infants go outside? As often as possible! We believe that children thrive in nature, so weather permitting, we are outside much of the day. The infant program has its own playground with a large tree in the middle for shade. We also take the infants on walks in the strollers.
Do parents bring food for their infant? Parents only need to bring breast milk and formula. Homestar provides all jar food, and once the child is on solid food we have an in house cook who provides breakfast, lunch and snack. All the food we provide is completely organic with no refined sugars.
What is the ratio of teachers to children?
The ratio is 1:4. Homestar is licensed for 8 infants and we have two caregivers. There are other staff available for help in the center should the teacher’s require assistance, so sometimes the ratio is lower.
What kind of training do you require of the staff?
Most of our staff come with previous experience or an education in early childhood education. When they start with us, they go through a few weeks of training alongside experienced Homestar teachers. All of the staff here are trained in CPR, First Aid, Universal Precautionss, which deals with health and sanitation. There is always a teacher with Medications Training. Homestar provides in house training for the Homestar philosophy and quality practices as well as weekly meetings with the director. Teachers also take classes and attend workshops.
How does my child transition into this new environment?
Homestar approaches caring for infants on a very individualized basis, because each infant has their own unique and individual schedule. We work really closely with the parents to provide each child with what they need.
We have a transition period, for two weeks before the child starts their regular schedule. This is designed to give the child and the parents a period of time to get to know how we do things and to begin to develop a relationship to the staff. A parent will come in with the child and spend some time in the infant room. They get to observe the staff practices and get a feel for the environment and at the same time the staff can get to know the child. The staff can get to know the child’s cues, and observe the parent with the child They can get to know how the child is held, soothed, spoken to, and the general feeling of care. We know that you as parents are giving us your child to care for, and this is a huge leap of trust. Our focus is to make sure that both the parent and child have a very positive beginning to the relationship and we know what a transition time it is for both the parents and the child. It can take from 4 to 6 weeks. We are here to acknowledge the child’s feelings, to support the parent in the letting go process and to help develop a relationship with Homestar for the family.
Is there a place I can leave my child’s clothing or special belongings?
Each child has their own personal possession basket, their own bed and sheets, blankets. Parents bring bottles labeled and made up for infants that are bottle feeding.
What will my child eat? What about breast feeding, can I come during the day?
We welcome breast feeding moms to come any time of the day. As children grow and change we work closely with the parents to monitor their eating habits. We supply organic Earth’s Best baby food and sometimes we make our own from fresh vegetables. We also supply organic, home made finger food for children who are eating solid food. Our cook works with the infant room to provide the children with the food they need. Our cook provides homemade, daily prepared, breakfast, lunch and snack. We work closely with the parents to come up with an eating plan.
What kind of schedule will my child have?
In our in-take interview with the parents, we cover your child’s routine and patterns of behaviors. You provide the input with how they eat and sleep, how they get soothed. This information we combine with our own observations to set up the the child’s schedule according do their current rhythms. We find sometimes children do well with a specific routine for their day. But some children are inconsistent and we work closely to create what you want for your child.
3280 Dartmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80305, USA