Caring for infant and toddlers in a mixed age group is very common in home daycares. In fact, it can be very challenging if the environment is not designed to care for mixed age groups.
Moreover, the provider must have very good supervision skills and be able to monitor the older children around the younger children. Also, the toys for preschoolers may not be appropriate for infant/toddlers and may pose a choking hazard. So, the provider must carefully plan for the environment.
However, childcare centers are required to have a separate space that is designed to meet the needs of infant/toddlers. In most infant/toddler units you will only find children between the ages of 0-24 months of age. The space may be divided off with sleeping space, crawling space, an area for walking toddlers and a place for feeding/diapering.
Having a place designated for infant/toddler care can be a luxury for the child and the caregiver. However, just like a home daycare caring for a mixed age group, it takes plenty of planning to meet the developmental needs of the infant/toddlers in a childcare center.
Do you care for a mixed age group of infant/toddlers? Are your preschoolers and infants on two different schedules? The writer of the article, Caring for infant/toddlers in groups describes six components of early group care and they are as follows:
- group size
- quality of the physical environment
- primary caregiving assignments
- continuity of care
- cultural and familial continuity
- meeting the needs of the individual within the group context
As you can see, there is a number of factors that contributes to caring for infant/toddlers in mixed age groups. Read more
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