Toddler Care in Maine

12 Months – 2 1/2 years

In the toddler years, children enter an exciting time of discovering social relationships, building independence, and developing language.  During this great time of change, children progress from two to one nap per day, from walking to running, from babbling to talking, and from labeling to asking questions.  All of this comes with great energy and enthusiasm for exploring their surroundings.  

Socialization can have its bumps, toddlers at times will be physical with their peers and experience tantrums; however, this frequently phases out as children develop a stronger grasp on language and build their vocabulary.  The educators for our toddlers understand the reactive nature of this age and plan curriculum to teach language, emotional literacy, and establish the foundation for positive social interactions. 

Fine motor and gross motor skills are developed through strength building, play based activities such as manipulating playdough, traversing obstacle courses, stacking blocks, and practicing yoga exercises.  Cognitive skills are challenged through problem solving activities and games that explore cause & effect. Children thrive on routine and predictability and the days at Toddle Inn are structured to have a predictable rhythm.  Activities are offered multiple times over the course of a week or longer to promote competency and build confidence. Children venture outdoors daily (weather permitting) and experience the sights, sounds, and textures of nature. 

Toddlers playing outside at Toddle Inn

Starting at 18 months old children begin to transition from a crib to napping mats for rest time.  Toddlerhood is also the time many children begin to exhibit interest in potty training. At Toddle Inn we strive to follow the lead of children and families in support of positive potty training.  Daily sheets and/or Brightwheel are used to communicate diaper changes, meals, and nap times with families.

Toddler supplies to provide:

  • Diapers or pull-ups
  • Wipes
  • Diaper cream/ointment (as desired)
  • Two complete changes of clothes (more if potty training)
  • Seasonally appropriate outdoor gear
  • Napping supplies: Blanket, Stuffed animal/lovie, and pacifier (if needed)
  • Close-toed shoes (no crocs)
  • Community Snack (This is typically a bi-monthly classroom request for two snack items which will be served to all children in the room.)
  • Sunscreen
Toddlers learning about wood slices

Toddler Policies:

  • Occasionally young and even older toddlers go through a period of biting as a means of communication.  Typically, as children develop more competency with language, the biting will decrease and eventually stop altogether.  It is a phase children get through with support, patience, and time. All bites are documented as both an accident and incident and confidentiality is upheld for all children involved.  If a child does bite frequently during the day they will need to be picked up to go home. This policy acknowledges that a child who bites multiple times is in need of a less stressful environment and allows the child to rest at home and start fresh the next day.  As always, our educators work hard to create opportunities for success for all children and develop positive peer interactions. We appreciate your help and understanding.
  • Potty training begins as children begin to show awareness of the toileting needs of their bodies.  We work alongside families to support the children’s process. When children begin to actively potty train accidents will occur, and parents are required to provide multiple changes of clothes.  While training in underwear can be successful for many children, we reserve the right to request pull-ups if there is significant concern regarding maintaining a hygienic learning environment for the entire class.   
  • Please label ALL of your child’s clothing and nap materials.
  • Toys from home are difficult to share with others.  Please leave these special items at home.
  • All families are expected to adhere to our health care policy.  If a child becomes ill and needs to be picked up, we ask families to please arrive within one hour. 
  • In adherence to DHHS licensing regulations, we must respect the needs of the children in our care.  We cannot withhold food, water, force a child to be wakeful or wake a child who is sleeping.
  • Toddler classrooms frequently begin and end their day together in the same classroom to allow toddlers to build attachments with all teaching teams.
  • Children should be dropped off ready to enjoy their day.  Please make sure they arrive fed, dressed, & recently diaper changed.

Toddle Inn is a Nut Free center!  Please do not bring in snacks containing nuts or labeled as “processed in a factory that produces nut products”.  All snacks must display an ingredient label.  All unlabeled snacks will be bagged and returned home.

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