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The Inclusive Child Care Program

The Inclusive Child Care Program

The Arc Early Head Start and
Child Care Center


The purpose of this program is to provide quality inclusive early childhood care and education to children with and without disabilities. This is accomplished through a partnership with the YWCA Early Head Start. Through this partnership, 64 children are provided quality child care and education. The program is licensed as a Louisiana Class A child care center and follows all Early Head Start Performance Standards. Core values of the program include promoting positive relationships with families, inclusion of children with special needs, community collaboration, and parental involvement.

 

The major premise of the program’s philosophy is that it is relationship-based and focuses on the daily routines and experiences of the child and family to support optimal development in all developmental domains. The Program’s curriculum is based on sound principles of child development and developmentally appropriate practices. We believe that curriculum should be responsive. Therefore, the child, family, and caregiver are active partners in developing the curriculum that is responsive to the child and family and their culture. The Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC), and The Creative Curriculum: Infant, Toddlers, and Twos, are the primary sources of materials used in the program. 

 

Our belief is that good infant care is based on the relationship developed between the teacher, the infant, and the family. The curriculum for each child is developed with the family and reflects their goals for their child. This triad, of child, teacher, and family and the fostering of the relationship between them is a fundamental part of the program’s philosophy. 

 

Attachment is a special relationship between two people such as the child and the caregiver. It gives the child the feeling that he/she is important. We promote attachment by providing each child with a “primary” caregiver and continuity of care over time with the low teacher child ration of 4 children to 1 teacher. The attachment relationship lets the child know that he/she is being cared about as well as cared for. This relationship is built and reinforced through routine activities such as diapering, feeding, and dressing. These routines provide time for teacher and child to focus on developing their relationship and becoming “in tune”.  Teachers must be “in tune” with the infants and toddlers they serve and anticipate what the child needs, thinks, and feels.

 

Additionally, we further believe that good infant/toddler care is neither baby-sitting nor preschool, but a special care that resembles no other. Our curriculum is reflected in every experience of the child and every minute in the child’s day.  We focus on creating a social- emotional and intellectual environment that supports child-initiated learning. Children are encouraged to be active explorers, creative thinkers, and self-confident inquisitive learners. Teachers have a special responsibility of planning for each child based on observation, reflection, experimentation, and a partnership with the child’s family.

 

The program uses the Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos and Head Start Performance Standards to determine the basic goals and objectives which may be used in planning and individualizing for each child. The curriculum has four major goals and twenty-one objectives. The four goals cover four areas of development: social-emotional, physical, cognitive, and language. The curriculum allows for experimentation, discovery/inquiry, play, exploration, and observation. Specific components of the curriculum were determined to be congruent with our curriculum philosophy.  The components of Classroom Environment, Outdoor Environment, Routines, Experiences, Relationships and Attachment, Children with Disabilities, Family Involvement, Health & Safety, and Nutrition are all important factors that influence our program policies and practices.

 

Teachers in the program are well trained and either have a Child Development Associate or in the process of pursuing one. Additional training is provided specifically on implementing the program’s curriculum and philosophy.

 

Persons interested in applying for services may call the Arc Children’s Services at (225) 355-4461 for information, or come by to complete an application at 3940 Prescott Road in Baton Rouge.  Someone will be available for assistance if needed. Families must meet requirements for Early Head Start and may be placed on a waiting list.