Mini University Providing Quality Early Care and Education Mini University Providing Quality Early Care and Education Mini University Providing Quality Early Care and Education Mini University Providing Quality Early Care and Education
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Infant and Toddler Programs (6 Weeks to 3 Years of Age)

Mini University's infant and toddler teaching staff use the Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers and Twos, developed by Teaching Strategies. They also incorporate the educational quality standards from NAEYC's Accreditation Criteria, Ohio's Early Learning and Development Standards, and the Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) philosophy. The RIE philosophy is based on the research of Magda Gerber and Dr. Emmi Pikler.

The RIE (pronounced "rye") philosophy is based on RESPECT for each child. The educarer respects an infant by talking directly to the child, explaining what he/she is about to do, making eye contact, and by waiting for the child's response. RIE's goal is to help nurture AUTHENTIC infants who are: Competent, Confident, Curious, Attentive, Exploring, Cooperative, Secure, Peaceful, Focused, Self-Initiating, Resourceful, Involved, Cheerful, Aware, Interested and Inner-Directed.

Developmentally appropriate programs for children from birth to age 3 are distinctly different from all other types of programs. They are not scaled-down versions of a good program for preschool children. These program differences are determined by the unique characteristics and needs of children during the first three years:
  • changes take place far more rapidly in infancy than during any other period in life.
  • during infancy, as at every other age, all areas of development (cognitive, social, emotional, and physical) are intertwined.
  • infants are totally dependent on adults to meet their needs.
  • very young children are especially vulnerable to adversity because they are less able to actively cope with discomfort or stress.
Infants and Toddlers learn through their own experience, trial and error, repetition, imitation, and identification. Adults guide and encourage this learning by ensuring that the environment is safe and emotionally supportive. An appropriate program for children younger than 3 years old invites play, active exploration, and movement. Mini University provides this type of environment and a broad array of stimulating experiences within a reliable framework of routines for all infants.