Babies & Toddlers
The first three years of a child’s life are crucial: they shape a child in many ways and leave a very strong imprint on their biology. It is so important to nurture the unconditional trust they have in the people whose care they are in, and at the same time enhance the marvellous wonder they experience in the world around them.
These days many mothers must return to work shortly after giving birth. We have created an aesthetically pleasing, yet homely, environment in our baby rooms at The Kindergarten. When playing outside the baby and toddler rooms, our children are fortunate enough to be in the beautiful surrounds of Rosemary Hill farm in the east of Pretoria.
Our babies from 3 months and toddlers to 3 years are in the motherly care of Mama Mary and Martha, with Nomsa, Carné and Yolandé being close by at all times. Being experienced mothers themselves, they know and understand just how important it is for a mother to be able to leave her child with someone that will love her child just as much as she herself does.
Our daily rhythm emulates a typical day at home with mom:
- Sitting around a table to a freshly prepared warm breakfast and lunch, with Martha and Mary helping to feed the littlest ones, or assisting the bigger ones wanting to feed themselves.
- Playing inside with beautifully crafted toys made of natural materials, enriching the babies’ and toddlers’ sensory development.
- Playing outside in the sand pit, crawling or toddling on the lawn or swinging under the shady trees in their own enclosed play area.
- Gathering around when we hear Mary or Martha sing songs or recite nursery rhymes.
- Painting, drawing, baking or modelling beeswax on different days of the week.
- Settling down for nap time after lunch whilst listening to a gentle voice singing ‘Thula Baba’.
Sticking to a set daily rhythm helps babies and toddlers feel safe and secure and ensures an easier transition between home and nursery school as they know what to expect every day.
At The Kindergarten, we are aware that the adults in a child’s life need to create an environment that is physically safe, psychologically sound and socially supportive. During the first three years of a child’s life, the most important care they receive from their caregivers will be trust, protection, comfort and encouragement. These building blocks are what give a child the freedom to thrive.