The goal of The Child Garden is to provide a safe, nurturing environment for the children of the employees of IGT, helping them to enjoy learning and to be healthy, happy and confident. The Child Garden is an infant/toddler nursery, a preschool, a state licensed full-day kindergarten, and has a recreation program for school-aged children. The center opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Infant care is provided for children ages 6 weeks through 18 months. Full day programs are available 5 days per week in our kind, loving environment. Each infant is kept on the schedule that is provided to us by the parent. In our effort to provide a consistent, quality program for the infants, our caregivers are scheduled on 10 hour shifts in order to monitor the child's entire day and to provide each parent with a full daily report. We encourage daily communication between parents and staff to help us mirror the care the parents provide at home.
While the children are on jar food and formula, the parents provide the meals along with diapers and wipes. As the children progress from formula and baby food to table food, hot lunch is included in their fees. Snacks, including mild, juice and water are offered morning and afternoon, more often if needed. Each day, upon arrival, the parent is asked to update us on the baby's schedule thus far, last diaper change, feeding, when the child woke up. The center then will fill out a daily sheet letting you know everything that your child did for that day including feedings, diaper changes, medicines given, naps etc. A monthly lesson plan will be posted on the Infant room parent board covering a variety of fun learning activities that the babies will be doing throughout the month.
As the children grow, they move to older infant and toddler classes. Each room provides a safe, age-appropriate environment which gives the children space, toys and equipment to nurture their natural developmental stages. Through exploration, hands-on activities, singing, finger plays and interaction with caregivers and other children, their emotional, social, physical and cognitive growth is stimulated. They play and learn! Each child is assigned a cot for rest time. Art projects, newsletters, etc. will be placed in the children's cubbies in the classroom. Daily sheets will be completed by the center to keep you informed about your child's day. These will include information on meals, diaper changes or potty times, naps etc. The Child Garden does participate in the potty training process. A monthly lesson plan will be posted on the Toddler room parent board. A variety of activities are planned for each day including art, sensory, beginning math and language, transportation, imagination, and group play.
Pre-School programs are available to children ages 3 years through 5 years. These programs are designed to help children develop positive social skills as well as to facilitate their acquisition of fundamental knowledge about the world around them. Our play-based curriculum provides learning centers in each classroom which include hands-on activities introducing the children to art, music, nature, basic cognitive concepts, computers and dramatic play. Circle times promote vocabulary growth and language skills through stories, songs and calendar activities. The Child garden embraces developmentally appropriate practices which allow children to develop at their own pace, emotionally, socially and cognitively. We foster each child's independence and believe that the skills they learn now will help them to interact with others in a positive manner and to meet the demands of the more structured and academic learning environments they will encounter beyond The Child Garden. Hot lunch is optional for the preschool and kindergarten children.
The Nevada State Department of Education licenses our full-day kindergartens. Our teachers hold state teaching credentials. Our extended day curriculum and smaller teacher student ratio allows us to go well beyond the Washoe County School District objectives. The curriculum is based on a "whole language" approach but with an emphasis on phonics. It also includes art, music, language and vocabulary, science and nature, physical fitness, health, safety and social studies. The mathematics program includes the basic concepts of addition and subtraction, time, measurement, money and an understanding of the basic concept of numbers as symbols for quantity.
Once the children enter first grade, parents are faced with the logistics of providing care for the children during school closures---holidays, vacations, teacher institute days, year-round school off tracks, etc. The Child Garden provides a recreation based school-age program for children who have started first grade but have not yet completed sixth grade. The Explorers' activities include field trips, arts and crafts, games and sports, science and nature. Because of numerous field trips, the Explorers pack their lunches, including drinks, every day.