Meet the Infant Staff of Kids Count Child Care!
Kids Count Child Care offers a comprehensive child care program for children six weeks to 5 years of age, where children receive attentive, nurturing care while they develop educational fundamentals and social skills.
Our youngest children begin their journey at Kids Count in the Infant Room, under the loving care of Nancy Ortegon and Stacy Aymil, who have a combined 42 years with Kids Count! Hundreds of children and families have benefited from their dedicated service over the years and they were happy to share what makes Kids Count such a special place.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working with children, especially infants?
Stacy: I enjoy watching the infants grow and develop and helping them reach their developmental milestones. The unconditional love and smiles we receive every day make our work more than just a job!
Nancy: That is the same for me. I also enjoy helping the parents with questions they might have about infant care and development. Being able to share our knowledge and experience is a wonderful part of the job.
Stacy: It never ceases to amaze us when the children take their first steps!
Nancy: Yes! Watching the beginnings of understanding and following directions is amazing. We see a child go from listening to our voices to really understanding and responding to what we are saying.
Q: What is the typical daily schedule in the infant room?
Nancy: Our day begins with breakfast followed by reading books to the children, outdoor play, curriculum-based activities, lunch, independent play, snack, and gross motor activities. We use the Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos and the New Jersey Birth – 3 Early Learning Standards when developing sensory, fine motor, and dramatic play activities. Language stimulation occurs naturally, as we talk and sing with the children throughout the day while we care for them.
Q: How do you communicate with parents about their child’s day?
Stacy: We use our Infant Daily Record form. It contains all of the most important information about the child’s day: how she ate, what he drank and how much, the length and number of naps, diapering, and any pertinent comments, requests and reminders. Both Nancy and I are here at 7:30 am to chat with the parent regarding any unusual happenings the night before and expectations for the day to come.
Nancy: We have a phone in our room and we encourage parents to call if they have questions or just want to check in to talk about how their child is doing that day. We are always available!
Q: Do the infants ever spend time with the older children?
Nancy: No, not usually, however if the infant has an older sibling in the program, the older sibling can visit the infant room where the infants have their own age-appropriate environment. As they near toddler age, the infants will spend two weeks visiting in the Toddler Group as part of a gradual transition to the new group. All the Kids Count staff know all of the children in the program. Staff from the other groups fill in for us during breaks, lunch, and at the end of the day.
Q: Are parents allowed to come and visit their child during the day?
Stacy: Yes, we have an open door policy and parents are welcome at any time.
Q: How do you support nursing mothers?
Nancy: We have a private room for pumping or nursing in the school’s newly renovated nurse’s suite. We also have an adult-sized couch, in the back of our room, where a mother can privately nurse. We have a refrigerator to keep milk cold and we can warm bottles using a bottle warmer.
Q: Do you offer part-time schedules?
Stacy: We offer part-week schedules but not part day schedules. If a parent chose to bring the child for half a day, the family would be responsible for paying for the whole day.
Q: What do you think Kids Count offers that is special?
Nancy: We develop a very special relationship with each infant in our care, knowing that parents are trusting us with their precious children. One of the ways we get to know each child is by using developmental screening and assessment tools that help us understand a child’s strengths and abilities. Each child is screened, using the Brigance Inventory of Early Development, upon enrollment and every year thereafter. Quarterly assessments are administered to each child using the Teaching Strategies Gold. As a program of P.G. Chambers School, we have three registered nurses on site to help us care for the health and well-being of each child. We also believe that our combined 42 years of experience working with and caring for infants makes our program very special.
Stacy: Consistency is important for the children and we know each of the infants very well. It’s a family environment; speaking as a mother myself, that is the most important thing.
Q: How do you and (Stacy/Nancy) work together as a team?
Stacy: Like a well-oiled machine! Our key to success is communication, we communicate continually. We keep each other informed of what is going on with each of the children and problem-solve as needed.
Nancy: It’s like a good marriage! We’ve worked together for 18 years. We always find the middle ground and bounce ideas or concerns off one another. We respect one another’s ideas. If something works with a child, we share those ideas with each other. We have different ways of doing things but we do adopt one another’s ways if we see that there is a better way to do things that is more successful and best for the child.
For more information about Kids Count Child Care, including enrollment and fees, contact Carolyn Young at: email@example.com