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18 months – Three years

(as of August 31) 

At The da Vinci School, we believe that very young children have a tremendous curiosity and interest in learning as well as a remarkable learning capacity.  For this reason, The da Vinci School has classes for toddlers beginning as young as 18 months.
We maintain small class sizes to allow each teacher and child to develop a strong bond and secure relationship.  The separation from home and parents is an important step in independence, and one for which each child is ready in his or her own time.  We want school to be a positive experience, setting the stage for a genuine love of learning.
For many of the children, this is their first social opportunity. They begin to follow a simple classroom routine, interact with peers and listen to a teacher. We find toddlers love to learn and quickly adapt to interaction within a small group setting.
Even at this young age, we introduce hands-on science.  The toddler’s day is also filled with a variety of activities that may NOT be related to the theme, reflecting needs specific to this developmental age.  Children at this age especially benefit from and value repetition of favorite activities that appeal to their current level of development.  Our intention is to expose the children to the world and give names to objects in their world.  As the school year progresses, the content and structure of the class evolves to match the rapidly changing abilities of the children as they mature and grow. 
Children do not need to be potty trained to attend school.  Typically, we find that around age two or two and a half, they begin taking an interest in potty training – often inspired by classmates who have acquired this skill.  Teachers do not initiate potty training, but they are supportive of home efforts, recognizing that the children may have a different response at school than they do at home.
Each class is “self-contained” and directed by one teacher. The classes are assisted as needed by floaters, who are available at any time to help out with daily needs such as diaper changing, special art projects, walking to various areas of the school, etc.  
Children attend a weekly music class and daily gym class.  
The toddlers attend school from 9 a.m.- noon either two or three mornings per week.  Because children at this young age change so quickly in both their abilities and the way they like to learn, classes are divided by six-month age spans.  Afterschool enrichment classes are available for children when they have turned three years old and are potty trained.  
Class size:
• 18 months -two years - five children in the class
• 2 -2 1/2 years -  six children in the class
• 2 ½ - 3 years - six or seven children in the class