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4 Classroom Learning Environments

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Ages 2 months - up to 2 years

6 children, 2 teachers, 1:3 ratio

While in this classroom, children learn everything from beginning to smile and coo to rolling over, sitting up, eating solid foods, walking, talking, and running! We generally do not accept more than 3 babies under the age of 6 months and we maintain ratios that allow for each infant to receive lots of one-on-one love, care, and attention. (1:3 ratio in the infant room) Each infant is allowed to follow their own pattern of sleeping and waking periods. Routines such as naptime, feeding, cleaning, and diapering are used as opportunities for language development and learning experiences. We make it a priority to get all babies outside even if just for a bit.

Our philosophy is to meet children where they are developmentally – never pushing and never comparing. We believe that children, even (or especially!) babies, are active learners. Children in the infant room are provided toys & objects to explore with all of their senses. They are allowed and encouraged to strengthen their muscles and sit up, stand up, climb, and walk at their pace. For the oldest children in the infant room, days begin to fall into a routine. These children tend to eat morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack together as a group. After lunch these children usually take a nap. A daily care report is sent via the Brightwheel App to parents to indicate feedings, nap times, diaper changes, and other information.


18 months - up to 3 years

6 children, 2 teachers, 1:3 ratio

Toddlerhood is an exciting time! Toddlers become aware of their own autonomy, of what they want and need, and of their own emotions. In this classroom, children may spend time playing independently as well as begin to form their first social relationships with peers.  Toddlers are introduced to the concepts of sharing, empathy, and boundary-setting. Toddlers are expected to still need the cuddles and love they received as infants, as well as space to develop independence and opportunities to be challenged. As such, caregivers in the toddler classroom provide a safe space for each child’s growth, maintain a great deal of patience, and give reassurance. 


“Potty-training” or “potty-learning” often occurs during this stage of development.  A toilet and hand-washing station is available in this classroom for children to try when they are ready.  No child will be pushed, pressured, bribed, or guilted into using a potty. Caregivers will assist children with using the toilet and will change diapers as necessary.

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Toddlers 2 @ Shine In-Home Care

ages 15 months up to 3 years in the Fall

6 children, 2 teachers, 1:3 ratio

Because our classroom spaces are maxed out and our waitlist continues to grow, Shine opened a second toddler classroom  in a home in White Oak. This location serves 6 toddler children per day, in a homey and cozy space, providing Montessori-inspired & nature-based care aligned with our values. This location follows all of the same policies  & procedures as Shine Nurture Center on Colerain Ave. For more details on this environment, please click here!


3 years - 6 years

14 children, 2 teachers, 1:7 ratio

(PreK may move to 15 kids to accommodate 1 rising toddler; in this case a 3rd staffer will join the room.)

Preschoolers are active learners and workers! In the spirit of Montessori education, we offer large blocks of time of free choice for our preschoolers. Teachers are trained to carefully pay attention to each child’s interests and make sure they have ample opportunity to be challenged and grow.  Preschool is a great time for forming social relationships with peers and emotional awareness is taught as a part of curriculum during circle time – for example, manners, sharing, taking turns, waiting in line, and empathy. Circle time and story time are a part of our daily routines, as well as opportunity to do service (jobs) at the center.


“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”  - Maria Montessori

Generally, children should be able to recognize the need to use the toilet and be able to do so with minimal assistance once they reach the preschool classroom.  However preschool teachers will help with diaper changes and potty assistance as necessary. We never do for a child what they can do for themselves, so preschoolers will be responsible for taking their pull-up on and off and/or using the potty independently when they are able. There are toilets directly adjacent to our preschool classroom for children to use.


In the afternoon, we have rest time. We dim the lights and turn on soothing music.  Most children sleep during this time, however the focus is on “resting” rather than sleep, and we don’t attempt to coerce or force a child to sleep. The older children in the preschool class (usually 4.5 year-olds and older) are regularly given an opportunity to do “kindergarten” work during rest time if they do not need a nap.

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