Here at Bethlehem Lutheran Child Care, we offer a full child care program, beginning with newborns at 6 weeks of age and continuing through to age 12. In the early years, your child will be placed in a classroom based on age and development. As children begin to reach the preschool age level, we make every attempt to keep them with their peer group, meaning that they will advance to the next room based on their grade in school. (Please find a more detailed explanation of how children are moved from room to room at the bottom of this page*.) Below you will find a list of each of our classrooms and an explanation of the ages and development level of the children in each room.
Infant Classroom (6 weeks to 15-18 months of age)
Our Infant Classroom begins accepting enrollees at 6 weeks of age. The children in this room may be immobile, crawling or in the beginning stages of walking. Most children in this room are still taking two or more naps per day and have varying eating schedules. A designated “crib/napping room” is available for the youngest of the infants and other older infants are transitioned to napping on mats in a quiet area of the classroom in preparation for entrance into our Toddler Classroom. We strive to keep a 1:3 teacher to child ratio in this room at all times.
Toddler Classroom (approximately 15 months to 2 ½ years of age)
Our Toddler Classroom consists of children who are both a) down to only one late morning/early afternoon nap per day and b) walking independently. Both of these developmental milestones need to be reached prior to a child moving into this classroom. The children in this room eat and nap on mats in the classroom at designated times throughout the day and participate in outdoor activities. Potty training support is also available if a child is currently being trained at home. This classroom is a “peanut free” room. We strive to keep a 1:3 teacher to child ratio in this room at all times.
Two-Year Olds and Non-Potty Trained Threes
While sometimes referred to simply as our “Two-Year Old Classroom”, this room contains both Two- and Three-Year Olds. Due to the presence of full diaper changing facilities and a lower teacher to child ratio, this is our oldest classroom capable of handling those children still fully in the potty-training process. Children will move into this room primarily based on age, transitioning along with their peers (see details below for further explanation). Children in this room eat together at designated times and take an afternoon nap together on mats in the classroom. Outdoor play time is part of the daily routine when the weather permits. We strive to keep a 1:4 teacher to child ratio in this room at all times.
Three-Year Old Preschool Classroom
This classroom consists of children who are three- to four-years of age and are fully potty-trained. This program offers “wrap around” care for before and/or after Bethlehem’s Tuesday and Thursday preschool classes. Children enrolled in this classroom will participate in outdoor play on a daily basis, provided the weather permits and will have an afternoon nap on mats in the classroom after lunch. We strive to keep a 1:8 teacher to child ratio in this room at all times.
Four-Year Old Preschool Classroom
This classroom consists of children who are four- to five-years of age. This program offers “wrap around” care for before and/or after Bethlehem’s Monday, Wednesday and Friday preschool classes. Children enrolled in this classroom will participate in outdoor play on a daily basis, provided the weather permits and will have an afternoon rest/nap time on mats in the classroom after lunch. We strive to keep a 1:10 teacher to child ratio in this room at all times.
School Age Classroom
During the school year, this classroom offers before and after school care, primarily for students in Kindergarten through 6th grade at Bethlehem Lutheran Elementary School. Full and half-day care is also available on days off from school. This program consists of designated indoor/outdoor play time and time for doing homework. During our summer season, our School Age Program offers full or half-day care to children 5 to 12 years of age; these summer care days include indoor/outdoor play time, designated quiet/rest time and scheduled activities as well as off-site field trips.
*How and when are children moved from one room to the next?
Prior to a child entering preschool or being of preschool age, movement from one room to the next will be done when the child has reached certain developmental milestones and/or when it is time for his/her peer group to move. With the exception of the advancement from the Infant to Toddler classroom, children typically advance to the next room at either the start of the school year or the start of the summer program. Once a child is in the Toddler Classroom, he or she will move with his or her peer group to begin establishing continuity with classmates. For example, a child that turns two during the school year (between September and May) will remain with the Toddler Group for the rest of the school year and then move to the Two-Year Old Classroom at the start of the Summer Program along with the rest of his/her peers.