Good Samaritan Agency’s child care center is a 52-week program that is licensed by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Children are provided the opportunity to grow and learn in a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment, helping them to reach their fullest potential.
We had a little boy transition from another program at the age of 18 months into our center. At the previous center it was disclosed that he would cry most of the day and that he had a difficult time with children getting into his space so he would bite. Our initial goal for him was to find ways to make him feel safe and comfortable in his new environment. We would address the biting if it presented itself during his days in our center. As expected, he had a very hard transition coming into our center. He would scream and cry and cling to his parents. There were mornings that it took at least ten minutes before we could get him to part from his parents. We suggested a variety of techniques to try to help him transition. We asked the parents to bring in a picture book of family members for him to look at throughout the day when he was sad. We suggested bringing in either a stuffed animal or blanket that he was fond of for soothing. We had the same staff during drop off times in the morning for him so he had consistency. His daily routine was the same each day so he knew what to expect. Within two weeks, he was finally able to transition to the classroom from his parents arms to his teachers arms with no crying. We also saw very little crying throughout the day. When his friends would make him uncomfortable by getting in his space he would respond by pushing them away and not biting.
As he got older we set new goals for him which became more academic. In the fall of 2015, our teachers complete a formal checklist assessment on all the children. he was able to identify all his basic colors, recognize 3 basic shapes, recognize 7 numbers up to 20, recognize 1 lowercase letter and 1 uppercase letter. As of the spring assessment, he was able to identify 6 basic shapes, recognize 9 numbers up to 20, recognize 8 lowercase letters and 16 uppercase letters.
This is a good example of our philosophy that children learn best in the context of warm, loving, primary care giving relationships.