Criteria for High-Quality Early Childhood Programs from NAEYC and the State of Michigan Office of Children and Adult Licensing

North Hills offers as opportunities to our children.  Teachers provide a variety of developmentally appropriate activities and materials selected to emphasize concrete experiential learning.

The children have opportunities to feel successful and positive about themselves and develop independence.  They use materials and take part in activities which encourage creativity.  They learn new ideas and skills and participate in imaginative play.

The infant and toddler program follows a Theme Calendar.  Every one – two weeks the focus changes giving the children a variety of books and visuals throughout the year.


The program includes:

  • Social development
  • Emotional development
  • Intellectual development
  • Physical development
  • Spiritual development

Activities on a daily basis include:

  • Quiet and active
  • Individual, small group and large group
  • Large and small motor
  • Child initiated and staff initiated
  • Developmentally appropriate language and literacy experiences of at least 30 minutes
  • Early math and science experiences
  • Outdoor toddler activities


  • Hold, pat, touch and interact with children.
  • Talk to, sing to and play with each child on a one-to-one basis.
  • Respond to and expand on cues coming from the child.
  • Interpret child’s actions to other children to help them get along in the group.
  • Assist children in social interactions.
  • Hold and touch, make frequent eye contact and communicate with children.
  • Talk and sing to children.
  • Allow children to achieve mastery of their bodies through self-initiated motor behavior such as rolling, sitting, crawling and walking.
  • Allow children to feed themselves and encourage their development of self-help skills when ready.
  • Encourage and support each child’s developmental achievements such as pulling up self, crawling, walking, jumping and climbing.
  • Listen and respond to child’s emerging language.
  • Provide an appropriately challenging, safe environment for children to explore and manipulate.
  • Provide age appropriate objects for children to look at, reach for and grasp.
  • Play naming and hiding games such as peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake.
  • Provide age appropriate toys that respond to child’s initiations so they may pay attention to cause and effect.
  • Provide large containers full of objects for children to carry, dump and refill.
  • Help children’s developing awareness by reflecting their experiences.
  • Provide opportunities for making choices without interfering with selections.
  • Avoid interruptions of children’s activities.
  • Allow child’s self-initiated motor development such as rolling, sitting and walking at their own pace.
  • Provide open carpeted space as well as hard surfaces.
  • Provide low sturdy furniture and push toys for child to pull up self or hold on to while walking.
  • Provide accessible outdoor activities for children.
  • Provide appropriate objects for children to explore.
  • Allow non-mobile infants to move and breathe comfortably, lying freely on their backs while looking about, kicking, reaching, practicing eye-hand coordination.
  • Allow non-mobile infants tummy time.
  • Allow children to move about freely, play with and explore a safe environment.
  • Engage in many one-to-one, face-to-face interactions with each child.
  • Read, look at and listen to appropriate books and pictures.
  • Talk in a pleasant, calm voice, using simple language and frequent eye contact while responding to the child’s cues.
  • Verbally label objects and events within the child’s experience.
  • Respond to sounds and words the child makes to encourage appropriate interaction.
  • Describe children’s and adult’s actions and the events that occur in the child’s environment.
  • Respond to child’s attempts at language in supportive ways, such as expanding their utterances and answering their questions, engaging in meaningful conversation about everyday experiences.
  • Use music for movement, singing or listening.
  • Sing to children; appreciate vocalizations and sounds.
  • Display interesting things to look at.
  • Provide time and space for movement and play.
  • Encourage use of crayons or other appropriate writing instruments.
  • Christian curriculum is provided each morning with songs and prayers as well as attending Chapel with Bible stories and memory verses.
  • Children learn about and celebrate Christian holidays.
  • Christian values are taught and exemplified.
  • Children are encouraged to love one another as God loves them.
  • Offer a variety of nutritious foods to toddlers.
  • Discuss good nutrition.
  • Do activities to develop safety awareness in the program, school, home and community.
  • Encourage health practices such as washing hands, brushing teeth, getting regular exercise and enough rest.
  • Talk about visiting the doctor and dentist.
  • Describe routine health activities as they are implemented.
  • Build a sense of the group as a community, bringing each child’s home culture and language into the shared culture of the school so each child feels accepted and gains a sense of belonging.
  • Provide books, materials, images and experiences that reflect diverse cultures that children may not likely see, as well as those that represent their family life and cultural group.
  • Initiate discussions and activities to teach respect and appreciation for similarities and differences among people.
  • Talk positively about each child’s physical characteristics, family and cultural heritage.
  • Avoid stereotyping of any group through materials, objects, language.
  • Invite families’ participation in all aspects of the program.

This curriculum is designed to give the children a wide variety of information and activities.  Children are informally evaluated in October and January.  Teachers asses each child through observations.  These informal evaluations are used as a benchmark of the child’s developmental level as well as their progress.  Ongoing communication with parents is also a form of discussing the child’s progress.

  • Teacher’s asses each child through observation, discussion, checklists and individually administered activities.
  • A formal Parent/Teacher evaluation of the child’s development is conducted in March. Parents have the opportunity to discuss their child’s issues at any time.

The purpose of the evaluation is to identify:

  • Child’s interests and needs
  • Identify the developmental progress and learning of the child
  • Issues requiring outside referrals
  • Improving curriculum and adapting teaching practices and the environment
  • Communicating with families

These evaluations are kept confidential. They are shared only with the parents of the child, the Center Director and other staff on a need to know basis. If information is requested to be shared with others, the parent will complete a Release of Confidential Information form.


General Information

It is with great pleasure that we are able to be part of your child’s care.  The following information will help you understand your responsibilities as well as the responsibilities of North Hills.

PRIMARY CAREGIVER:  Each child will be assigned a primary caregiver.  This caregiver will develop a relationship to promote continuity of care.  The primary caregiver will provide appropriate social-emotional interaction, including, but not limited to smiling, holding, talking to, rocking, cuddling, eye contact, interacting with the child during routines and play activities, and providing guidance that helps the child develop social skills and emotional well being.  There will be no more than four primary caregivers in a week.

DAILY REPORT:  Parents of infants and young toddlers will be provided with a written daily record that includes;

  • Food intake, time, type and amount eaten
  • Sleeping patterns
  • Elimination patterns, including bowel movements, consistency and frequency
  • Developmental milestones
  • Changes in the child’s usual behaviors
  • Caregiver’s initials which lets the parent know who to direct questions to.

Daily sheets are kept on file at the Center for review as necessary.

SUPERVISION:  Teaching staff supervise infants and toddlers by sight and sound at all times.  Visual and auditory supervision is constant, even when the children are sleeping.  (Monitors are not used in lieu of direct supervision.)  Sleeping children are checked on at least every 10 minutes.

Adult to child ration is 1:4.


  • All bedding is in compliance with the Children’s Product Safety Act.
    • Cribs shall have a firm tight fitting mattress
    • No loose, missing or broken hardware or slats
    • Not more than 2 3/8 inches between the slats
    • No corner posts over 1/16 inches high
    • No cutout designs in the headboard or footboard
  • All bedding is cleaned and sanitized before being used by another person.
  • All bedding is washed when soiled or at least once per week.
  • There will be no soft objects in the crib. No blankets, stuffed toys, bumper pads, etc.
  • Car seats, infant seats, swings, bassinets and playpens are not approved sleeping equipment for children.
  • Infants will be placed on their back to sleep unless written instructions, signed by a physician, are provided.
  • A caregiver will physically inspect sleeping children every ten minutes.
  • All bedding is cleaned and sanitized before being used by another person.
  • All bedding is washed when soiled or at least once per week.
  • A caregiver is with the children at all times.
  • Cots and blankets are provided.


  • Infants are fed on demand and/or according to the parent’s instructions.
  • Solid foods will be introduced to the child according to the parent’s instructions.
  • Commercially packaged baby food will be served from a dish, not directly from a factory-sealed container.
  • Uneaten food that remains in a dish from which a child has been fed will be discarded.
  • Infants will not be served foods that may easily cause choking.
  • Young toddlers will be served whole homogenized vitamin D-fortified cow’s milk or water which is provided by the center.
  • Commercially packaged baby food will be served from a dish, not directly from a factory-sealed container.
  • Uneaten food will be sent home, if possible.
  • Toddlers will not be served foods that may easily cause choking.
    • Young toddlers are encouraged to eat on their own.


  • Bottles and individual food containers must be dated and labeled for a specific child.
  • Bottles will be warmed in a crock pot.
  • Caregivers will hold infants while being fed.
  • Bottles are not permitted in sleeping equipment.
  • The contents of a bottle will be discarded if it has been used for feeding for a period that exceeds one hour from the beginning of the feeding or has been unrefrigerated for an hour or more.
  • Formula and milk left in a bottle at the end of a feeding will be discarded.
  • Disposable nipples and liners for single use will be discarded after use.
  • Cereal and medication will not be added to a bottle unless indicated on a prescription label.
  • No bottles in the toddler room.


  • The center supports and will accommodate mothers and their children who are breastfed.
  • Expressed breast milk will:
    • Arrive at the center in clean, sanitary, ready-to-feed assembled bottles labeled with the child’s full name and the date of collection.
    • Be immediately stored in the refrigerator or freezer upon arrival at the center and kept refrigerated until used or discarded.
    • Be thawed under running water or in the refrigerator and will be used within 24 hours.
    • Be discarded at the end of a feeding.


  • All bottles and containers must be labeled with the child’s name and date.
  • Formula and milk will be commercially prepared, ready-to-feed in bottles prepared by the parent.
  • Food for lunches will be immediately refrigerated.
  • All uneaten food and remaining bottles will be returned to the parent the same day.


  • Diapering areas are cleaned and sanitized after each use.
  • Only single use disposable wipes will be used.
  • The caregiver will frequently check diapers and change diapers that are wet or soiled.
  • Diapering will not be done on any sleep surface.
  • Disposable gloves will be used for diapering.


  • Toilet learning will be planned cooperatively between the child’s primary caregiver and the parent.
  • Potty chairs will be used in the toddler bathroom, cleaned and sanitized after each use.
  • Older toddlers will be regularly encouraged to use the bathroom.

WHAT TO BRING:  All containers must be labeled with the child’s name.





Food (when applicable)

2-3 Changes of clothes

Appropriate outdoor clothing