Guidelines for Infants – What You Want to See!

What You Want to See

What You Don’t Want to See

Group size is limited to no more than eight babies, with at least one caregiver for every three children. Each infant is able to form a bond with a primary caregiver, and each caregiver can get to know a few babies very well. Caregivers have too many children in their care to respond to infants individually. Infants are moved from group to group or cared for by whatever caregiver is available at the time, preventing babies and caregivers from forming important one-to-one relationships.


Poor salaries and benefits or working conditions cause high turnover in the program, depriving babies of the security that comes from bonds with adults who care for them


Caregivers show warmth and support to infants throughout the day, making eye contact and talking to them about what is going on. Adults handle children in an impersonal or hurried manner, without responding to babies’ sounds and letting them know the adults are listening to them.
Alert to babies’ cues, adults hold infants or move them to a new place or position, giving them variety in what they are able to look at and do. Babies are left in one position for too long or moved around abruptly at the convenience of the adults.
Caregivers pay close attention and talk to children during routines such as changing diapers, feeding, and changing clothes. Adults are inattentive to children’s needs or carry out daily routines without warmth, not making a habit of playing with or talking to babies.
Caregivers talk, sing, and read to babies, enabling infants to become familiar with language and ultimately to recognize words and sounds. Babies spend long periods of time in cribs, playpens, or seats without adult attention. Instead of responding to babies’ coos and sounds, caregivers ignore and talk over them.


 Adults are careless about their words and tone around infants, or they use limited language. Too much or too little chatter by caregivers discourages babies from staying alert and interested.


Babies eat and sleep when they are most comfortable doing so. Caregivers consider infants’ individual preferences for food and styles of eating. Caregivers hold babies to rigid schedules of sleeping and eating with concern only for the convenience of adults.
Caregivers follow standards for health and safety, including proper hand washing to limit the spread of infectious disease. Specific procedures for diapering (including hand washing), cleaning cribs and play areas, and food storage and preparation are not clearly thought out or written down. Caregivers do not consistently maintain safety conditions.
Caregivers can see and hear infants at all times. Infants are left unattended at nap time.
Parents and caregivers share children’s activities and development on a daily basis, building a mutual understanding and trust. Caregivers welcome parents to drop by the Center. Instead of affirming the central role of parents in their children’s development, caregivers dismiss or ignore parent concerns and observations. Parents feel as if they are in the way and only hear about the conflicts or problems of the day.