Even from infancy, your baby is a competent and active learner. As such, your little one deserves a very deliberate, thoughtful, and purposeful approach to early education. We at Big and Tiny believe that experience is the best way to learn, and that it is never too early to start embracing curiosity. Our caring and passionate educators work to help your baby build a strong, holistic foundation for a lifetime of learning, one that is led by their own curiosity, creativity, self-confidence, and understanding of their own capacity.
About the Program
Because infant learning is predicated on structure and routine, we at Big and Tiny have developed a structured yet open-ended approach to infant learning with the understanding that it is never too early to implement an emergent curriculum. The goal of our Infant Program is to lay a foundation that encourages learning and curiosity in all aspects of the world while also catering to your baby’s daily needs.
At Big and Tiny, infants may nap and feed at any time. We also have dedicated cribs with organic cotton sheets to maximize their comfort. Big and Tiny educators and caretakers work closely with parents to ensure every infant’s personal schedule is being accounted for.
Infant Program at Big and Tiny Santa Monica Place runs daily Monday to Friday from 9am to 3pm, with early drop-off available at 8am and an extended day option until 5pm.
Our infant educators take their role as your infant’s primary caregiver very seriously. From the moment they meet your little one, they work to build a relationship with your baby that will foster positive interactions and learning moments.
- Low staff-to-child ratio – providing your baby with more bonding time with their primary caregiver.
- Predictable routine promoting a healthy sense of stability in your child.
- Educators hold babies during feedings and speak to them constantly to make the baby feel secure and promote their language and social development.
At Big and Tiny, we know that the environment your baby is in is just as important as who is there with them. That’s why our infant classroom is thoughtfully designed to healthily engage with your baby’s senses and promote the development of their creativity and decision-making skills.
- Soothing sensory environment with soft colors, warm lighting, and a healthy balance of noisy and quiet activities.
- Engaging materials that are varied without being overstimulating. Lots of different colors, shapes, textures, and sounds while maintaining a simple, organic, and natural style.
- Healthy and safe environment that remains clean, sanitized, and supervised.
Infants are active participants in the learning process, and they deserve an educator who is not just a caretaker. That is why our infant educators are your baby’s guide and partner throughout their learning journey.
- Babies are offered a variety of choices to develop their independent decision-making. Educators offer gentle support by describing the baby’s selections throughout the interaction.
- Infants are surrounded with open-ended activities and play things that encourage creativity and imagination. Blocks, balls, fabrics, baby-friendly furniture.
- Educators learn alongside the infant every day. Educators observe and document which activities appeal to each individual infant. Parents are welcomed to question, comment, and offer input on their baby’s individual needs, to be part of the baby’s learning journey as well.
For Parents: Infant Program FAQs
Families are welcome to pre-register starting today to reserve their spots. Due to limited capacity, we recommend reserving your spot immediately. Our programs operate on a September to June school year (10 month) schedule and enrollments are accepted on a rolling basis, subject to availability.
The Infant Program runs 5 days a week (Monday to Friday), 3 days a week (Monday Wednesday and Friday), and 2 days a week (Tuesday and Thursday) from 9am to 3pm every day, with additional options for early drop-off at 8am and late pickup as late as 5pm.
Big and Tiny’s Infant Program is open to families with children ages 6 weeks to 12 months.
The Infant Program group size is never larger than 8 babies and we only have one group. The program is led daily by a certified group teacher and a master teaching artist as support.
Prior to enrollment, Big and Tiny asks that your family schedule a virtual or in-person tour with our team to learn more about our studios and services.
To reserve your little one’s spot in the Infant Program, the first month’s tuition payment is required.
By enrolling in the Infant Program, you understand that you are responsible for continuing monthly tuition payments until June of 2023.
Please fill out an inquiry form so that we may send you additional information about the program, pricing, and registration/enrollment process.
Separation is undoubtedly one of the most important and difficult developmental processes for both children and parents, and can take anywhere from one day to several weeks. While some children experience an easy transition, others have a much harder time adjusting. The majority of children fall somewhere in between.
Prior to your little one’s start of program, our infant educators will create a personalized plan with your family to identify which best practices are most appropriate for your unique situation to ensure a successful separation process where both parent and child feel comfortable.
Infant’s diapers will be checked at least every two hours and upon waking, and will be changed promptly when soiled or wet. Please note that Big and Tiny educators do not apply baby powder for safety and health reasons. Parents are to supply diapers and any diaper cream for their children. Diaper cream must be labeled with the child’s name and is for individual use only. A form must be completed by the parent granting permission to our staff to apply diaper cream.
In order to maintain consistency between your home and Big and Tiny – and to meet the individual needs of each child – children at Big and Tiny are put to sleep according to their own unique schedule.
Infants are put to sleep on their backs. For children who are not able to climb out of a crib, we provide dedicated cribs with organic cotton sheets for the maximum comfort of the child. For children with the capacity to climb out of a crib, cots or mats with cotton bedding will be provided.
Although we understand that many children require comforting items when sleeping in a crib, it is at the sole discretion of the educator team to determine whether a comfort item may put the child’s safety at risk.
Any personal belongings must be labeled with your child’s full name.
Here is a list of personal items you are allowed to bring to the center:
- Extra clothing. Children have accidents and their clothes become dirty. Please make sure to include an additional set or two with each article labeled with your child’s name.
- Breast milk or baby formula. Snacks and lunch (including some baby food options) will be provided daily by Little Spoon. If you prefer to pack your own snack or lunch options, you are more than welcome to do so.
- Diapers and wipes.
- Diaper cream, if applicable.
- Comforting toy for nap-time (e.g. blanket or pacifier, etc.).
- Medications, if applicable.
Please make sure you do not bring any of the following:
- Toys. Children should not bring personal toys, books, or stuffed animals. We cannot ensure that these items will not be lost.
- Large backpacks or bags. Our cubbies are small and storage space is limited, so please do not bring more than is necessary.
- Car seats cannot be left at the center. There is very limited stroller parking available and is subject to availability.
During extended hours children engage with multiple age appropriate enrichment classes, led by our Master Teaching Artists in residence.
The same quality of care is extended to seeing to infants’ needs regardless of the time of day.
Yes! Our educators and staff document program activities daily, summarized by a collection of photos and descriptions at the end of each day. Educators also include individualized notes specific to your child.
Daily reports are shared with you privately and securely via the Brightwheel app. There you will also be able to save photos, comment or reply to reports received.