Thursday, June 2, 2011

Infant & Toddler Program in MD

I'm always talking about diapers and products on here, and I figured, maybe I should talk a little more about me.  Let people know what's going on in the life of the mommy behind Eco Babies.  So here goes.

About 3 months ago or so when we tried introducing solid foods (not purees, she's been doing that since about month 4 or so) but real "eat from the table" food, my daughter wasn't really interested.  I mentioned this at a scheduled pediatrician visit and my doctor recommended having Becca evaluated by the Infant & Toddler program of PG County.  I had never heard of them before, and my mom was pretty skeptical (note, my mom is a conspiracy theorist so I should have taken her words with a ton of salt :))  But, after going to one of the many play groups that they host during the week here in the Bowie area, I decided to have them come over.

The play groups, by the way, wasn't what I had expected.  I was looking for somewhere to take Becca to play and socialize with other children her age since she isn't in daycare - she stays at home with my mom.  The playgroup was so much more. It was structured play time facilitated by child educators geared at developing certain skills for children under 3 years of age.  They had 5 stations set up with about 10 minutes per station, each station dealing with a developmental ability, such as imitation, gross and fine motor skills.

The day of the evaluation two women came to my home and spent about an hour and a half interviewing me, my mother and evaluating Becca through play.  They asked her to do some specific things while looking for responses that would indicate her proficiency in certain tasks.  To qualify for the program the child has to be at a proficiency 25% less than that of her current age.  So, Becca being 17 months at the time would mean that if she exhibited capabilities of a 13 month old or younger, then she qualified.  She did qualify due to a couple of skill sets.  Nothing alarming - I'm just glad I was able to catch it early.  As a first time mom sometimes you really don't know where your child should be developmentally... what you should or shouldn't be doing.  Eg., I hadn't introduced crayons to her playtime, so when they tested her with that, she scored low.  I hadn't even thought about crayons.  Didn't think she was old enough, but I was wrong.

So what does being in the program mean? It means that they will send a teacher to your home twice/month to play with Becca to enhance those skill sets she is weak in.  They will show you how to play with her to do those things on a daily basis.  They re-evaluate every 6 months to see her progress and determine if she still needs the assistance.  If your child is in daycare or pre-school, they will send the teacher to the facility for the service. 

Did I mention that this is all FREE? State funded assistance to get your child up to speed when it matters so they are ready for school and able to reach their full potential.  I was thoroughly impressed, learned so much, and am so happy that I decided to do the evaluation.  So, if you feel like your child needs some assistance, don't delay.  Find out what programs there are in your neck of the woods and get the help you need.  Thank you PG County Infant & Toddler program.  I'm looking forward to the progress... and I'll let you all know how it goes!


  1. YAY! Did you go to their Family Discovery day yesterday at Watkins Park? It was great! Fun stations, great catered food, free rides on the train, carousel and hayride, bilingual books etc. RJ loved it! We aren't part of the program but all of their activities are open to the public so we sometimes attend the I&T music class on mondays and the storytime on Thursdays, both of which are WAY more elaborate than any music class or storytime you can imagine. Glad you found something fun and supportive for her! We LOVE the I & T program!

    PS. RJ would score low for crayons too! :)

  2. I wish I could have gone to that event, but, I am a slave to the 9 to 5 :( . It looked like it would be fun, so I'm glad you were able to report on it. Sounds like you are as impressed with their programs as I am. Isn't it great to see your tax money at work :)

  3. Yes, I can't believe that it's FREE! I haven't been back to a library storytime since attending the one hosted by I & T. They do an amazing job! Shhhhh, don't let the secret out about it...then they may get overcrowded :)