PSY 3150, Developmental Psychology Unit II Case Study
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Read the case study, “Ms. Patty’s Preschool”. Once you have read the study, complete the following questions.
Anita sleepily walks into her baby’s room at 4:30 am and picks up three week old Sam. As she takes him over to the changing table, he rubs his nose into her breast, his rooting reflex kicking in. “I know you’re hungry, little one,” she coos to him. “Let me change this diaper, and we’ll get you something to eat.” She quickly changes Sam’s diaper and sits down in the rocker to nurse him. As he greedily eats, she thinks about the day ahead of her.
In about eight weeks, her maternity leave will be up, and she and her husband, Peter, still have not decided what day care option they are going to use for Sam. As soon as she discovered she was pregnant, they put their name on three waiting lists. Two of the daycare centers called last week to let her know that they had a spot for Sam. She and Peter were going to both centers today to tour the facilities again and make the final decision.
After about 40 minutes, Anita places a content and sleepy Sam back into his crib and hopes he will stay asleep long enough for her to take a shower and get dressed.
A couple of hours later, her mom arrives to take care of Sam and Anita leaves to meet Peter at Ms. Patty’s Preschool. The two go in and Ms. Patty greets the couple. “Mr. and Mrs. Williams, I’m so glad to see you again. How is your new baby?”
“He is a pistol already,” Peter grins.
“Well, let me show you around the center again. I’m sure you have even more questions now that Sam has arrived.”
“That’s Keisha. She loves to tuck her dolly in bed.” She leans in to Anita and says, “The doll won’t sleep in the crib at naptime, she’ll be right next to Keisha.”
Anita smiles at the teacher, liking her warmth and kindness toward the children. Ms. Patty leads the couple into the next room where a teacher is on the floor with five babies. One of the babies is crawling and the others are sitting on the floor with a carpet full of toys. Another baby is sitting in the teacher’s lap with a rubber duck in his hand. He squeezes it, laughing when he hears it quack. Then he thumps it on the teacher’s leg and furrows his brow when it doesn’t make a noise. He squeezes it and laughs as it quacks again.
Peter laughs and asks, “What is it about a laughing baby that makes you laugh yourself?”
The teacher on the floor chuckles as she responds, “Jackson has just learned how to make the duck quack. He is driving us crazy.”
“Flexible schedule?” Anita asks.
“I know it sounds contradictory, but we work hard to have consistency each day. However, if a baby seems hungry before lunch, we will give him a snack to tide him over. If someone seems overly sleepy before nap time, we may try to put everyone down for an early nap. I think you’ll find it will help you when you pick Sam up and get him home.” Ms. Patty motions for Peter and Anita to move forward.
“Okay, that makes a little more sense,” Anita comments as they move into the next room.
“Let me introduce you to Ms. Dakota. She’s in charge of the crawlers. Ms. Tammy helps her.”
It was easy to see where they got the name for the room. Two teachers were watching seven children, all around nine months old.
“Things get busy in this room.” Ms. Dakota tells the couple. “Emma here is cutting a tooth.”
They watch Emma crawl across the floor, push a large ball out of the way, and pick up a red plastic block. As she puts the block in her mouth, Ms. Tammy hurries over to swap the block for an iced teething ring.
“We are constantly watching what she is putting in her mouth. We wipe our toys down several times a day and disinfect them every night. We try to get the children to use their own teething rings when we know teeth are coming in.” Ms. Tammy turns back to Emma.
“Children stay in this room until they begin to walk, which is usually from 8 months to around 13 months. Of course, not everyone follows this time frame as they begin to develop, so you might find an older or younger child in here occasionally. Once the children start walking, we do move them up to the older room to avoid crushed fingers.” Ms. Patty ushers them into the next area.
“This is where Sam will be when you bring him here in two months,” Ms. Patty whispers. Anita and Peter enter a darkened room where a woman is rocking a sleeping infant. Two other babies are asleep in their cribs. “Ms. Linda loves to rock babies.”