The Sound Start Babies Nursery was opened over a decade ago to provide a unique early learning experience where 18 to 36-month-olds, with and without hearing loss, learn side by side in small groups. Our award-winning Nursery program promotes the foundational skills critical for academic success in a nurturing educational environment. The nursery curriculum is designed to build the foundation for language and literacy across all subject areas and to foster social and emotional development and emerging cognitive executive functioning skills.
The classrooms themselves are enhanced to offer optimum access to auditory information and language, of benefit for all the children. The classroom educators possess the unique combination of knowledge about early childhood learning and additional specialty training in working with children with hearing loss. The Sound Start Babies Nursery is the only program of its kind in New Jersey.
The nursery team includes teachers who hold master’s degrees in education of children who are deaf and hard of hearing, speech language pathologists, and a pediatric audiologist. Occupational and physical therapists are available to guide the teaching staff in fostering sensory motor development and to provide evidenced based early intervention services if needed. The staff is assisted by highly trained paraprofessionals who help to meet the day-to-day practical needs of very young children and provide consistent reinforcement of the learning goals.
What’s Special About the Sound Start Babies Nursery?
- Acoustically enhanced classrooms that offer a favorable signal to noise ratio with minimal reverberation so that children get clear auditory information. These accommodations include sound proofing panels and a group amplification system.
- Ongoing observation and monitoring of children’s amplification systems to be sure they are always in good working order.
- Choice in the selection of mode of communication include listening and spoken language classrooms and a total communication classroom (combining signed and spoken language).
- Small group size fostering cooperative play, peer communication, and social/emotional development.
- A curriculum that addresses the New Jersey Birth to Three Learning Standards across all domains with special emphasis on language development and early phonological awareness.
- A thematic curriculum that includes art, music, movement, and creative play.
- A curriculum that includes activities designed to build executive functions including attention, problem solving, turn taking and impulse control.
- Regular communication with families so that you know what you child is learning and can expand upon that at home.
- Choice of full day (9am to 3pm) or half day (9am to 12pm) programs with additional supervised care available from 8am to 9am.