Responsive Relationships and Interactions: Frog Street Infant consistently promotes responsive relationships and interactions, which research shows are the foundation for children's Approaches to Learning, Social and Emotional Development, Language and Communication, and Cognition. The curriculum supports teachers in building trusting relationships with infants and engaging in responsive caregiving. For example, many of the Activity Cards provide specific suggestions to make eye contact, provide physical affection, spend time with individual children, and talk with children. It also offers strategies and vignettes to promote sensitive, responsive caregiving. The curriculum provides many opportunities for teachers to initiate joint attention with infants. However, there is minimal guidance for teachers on how to start a back-and-forth exchange based on the child's focus or interest.
Daily Routines as Opportunities for Learning: The curriculum minimally addresses daily caregiving routines, which are a rich opportunity to support infants' development and learning. Welcome to Frog Street Infant emphasizes following children's verbal and non-verbal cues for hunger, rest, or activity, but it lacks guidance on how to establish developmentally appropriate routines for infants. Additionally, there are only a few examples in the entire curriculum on how to extend children's learning during caregiving routines (e.g., talk with children during mealtimes; chants and rhymes during daily routines; tell children what will happen next during transitions). The curriculum does not provide any further guidance on how teachers can extend children's thinking and communication while engaging in caregiving routines, which are a significant portion of the day for infants.
Play and Exploration: The curriculum provides minimal guidance on research-based practices to support infants' play and exploration. Frog Street Infant repeatedly mentions the importance of providing plenty of space for infants to move and practice physical skills. However, it lacks concrete guidance on how to create an indoor and outdoor environment for active physical play and exploration. The Activity Cards offer some opportunities for infants to engage in open-ended exploration (e.g., manipulating play dough, exploring tactile paths), but they also emphasize a fair amount of teacher-directed activities (e.g., showing a child how to drop an object into a small hole and shake it out). As such, the curriculum lacks opportunities for child-initiated play based on children's interests, which research shows contribute to infants' curiosity, creativity, persistence, and engagement.
Language-Rich Environment and Interactions: The curriculum consistently promotes research-based teaching practices to support infants' language and communication, such as using varied types of talk with infants (e.g., using "parent-ese" or child-directed language, modeling full sentences, narrating actions, expanding on what children say) and supporting infants' emergent literacy. For example, the curriculum provides several learning experiences that encourage caregivers to sing songs, say rhymes, and read books with infants. Research demonstrates these actions support infants' emergent literacy skills.
Promoting Emotional, Behavioral, and Cognitive Self-Regulation: The curriculum consistently promotes research-based practices to support infants' emotional and behavioral self-regulation. The curriculum gives guidance on how teachers can use emotional coaching to help infants understand and begin to manage their emotions. Similarly, to facilitate the development of emotional and behavioral self-regulation skills, the curriculum suggests setting up an environment that minimizes overstimulation (e.g., eliminating bright lights and loud noises) and provides strategies for soothing babies in distress.
Facilitating Cognitive Development: The curriculum consistently promotes research-based teaching practices to support infants' cognition. Many Activity Cards provide prompts for teachers to extend infants' learning during play and exploration, such as talking about the sounds different rattles make or comparing the textures of tactile blocks. In addition, the curriculum helps teachers embed math language and concepts throughout learning experiences (e.g., the "Your Hands, My Hands" activity includes prompts to count fingers and compare the size of hands). Finally, the curriculum provides guidance on how to scaffold infants' problem-solving skills.
Supporting Physical Development: The curriculum consistently promotes research-based practices to support infants' perceptual, motor, and physical development. For example, the Activity Cards provide learning experiences to support infants' gross and fine motor skills (e.g., positioning the infant in a prone position to play; encouraging the infant to reach and grasp). Similarly, the Activity Cards suggest intentional teaching practices to support perceptual understanding and perceptual-motor development (e.g., playing games about body parts, teaching movement words). The curriculum includes many varied opportunities for infants to practice new physical skills, such as squeezing a sensory glove, a sponge, or squeeze toys (e.g., a baster or an eyedropper).