NIDO Program

The Nido

nidoWhat is a Nido?

The word “nido” is derived from the Italian word for “Nest” and it reflects the nurturing and comforting environment that we strive for here in our infant community. Our Nido environment has been lovingly and carefully designed to be a warm, inviting home away from home in which young children can grow and develop to their fullest potential.

Why is a Nido special?

nido2A Nido is a unique childcare setting which focuses on two basic needs of the infant- a safe bonded relationship between adult and child and the development of the child’s growing sense of self and independence. In our infant community, we will only accept enough children to maintain a child to staff ratio of 3:1. This allows us to provide the most individualized care possible. Children in the Nido are free to eat when they want, sleep when they want, and move when they want creating a flexible child-led environment in which all of his needs are met. Around the age of 1, the teacher will begin working with the parents to get the child on a regular eating schedule and one nap per day in order to prepare the child for the toddler community.

Trust is a basic need that must be fostered in the young child. We maintain very consistent staffing in the Nido with very little change so that the children will develop a bond with the adults that care for them. Our staff show loving care and respectfully respond to the needs of each infant and in doing so encourage the development of that trust and convey a message of unconditional love and acceptance. This trust will allow the child to feel comfortable learning and taking risks as he develops.

What are some of the important aspects of the Nido program?

  • The Nido program strives to offer independence through Freedom of Movement. This is achieved through having a safe, open environment where children are not inhibited by the use of playpens and walkers.
  • We also offer Freedom to Explore allowing the children to discover their world in an inviting environment prepared just for them at their stage of development.
  • In our Nido environment, we not only focus on the intellectual development, but seek to also support their Social and Emotional Development. A child who has been supported both socially and emotionally with responsive individualized attention will react positively to their environment, cope with frustration, and learn easily. This will result in a happy, well-rounded child.
  • Our goal in the Nido program is also to begin to Help the child to Help Himself. We want to see a child enjoy their independence and find satisfaction in doing things for themselves.
  • The first 3 years of a child’s life are critical to their Language Development. Here at Meadowbrook, we offer a language rich environment in which we intertwine various language activities and vocabulary into all that we do- including snack time, outside time, and group time activities. Before the child is able to speak, we also encourage the use of sign language as a means to communicate.
  • Parents know their child better than anyone so we encourage strong Parent Communication. Every day that your child is in the Nido, you will receive a daily activity log so that you know exactly when your child ate, when they slept, and when their diaper was changed. Each morning you will send it back with the morning’s information on it. This allows for a constant stream of communication in which we are supporting all that you are doing at home.

How do meal times work?

nido5Parents are responsible for providing all food items for their children. Our rooms are able to store breastmilk and formula for children under 12 months. Children will begin to wean to solid foods beginning at 5-6 months. Once they are sitting up, they will sit at the table and use bowls, spoons, and open cups. All children will be weaned off the bottle by 12 months in preparation for transition to the toddler community.


Parents supply all diapers, cream, extra clothing for their children. We also ask that parents supply a wet bag for us to send home dirty clothing. You will be notified via the daily log when you are running low on these supplies. We do support cloth diapering as well as disposable diapers and will be happy to continue whichever you are using at home. Once the child is securely standing, they will be changed standing up to begin the process of independence in toileting.

Are pacifiers allowed?

We refrain from the use of pacifiers in order to teach the children how to self-soothe.

Do you spend any time outside?

Weather permitting, YES! We believe that enjoyment and appreciation of nature begin at a very young age. We strive to take the children on a walk in the stroller around the property every day. We will also spend time on blankets outside on beautiful days to get some fresh air and hear the birds sing.