Jessica-Christine Gunia

Assistant Director, Joliet Township Infant Childcare Center

Caring for Mixed Aged Infant/Toddler/Twos in Licensed Childcare Centers

Caring for infants/toddlers/twos in mixed age classrooms is not only best practice for them, it is best practice for practitioners. Please join us to learn about staffing, supporting, and creating opportunities for learning for both the infants/toddlers/two’s and the people who care for them. Practical examples that can be used immediately will be provided in a lively interactive format.

MEET Jessica-Christine Gunia

We provide a mixed-age group program in the Joliet Township Infant Child Care center. All our rooms serve children from six weeks through 35 months of age. Mixed aged groups provide stability for a group of children with their caregivers over a longer period of time. Mixed-age groups create an environment for deepening relationships for staff with children and their families. This continuity of care ensures children and families have the opportunity to experience high-quality early learning experiences through stable relationships with caregivers. Working with mixed-age groups does not necessarily mean additional work for caregivers, but rather a shift in thinking. When the classroom contains the materials needed for each age group, and the teacher has the support and knowledge to blend lessons for each age group, successful outcomes are achievable.
Jessica-Christine has 22 years serving children ages six weeks through high school and enjoys working with families. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University, Fullerton. For the past 12 years she has served as the assistant director for a Child Care center serving the families of teenage parents in Joliet, Illinois.