Babies who are just learning to walk - called "wobblers" - now have a room of their own at The King's Daughters Child Care Center in Wheeling.
Wobblers, said center director Jeanie Hores, have different needs from their crawling counterparts and their ambulatory friends.
"Wobblers are just beginning to exercise their legs, pulling themselves up and expanding their environment. ... This room allows us to give them more individual attention focused on the appropriate developmental activities," Hores said.
Photo by Betsy Bethel
Enjoying themselves in a ball-filled baby pool are Collin Bohrer, 11 months, and Kaiya Garrison-Bowman, 13 months, along with teachers Mary Straight, left, and Megan Hendershot at The King’s Daughter’s Child Care Center in Wheeling. The babies are receiving developmentally targeted care in the center’s new “wobbler” room for children who are just learning to walk.
Executive director Dawn Didriksen said the emphasis for this "transitional room" is on the child's "developmental stage instead of their chronological age."
Wobblers have to be at least 1, however, because of state licensing requirements that children less than 1 be cared for in a room that has cribs, Hores said. Unlike the infant room, the wobbler room has no cribs. Once the child can walk well enough to run, he or she moves on to the toddler-1 room for 1-year-olds.
In addition to being able to target wobblers' development, the room opens up space in the infant room, which has a waiting list, Hores said.
Hores said the wobbler room has been a dream of hers for many years. She credits Didriksen with making it a reality.
"This is something we've been dreaming of and because of Dawn's perseverance and dedication and wanting to make our dreams come true, so to speak, it has materialized," Hores said.
The King's Daughters Child Care Center is located at 61 13th St., serves children ages 6 weeks to 4 years, including pre-kindergarten. For information, call 304-233-1114 or visit the website, tkdccc.org.