Infant (1 & 2)

Our two infant classrooms care for up to 16 children who are between the ages of 5 – 24 months when the school year begins in September.

Our teachers will work closely with parents to develop a routine that is both familiar and predictable. Our Infant classrooms are designed to support a Primary Caregiving system in which each caregiver is assigned two to three infants. This allows each baby to build a close and trusting relationship with a particular teacher. The baby knows who to go to for diapering, feeding, resting, and comfort. The Primary Teacher communicates daily with the family to support each child’s sense of comfort and development in the classroom.

There are opportunities for the infants to move freely around the room and explore a variety of materials, listen to and play music, engage in story and outdoor play. Infants are encouraged to crawl while older infants are encouraged to walk, developing their gross-motor skills.

Our infant teachers are ready to care for children from 5 months – 24 months. Many families have questions about daily care in our infant rooms, below are additional details.

  • Teachers are caring, kind, and gentle caregivers who love babies. They are trained in infant care and love giving cuddles, snuggles, and hugs to each child. Babies are held and cuddled all day long by our staff in the infant rooms.
  • Primary caregiving is front and center in the infant room. Each teacher is the primary caregiver for 2-3 children, depending on class size. The primary caregiver is the main person responsible for diapering, feeding, and sleeping. Primary caregivers are determined during the phase-in period at the start of the school year. It is reflective of how relationships develop between teachers and children.
  • Each family will be provided with an intake form to complete before the school year begins. The form outlines each child’s personal routine in regards to home life, language, resting, bathrooming, childcare and medical history, patterns and
    habits and any other important information families would like to share about their child.
  • Naps: each child has their own nap schedule. Parents will share with teachers their child’s typical nap schedule during phase-in. Teachers work closely with parents as babies grow older and their nap schedule changes. Teachers are child-centered in approaching every child’s individual schedule. Children have their own cribs for naptimes. If desired, parents can provide a sleep sack for their child. There are rocking chairs and classrooms use white noise and other soothing sounds to encourage sleep. After a baby turns 1 year old, the child will be transitioned to sleeping on a mat. As the school year progresses into the spring, the classroom routine will change from an individual approach to resting to a more group-like setting where children will rest for a single, longer nap within the school day.
  • Daily updates: parents receive updates from teachers through the BrightWheel App which notifies parents about diaper changes, feedings, photos, and offers messaging between parents and teachers.
  • Purple Circle prioritizes outside time for all children. Infants are brought outside to local playgrounds, parks, and sites including the farmer’s markets. Children are either carried in baby carriers, pushed in a stroller, or offered to walk once they are capable.
  • Cleanliness and hygiene are of the utmost importance and teachers follow all Department of Health protocols while going above and beyond to keep children healthy. Toys and classrooms are cleaned daily.
  • Whenever possible, primary caregivers will assist their children with eating all snacks and meals, including bottles. Parents provide all food for infants, including baby foods, formula or breast milk. Young infants will always be held while being fed, particularly during bottle feedings. Children who are more independent, can hold their bodies in an upright position and who are beginning to eat solid foods, will be fed in a highchair. Older Infants and Toddlers will be encouraged to self-feed once they show signs of readiness.
  • Babies are social and love to watch each other and learn about the world around them. Each classroom offers toys and opportunities for play that encourage babies to grow and learn. Toys are a tool for learning and are selected each morning depending on the interests and milestones of the children in the class.
  • The infants follow their own individual biorhythms of sleeping, eating, diapering, and playing. Routines at school may slightly differ from those at home. As the school year progresses and infants begin to mature, teachers will begin to prepare the children for more group-like routines.
  • Children in the infant rooms love when the older children visit! We create opportunities for children of mixed ages to interact throughout the day. Either by walking through the school, joining a teacher on an errand in school, outside at parks and playgrounds, or inviting older children into the infant room to play and assist with art projects.
  • At Purple Circle, all children, even infants, begin the school year together in September. Our care is based on a year-long curriculum so children remain together as a cohort in their classrooms through the following August.

Purple Circle offers families the following Monday through Friday programs, year round, providing four schedule options parents can choose from to meet their unique needs:

  • 8:30am – 1:50pm
  • 8:30am – 4:00pm
  • 8:30am – 6:00pm
  • 2:10pm – 6:00pm

There is also an early morning drop-off option available each day at 8:00am.


Miranda Almanzar
Miranda AlmanzarLead Teacher, Infant 1
Miranda Almanzar is the Lead Teacher for the Infant 1 Classroom. She has been caring for children for 10 years now, both professionally and for family and friends. Being a positive influence in a child’s life has always been a passion of hers. She completed her Bachelor’s of Science from George Washington University in 2021, majoring in Cognitive Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology. She has also recently completed her Master’s in Child and Adolescent Development, with a concentration on Early Childhood. Her teaching style is very much based on observing the children — seeing what they like and what they don’t like, and building lessons using those learned interests. She aims to guide them to become the best people that they can be!
Claire Chang
Claire ChangAssistant Teacher, Infant 1
Claire Chang is starting her third year as an Assistant Teacher at Purple Circle. A native New Yorker and big sister, she always knew that she wanted to work with children and attended New York University, where she obtained a Bachelor’s in Child Development and Education. Claire recently discovered a passion for working with infants after frequent visits to Infant 2 and is so excited to start a new chapter in Infant 1 this year. She loves reading stories and enjoys building bonds through books, songs, and sensory activities.
Claire’s hours are 8:30am – 4:00pm.
Hillary Espinoza
Hillary EspinozaAssistant Teacher, Infant 1
This will be Hillary Espinoza’s first year as an assistant teacher at Purple Circle. She began her passion for teaching in Early Childhood Education during high school when she worked as a teacher’s aide at Bank Street Family Center for five years. During her time there she began to study at The City College of New York and majored in Early Childhood Education. She has worked as a nanny for many families throughout the years and has one young child herself. She also worked at Buckle My Shoe in Tribeca as a Lead teacher for an Infant classroom. She enjoys educating young children and expanding her knowledge to grow as an educator! Hillary’s hours are 10:00am-6:00pm.
Evelyn Cruz
Evelyn CruzAssistant Teacher, Infant 2
Evelyn Cruz is an Assistant Teacher for our Infant 2 classroom. She has worked at Purple Circle for over 25 years! Previously, Evelyn worked as our Late Day Coordinator in our Little Kids Classroom. Her experience with children and alongside her colleagues has taught, tutored and trained her to be a responsible, fun-loving teacher of young children. Throughout her longevity at Purple Circle, she has dedicated her service to many families, ensuring the well-being of their children and making their first years at school very positive. She welcomes you to Purple Circle and looks forward to working with your children.
Naima Davis
Naima DavisAssistant Teacher, Infant 2
Naima Davis has worked in early childhood education with children from six months to five years old. She previously worked at the Bank Street Family Center for over 20 years. During her time at the Family Center she was a paraprofessional for children with special needs. Her experience also includes nannying for a variety of families throughout the years and having two young children of her own. She is passionate for education and enjoys working with young children. Her hours are 8:30am – 4:00pm.
Cheryl DiCostanzo
Cheryl DiCostanzo Assistant Teacher, Infant 2
Cheryl DiCostanzo is extremely thrilled to be starting her third full time year at Purple Circle and delighted to be paired with the same team she’s been with in the Infant/Toddler program since the Winter of 2022. Cheryl’s education is in music and theatre and she has taught music to children over the years. She also enjoys cooking with children and often plans healthy recipes to make as part of the classroom curriculum. She started substitute teaching five years ago at various programs like The Bija Project and Union Temple in Brooklyn as well as Presbyterian and the Family Center at Bank Street, both on the Upper West Side.

Soon after her substitute work, she started an Assistant Teacher position at Bija in the summer of 2019 where she also prepared lunch with the children and for all of the children and staff daily. She worked in various educational capacities through Spring 2020 before beginning her Fieldwork towards her CDA in the toddler room at the Family Center at Bank Street in June 2021 while simultaneously working part time at Purple Circle as an interim auxiliary teacher. She graduated from CUNY in January (CDA) and is working on certification

She then was hired as a full time Assistant Teacher in the Infant / Toddler rooms when the program opened in January of 2022. She is certified as a Newborn Care Specialist.Cheryl is very excited to continue working with her team from the previous school year. Cheryl’s hours are 10:00am – 6:00pm.

Apply now for September 2024