After School Day Care

Unfortunately the hours a child attends school do not always tie in with working hours of their parents which means that there is a gap where after school day care needs to be sought. There are different options that are available to make sure any child or children are looked after by one or more adults until they can be picked up or dropped off home.
The three available options are to use family members if they are available, hire a nanny, use school after school clubs if they are available, a child minder or see if there is a pick-up service that is provided by local day care centers which could be an ideal solution if the child at school has siblings who attend a local nursery so that they can all be picked up from the same place at the same time, which is much better for most who just want to get back home as soon as they can if they have been working all day.

Usually with a school or other center there are set activities that children can partake in, depending on each individual provider you could find that they also provide tea to those in their care saving parents the job of doing it and meaning that they can rest assured that children will be fed at a decent time. A nanny could take the little ones back to their own homes and wait there with them meaning that they are being in an environment they are used to and are able to get on with any homework they have without lots of other people running around making noise.

A child-minder will vary on what times they will work until, as will a school or day care center. When working outside of the usual office hours it can be more beneficial to choose someone who can be flexible and is does not need to stick to specific closing times. There may seem a lot that needs consideration when making the choice but with a lot depending on the availability of the chosen provider of childcare the choices can be narrowed down.
Once a choice has been made it is best if possible to keep the same people as younger children will get confused and even become distressed if they are constantly being taken care of by different people. Routine is extremely important to children young and old as they know what to expect with no big surprises unless absolutely necessary.

Some children who already partake in activities after the school day will still be able to partake without having to be taken home and dropped back later or depending on the starting time could go to such activities within the school grounds and go straight on to their childcare provider. This allows them to be free to enjoy the sports, music or club that the school is offering rather than having to miss out because parents have chosen to work.
Many different ages are catered for but the range can vary which in many cases allows siblings of a similar age who attend the same school to be together. Many children look forward to attending as they get more time to play with their friends and get to use materials that may not be available or are restricted at home such as paint and collage.
Parents of older children have in the past let them have a key to the home and allowed them to remain there until their return. Not all will be mature enough to handle the responsibility, especially if they are put in charge of younger siblings. Older kids could resent the younger ones because they are limited to what they can do, another reason why it is not advisable is if an accident occurs or they become ill and cannot get in contact. With paid childcare an adult will be experienced enough to deal with most situations reducing danger that can occur leaving children unattended at home.

An option that is sometimes overlooked is community childcare with advantages such as either a bus or even walking bus that picks up children from their school and takes them to a local church or community center to be occupied. Although most schools will have provisions in place, not all do which is why this could be a handy alternative whether you need to use them full or part time. Those attending get to associate with both peers from their own school but reach out that little bit further by mixing with those who attend others. The skills of communication are then not limited to the children who already know the family or are related.

Posted in After School Care, Day Care Alternatives, Day Care Programs | Leave a comment

Private Nanny vs Day Care

What’s best for you, a hiring a nanny or a day care center?

Everyone wants to do the best by their children, but sometimes doing so will mean they need to return to work so that they can provide all that a growing family needs. In order to make this possible they need to think about who will be looking after their child, there are not always members of their family that are either willing or available to do so which is why weighing up your options is advised.  Making a list of private nanny vs a day care center may make choosing easier.

Just as every adult does, children have different personalities that need to be catered for. Some children who are shy and do not get a chance to mix with others around their same age can benefit greatly from attending a day care center.  It could take a while for them to come out of their shell, but in the long term it will give them the communication and relationship experience they need to benefit from their schooling at a later date.

Some families prefer to bring in a nanny because it suits their lifestyles better. It means that they pay a regular amount and can also use his or her services of an evening should they choose to work nights rather than days or a busy social life.  The family has the time to get to know their child’s carer as an individual whereas in a center there are different staff members who tell you what each child has done during that day and may not be able to provide any exact feeding times or nap times that you like to keep to at home. This is because they need to try and keep the routines similar to others also attending so as not to cause confusion.

People who have older siblings can be picked up from school by a nanny but not through someone who provides day care to younger children.  The benefit to this is not needing separate people to take on this job or pay through the nose for after school clubs. Parents can relax in the knowledge that when they get back home from their job all of their children will be there waiting for them.

From an education point of view the structure that is provided by a day care center allows those who attend to get into good habits such as table manners. Even little ones who can be fussy at home about what they eat are more likely to try different foods when other children are doing the same.  They have set times where different activities take place which works on the basis that children respond better to knowing roughly what their day will entail.

It can work out cheaper to have a nanny live in because their room and board comes as part of their wage. For those who have a spare room this can be an ideal solution and means the house is less likely to be left empty for the whole day or evening while other commitments are dealt with.

It is perfectly legal to pay a small amount of spending money for personal use so long as things such as food and necessary amenities are provided. Many of the people who chose this career are from another country which could cause a language barrier and mean that the usual communication skills that are developed take a lot longer. On the plus side it is a great opportunity for them to learn a new language as the younger the age the easier it is for them to learn.

During day care children will learn how to deal with different kinds of people from different backgrounds with a structure that has been tried and proven to make them feel better stability. It will give them a taste of how things will be when the start at their school full time and lessen the chance of separation anxiety.  With a nanny, although a child may be more comfortable with their surroundings this could mean they are in such a comfortable zone that school issues are going to be more likely.

As you can see there are differences between both kinds of care that may not have been taken into account beforehand.  Each type has certain benefits and downfalls like most choices in life, knowing each child better than anyone else ever is likely to leaves the choice theirs and theirs only. Taking in information from others is a great idea; however the end decision will need to be what is best for your family situation.

Posted in Day Care Alternatives, Finding a Day Care Center, Nannies, Types of Day Care | Leave a comment

Dealing with Separation Anxiety at Child Care

When first leaving a child with someone other than family for the first time it can be extremely difficult for both the parent and child or children. Because it is something new to them they could react by becoming upset when you leave. This is not uncommon and is known as separation anxiety.  Just as anyone else would, getting used to new surroundings, people and even routines will take time but there are things that both carer and parent can do to help when dealing with separation anxiety with child care.

A child may be fine at first and continue to be comfortable for a long while.  Just because they are displaying signs that they don’t want to be with any kind of carer other than yourself, it does not mean that they are not being looked after properly so do not panic. Try speaking to other parents as you will find many have been through a very similar experience with at least one of their children.

One thing many parents do is to stay as long as possible to try and reassure their child. Although this seems like a natural response it only teaches them that the behavior they are displaying is getting them what they want which is attention.  Distressing as it can be the shorter time you spend saying goodbye the better it is to help a child to stop behaving in this way and gives them the reassurance that you are comfortable to leaving them there.

A great thing to do is giving them a photograph or something they relate with home.  This is useful because they can take it out at any time during the time you are away from them so they do not feel so far apart from their parents and other members of their family.

Sneaking out can seem like the answer and make it easier on you, but all that shows is that you do not have confidence in the child’s ability to deal with you leaving.  Your confidence in them is an important part of them getting over this stage in their life and by saying goodbye they know exactly what is going to happen even if it takes a while for them to get used to the new routine.

If there is anything that needs to be discussed with another adult, it is better to either phone up during your lunch break or do so when you go back to collect your little one.  While they can see you are still there after you have said goodbye or even staying that extra time to talk over something is another way the fear of being left can be prolonged.

A good idea to help make relationships between your child and others they may have met at their day care is to arrange a play date with their parents so that they can play together and find out about what things they may have in common. It will also help them to have something to look forward to rather than dread.

In the home ensure that any television programmes that are on that are about day care in any way are positive.  You may not be aware that they are taking in what is on, but it is surprising what they actually take on board.  When you make the choice of what kind of day care you decide to use, think about their availability. What you do not want to happen is them being sent to different people so if taking on someone new ensure that they are looking for long term work other than short term.

If possible, before leaving children for a long while it is a great idea to have settling in periods.  This can be done by visiting a nursery and before starting children full time leave them for shorter periods first so they are reassured that their mom, dad or both will be back at the end of the day to collect them without fail.

Although a child has to be told what is right and wrong they need their parents to set a good example to them. You may think that you are doing so by being overly protective but this can implant fears. Showing consistency and being there when they need you is a great but they need to be shown that they are not in control of all situations by having certain rules in place including tantrums about being left in another care.

Posted in Day Care Programs, Transitions, Types of Day Care | Leave a comment

How to Choose a Day Care Center

Choosing a day care center can be a harrowing experience for many parents, especially first-time parents. Naturally, you want to choose a day care center where you can be certain your child will be safe and cared for. At the same time you must also factor in other concerns, including whether your child will fit into the center, make new friends easily and be educationally enriched. Budget is also a consideration for most parents as well. Given the numerous elements that must be considered it is little wonder why so many parents experience a difficult time in choosing a day care center.

While it can be a difficult decision, there are some guidelines you can use to assist in evaluating various childcare options and day care centers to ensure you make the right choice for your child. First, it is important to make sure you choose a facility you and your child can visit in advance. This is crucial as it will provide you with a prime opportunity for observing activities in the facility first-hand. When you visit, always bring a checklist with you and have your questions planned in advance.

Begin by evaluating the staff. Observe how they interact with the children. Does it appear that they treat the children in their care with patience, flexibility and respect? What type of training has the staff had? Will they be able to meet the emotional and developmental needs of your child? Is there sufficient staff working at the facility to meet the needs of each of the children? Does the staff at the day care center appear to have good personal hygiene? Do they seem genuinely interested in the children?

You also need to evaluate the facility itself. For instance, does the center have indoor and outdoor equipment that is safe? Does the facility have bathroom and diaper changing areas that are clean and sanitary? Are the work areas clean and orderly? Is it well-lit? Is the overall feeling of the facility airy and bright?

Health and safety should be of utmost importance when choosing a day care facility for your child. Consider the room temperatures. Are they comfortable, or are they too cold or warm? Does the furniture feature founded corners for safety? Does the facility offer play materials that are non-toxic? Did you notice a first-aid kit that is easily accessible and visible? Take the time to find out whether the facility offers healthy meals and snacks. Ask to see a menu for the upcoming week. Along those same lines, ask to take a tour of the kitchen area. Is it clean? Does the staff practice frequent hand washing? Are medicines and cleaning materials kept out of the reach of children?

Today, day care centers are becoming increasingly focused on much more than just minding a child during a parent’s absence. A quality day care center can help to prepare your child to excel when they enter school. When touring prospective day care centers, make a point of noticing whether or not creative play takes place. Does the facility offer ample educational and play materials? Does the facility offer an organized schedule or curriculum? Is rest time supervised? What about television? Is it minimal, or does it seem to dominate the program? Does the facility offer story time?

Finally, spend a few moments finding out whether the facility is fully licensed. They should have their registration certificate either on display or on file. Does the facility clearly explain rules? Many day care centers offer a registration packet for new parents that outline all rules and guidelines. Do some research on your own and find out whether there have been any complaints filed against that facility with the state licensing board. If so, how were they resolved?

Ultimately, choosing the right day care center for you and your child comes down to choosing a facility that meets all safety and health guidelines, but also is one which you and your child feel comfortable out. What is your instinct regarding the facility you are considering? Oftentimes, your first instinct is the one you should follow.

If you still find yourself wavering about whether or not a facility is right for your child, do not hesitate to conduct a subsequent visit. Take the time to notice whether the children attending that center seem genuinely happy. Obviously, all children have their moments when they may be upset, but overall, do the children there seem generally happy? This can be a solid clue as to what you can expect.

Posted in Day Care Programs, Finding a Day Care Center, Types of Day Care | Leave a comment

How Day Care Benefits Learning

Most will already be aware that the day care available allows them to go to work or just get some time to themselves.  One important factor that should not be overlooked are the learning benefits of day care as they will most definitely give them skills that they would have otherwise not gained until they were able to attend a state kindergarten or school.  Children love to learn new things and can do so at a rate much faster than adults so making the most out of the age where they have this ability can only be positive.

Being able to interact socially is very important, especially as once children start school they need to be able to express themselves to avoid become frustrated. Through all different kinds of apparatus from building blocks to music interaction becomes second nature to them as they get older.  Those who provide day care usually have more than just the one child which means everyone needs to take turns and realize that sometimes they must wait. It is so easy when at home to just get the things you know a child wants when they just point to them or by a certain pitch of crying, however others will not be as in tune which means they soon learn other ways to get what they want or need.

Simple math’s can be taught to very young children without them even realizing it by using different shapes, learning the different shapes and numbers money comes in (as they come of age). While they learn nursery rhymes and see the activity as fun, they learn to use their fingers or other equipment to display numbers as they count from one to ten or twenty.

Being able to work out problems as part of a group is something that everyone will need to face at some point whether it is during their years of education or a job they pick when they are older.  This helps them to see things from another person’s point of view and to realize that working alongside another person or people as a bonus rather than a downside which may be the case when they first learn about sharing toys that they may not have had to in a home environment.

More people who work in an environment where they look after children that are not their own find they can benefit from having qualifications in early learning. This means that they have been trained up to teach those who are of a pre-school age once they become more receptive and are able to sit still for more than a couple of minutes at a time.

To work in education alongside providing stimulation that is appropriate to the target age groups is important, just as showing affection and how certain words, stories and even playing outside can show the reactions achieved by the child’s participation. This could be something as simple as being able to place blocks of the right shape into a sorting box or seeing how many wooden blocks or cups can be stacked up before they fall.

There are certain things that are expected of children who are of an age where they legally need to attend school as the ratio of adults to children will be significantly less in most cases than it will have been in day care.  Through learning how to behave there will be less chance of parents needing to attend the school because of behavior that is not acceptable. Those who have already learned what is acceptable in a situation where they are not the center of attention move on to the next stage of learning much faster.

Any lessons need to be engaging or children will easily become distracted which is why there is so much importance on getting the balance just right. Parents can achieve so much of this at home, but rarely leave their child in an environment where they are not visible to them enabling them the independence that is gained by others who have exposure to many different situations and surroundings.

Looking at other places that have been created for children but do not provide the correct stimuli such as orphanages in poorer countries it is obvious almost immediately that the lack of interaction has caused developmental delays meaning that they would find it very hard to adapt to life in somewhere that has better funding.  Certain talents can come to surface in children who have the opportunity to partake in many activities which means that their natural abilities can be developed upon.

Posted in Day Care Programs, Finding a Day Care Center | Leave a comment

Home Day Care vs Day Care Centers

When you have to return to work or for another reason are thinking about day care you may be wondering which the best is for your child/children. The only way to come to a fair conclusion is to know about home day care vs a day care center.  Everyone will have in mind what kind of environment they want for their children and one surrounding may suit a family better.

Being within a home environment a child can settle in better and be able to cope better with the fact that one day may not have the same routine as another. The child can get to know their care giver and form a relationship whereas in a day care center this is not always easy, especially with so many different children requiring attention.

The structure within a center will set children who attend up for school. It makes a great bridge between the home to school transition making them more aware of surroundings where they will not always be the center of attention with the teacher child ratio being much less than it would be at home.

There are many child careers working from home in different ways, some will use their own home where as others may come in the form of a nanny who comes by day to day or resides with the family. This can make the hours they work more flexible and allow parents, when there to observe the relationship and feel reassured.  Although a carer who works independently will have to undergo certain background checks, the people who a child may be taken to visit might not have. This could put them at risk and make any parent feel uncomfortable that their child is taken into a home or other establishment which they will not necessarily have knowledge of.

A lot of children who have experienced day care tend to have a head start on others who have not because there are certain things that they are required to teach a child to do, including being independent in removing clothes and re dressing. This is handy when they partake in physical activity once the time comes to begin schooling as are the rules put in place that every child needs to follow.

The age groups of a home child carer can be very varied, especially when they have their own children to think about too. This could increase the chance of toys or equipment being left around accidentally that is quite safe for an older child but extremely dangerous for a young explorer just learning about their surroundings.  On a plus side, dealing with all ages could give them better communication skills and great companionship if they do not have siblings of their own.

Any accident occurring a center for children is noted down by a member of staff with additional information such as where they were if they fell, what happened and what steps were taken to make the child comfortable like applying a cold compress or band aid.  Every child falls at some point but having every aspect of the injury given to parents is the next best thing to actually being there.

There is usually another person around on hand to help if one of the staff at a bigger establishment is ill and need to take time off, so from that sense they can be more reliable. This means no need to take time off work because your child care lets you down because of something that is happening in their life such as ill health, family problems or booking of a last minute holiday.

A home carer can have more flexibility and children get to go to the usual places such as shops or banks and some will be more than happy to take the children in their care to a dental appointment or another place they need to be. This is not usually an option at child day care center’s because of staff to child ratio being regulated by the law.

Every parent will have to think about what they feel is best for their own child. Even if an older sibling had one kind of care, another may benefit more from a different kind.  Both have regulations in place, it is mainly down to the type of environment that will be best so they feel comfortable in their surroundings and build a good relationship so that their care given knows what they need and how best to deal with any problems that could arise.

Posted in Day Care Centers, Home Day Care | Leave a comment

Benefits of Play at Day Care

Playing with other children is very benefit to youngsters and teaches them values that will stay with them for life. By letting you know about the benefits of day care, your child will not miss out on essential building blocks that will put your child steps ahead of others who have not had this early advantage.

Firstly it is important that a child learns values they cannot at home, even if they already have siblings. They will be in an environment where they have other children who are around the same age as them, which will be the case when they start full time school.

When younger children play with older ones at home, you could find they have a lot done for them which stops them from being as independent as they could be. They get to learn from games that are age appropriate and how using them alongside others can be more fun than playing on their own.

If they are particularly shy it could be that they only get chance to relate to family members or close friends. By putting them in an environment where children of all different backgrounds are around them they can start to realize their individuality.

Parents with many children have to split their time between each one, but although at a pre-school the ratio of children to the amount of adults is smaller the day is very structured so they get used to doing things at the same time each day which is the same as what they will have to do at school.

The staff will have been trained to interact with the little ones in a fun way that also teaches them lessons that most parents would not have time to do. It has been shown in many different areas of research that moms who return to work and choose day care as their childcare option have children that have a better understanding and a smaller chance of them resisting when they reach school age.

As they will follow by example, the traits they pick up such as being taught to tidy up their own mess and having to wait their turn to get use of a certain toy or activity lessons the chance of tantrums at home when parents need to get on with things and cannot constantly be in a position to play at any time of day or night.

Even those who are not in for a full day will have been running around with others, this makes them more likely to sleep right through the night after taking part in the many different activities made available to them.  Whether working or not, this makes life easier for the family at home.

Although having to go shopping is an essential thing, it can be frustrating to a child strapped into a buggy or trolley. They rarely get the chance to be bored while playing with their new found friends and have many role play toys that teach them the importance of taking part in the daily chores from tidying up to helping during a shopping trip rather than crying through it.

Shy children soon come out of their shell and develop a personality that stops them from essentially being left on their own. Being able to speak up for them in an appropriate manner because of the communication skills they gain makes it easier for any care givers to know what they need, taking away the guess work.

All the games are based around the things they will go on to learn as they grow older. Part of playing gives better confidence to try new foods as they see others doing the same. They get to enjoy many books, toys and apparatus that most homes could not accommodate.

Group work often takes place and children may be given different roles, this eventually leads to them re-creating scenes at home and knowing what different people in the community do. They will begin to see that police are there to help if there is trouble, nurses and doctors can make people, firemen put out fires and certain household objects they should never ever touch and why.

Nursery staff know what signs they need to watch for so will act accordingly if they are ready to take steps forward like taking on more responsibility for their own belongings and respecting those of others.  They build a relationship with the parents too so rather than what you teach them conflicting with what they do at their play center you can work as a team to give children a consistent and regulated life as possible.

Because of their being a lot of children at the same place children pick up colds and coughs. This is not a bad thing because their immune system will become stronger earlier so they will not miss out on essential learning at school. First time moms can be reassured by play staff or notified if something does not seem right so that appropriate action can be taken.

Posted in Day Care Centers, Day Care Programs | Leave a comment

Drop in Day Care

Is Drop-in Child Care Right for you?

While regular daycare is an excellent solution for working parents, there are often many instances when parents do not need full-time daycare. Such situations might include times when they have an appointment, work only part-time or a special situation arises. Drop-in child care can also be a good solution when a regular babysitter is ill or unavailable at the last minute. During such times parents may need a reliable source of child care at the last minute without the need to rely on a babysitter. Increasingly, many parents have also found that drop-in child care is also a viable solution for those times when they simply need some adult time. Whether parents need to run errands, attend an adult-only function, business event or simply need a date night, drop-in child care centers are growing in popularity across the country. Single parents find this service particularly attractive.

In such situations drop-in child care can be a great solution. Drop-in child care is a day care center that offers a wide range of hours. Parents typically pay for care by the hour rather than a flat rate. As drop-in care centers have become more popular with parents, they have also become increasingly popular with children as well. Many drop-in child care centers now offer a variety of events and even themed days to keep kids busy and hoppy. A drop-in child care center is typically operated much in the same way as traditional day care, with only a few exceptions. Staff receives the same type of training as those in a traditional daycare. In fact, it is not uncommon for the workers in traditional daycare centers to even work on a part-time basis in drop-in centers.

A drop-in care center will often remain open until 9 or even 10 p.m. during the week and may remain open until midnight on weekends. While there are some drop-in centers that are open on Sundays, this is not the case with every center, so it is important for parents to check on the hours of operation. For special occasions, many centers will offer later hours.

One important element to keep in mind with drop-in daycare is that it is possible for a center to become full due to the fact that centers must maintain staff-child ratios. To ensure those ratios are not exceeded, the centers may reach a point on some days when they are not able to admit any more children. Some drop-in facilities may also require parents to make reservations for babies due to staffing issues as well. The primary reason for this is that most states require all daycare facilities to maintain a lower staff to child ratio due to the amount of care small infants require.

One of the most common questions many parents have about drop-in child care is whether it is affordable. Parents are often surprised to find that the rates charged by drop-in care centers are about the same as the rate paid to adult babysitters. In particular, parents of multiple children often find it is less expensive in the long-term. This can be particularly true when snacks and meals are factored into the cost. The cost for a drop-in care center usually starts at about $7 per hour, but may range up to about $10 per hour based on the age of the child. Different geographic regions may charge less or more based upon typical costs in the area and supply and demand. There may also be a one-time registration fee.

When searching for a drop-in care center, it is still important for parents to check credentials. All centers should be fully licensed and should operate under the same regulations as other daycare facilities in your state. Parents can expect staff to be trained in first-aid and CPR, education in early childhood development, and be experienced in working with children. Most daycare centers will also conduct criminal background checks on all employees, but parents may want to check with the center to be certain this is done.

If you are considering using a drop-in care center, it is a good idea to conduct an initial visit first. Avoid waiting until the last minute and then trying to register your child, complete all of the forms and introduce your child to a new environment. Take the time to visit first, complete the registration forms and visit with the staff. This will help to ensure the center is a right fit for both you and your children, so that when a situation does arrive when you need childcare at the last moment everything will be handled in advance.

 

Posted in After School Care, Day Care Alternatives, Day Care Centers, Day Care Programs, Types of Day Care | Leave a comment

Day Care Safety Tips

When you decide to take your child to day care, many mothers at first want to have the reassurance that their child is in safe hands. Once a relationship is built between the parents and childcare provider it gets easier with time, but beforehand as peace of mind it is good to know about the day care safety tips that are taught to staff within the establishment.

With young children who are mobile it is important to remember they have no sense of fear and will happily explore any environment that most adults have become accustomed to avoiding. By looking at things from a child’s point of view and bearing in mind that the developmental stages advance extremely fast many hazards can be eradicated.

A major hazard that has caused many emergency room visits is not ensuring that any equipment put into the room whether a cot, toy, chair and even drawers are looked at in great depth to assess whether a child could trap one of their limbs or fingers in them.  Children are all different, just as adults and where many may not have been harmed, they may do in the future.

Even safety equipment can be hazardous, especially window guards. Although they may stop a child from falling out of an open window, they will not necessarily stop them getting trapped in some way if they decide to explore.

Climbing is an important part of development so that youngsters can be potty trained, sit at a table with their peers and move around more freely. As they are more prone to fall due to their tender age, the flooring surrounding should be soft enough to avoid an unsafe landing.

Everything in the room or rooms needs to be age appropriate, this is why having separate rooms such as one for babies, another for toddlers and a further one for pre-school can make this easier.  The age gap may seem small from one to another, but the amount their abilities show great differences as does their understanding.

Rather than cramming everything into one small space, ensure there is still enough room between one play area or toy to another. This allows freedom of movement and avoids youngsters bumping into or tripping over one another.

If there has been recent publication or known dangers surrounding a certain toy or activity it is best to remove it than to take unnecessary risks. Follow instructions such as returning to manufacturers or dispose of the item in the way advised.

When shopping for furniture avoid those that are of a square or rectangle shape where possible and look for rounded edges over pointed ones. It may seem like common sense to some but it is easy to be bowled over by a color scheme or design.

Regularly check wooden items whether indoors or out for any signs of wear and tear. If it is showing any signs of needing re sanding it best removed until the necessary sanding or repairs have been completed to avoid splinters.

Bolts and nails that can become loose over time which could cause skin pinching or clothes becoming caught. Regular maintenance and checking should avoid this from occurring, however being vigilant at all times is the best way to stop any damage to items or people beforehand.

Outdoor equipment, even with special sealant and other protection can still become rusty. This is a sign of damage, even though it may just be from usual wear and tear. Swings that often come with metal frames are prime candidates for such damage. If the seating is attached by rope rather than chained metal care should still be taken as over time it can fray and eventually break.

Watch for small parts in case they become a choking hazard. This could be from a cup or plate that has become damaged and even screws becoming loose from door handles, toys or a table and chair set. Even when set up with the best care and attention there is nothing that is built to last forever.

Certain things that are needed in the day to day care such as creams, wipes, toilet paper and soap could present a choking hazard. This is why even though they need to be present; they should be kept out of reach and sight of the children, preferably in a different room or area to where the play takes place.

Last but not least one thing that would not even cross most people’s mind is paint on radiators and walls. When it is wet children are commonly taken away from it, but even when dry it could still contain hazardous content with flaking older paint being easily picked off and put in little mouths. Check first that the chosen paint is suitable for the room as there are special kinds on the market that help.

Posted in Day Care Centers, Safety | Leave a comment

Positive Learning Environment at Day Care

How Day Care Centers Create a Positive Learning Environment

There are many factors that should be considered when choosing a day care center for your child, including whether or not the center you consider creates a positive learning environment. Day care centers can help to create a nurturing environment that can serve as a catalyst for learning in a number of different ways.

One of those is way involving all of the children in the learning process. Studies now suggest that children learn much better when there is a high involvement rate. When children are involved at an early age in a learning environment in a day care setting, they receive the opportunity to not only ask questions and discuss various topics, but they also receive the benefit of seeing and hearing other children do the same. This can often present enormous opportunities for learning as other children in the center may pose questions they had not thought of. Interaction between peers can also serve as a tremendous opportunity for learning as well.

Many day care centers today utilize a variety of different learning methods. This is critical as we now know that different individuals learn in different ways. Through a combination of discussions, demonstrations, role plays, audio visuals and activities, children in day care are presented with interesting learning opportunities that help to ensure the needs of all children are met. In a quality day care program, children will receive the benefit of interaction with both children their own age, as well as adult who can guide them in their learning experience.

Toward that end, it is important for parents to know what to look for when assessing the learning environment of prospective day cares. The best learning environments will be structured so that children are able to freely move among the various activities. They should be able to do so at their own page. A play-based environment will emphasize emotional and social development which allows children to communicate effectively with their peers and adults, while also developing strong problem-solving skills that will serve them well later on in life.

Quality day cares that focus on establish a positive learning environment will also typically include a balance of various activities. While time will be allowed for structured activities and play, there will also be time for self-directed play as well. In addition, learning will typically involve activities that engage each of the senses. For instance, if children are learning about the letter ‘A’, they may be exposed to apples in several different colors. The provider or teacher may allow them to touch and smell the different apples. During snack time, children have the opportunity to taste the apples. They may also have the chance to describe the way the apple smells, feels and tastes. In some day care centers, there may even be an activity that involves discussing the apple seeds, listening to a story about apples and possibly even planting an apple tree.

The best day care centers will establish a positive learning environment by making certain there are age-appropriate toys and activities for all ages. For instance, for ages eight months to twelve months, children can be provided with simple picture books and balls. Children in this age group will also benefit from interactive games. Beginning at age eighteen months, children will receive exposure to more complex toys, including manipulative toys such as dress-up clothes, puzzles, etc. that will help them to work out solutions to problems encountered on a daily basis and explore their world.

When children are able to explore the world around them in groups of their own peers, they often benefit from the opportunity to learn from one another, and therefore faster than when on their own. Not only are they able to take advantage of shared knowledge, but they also receive the chance to learn about other cultures and develop critical socialization skills that will serve them well not only when they enter school, but also later on in life as well. Quality day care centers encourage children to actually learn from one another and provide activities that each of the children can actively participate and engage in. Through the encouragement of behaviors that will lead toward positive learning experiences and attitudes, children will form a foundation from an early age that will assist them in future academic endeavors. The positive learning experience children are exposed to in a day care center can prove to be invaluable for setting them upon a path for future success.

Posted in Day Care Centers, Day Care Programs, Education, Finding a Day Care Center | Leave a comment