Switching Day Care Centers

Choosing Another Child Care Provider

So you want to switch day care providers for your kids but you don’t know where to start or what to choose among the plethora of options out there in this world. It is fittingly one of the most important decisions of a young parent’s journey due to the fact that a child’s first formative years up until the age of six is critical. It is important for parents to not just consider the monetary impact of these choices but also the emotional, intellectual, and social future impacts the choice of a day care provider will have on their kids in the long term future. So let’s discuss some general tips to consider for the parent and the child to consider when one is looking to switch day care providers within a short time frame.

First, you must consider the cost of attending some of the more prestigious and rigorous day care provider centers in your area. In some areas, let’s face the reality that the more money per month per child spent; the better the facilities and the educational value experience offered for your child. Things such as using smart boards and I Pad’s to enhance the learning experience is a very real possibility in these places. However, if a parent is budget conscious they can still afford this experience but it would mean cutting back on all or most non-necessity spending. This would include curbing your eating out habits as well as any leisure entertainment or travel activity and place that money instead into your child’s future day care home. If an expensive day care sees that you are making an effort to keep up with the payments; then they will be more willing to work with you and not let your child leave that place. For a child going to this environment, they need to consider whether or not they will fit into this environment, things like playtime, feeding time, and individual care of the staff- is it received well by the child? These will make the difference between choosing these ones or a cheaper alternative. Cheaper is not all bad if the quality and availability of care is there for your child in the first place.

Secondly, you need to consider your travel times and distance of day care relative to your work and other important places like the hospital, grocery store, bank, and places that you frequent on a daily basis. Is it near enough that you can get to your child should he/she become ill or need special attention so that the day care center can contact you and arrange a meeting with you the same day if needed.

Furthermore, you need to consider the overall cleanliness and friendliness of the day care center provider. Do not underestimate a clean environment for your kid to play and learn in with other kids. Your kid will enjoy making new friends in a clean and safe environment. Plus you as a parent will enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that your child will not be being home any unwanted germs and diseases into your house. Parents must also consider if there is a dispute over payment and care; how does the management and staff deal with such requests? If there is a lackadaisical approach to your core issues; then that is a bad prelude of things to come concerning your child’s care. Your child will probably feel like he/she is being neglected or not fed on time and will start to complain to you ever so slightly that something is not right. When they do, do not hesitate to take them out of that day care center and find another one immediately.

In a recessionary economy, it is okay and permissible for both parents and kids to demand the best care for their dollar. Make your day care dollar stretch by reading all of the material and brochures and visiting every day center on your list until you find that perfect fit for your child. It’s out there; it is just waiting on you to find it!

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Child Care Options for Low Income Families

One of the most frustrating aspects of being a working citizen is not having the ability to afford childcare. The majority of day care facilities charge as much as $300 per week for each child. That amount is difficult for middle-class citizens to pay. Low-income families cannot fathom paying such an expense. Luckily, the government and the various states have developed programs that help low-income families get the childcare they deserve. The following is some information on those programs:

Extended Day Program

The extended day program can assist low-income working parents during the regular school year. Many school districts offer this program. The school keeps children before and after school hours for a small monthly fee. A parent can drop a child off as early as 7:00 a.m. and pick the child up as late as 6:00 p.m. This program is excellent for low-income workers with daytime weekday jobs. The cost is approximately $150 per month for before and after school. The weekly rate is approximately $37.50, which is extremely competitive.

The attendants participate in various activities with the children before and after school. They help the children with their homework so that the parents have less stress when they come home from work. They give the children a full breakfast in the morning program and a snack in the evening program. Parents can opt to pay for the morning program only, the evening program only, or both programs. The evening program is the more expensive of the two because it lasts so many hours after the school releases the children. The evening program is $100 while the morning program is $52.

The Child Care Assistance Program

CCAP is a special program that provides childcare assistance to certain low-income families. People who are collecting TANF are automatically eligible to receive this assistance. Teenage parents who are working on obtaining their educations are also eligible for CCAP. Those who are not collecting TANF can still qualify if they are pursuing education that will improve their work skills and job opportunities. Parents can apply for CCAP assistance with the Department of Children & Family Services. The financial guidelines for qualification are along the lines of a $3,000 per month income threshold for a four-person family. The applicant must have proof of income, social security cards, birth certificates, and immunization records for all children. Application processing can take up to 30 days.

Head Start

Head start is a program for children between the ages of three and five. The program provides childcare services and medical services to the children who qualify. It is funded by the Administration of Children’s Services. The Head Start program covers childcare from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Teachers work with the children to fine-tune their social and developmental skills. Those who are interested in the program may apply online. Applicants go on a waitlist until there is an available slot in the program. It is best for an interested person to complete an application as quickly as possible since the wait may be extended.

Child Care Voucher Program

The Child Care Voucher Program is in effect in many states throughout the United States. It provides a subsidy of up to 95 percent of childcare cost to low-income families. Subsidy recipients will choose an eligible provider from the list of licensed providers. They may also select a relative or an in-home provider. The Child Care Voucher Program covers the childcare from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday. This is known as the traditional childcare period. However, the program also covers non-traditional times for parents who work odd shifts. It covers nights, weekends, and evenings.

A wide variety of options is available for low-income childcare. Many stay-at-home moms also run small day care businesses in which they discount their services. There is a way to make working and taking care of your children affordable.

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Questions to Ask When Choosing a Day Care

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Day Care

Choosing a day care center for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make in your child’s early years. Many children will spend between 40 and 50 hours per week in day care. Because your child will be spending so much time with a child care provider, it is very important to pick a day care center that will provide a safe and nurturing environment to your child. Here are some questions to ask when choosing a day care.

The first question you should ask any day care provider is if they are licensed. Most state and counties have agencies that inspect day cares, and establish rules and regulations that govern them. If the day care is licensed, find out with whom they are licensed, and contact that agency to see if there are any complaints or violations outstanding against the day care provider. If the day care center is not licensed you should not send your child there. Many unlicensed day care providers do not have proper training, staff, or safety equipment on their premises to adequately provide your child a safe and nurturing environment.

Safety is a huge concern of every parent, and when choosing a day care center, safety should be discussed in-depth. Make sure that all staff members are trained in first-aid and CPR. Make sure that the day care has an AED and eppi-pens in their building and that they are readily accessible. Ask to see their emergency plan, and ask how you will be notified if an emergency or evacuation occurs. Look to see if they have a fire suppression system, and ask where the nearest fire department is, and where the nearest hospital is. While it is improbable that any of these safety measures will be needed, a day care that has all this safety equipment and training is likely to be a quality establishment, where your child will be well cared for.

Another question to ask a day care provider is what the staff to child ratio is. Many states mandate that there is at least a certain number of staff for every child in a day care, and many quality day cares will have even more staff members than required. Keep in mind that younger age groups require more staff per child than older age groups. Most child care experts advise that a day care have a 1 to 5 ratio for children two to three years old, a 1 to 7 ratio for children three to four year olds, and a 1 to 15 ratio for five and six year olds. Also discuss how children are segregated by age. Most quality day care providers will keep infants in a separate room from toddlers, and do not have child that are more than two or three years of age apart in the same room. Like a school, your child should be interacting and learning with children of a similar age when at day care.

When choosing a day care, parents should ask about the activities and resources provided to children. You don’t want your child sitting in front of the TV at home all day, and you wouldn’t want them watching TV all day at day care, so check what your child will be doing all day while you are at work. Most quality day care centers are setup similar to schools, providing learning and instruction to your child, and offering a healthy dose of physical activity and social interaction. Any good day care should be filled with books, art supplies, and educational toys, and should have a playground or gymnasium for encouraging physical activity.
Choosing a day care for your child is a very important decision. Make sure that you ask any prospective day care the questions above to ensure that you enroll your child in a day care that is safe and provides your child with a nurturing environment to learn and grow.


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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.


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Learning Social Skills from Day Care

Day care can prove to be a definite advantage in the lives of many families. There are significant opportunities for learning in daycare and among those is the opportunity to develop and enhance social skills. Many parents with children in daycare report that their children are much better adjusted socially than children not in daycare. One of the reasons for this is that children are able to enhance their social learning through play by learning sharing, cooperation, negotiation and listening skills.

The best opportunities for learning in children come through everyday experiences. Due to the fact that children are naturally active, curious and eager to try new things, day care presents a solid opportunities for cultivating those natural tendencies. When playing with others children are able to learn about themselves as well as others. A quality preschool curriculum will help to build learning opportunities directly into your child’s play so that development and learning take place naturally.

In fact, the benefits to learning crucial social skills in day care can be so important many parents elect to place their children in day care for those benefits alone, regardless of whether care is actually needed or not. Day care can often present the opportunity to develop social skills that simply are not present at home. This can be particularly true in the case of only children. When children are provided with the opportunity to play and learn with other children their own age, they often develop social skills at a much more rapid rate. These are social skills that will prove to be invaluable when the child begins schools, as well as later on in life.

Socialization is something that we often are not consciously aware of, and yet it is something that we experience in virtually every aspect of our lives. Our people skills and manners are all a result of our socialization and socialization is something that begins at a very early age. When children learn how to interact with their own peers and adults it allows them to be more self-confident, particularly in regards to how they interact with others as they grow.

In a day care setting, children receive the benefit of daily exposure to other children. This allows them the critical opportunity of learning important skills of playing together and sharing. In addition, children who are in day care are also typically exposed to the opportunity to learn about various ethnicities, cultures and socioeconomic background. By comparison, children who stay at home frequently have far less interaction with other children, unless deliberate steps are taken to ensure socialization through play dates, classes, trips to the zoo, park, etc. Even children who remain at home with other siblings do not benefit from the exposure to other diversities. In some instances, this type of isolation can result in a child being introverted or shy, or at the very least experiencing difficulty in interacting with other children when they do enter school.

While it is only natural for children to experience some reluctance when they must leave their parent for the first time to go to day care, most parents will find that with a bit of time it becomes easier. To help ease the process along, many parents find it helpful to visit the day care center they are consider with their child a few times prior to leaving him or her there the first time.

Although it is possible to learn socialization skills at any age in life, it does become much harder the older one becomes. School-age children who are not properly socialized must endure the agonizing separation from their parent when they enter school for the first time; something that is often more pronounced. Day care offers ample opportunities for children to become well-acquainted with the world around them, while also developing a healthy adjustment to being away from their parents for a period of time each day.

When searching for a day care center for your child, to help make the adjustment process easier, it is often a good idea to ask about the specific program or curriculum the center uses to assist in the teaching of socialization skills. You may be pleasantly surprised to find the center you are considering has a program in place that will help your child in learning social skills that are critical to their overall development and which will help them to become self-confident and capable of easily interacting with people as they grow older.

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Education Provided by Day Care Centers

At one time day care centers were based primarily on ensuring that children were well-cared for and supervised. Today that is no longer the case. An increasing number of day care centers are now providing early education programs to help ensure children are well-prepared to enter school.

The learning environment in your child’s day care center should provide ample opportunities for your child to begin learning basics, such as the numbers and the alphabet. The best approach for this is often to present opportunities for learning with the context of daily life. When touring prospective day care centers, make it a point to observe whether or not there are pets and/or plants in the classroom. Do children appear to be engaged in group activities and other meaningful activities?

Education experts are increasingly stressing the importance of reading to young children. Always ask whether the teacher read to the children in the center. In an ideal situation, reading time should take place one-on-one as well as in small and large groups. In addition, reading should occur at various times of the day, rather than in designated story times for groups.

Curriculum is critical. All children have different needs. Some children are brighter than other children their age, while others may require more individual attention. In a good learning environment, curriculums are adapted for advanced children as well as for those that might need a little extra assistance. To ensure your child is in an optimal environment for learning, find out whether teachers or care providers have received training to help them understand the various rates at which many children learn.

As education in day care centers becomes increasingly common, the types of educational curriculum offered continues to expand. Options today include cooperative, play based, Montessori, and many others. Regardless of whether you already have a good idea of the type of teaching method you prefer for your children or whether you are completely new to this, it is still a good idea to be somewhat familiar with the more common early education philosophies. You certainly do not have to be an expert, but developing a general understanding of the various approaches can help you in determining which type of learning environment is the right fit for your child.

The educational philosophy of most day care centers has much to do with the way the provider interacts with the children, the learning goals emphasized by that program and the types of materials and toys available. When reviewing the various approaches of different day care centers, try to envision your child in each setting. All of the many approaches have their benefits, but ultimately it is up to you to determine which approach is right for the needs of your child.

One of the major differences to make note of among the various approaches is whether a day care center has an education program that is child-centered or teacher-centered. You may well find that many of the centers you consider incorporate a bit of both at some point during the day.

In an educational program that is child-centered, the children are allowed to select the activities they wish to participate in and when they wish to do so. This type of program is somewhat unstructured, allowing children the flexibility to learn at their own pace. Children in a child-centered educational program often play in small groups or by themselves.

In a teacher-directed environment, there is more structure. Providers instruct the children as to the activities they will do and when they will do them. All children in the center are expected to follow a schedule of activities already established by the teacher. Children engage in the same activities at the same time.

A teacher-directed approach often focuses on preparing children for math and reading readiness skills. They may learn the names and sounds of letters and how to count. The basic premise behind this approach is that it allows preschoolers to be better prepared for kindergarten and advanced grades at an earlier age. Through planned activities, each day remains predictable and consistent. Such activities might include learning how to measure time, identifying colors, reading, solving basic math problems, etc. Lessons may also be planned around a theme, such as seasons, holidays, etc. This type of problem will also often focus on teaching basic classroom etiquette, such as following the teacher’s directions, raising your hand to ask a question or speak, and sitting still until a lesson is over.


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When to Start Toilet Training

It can be difficult to know when to start potty training when you have not had much exposure to others or are a first time parent. There are different ways to tell that a child is ready to begin their training. Starting too early could mean that they take a step back months later and begin to wet their beds once again and starting too late could cause problems when they are due to start full time school or have become dependent on using diapers.

Firstly the one thing to realize is that there will be differences in each child, so just because another parent’s child is out of diapers it will not mean that yours will be.  Never try to compare children’s milestones, even if they are siblings.

Of course the main thing is to ensure that the child is stable on their feet to the point where they can walk quickly or even run as the time length between them having the urge to go to actually releasing their bladder or bowel is much shorter than that of an adult.  Being able to sit themselves and get themselves up is just as important too as this will reduce the chance of any possible accidents caused by falling or upset because they have tipped their potty over.

During each diaper change you could notice that that you have a variation of being very full to nothing at all. This shows that their bladder has the strength to hold onto more urine than they were able to do beforehand. As a baby they will have been releasing small amounts more frequently so most diapers will have been pretty much the same weight (not taking into account the first morning change which will be heavier as they will have worn it for a longer time period).

When it comes to opening their bowels the infrequency of going will, once ready have changed to a pattern that is more recognizable. After daytime naps more often than not they will still be dry which is another sign that the muscles of the bladder have strengthened.

Rather than running around randomly from one thing to another, their interest will be held for a longer time such as being able to sit looking through a book or playing with one of their toys independently. This time period should be anywhere between two minutes to five or above.

You will find that they will become curious about what others are doing when they go to the bathroom and may try to replicate behavior they see by their parents or siblings. It is natural for them to display this behavior so it should not be discouraged or it could make your job even harder.

The child, or children might start telling you that they are about to go to the toilet or might hide in a corner to do it as though they are embarrassed for you to see them having a poo. In addition as the stools are firmer as they get older children need to strain in order to pass a motion. This means that such action becomes accompanied by a sound such as grunting or straining.

When they begin to seem more independent and are obviously pleased when they receive praise for anything they do that they could not before they become more eager to please. This is an excellent time to begin the training as they will be receptive to the praise they will be given when they use the toilet for the first and subsequent times independently.

Following certain commands which may not be related to the toilet at all such as picking up their shoes or getting a particular toy you ask them to is another sign that you should look out for. They will have picked up certain words for whether they need to go for a wee or poo, or if not then they can be taught during a diaper change with comments such as ‘did you have a poo/wee?’

Armed with all of the above information and of course a parental instinct the signs will become clear whether they have not yet surfaced or have been present for a while.  It can be tempting to try and do things at the same time as other friends or family members have chosen to train their children, however you should always follow your own child’s signals and ignore any comments that others may make about you not having trained them yet. Some children are ready very early whereas others may not be until they are three or even four.

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Why Does Day Care Cost So Much?

The first time many parents begin looking for a child care solution for their children, they are often shocked to discover the cost of day care. The cost of day care can and often does vary from one geographic region to another and may be based on several factors. For instance, supply and demand can largely influence the cost of day care in many areas of the country. In addition, parents can also typically expect to pay more for an infant’s day care than an older child due to the fact that infants require more care and supervision. Setting aside these two factors, there are still three other primary issues that affect the cost of day care. They are expenses involved, time and value.

First and foremost, day care centers must make sure all of their expenses are met. The expenses involved in operating a day care center can be immense. Such expenses can involve the salaries for staff, liability insurance and food. In addition, depending upon the situation, the owner or director of the center may also need to make certain other overhead costs are met, such as rent on a facility. In addition, there are other expenses to consider, such as utilities, cost for supplies, facility maintenance, equipment, etc. If the facility operates any type of transportation, such as a van or bus, there are costs associated with that as well. In day care centers, where an education program is offered, there are costs related to arts and crafts projects, curriculum, etc. There are also costs associated with continuing education and training for the staff of day care centers.

While parents often assume that the costs associated with day care result in a total profit for the care provider; that is certainly not the case. Providers often must provide five breakfasts, five lunches and between five and ten snacks per child per week. Depending upon the hours of the center, five dinners may also be provided in some instances. The total cost can often exceed $25 per child per week. The cost may be even higher if formula and baby foods are supplied by the provider. In addition, staffing is often a hefty expense for many child care providers, especially large capacity centers that are required by law to have additional providers on duty after specific staff to child ratio has been met. Not only must the center pay staff a salary, but they must also cover taxes and workman’s comp.

Along with expenses, time must also be considered as well. Many day care centers care for children from seven in the morning until five or six in the evening. Even when children have their nap time, day care providers must be nearby to supervise. Parents also may not realize that even when their children are not actually in the care of a day care center, the director and staff often spend additional time shopping for supplies, cleaning the center and readying activities and newsletter for the coming day or week. These are all activities that involve an extensive amount of time and preparation.

Finally, parents must consider the value factor that is involved in the cost of their day care fees. While the cost of day care may initially seem expensive, it is actually an investment in their child’s safety and future. A quality day care program can help your child learn to socialize well with others and even help him or her develop learning readiness skills that will prepare them for kindergarten. At the same time, a poor day care program will likely be much less expensive, but can potentially put your child at risk for harm. Ultimately, parents must ask themselves what they are willing to pay to make certain their child can be loved, protected, entertained, stimulated, nursed, socialized, fed, educated and changed when they cannot be there.

When selecting a care provider for your child, keep in mind that quality should be your primary concern, not cost. Cost does not necessarily dictate the type of quality you can expect from a day care center. Day care programs that spend money on their businesses and actually re-invest in their business simply are not able to operate on fees that are substandard. Take the time to find out what the average cost for day care is in your area. If you find a center that charges substantially less than that, ask yourself what kind of care and attention you can expect your child to receive for the price break.

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Potential Day Care Dangers

The best thing to avoid a child becoming hurt in a day center environment is careful planning. There are so many things that seem commonplace in the home and are not posing such a risk because of the adult to child ratio, but even within any child care environment where there are many children to be looked after provisions can be put into place to avoid any potential day care dangers.

One dangerous hazard that has been pointed out more in the past few years since accidental deaths have occurred are those surrounding the use of blinds. The cords on them can easily become wrapped around the throat area causing strangulation which is one reason for any furniture; including cots should be placed in a space where nothing surrounding that is dangerous can be touched.

Lighter furniture may seem a great option as it can be moved around easily and to be stored when not in use. The problem can be that little ones are not as stable on their feet as an older child or adult. This could mean that they try to break their fall by grabbing a nearby light chair or similar item and not only hurt themselves but other children playing nearby.

It is surprising how many toys; even those that say they are safe for use from a young age could still pose a high risk.  Buttons used to make eyes on homemade teddies or even on a doll that is used to aid children in practicing to fasten buttons and do up zips could cause choking should a button become loose or trapped skin in the zip part.  Such toys should only be used under adult supervision where there can be an adult present for each child while the toy is being played with. It should be checked for any damage and signs of wear and tear and disposed of at the first sight.

Heavier toys such as wooden building blocks or trains are sturdy but this also means they can be used to hit other children with. While they are so young children will tend to become territorial over certain items and go through the ‘mine’ stage.  Even accidentally the grip will not be as strong as adults so items may not be as secure as they may first seem.

Check also openings on doll houses, cars and similar toys, especially those that can be slammed shut with force to avoid pinching of skin or breaks to small fingers. Remember that they are exploring a new world and everything to them is to be played with as they learn.

To avoid germs and for health and safety reasons cleanliness is important, however not keeping anything that is used for medicinal or cleaning purpose locked away safely can and has led to irreversible damage to health and even death. Something as simple as the soap used in the toilet room needs to be monitored by a member of staff when in use and put away when it is not.

Spillages will occur no matter how careful you are, but the main thing is to get them cleared up quickly and if necessary make sure another room is readily available while the main one is drying off. The sense of danger in youngsters is not there, it is something they learn over time.

Look at the furniture around the building and make sure all tables and chairs supplied have legs at every corner. This gives them stability just in case a child decides to climb up onto them. If possible avoid having corners at all or go for less pointy ones, something that is lower than the average adults knee could be the height of a child’s eye, mouth nose or even tummy.

Medical centers are a great source of information, most will be more than happy to oblige if you ask for details of injuries in children of certain ages and how they were caused. It is never a happy time when a child comes to harm but from one experience, if further injuries of the same nature are avoided then all has not been in vain. They cannot provide you with personal details but the information alone of recent accidents can show a toy or piece of equipment that seemed like a good idea at the time, to be one that is best avoided.  Remember that any outdoor equipment should also be included when taking safety into account and that everything out and indoors is age appropriate for the children who will be using it.

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Biting and Day Care

Although there are a lot of benefits that can come from taking your child to day care, unfortunately they can sometimes pick up bad habits too such as biting other children or adults. Most of the time the child is unaware that they have hurt the other person or do so as a reaction to not getting what they want, but there are things that can be done to stop biting issues at day care.

The parent of the child who bites as well as those who have children who have been hurt can mean a lot of confrontational issues which is the reason why finding a solution needs to be done sooner or later. There have in the past and even until today parents who have chosen to bite the child back so that they learn. Although in some cases this has proved successful it is not at all acceptable behavior as treating one negative action with another will not be sending the right message.

Unfortunately as youngsters do not have the same vocabulary as an adult or older child, this is one way they are trying out to express themselves. It is not always done as a means to express anger or upset, but this can be the case. This is why it is better to look at the situation as a whole including whether they bite everyone or just certain people.

As with most behavioral problems once a reason can be found, this can be dealt with which could put it all behind you. As part of learning any parent or person working with children will notice that from an early age many items are put into the mouth, even before they are weaned onto solids. They explore different textures and see others as just another item to be explored, not realizing that they are causing upset or wondering why they get the reaction they do.

Try to think about whether there have been any changes that a child may be reacting to, this could be a new baby or pet being brought into the home or even starting nursery itself. In other instances it is a way to get the personal space they desire and once they get the reaction of people moving away from them they have achieved the desired effect.  In order to deter the behavior it can seem an easier option to give the child what they want rather than having to face an ordeal while friends are over or when out and about. This will only give reassurance to any child that biting ultimately gets them their own way and puts them in control.

For younger biters who cannot take on board an explanation as to why the behavior is wrong, the problem could be something as simple as them teething. Ensure that whether in the home or out that there is available something that they can bite on instead of a person. Do let the day care workers know about what you are doing and provide them with the teething ring or similar toy.

Like most reactions warning signs become apparent to the parent or day carers, giving them a chance to step in before they bite by taking them away from the situation before it gets out of hand. Depending on the child’s age calmly but firmly let them know that they are not to bite others. For the very young use the word ‘no’ and for older children with a better vocabulary a simple explanation can be used alongside a time out when they do react in this way.

Before children bite if possible it is good to step in the center of the child and their target. Once this has been done and they have received an age suitable verbal explanation for the behavior any further verbal communication should be kept to a minimum. Giving lengthy talks after each action is giving attention whether good or bad, such attention needs to be reserved for when it has been earned. Any attention to a child is positive so even a telling off gives them the desired response.

Leading by example may seem like common sense but unless children see the correct behavior from their care givers they have no way of learning how to do things right.  Show love with hugs and kisses, when you are upset or angry walk away from the situation or distract yourself with something else such as going to a different room or finding someone to talk to. Within time they will copy your behavior and learn how to deal with their emotions in a positive way that does not hurt others.

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