Importance of Early Childhood Care and Education

According to developmental psychologist Jean Piaget, he suggests that the logic of children is completely different from that of adults. He believed that children move through four stages of development between infancy and adolescence. The four stages incorporated in his theory are sensorimotor stage, perioperational stage, concrete operation stage and formal operation stage. The domains associated with these stages are the child’s physical, social, intellectual, creative and emotions which influence the way the child thinks and talks.

Early childhood care and education was introduced to help parents better understand their childcare development ┬áskills ; by this we mean their motor and cognitive skills coherently. The programme aims at exploring the child’s learning and developmental capabilities, as well as it builds a stronger foundation of the skills that they possess.

This programme is vital as it allows the child to build and form new relationships with their peers and family members rather than be quiet and shy. Secondly, exposing the child to various stimulants encourages them to ask more questions for a better understanding of how the world works.

Apart from that, it is important for the child to be able to differentiate what is right and wrong, as these days there are increasing events of children being abused and neglected by adults. In most of these cases, the child is unable to speak up because of fear of their parents and their lack of education. Hence, this will help curb and reduce the incidence of child abuse in the country because the child will have moral and ethical values inculcated.

This level of education has been emphasised by the education authorities in many countries around the globe. Parents should be responsible to enroll the child for early childhood education, so that the transition into primary school will be much easier for the child. The child will be able to cope better in school and they will be able to do well in their exams. This in turn will improve the socioeconomic development of the country. Childcare centers locations

In a nutshell, early childhood education and care is necessary for the improvement of the child in every way. Apart from the preschool teachers, parents should be involved in their child’s development in order to create a conducive environment for the child and improve the understanding between the parent and child.

by Anna Peacocks

Preparing Your Child For Infant Day Care Tips

Infant day care can be a life saver for you, but for your child it can be a bit confusing and even a little scary. If you have been off work since the birth of the child, it can be a truly heart-wrenching experiencing to even fathom leaving the child with mere strangers. But since most families don’t have the financial resources for one parent to stay at home to raise children, day care is a part of the process of raising children that must be addressed. Getting your child ready for infant day care services is tantamount to a successful transition for both you and your infant.

Children are resilient and in most cases, depending on the stage of development, they can easily transition from being home with their parents to going to a child care provider with a little preparation. But this, of course, depends on the infant. Some have separation anxiety and don’t want to be left at all. Others will just blend into the day care setting with ease. There are a few key steps to take to prepare your child for infant day care.

Tips for the First Day

The first day of day care will be a bittersweet one. You are likely anxious to get back to your ordinary routine and start bringing money home again, but you will feel terrible about leaving your infant, who may be crying after you or clinging to you. These tips will help you prepare for the first day, and hopefully the following days will become easier.

• Allow the infant to stay with relatives or friends a few times prior to being placed in the day care setting. This will help the child to adjust to being away from home in a place that is somewhat familiar to them.

• Bring the child’s favorite blanket or toy to day care with them so that they will have a piece of home in unfamiliar surroundings.

• Gather everything that you will need for that first morning the night before. This may include a change of clothing, formula, pacifiers, diapers, and any ointment that you use on the child’s diaper area. Not having to pack everything on the first morning of day care will keep you from rushing around and making the situation even tenser.

• Write down your infant’s schedule, including the times when they like to nap, eat and more. Let the day care provider know how long the child typically naps during the day so that they will know what to expect.

Don’t appear nervous to the child, and no matter what you do – don’t cry. Even the most apprehensive parent must put their game face on so that the child doesn’t become alarmed when the parent leaves. Children are very intuitive and they can easily pick up on body language. Do not make a big deal out of them going, make it appear to be a normal occurrence. Your confidence will put them at ease.

by Marcia Fischbach

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Childcare – The Hard Facts

Due to the growing number of double-income families in America, the need for childcare providers is constantly on the rise. Just take a look at the statistics: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in their May 2005 Databook, 11.6 million children under age 5 were in some type of regular childcare arrangement every week.

In the 2004 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a whopping 63% of children under age 5 are in some type of regular childcare arrangement every week.

How does this impact our society in general?

These statistics show that more than half of preschool-age children spend a majority of their waking hours in the care of non-family members. According to records, these children spend an average of 36 hours per week in a private or public childcare facility.

These figures become significant when we consider that the first few years in a child’s life are the so-called ‘formative years.’ These are when kids’ brains imbibe a lot of inputs from his environment. Thus, the people with whom he spends much of his waking hours impact his development significantly.

And because childcare is inevitable for double-income families, single parents, and couples who don’t have the luxury of having other relatives to look after their children, childcare providers must be selected with great care.

Quality childcare is important so that the child will be positively influenced intellectually, morally, and socially. A well-trained childcare workforce is important so that the kids left in childcare would eventually perform well in academics as well as have fewer behavioral problems as they grow up.

Childcare facilities must provide quality programs that are both safe and enjoyable for their wards. This means that the overall environment in a childcare center must come as close as possible to the environment that the child has in his own home – surrounded by caring adults who are deeply concerned in his welfare.

Many childcare agencies aggressively encourage childcare providers to obtain early childhood education courses, or at least enroll in continuing childcare education [], so that they come well equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for their jobs.

Even as some teenagers and working students are found worthy to be excellent childcare providers, studies made by the Center for the Childcare Workforce show that the amount of formal education possessed by a childcare provider is still the strongest predictor for his or her ability to facilitate developmentally appropriate activities for children under his or her care.

by Jonathan Andrew

Seven Reasons for Poor Playground Supervision in Daycare

A common concern, and legal obligation, daycare directors have is ensuring the staff is providing adequate supervision of children at all times. The outside play time presents some especially interesting challenges both physically and mentally. The alert director will expect to make random visits to the play area to see how supervision is routinely handled. The director should expect, from time to time, to spend an entire play session with a class to see how the staff members respond to the physical environment and to see how the staff is interacting with the children and each other.

Quality supervision can quickly disappear during outside time for the following 7 reasons.

1. Teachers sometimes get involved in chatting with other staff members or parents. They, like the children, can be lulled into feeling that outside of the classroom is free-play time. They can absently mindedly be so engrossed in catching up on the latest gossip, or conducting an impromptu parent conference that they actually turn their bodies away from the play area they are to be supervising. They may even think this is satisfactory if they are talking about school issues or counseling parents.

2. Sometimes teachers view outside playtime as a mini-break from the confinement of the classroom. It’s an ideal time to make a quick cell phone call or send a quick text message. They may even feel it’s satisfactory to excuse themselves from the playground to go to the office to phone a parent, thus ignoring mandated teacher and child supervision ratios. When an accident happens, or when a child goes missing, teachers often report that they thought their co-worker was watching. In the meantime, who is responsible for supervising the children? The answer is: we all are.

3. Teachers may be unaware of potential dangers on a playground. For example, broken glass to get cut on, unlatched gates to slip through, broken playground equipment, or strangers too interested in children at play. Before children are released into the playground, it is essential that the staff have a routine in place to check out the equipment and all the surroundings.

4. Teachers may avoid telling a director about security concerns for fear of losing the outside space even temporarily, or having to change their usage schedule. Or, worse yet, perhaps having to share time and space with another class. This can mean security issues, such as broken equipment, are not addressed in a timely manner.

5. Teachers may not feel comfortable implementing the school’s safety policy. Outside play for climbing and running require appropriate clothing. Not wanting conflict with parents or children, a teacher may allow children to use flip-flops instead of rubber soled shoes for outside play or go barefoot. A teacher may ignore a child with clothing that encumbers movement. It may mean a teacher bends to a parent’s request to overlook a safety issue. Whatever the reason for discomfort, a teacher needs to find a way to meet these challenges.

6. Teachers may fail to provide important information to the director for fear of facing disciplinary action. Examples of this could be strangers repeatedly approaching the group in an unnatural manner, or reporting a child who has been “taught” at home to play hide and seek as a fun game to play with the teachers. However insignificant it may seem at the time, directors need to have this information on record; and teachers need to feel comfortable sharing this information with the director without fear of reprisal.

7. Teachers may not have received routine training on handling emergencies on the playground. When an emergency comes up, the emergency may not be handled efficiently and/or the remaining children may not receive proper supervision. The best defense against this is training regarding how to handle physical injuries, and how to handle a missing child. Who does what and when?

The director should share with staff members any concerns parents and community members have noted regarding the supervision of children. If done in an educational tone rather than a disciplinary tone, the staff will come to understand that all daycare workers, licensed and unlicensed, have a legal responsibility to continually work on proper supervision.

by Elaine Rexdale

Team Building Activities for Teachers – Free Activities, Games, and Ideas for Teachers

Team building activities for teachers can foster team spirit and build cooperation. Here are some games which motivate the participants.

Watch Your Back: Each team has two players. The players stand back to back and lock their elbows together. The teams start forward at the same time from the starting line. The objective is to reach the finishing line in the minimum time. This team activity helps to build understanding, trust, patience and cooperation with each other.

Balloon tower: Each team can have three or more members. Supplies needed are masking tape and about two hundred balloons per team. The team which builds the tallest free-standing balloon tower wins. The balloons can be taped to each other but not to the floor, walls or anywhere else. A time limit of about half an hour can be given. This team activity builds up cooperation within the team and increases effort to analyze mistakes. The teams realize that building a strong foundation is the key to success. At the end of the stipulated time, each team can discuss their winning moves as well as their mistakes.

Greenlighting: For this game, one person has to act as the record keeper. Identify a problem to be solved by the team. Record all the ideas put forward by each team member. No negative comments about any idea put forward are permitted. This activity promotes positive problem solving skills.

Caterpillar race: Make teams of equal number of members. The members stand in a line, everyone person placing their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. Each team decides on a short name for itself. To move forward, the person standing in front takes a small hop forward. Following this, the next person hops forward. Once the end of the caterpillar is reached, the last person calls out the team name and the whole team takes a small hop forward together. Throughout the game, hands should not be moved from the shoulders of the person in front. This game encourages team spirit, cooperation and competition.

The fact that teachers need to work as a team is often neglected. These team building games promote greater cooperation among teachers. They also nurture a sense of identification with the school.

Brainstorm with other teachers how they keep students engaged, what type of activities, games, and exercises most effectively involve and motivate students. Hold workshops by inviting team building professional who can develop curriculum custom made for the type of teaching environment experienced.

by Takuya Hikichi

Plan Daycare Activities

Having daycare activities can help you gain many new clients. Definitely, parents are not only looking for someone to watch over their children but also someone that can help their children develops and become a better person. Parents would want to see their kids learn and have fun. Introducing activity everyday to the children under your premises can help them develop physically, mentally and emotionally. Yes, you need to let them enjoy and learn new things each day.

In preparing activities for the children, you have to consider the ages of the kids. Young toddlers need activities that are more basic and easy to play. Older children can do more challenging activities. If you are dealing with lots of kids with different ages, you need to create different activities that they can do each day. Of course, you need to meet all the children’s needs. With patience and a bit of creativity, you can make this possible.

Yes, toddlers and infants need good activities like older children but you have to provide them with activities that are fitted to their age. For infants, it is best to get them bright colored rattles and soft toys that they can play with. For older kids, you can get them riding toys, stacking toys, large blocks and pull toys. You can let them play peek-a-boo, since this is one of the popular games for kids. You can also let them sing and dance for them to enjoy and have fun.

For older children, you need to let them have activity that can develop their skills and that they can learn more new things. At this age, you can let them play puzzles, arts and crafts, building blocks, outdoor play and so on. You can let them do memory games as well, this can help them have fun and learn new things. At this age, children are learning and developing not only mentally but socially as well. So, you need to find and create activities that can help kids develop these areas.

Preschoolers need books. So you let them have books in any daycare activity. It is best to read to them often times as possible. Make sure to provide colorful books. It is a good idea to let the kids create their own stories.

Yes, it is best to let the children do a lot of different activities. But make sure that the kids are being supervised while they are playing around.

With a bit of planning, you can find the right activities for the children under your facility. Make each of their days enjoyable and exciting.

For More Info See: Start A Daycare

by Dolson McArt