Solutions for Your Non-Traditional Child Care Needs

The majority of child care centers and in-home day cares tend to operate on a schedule that caters to the typically Monday-Friday day job. There are many careers and jobs that require parents to work weekends and shifts that don’t fall perfectly in the hours of traditional child care. 

Every family has a different dynamic. Some families can go without needing child care at all and others are able to make due with traditional child care hours. However, there are also single parent families and families where both parents work hours that require some night and weekend care. Not everyone has family in the area that can help. A babysitter or a nanny can be very expensive. There are solutions that can help hard-working parents with non-traditional hours keep their jobs, while making sure their children are cared for.

  1. Drop-In Child Care Centers The drop-in child care center is becoming more common throughout the United States. These are centers that stay open later than traditional centers, and can be used on a drop-in basis. This means you don’t have to sign contracts or lock in your child’s position in any way. Drop-in centers typically charge by the hour. Depending on your location and number of children this option is likely cheaper than hiring a babysitter, and it gives your children social interaction and fun with other children.
  2. Nanny-Share Some families share a nanny, which helps reduce costs and can help with your child care needs. The nanny basically splits hours between the families and can be useful if your hours are non-traditional. A nanny agency will have more information on this option.
  3. Check at a Traditional Day Care Even if you can’t utilize the services of your local child care centers or in-home day cares, they can still be a wonderful resource. They may know of places that are able to help you out. Some daycare centers may even know of employees or former employees looking for additional income that will be able to help for a reasonable rate.
  4. Swap with a Friend If you have friends with children, see if they are able to swap care with you. If you have certain needs that fit within a friend’s schedule, offer to watch his or her children during a time that works for you. 
  5. Try a Local College Colleges and universities have responsible students who are looking for extra work.  Evening and weekend shifts work well with many student schedules. Students in the education program are often looking for work with children for their coursework and resumes, and a steady job with children can benefit them. Try calling a counselor at the local college to see if they can post your job.
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Teach Your Preschooler To Write Their Name: 4 Creative Tips

Your child will learn quite a bit in preschool. He’ll learn to share, make friends, sing songs, learn his letters, numbers and begin to learn how to read. He will also learn to write his own name and how to write other letters. There are a few ways to make learning to write a bit more fun for your child during the time he’s attending a school like Pioneer Career & Technology Center. See below for a few helpful tips to teach your child to write his own name. You can do these things at home with just a handful of items.

1. Wet/Dry Writing

Using chalk, write your child’s name on a chalkboard. Give your child a moist q-tip or paintbrush and have him trace over the letters. Show him how to properly hold the q-tip and how to trace over the letters keeping a steady hand. You can do this technique with the entire alphabet. It’s a fun game that your child will enjoy, while also teaching at the same time.

2. Flour Writing

Take a cookie sheet and pour some flour into it. Spread it out a bit and use a straw, or an un-sharpened pencil to draw your child’s name in the flour. Spread it out again and show your child how to hold the pencil or straw properly. Show him how to spell his letters in the flour and how to erase what he wrote. You can draw other things in the flour as well to keep it fun.

3. Dry Erase Letter Tracing

Write out letters onto a piece of paper, then place it into a plastic sleeve. Give your child a dry-erase marker or dry-erase crayon to trace over the top of the letters you wrote out on the plastic sleeve. You can erase the marker over and over again for your child to do again and again.

4. Paint Letter Tracing

Write out letters on a piece of paper again, then allow your child to paint over your letters using either a paint brush and water-based paint or a q-tip with paint. Show him how to hold the brush or q-tip and teach him to go slowly over the letters. He’ll have fun painting, but he’ll also be learning to write.

Teaching your child to write can be done without tears, and can be a fun project. It can be done without feeling like a chore for both child and parent, and your child will be readily prepared when he goes to preschool.

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Want To Raise A Rocket Scientist? Here’s How

If your baby is still crawling in diapers, there is a world of possibilities that your child can fulfill. If you have dreams of your child becoming a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon when he or she grows up, here are a few tips to follow.

Invest in early childhood education.

Sure, it goes without saying that a strong early childhood education can pave your child’s way to academic success, but did you know just how important this early head start can be?

For example, students enrolled in full-day kindergarten programs like those offered by Basics Primary School & Day Care do better on reading and mathematics achievement tests than students enrolled in half-day programs, largely because of the greater instructional time devoted to academic activities. Research has found that 68% of students in full-day programs spend at least one hour each day on reading instruction compared with only 37% of half-day programs. Over the course of a year, these instructional hours can add up to a significant advantage at a critical stage in academic development..

If your district does not yet have a full-day kindergarten program, you have three main courses of action. You can first enroll in a private school that does offer a full day to better equip your child for success. You can also start up a local movement advocating for a full-day kindergarten program by collecting signatures of support and attending school board meetings to make your case. Finally, you can supplement your half-day program by providing extra academic enrichment at home or choosing a child care center that places a high emphasis on literacy.

Invest in the arts.

Raising an academic superstar has a lot more to do with developing a creative and critical thinker than a person who is only good at memorizing information. Some of the brightest entrepreneurs and scientists have found success because they were willing to think outside the box and develop a whole new set of ideas.

To round out your child’s development, encourage creative thinking by enrolling your child in some sort of artistic enrichment. Whether it’s music, graphic arts, dance, or fine arts, art education has been shown to be closely linked with academic success. In fact, students who participate in the arts are 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement than students who aren’t enrolled in an arts program.

Many cities have local music and dance schools that offer classes to students as young as 2 years old. At this age, also encourage artistic expression by offering your child crayons, markers, and plenty of paper to decorate freely. As your child grows older and begins more formal schooling, look for opportunities for arts enrichment through your school or district, like after-school programs or summer classes.

While there are so many possible paths that your child could end up taking, you can be sure to set him or her up for academic success by encouraging participation in the arts and enrolling in full day kindergarten.

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4 Benefits of Afterschool Programs

Afterschool programs provide children with a safe place to go after they are finished with their school day. Some children don’t have a parent at home after they finish school. In most cases, the parents are at work and will be home later. Without an afterschool program, this child will go back to an empty home. Here are four other benefits of afterschool programs.

Children Do Better in School

When children attend afterschool programs, it provides them with a structured environment. This then leads to increased academic performance in school. For example, children who attend afterschool programs could increase their reading and math skills because they are actually doing their homework at the afterschool program with other children. They may even have an adult supervising their learning. This is something that they may not ordinarily get home.

Reduced Use of Drugs

Children who attend afterschool programs stay out of trouble. This is because they are not going out to street to hang out with the wrong crowd. Rather, they are going to a safe environment where they could either learn or play with other children much like they did in school. The less time on the mean streets, the less the occurrence of encountering drugs or other dangers that these mean streets offer.

Reduced Obesity

Afterschool programs give children an outlet to play in addition to whatever type of activity that they had at school. It has shown to reduce obesity because children are more active during these programs than they would be at home. Some afterschool programs have structured teams such as volleyball or soccer teams so children who attend them get physical activity after their school day. In contrast, if the same children went directly home they could become couch potatoes and watch TV after doing their homework.

Improves Classroom Behavior

Good afterschool programs help children stay in school and not drop out. The structure of an afterschool program and the some of the tutoring that it provides, give children more confidence in school. This reinforces their learning when they are at their regular school. Children who have greater confidence in school are less likely to drop out.

Afterschool programs do not just provide benefits to the children attending them. It also provides benefits to their families and to the community as a whole. The preceding benefits when multiplied throughout the community enhance it and make it thrive. Talk to schools such as The Winner School Preschool to find an after school program that is ideal for you and your child.

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The Importance Of Emergency First Aid Training

For many people, in many professions, having certification in some form of emergency first aid care is not only important, it’s essential to their position. However, holding that certification also carries a certain level of responsibility. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re both prepared for a situation when it arises, and prepared to keep up with any certification you receive.

The Basics of First Aid

Medical care at its lowest level involves emergency first aid. This includes cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, better known as CPR, but it also involves simple treatment of injuries. Someone at this level of training isn’t qualified to set a broken bone or suture a deep cut, but they can help to stabilize a person suffering from either of these.

The most important thing to remember is that in an emergency situation, anyone with medical training of even the most basic level is obligated to respond and offer treatment. Rescue breathing and chest compressions can save someone’s life, and so can stopping the flow of blood from a wound. Remember though, if someone with greater skill or training arrives on the scene, you need to be ready to stop what you’re doing and take directions from them, regardless of the situation.

Getting and Maintaining First Aid Certification

Once you’ve completed training for any level of medical care, you’ll be provided with documentation to reflect this. This documentation may be required by employers for insurance purposes, especially if you work in a care industry in a non-medical capacity. As well, if you apply your training outside of your professional life, it may be necessary to provide that documentation in order to absolve you of liability.

Fortunately, most people who have emergency first aid training aren’t ever required to apply it to real world situations. The downside of this is that it means you’ll get very little opportunity to keep those skills sharp and your training fresh in your mind. This is why most certification programs are only valid for a short period of time, so make sure that if you get certified you also continue getting recertified in order to keep your qualifications current and your training up to date.

Having some basic first aid training can be a great addition to a resume, or just a handy skill set to have. Even if you never use that training, your family, friends, co-workers or anyone in your care will be in better shape in the event of a medical emergency.

Contact a company like American Heart Association – AED $40 CPR LLC – Certification Training Classes for help with getting CPR certification.

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The Reggio Emilia Approach To Early Childhood Education

Studies have proven the substantial and lifelong positive effects that result from active brain stimulation during the first five years of life. Thus, investing in the education of young children is becoming an increasingly common concern for parents. While there are several different approaches to early childhood education seen at places like Wooden Shoe Pre-School & Pre-Kindergarten, the Reggio Emilia program is truly one of a kind.

Developed by Loris Malaguzzi  in Italy after World War II, the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education unites teachers, families and the community in creating a supportive and sustainable environment for children as they pursue their interests and education. Continue reading to learn more about the philosophy and program elements to this unique and successful approach to early childhood education.

The Reggio Emilia Philosophy

The philosophy of the Reggio Emilia program differs from other early childhood programs because the children are in charge of their education.  They choose the topics of study and expand their minds through touching, seeing, hearing, and moving as well as interacting with each other. Through this method of learning, children not only control the direction of their education but they also discover multiple ways to express themselves and develop social skills with both their peers and adults.

The Classroom

In the Reggio Emilia approach, the classroom is often referred to as the “third teacher” because its environment is so critical in the children’s development. Reggio Emilia classrooms are very well organized and have a high aesthetic value. Every space is designed to have a purpose and appeal. There are large rooms for groups of students and teachers to work together as well as smaller spaces for individual learning. The spacious supply rooms have an ample array of materials organized to be easily accessible for the children, facilitating their active role in their education. Hallways are utilized to display projects, artwork and pictures of the learning in action. Most Reggio Emilia classrooms have lots of light and plants as well as an outdoor space, kitchen and dining area.

The Role of the Teacher

Because the Reggio Emilia program is a child-led curriculum, the teachers are often learning and discovering with the children to assist them in finding the answers to their questions. Consequently, teachers do not have the opportunity to do much planning in advanced nor do they often get to repeat parts of their curriculum. These teachers are creative and constantly observing each child, assisting them through their mistakes and documenting their progression along the way.

The Role of the Family and Community

The Reggio Emilia philosophy considers the education of children to be a collective responsibility of the community. Parents and teachers are partners in the education of the children while they are at school and when they return home.  In addition, children become acquainted with community  through frequent field trips to places such as fire stations, libraries, super markets and post offices. These experiences provide the children with an understanding of how communities work together and also allow them to develop the social skills for these various settings.

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