Transitioning Your Child into a New Daycare

Starting at a new daycare can be a tough transition for kids, especially if it’s their first time. There are things that you can do to make your family’s daycare transition easier in the long run, though. Below are four of our recommendations to help your child adjust to their new daycare routine more smoothly.

Transitioning Your Child Into a New Daycare Center 

1. Take a Daycare Tour with Your Child

You may have already taken an initial tour of the daycare center you have chosen and loved it. But it is also important for your child to get a chance to tour the daycare center as well.

This gives your child a chance to become familiar with a new place with the safety of a parent nearby. This will give them the opportunity to feel comfortable and safe in their new environment when they start going. 

2. Establish Your New Home Routine a Week or Two Before Their Daycare Start Day

If you have advance notice before starting a new daycare, make sure to establish a new home routine that will complement the daycare routine a week or two before your child is going to start at their new daycare center.

This could include a new wake-up time, a new breakfast routine, or storytime before going to daycare/school. Include whatever is important to your family in your morning routine. Springing a new routine on your kids right when they are supposed to start going to daycare can cause the transition to be even harder. Introducing the new morning routine a week or two ahead of time can help your child have an easier transition going to daycare as well as give them less to adjust to at once.

3. Hype Up Daycare!

Kids get excited about things that their siblings and parents show excitement about, so make sure to talk about their new daycare and start hyping up the experience.

Talk to them about the fun they will have, the toys they will play with, and the friends they will make. Talk about fun activities like crafts and playing outside, and assure them that they will have a good time and be safe.

4. Be Quick About Dropoff

Dropoff can be tough for kids and parents. There are usually a lot of tears when it is the first time being dropped off, and the best bit of advice we can give about this is to give your child a quick hug and then just leave.

This can be really hard to do and feel wrong when your child is crying, but daycare staff is trained in comforting and calming children down and helping them feel safe and at home. 

The longer you stay after that last hug, the longer your child will cry. So give them a loving hug and head out. Most kids cry for just a few minutes after their parents leave, but after that, they will calm down and settle into an activity.

These four things can help your child transition into a new daycare more smoothly. Your love, patience, and intentionality will make the transition easier for both of you!

 

Tips For Teaching Your Child Listening Skills

One of the greatest tools for teaching listening skills in a childcare or preschool center is the red-light-green-light system.

This can easily be implemented in both a school setting and a home setting, so feel free to try this when you are helping your child practice their listening skills.

Tips For Teaching Your Child Listening Skills & The Red-Light-Green-Light System

How To Get Your Child To Listen the First Time

There are three steps that you can follow while you are in the process of teaching your kids how to listen well.

  • Step 1: Give Clear Instructions the First Time

Make sure the instructions you give are clear and simple. Try to be as specific as possible as well; kids usually can’t pick up on innuendo and may not understand common sense steps that older children and adults know need to be included in a process.

  • Step 2: Give One Warning

If your child doesn’t listen the first time, then you need to follow it up with one warning of a consequence. Repeating the command over and over again or nagging them to follow your instructions sends the wrong message that the child is the one in charge of the situation. Consistently responding to a lack of listening with a warning will start to show children that they need to be obeying the 1st time and not the 50th time.

  • Step 3: Follow Through with a Consequence

If you have given your instructions and your warning and your child still doesn’t listen to you, then it’s time to follow through with the consequence. And most importantly, whatever consequence you have warned them with is what you must follow through with.

Consistency with consequences is a vital part of this teaching process. Some parents make numerous requests with numerous warnings, often with consequences occurring unpredictably, late, or not at all.

Children see this and learn that it isn’t important for them to learn how to listen well because there isn’t any consequence to their actions. So make sure to stay consistent with your warnings if you want to be successful in teaching your children good listening skills. After the consequence, you can reset with your child and start the process fresh again with Step 1.

The Red-Light-Green-Light System

A verbal tool or analogy that can be very helpful to use with young children is the Red-Light-Green-Light System. It helps walk you and your child through these steps of learning good listening skills in a way that children really resonate with.

Green Light (Step 1): 

As a child is learning to listen, it’s important to praise them as a way to reinforce good behavior. When their good behavior is praised, children will want to repeat that behavior. This is called giving them the Green Light.

If your child listens to instructions the first time, be sure to:

  • Give your child praise, attention, and smiles
  • Thank them for listening the first time

Yellow Light (Step 2):

The Yellow Light comes into play when your child isn’t listening the first time.

If your child doesn’t listen to instructions, be sure to:

  • Warn your child of upcoming consequences
  • Avoid repeating instructions or nagging

Red Light (Step 3): 

The Red Light corresponds to Step 3, following through with a consequence if needed.

If your child still doesn’t listen after both the directions and a warning:

  • Follow through with a negative consequence such as a time out
  • After the consequence go back to Green and try again. 

The Red Light step isn’t about carrying punishment on for long periods of time. It’s about teaching kids that there are negative consequences to our negative actions, but there is always a chance to try again and choose a better path.

What are some of your tips for teaching children good listening skills?

 

What Defines Quality Childcare?

What defines quality childcare? Depending on who you ask, you could get a myriad of answers. But there are a few common themes that will continue to show themselves in these various answers, and these are the main things that define what quality childcare actually looks like.

What Defines Quality Childcare?

  • Highly Skilled Staff

Experienced caregivers and teachers in a childcare center are one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about what quality childcare is. Having a highly-skilled, qualified, and experienced staff means that a childcare center is going to be able to provide excellent care and education for the children in the center. 

  • Small Class Sizes

Small class sizes with the correct or high adult-to-child ratios ensure that teachers are able to give more than enough individual attention to each child. One of the concerns for parents is that bigger class sizes means less individual attention to each student as teachers do their best to meet the needs of so many kids. When teacher-to-child ratios are correct or when there are more teachers than the minimum required, there are more opportunities for nurturing, growth, and development for the children in their class.

  • Age-Appropriate Educational Setting

Quality childcare also means intentionally creating age-appropriate educational spaces. This could be lesson plans and curricula, educational toys and play areas, or arts, crafts, and games designed to challenge and teach new skills.

Children should grow and thrive in their environment, and a quality childcare center provides a place for them to do that.

  • Nurturing Interactions Between Staff and Children

Not only should staff be experienced and skilled in a quality childcare setting, but they should provide an element of nurturing and genuine care. Very little compares to when, as a parent, you drop your child off and you see the love and joy in both your child’s and their caregiver’s eyes when they see each other. Knowing that there is a loving staff ready to care for and teach your child will set any childcare center apart as a high-quality daycare center.

These are four of the main elements that define what quality childcare is. What are the things that you think of that make up quality childcare?

Comparing Home Childcare to Childcare Centers

Determining the right childcare setup for your family can be a daunting task, whether you are new to childcare or not.

Perhaps you are trying to decide whether you should look into a childcare center or in-home childcare, but you don’t know where to start with your research and comparisons.

Here are some things to consider when you are deciding what kind of childcare would be best for your family’s needs.

Home Childcare vs Childcare Centers

Child-to-Caregiver Ratios

Child-to-caregiver ratios are going to vary from state to state, age to age, and between home childcare and a childcare center.

In an early childhood education setting—like a preschool—there is generally a ratio of 1 caregiver or teacher to 12 children. Childcare centers can split up age groups of children into different rooms and meet higher ratios than home childcare providers can legally do.

In-home childcare settings, children of all ages will be mixed together and states limit the group size of children allowed in these childcare settings. Having groups of mixed-age children can actually be very beneficial to all of the kids in the group, allowing the younger kids to learn from the older kids, while the older kids learn how to take on leadership roles. This was how children were educated for much of history; it wasn’t until the 20th century that children began to be separated into age groups.

In childcare centers, there are always many teachers caring for all of the children in the center. In-home childcare settings, there is usually just one caregiver.

Educational and Social Aspects

Childcare centers typically offer a more formal curriculum than a home daycare does, and can also offer more activities and social settings for children than a home daycare can.

Childcare centers often have the opportunity, funds, and the number of caregivers available to pull off holiday parties, field trips, or more elaborate activities.

There are some home daycares that offer a curriculum similar to a childcare center; but even if they don’t have a formal curriculum, children will still encounter many opportunities to learn both educationally and socially with the friends and natural world around them.

Scheduling and Flexibility

Childcare centers traditionally offer childcare during normal work hours and often shortly before and after those hours. There are half-day daycare centers, but typically they operate during normal business hours.

If you have an odd work schedule, though, traditional daycare centers may not be the right option for you. Home daycares often provide more flexibility than childcare centers can, accommodating parents with very early or very late hours, and not requiring the same schedule every single week.

Many childcare centers operate with long-term contracts as well. Home daycares may not utilize long-term contracts but may rather offer more flexible options for families that can’t commit to a long-term contract.

 

Finding the right childcare setup for your child and your family’s needs is a very personal decision. We hope we gave you some good points to look at to help you determine what the right option is for you!

Why You Should Choose Today’s Kids Childcare & Learning Center!

There are a lot of factors to consider when daycare shopping. And trying to weigh these different factors can give parents a lot of worry and apprehension.

But one of the things that always eases someone’s mind when making decisions like this is when they hear or read a good review from someone else! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and a great review is worth a lot of peace of mind!

So if you are trying to decide if Today’s Kids Childcare & Learning Center is the place for you and your child, check out these great reviews some of our parents have left for us!

This place seems to be really helping my daughter. As a child growing up half of her life in Covid world, she has been sheltered a lot and missed playing with other kids. It’s not been the easiest task to start my daughter at daycare being almost 5, but Brittany comforts my daughter in the morning when she’s emotional about me leaving her and my daughter goes right to Brittany now no problem. All the staff have been really nice and professional and the place is always really clean. My daughter has been going here for about a month now and not one accident or anything negative I can say. I get updates all thru out the day of what my daughter is eating and doing, I really like the classroom setting and learning that is being done. They have a gentleman on staff which is a sense of security in todays world especially…

Over a month in and no accidents is really big to me and shows the kids are actually being watched and have activities to keep them busy.

It’s not been the easiest thing on any end to start a child in daycare that is use to always being with one of the parents and everyone here has been understanding to that.” – Larry Miller

“We had a wonderful experience at Todays Kids – only reason we transitioned was due to a job change. They are communicative, have a wonderful facility, and my sons teachers in the infant room were fantastic. Highly recommended!” – Audrey Harsh

“This place is THE BEST daycare!! Your child will learn and develop in this environment quickly. Their curriculum is outstanding. The staff is wonderful! They are very open and honest when it comes to your child. They also love your child as their own! We ABSOLUTELY LOVE Today’s Kids 💗. We are blessed God lead us here.  Being from out of state we had no idea where to even begin.” –Amy Phillips

 

Come and see for yourself what makes Today’s Kids Childcare & Learning Center such a great place for kids in Shepherdsville!

Toys That Aid in Early Childhood Development

Play can teach children so much! And while play in general is beneficial to childhood development, there are some toys and activities that you can give your kids that enhance their learning and development while they have fun!

Toys That Aid in Early Childhood Development

 

Legos and Blocks

Playing with Legos and blocks is an amazing activity for a growing and developing child!

Building something freehand or by a set of plans requires planning, problem-solving, and following directions—these are all critical thinking skills that every child needs to learn and develop. Legos and blocks are an easy way to build these critical thinking skills!

 

 

Magnatiles

Magtiles are magnetic blocks similar to Legos. While they are very fun, they also teach kids about science in a hands-on way.

They encourage problem-solving, planning, and engineering skills when it comes to these blocks and what they can be used to build.

Puzzles

There are many toys out there that encourage problem-solving, and puzzles are a great one of these toys.

Puzzles require kids to slow down, assess the puzzle and all of the available pieces, and make an educated decision based on the assessment.

A puzzle is also great because it has a clear, finished outcome that comes with a satisfying sense of accomplishment.

 

Play Kitchen and House

A kids’ play kitchen and house can be incredibly fun for them as they reenact life around them and practice the foundational elements of family life, responsibility, and creativity.

Kids learn about getting along as a family and taking on family responsibilities as they play out different family roles of parents and children. They are also able to practice creativity as they “cook” meals for their pretend family.

Playdoh

Playdoh is an amazing developmental toy!

Playdoh inspires creativity and imagination when creating different objects and characters. Working with playdoh gives a child plenty of practice to hone their fine motor skills, whether they are freehand designing or using molds and stamps.

 

These are some of our favorite toys and activities that aid in early childhood development! What are some of your favorites?