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10 Rules for Parents with Children in Child Care

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Many parents are working, or just want their child to attend a preschool or a childcare center. An informed parent will be more comfortable leaving their precious child with others.  The teachers and parents need to form a partnership for the best care of each child. The list of rules below can help keep the transition process go smoothly.

 1. Read all notices and newsletters to keep informed of what is going on in the childcare center.

Examples; notes from teachers or director about special items needed,

Toys for share day, field trips, visitors, holiday or other closed days.

2. Let the teachers know if your child has been ill.

This could explain certain behaviors, attitudes or being lethargic.

3.  Let the teachers know if there has been a change in child’s life.

Example; death in the family, separation of parents, new baby, (this too

will help understand a change of behavior in the child.)

4. Sign your child in and out every day on the sign in sheet.

Not only is it mandated by the state, it is needed in emergency situations.

5. Put your child’s name on all items brought to the preschool.

This will help with lost or duplicate items, the child does not always know what is theirs.

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freedigitalphots.net

6. Communicate with Director with concerns or problems with staff or other children.

The Director is there to provide the best experience for each family

and form a positive partnership to ensure the best care for each child.

7. Make sure child has extra clothes, blanket for naps, diapers and other necessary items.

The teachers need these to provide the best care for the child.

8. Be the boss of your child; do not let them manipulate you!

Especially at drop off and when you pick them up.

9. Show interest in all your child’s work.

The child is proud of their accomplishments and will strive

to become better students when parents show an interest.

10.  Help with fundraisers and pay tuition in a timely manner.

Most centers and preschools need funding to provide a quality program.

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The Different Stages of Play and Social Development

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When I observe the children at the childcare center, I see many different types of play going on.  These are the stages all children go through as they grow from infancy on. Although some children at any age may watch and play by themselves, the children usually follow these steps of development as they learn social skills and how to interact with other children.

ONLOOKER OR OBSERVANT PLAY

In the infant room, the babies crawl around, find a toy and put it in their mouths.  Then they may sit up and just look around at the other babies but not interact with each other, although one baby may try to take a toy from another.  This is the first stage of play.  The babies are beginning to notice what is around them, as they explore their environment.

 

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courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

SOLITARY PLAY

As babies grow and begin to walk, they continue to explore their environment and start to experiment with items they can control with their hands.  (This is the time to child proof your house!)  They learn cause and effect as they dump out a box of toys to see how they spill all over the floor, push a ball to see it roll, or press buttons on a toy to hear it play music or other sounds. Young toddlers tend to play by themselves, even if they are in a room with others.

PARALLEL PLAY

As the children grow and start to become more observant of others around them, they often are seen sitting or running around together but not really directly interacting with each other.  They may sit side-by-side doing a puzzle, push trains or cars on the floor, look at books independently or build with blocks without involving each other in their play.

ASSOCIATIVE PLAY

This is seen in most preschool classrooms or playground.  Children begin to interact with each other while they play in the dramatic play area pretending to make a meal and serve it to each other, they may look at a book together and talk about the pictures or play in the sandbox together.  This is the age that the children learn to socialize, share and develop friendships.  They communicate about what they are doing and invite others to join them.

 

photo from c. andrews

photo from c. andrews

COOPERATIVE PLAY

I see this going on everyday with the older children at the center who are going to kindergarten in the fall. During the outside time they create some very structured, organized play.  They create racecar games, become transformers, or super heroes. It is interesting to see who the leaders are.  The leader will tell the others the idea he or she has planned and tells the others what their part of the plan will be.  This stage the children work together as they plan their play or build a grand city using blocks and other props.

If you get a chance to observe children, watch and listen to the way they interact with each other.  It is fascinating to see the exchange of ideas as they learn to cooperate and socialize with each other.  Children need a chance to play with other children around their same age to develop the skills necessary to be able to communicate well with others as they grow.

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What is the future for Molly

 

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In looking back at my past blogs, I feel I am getting away from my original goal, which was to help promote my book, Molly Goes to Preschool.  I have read the reviews from those who have read it and really appreciate the honest feedback. This is my first book, and I have learned from my mistakes. My purpose for writing the book was to help prepare young children for preschool, which I think was accomplished.

I believe when children know what to expect in new situations they will be more accepting and less frightened by new experiences.  Children relate to other children by watching them play, hearing about experience in storybooks or watching movies or TV shows about other children.

I have read hundreds of books to young children as a teenager when babysitting, as a mom, and grandmother, a preschool teacher and now as a director of a childcare center.  There are so many books available for children with a large variety of subjects, real or fantasy.  My plan is to write more books about real situations that young children experience, using Molly as the lead character.  I hope to create simple books that young children will enjoy and can relate to and learn from.

Here is a list of my ideas.  I would appreciate any suggestions or opinions of what you think.  Do you think children would like books about these subjects?

  • 001 Molly has a birthday party
  •  Molly is a big sister
  •  Molly goes on vacation
  •  Molly adopts a pet
  •  Molly’s grandparent dies
  •  Molly’s new friend (some kind of disability)

I would also like suggestion on what you, as readers, are interested in as far a blogs go. Any comments would be helpful!

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How Preschool Can Help Children Socialize

Friends reading together

Friends reading together

Many concepts are learned as children attend preschool. They learn to make decisions and choices as they decide what to do, and who to play with.  Social skills are a very important part of growing up, and are a big factor to why children attend preschool.  As children begin to communicate with others, it helps them develop language as they interact with the other children and teachers.  I have had parents tell me how pleased they are when their children express new words and tell them of a new experience they’ve had at school, including songs they have learned or a special friend they have made.  Preschool is a safe place to learn how to make friends as children watch other children interact and play together with educated, loving teachers around to help them master social skills.

Friends in sandbox

Friends in sandbox

When children attend preschool they also learn how to take turns and share toys. Concepts that include communicating and to “use their words” to ask for a turn, instead of grabbing for things, is a vital lesson children must be taught to gain friendships and to get along well with other children. Children learn all types of communication skills throughout their life, but what they learn as a young child, will give them the foundations which are necessary for future experiences as they attend kindergarten, elementary school and beyond.

Sharing and playing together

Sharing and playing together

My book Molly Goes to Preschool presents how some typical 3 and 4-year-old children participate in a preschool program. When I was a preschool teacher, my classroom was set up as illustrated in the book with; cubbies for personal belonging, a large rug area for building with block or other building materials and for circle time, an art area, a dramatic play area with a child size kitchen, and a science area.  We also we had a large playground with a sand area, a climbing structure, a few tables for books and other small toys, and an area for bikes and balls.

Preschool classroom

Preschool classroom

A part of the story, the teacher dismisses the children from “circle time” as she names a color they are wearing.  I used this method myself many times to excuse the children in smaller groups to avoid confusion.  This is not only a way to help the children learn colors; it can help them improve skills in; listening, following directions and develop patience.   In the story, little Molly is a little scared to be in the new situation of attending preschool.  She realizes another child is also scared.  Children learn that others may have the same fears and emotions as they do as they go to preschool or other places where other children are.  Children have great empathy for each other and want to reach out to help each other.  As a parent and teacher, I have seen many children help other children overcome their fears or worries as they invite them to play and participate in activities.  I included the feelings of being scared and a demonstration how another child befriends Molly in the book since this is what can really happen in preschool and children can be comforted by the examples of others.

Having fun on the slide

Having fun on the slide

I would love your feedback on what your children have learned from attending preschool!  Did their language skills improve?  Have they learned to share and make friends?  Do you think they would have learned these skills without going to preschool?

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How Reading Prepares Children for the Future

As a parent, our job is to prepare our children for life. We do this with everyday situations; going to the market, visiting friends and family, outings to the zoo or park and reading to them. For example, there are hundreds of books about zoo animals, which can be read, along with pictures of elephants, gorillas and long necked giraffes.However, seeing these animals at the zoo will give our children a real life experience to add to their knowledge of these creatures. Same understanding is needed to gain experience with social situations.

readingtochildren

Reading stories about what other children do gives children an idea of different situations; making friends, visiting grandparents or going to preschool. It is a better learning experience for children to socialize directly with others to develop real knowledge of what books can teach. In the book “Molly Goes to Preschool,” the story enacts a typical morning that some preschool programs offer. Reading it to your child can help then know what to expect when they go to school.

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How to Ease Children into School With Books

In my experiences with young children, I found they really enjoy being read to. I created this story (“Molly Goes to Preschool”) as entertainment as well as something preschool children can relate to in their lives. Many children are afraid of new experiences, new places, being away from their mommy, and new people. I know that if children are well prepared for changes they can accept them with less anxieties (I am sure you’ve heard of stranger anxieties and separation anxieties!).

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How to Ease Children into School through Books

With a story like “Molly Goes to Preschool,” a child just starting preschool can get a better understanding of how other children deal with fears they may have. By having examples of what they will experience, as well as reactions to these experiences, a child has something to relate to or recall when they are put in a similar situation. When a child learns trust and that mommy comes back they will feel less fearful about the new situation.

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I have over twenty years of experience working with child development and education. The situations and environments the children face and are exposed to in “Molly Goes to Preschool” are based off of my experiences. While no situation can be predicted perfectly, above all it is most important to simply talk to your child, reassure your child and be present for your child.

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