Sunday, January 26th, 2020
Childcare centers and preschools are fabulous for providing toddlers with opportunities to socialize and learn in a safe and nurturing environment. You may be considering enrolling your child in daycare or preschool but are concerned about the prospect of dealing with frequent illness. Fear not. While kids do pass things on to one another, there are precautions you can take to keep your child safe and help prevent the spread of germs.
Tips for keeping your child healthier in daycare & preschool
- Teach your child about proper handwashing. This is their best defense against the spread of germs. They should always wash their hands with warm water and soap. Lathering and then scrubbing for about 15-20 seconds. Perhaps teach them to sing a song in their head or recite the alphabet as they wash to ensure the adequate time. They should then rinse hands under warm, running water and dry with a clean towel. Teach your child to wash frequently. This includes prior to eating, after using the bathroom and after playing.
- Stress to your children the importance of not touching their faces, putting their fingers in their mouths or biting their nails. This simple lesson will go far in helping to prevent the spread of germs.
- Be sure your child is up to date on all recommended vaccinations and has regular checkups with a pediatrician.
- Be sure your child is getting plenty of sleep each night. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children 1-2 years of age should sleep 11-14 hours per 24-hour period including naps. Children 3-5 should sleep 10-13 hours. Make sufficient sleep a priority for your entire family. You are a role model for your child, so set a good example. You should also reduce screen time around bedtime. Too much screen time can impair your child’s quality of sleep.
- Encourage a healthy diet. Just as getting enough quality sleep can reduce your child’s risk of getting sick, so can maintaining a healthy diet. Be sure your child starts each day with a healthy breakfast. Plan for healthy snacks and make mealtime a priority. Whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, provide many nutrients to a growing child.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Hydration is as important as nutrition. We can’t stress this enough. Staying hydrated can prevent fatigue and improve mood and overall health. Promote healthy drink choices like water, sugar-free juice, and milk.
- Teach your child to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and to wash their hands afterward.
- Although you like your child to share, there are certain things they should never share. Tell your child not to share a snack or drink container with other children in daycare & preschool. Drinking from the same bottle or straw or eating a snack from the same bag can spread germs quickly.
- Encourage your child to get plenty of exercise. Exercise helps boost the immune system and prepares a body to fight off germs.
- Choose a clean childcare facility with a formal sick policy and adequate preventative measures. Be sure to do a site visit to the daycare/preschool prior to enrolling your child. Ask how often the toys, sleep mats, and other shared items are cleaned and sanitized. Ask about other facility cleaning policies, such as the cleaning and disinfecting of changing tables. Does the facility teach and encourage good hygiene habits on a daily basis? Are there adequate sinks for proper handwashing? Does the staff take adequate germ spread prevention measures? Hand washing is as important for staff as it is for children. Finally, ask the childcare facility about their sick policy. These are all important points when choosing the right daycare center.
When should you keep your child home from daycare & preschool
For an overview of Building Blocks Learning Center’s sick policy, please reach out to any of our center administrators in Wilkes-Barre, Mountaintop or Dallas. Remember, even the healthiest children will get sick occasionally. How sick is too sick to send to daycare or preschool? If your child has a fever, a persistent cough, is vomiting or has diarrhea, you should keep your child home. If they have a contagious condition such as pink eye or head lice, they should also be kept home. If you have questions or are unsure, contact your childcare provider for their specific policies.
Read more blogs and helpful tips like this on our website at www.buildingblockslearningcenter.com.
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Monday, December 2nd, 2019
Math skills are one of the most important things we can teach our children at an early age. Early exposure to math and math concepts can have a big impact on a child’s skill levels later in life. Learning math can help a toddler to develop the ability to solve problems. This is so essential to success in school and life in general. As a parent, you will find that your preschooler is naturally curious and already interested in math as it relates to his or her everyday life. The best way to teach your child valuable math skills is through every day hands-on activities, tasks, and games.
5 Tips for helping your toddler learn math skills
1 Count together. Counting everything together with your pre-school child is a great way to get started. Children love to count, so make a habit of counting all the time. Count crayons in the box, tiles on the kitchen floor, pictures on the wall and bananas in the bunch. Teach them to recognize and read numbers as they learn to count.
2 Make snack time a fun learning experience. Snack time is a great way to practice counting and other math skills. Your toddler will love counting the number of cheddar goldfish or animal crackers in a bowl. Teach addition and subtraction by adding a few or taking some away and having them count the new total.
3 Use toys and playtime to help your pre-school child count and sort. You can do the same with toys as snacks. Count, sort and categorize. How many matchbox cars are in the box? How many are blue? If we took away all of the blue matchbox cars, how many cars are left? The same can be done with blocks, dolls, or whatever your child likes to play with. Sort by color, type or whatever interests them. Combine categories or remove items to help with adding and subtracting. It’s always important to keep it fun. Playtime isn’t all about building math skills, but when made into a game it can be enjoyable. Board games and other games can also be learning tools. Moving a certain number of spaces on a board or following the “Simon Says” directions of jumping four times can be learning opportunities as well. So can more or fewer games, sequencing games and building and counting blocks.
4 Use regular daily activities as teaching opportunities. Keep it simple and keep it fun. How many steps do we climb to get to the second floor or how many squares are on the sidewalk in front of the house? Make laundry time teaching time. How many socks are in the basket? Ask your toddler to sort the clean socks and put them into pairs. Sorting objects, putting them into different categories and then counting them again. The simple task of sorting and counting laundry can help a toddler develop problem-solving skills. Even setting the table can be a math skill learning opportunity for your child. It will help your child understand the one to one concept of one fork, one knife, one spoon, etc. for each person. Cook together and teach your child how to measure ingredients. It’s a great bonding experience, as well as a math lesson. Finally, make grocery shopping a teaching experience. Have your child help with simple shopping tasks. Ask them to put six apples in a bag for you or pick out five cans of soup. Teach strategic counting. How many Cheerios boxes do you see on the shelf? If you’re paying with cash, let them help you count out coins. They’ll love helping and learn to love math at the same time.
5 Help your child learn important math concepts. Math is about more than just counting. It’s learning concepts such as quantity (more or less), measurement and size (taller, shorter, bigger, smaller). This will help your child develop mathematical reasoning skills. Shapes and patterns are important as well. Learning and naming shapes and identifying patterns is fundamental to a child’s understanding of math. Practice recognizing shape, such as a square post-it note, a triangle-shaped slice of pizza, a cracker that looks like a rectangle, etc.
Enroll your child in preschool and let the learning continue
Building Blocks Learning Center has preschool and daycare locations in Wilkes-Barre, Mountaintop and Dallas, PA. Our program provides an age-appropriate education curriculum that can help your preschooler excel. Building Blocks pre-k program will help prepare them for the transition to kindergarten. Learn more about all of our childcare and educational programs on our website.
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Friday, October 25th, 2019
West Side Career & Technology Center (WSCTC) is partnering with Building Blocks Learning Center to offer a pre-kindergarten program at the WSCTC for the 2019/2020 school year. Pre-K Counts grant funding is available. If you qualify, the program can be free. Children who experience a good pre-k program are better prepared socially and academically for kindergarten and for their future school years. A quality pre-k program with a strong teaching staff will provide a child with cognitive, behavioral and social skills they can’t learn at home. Children who enter kindergarten with the skills learned in a pre-kindergarten program have the tools needed for academic success.
Pre-K programs make a huge difference in preparing a child for starting kindergarten. Children who enter kindergarten without the foundation of skills and socialization developed in a pre-k program may soon fall behind their better-prepared classmates. Children are not only learning the alphabet and simple math but also developing important social skills and independence.
The benefits of pre-kindergarten
- Pre-K attendees are better prepared for school.
- Pre-K programs provide children with a strong base of motor skills, cognitive skills, and language skills.
- Pre-K children develop literacy, language, and math skills faster than children who don’t attend a pre-k program.
Enrollment in a pre-kindergarten program can help your child achieve his or her full potential when entering kindergarten. It will help them grow in confidence and independence. Most importantly, they will develop a positive attitude toward learning. Help your child kick-start their education by attending the pre-kindergarten program at the West Site Career & Technology Center in Kingston.
Building Blocks pre-kindergarten program at West Side CTC offers:
- Small class sizes
- Curriculum approved by the PA Department of Education
- Literacy based curriculum
- Breakfast, lunch, and snack provided
- Before and after school care options available
- Pre-K Counts Financial Aid/ELRC assistance available
- Children must be 3 1/2 years of age
Building Blocks Learning Center is a fully licensed and accredited daycare, pre-school and pre-k facility that adheres to the highest standards in the industry. In addition to Building Blocks Learning Center’s pre-kindergarten program at the West Site CTC, we also offer pre-k programs at our learning centers in Wilkes-Barre, Mountaintop and Dallas.
For more information, or to enroll your child at Building Blocks pre-kindergarten program at West Side CTC, or to learn more about Pre-K Counts grants, call 570-793-1725. The right pre-k program can help your child grow in self-confidence and thrive academically. Learn more about the benefits of a pre-k program on our website.
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