Benefits of Early Childhood Education and Care
There is a strong agreement among child care experts that professional early childhood education and care is highly beneficial. From the early years, a child should be exposed to different experiences, social contacts, and educational guidance. These opportunities will help ensure desirable growth and development in the child.
From a very early age (practically from when they are born) children start on the road of important stages of their development which include social and emotional development, language development and cognitive development. Choosing an professional and affordable childcare centre which encourages such development and where you know that your child will be loved and cared for in a safe environment with fully qualified staff is of the utmost importance to complement you in the upbringing of your child.
Children attending the same pre-school throughout their early years provides them with a sense of security and will enable them to develop their social and emotional skills as they learn to relate to the adults and children in their environment. They learn how to interact with others and develop their language through play and planned learning activities. Children who have a consistent daily routine instils confidence and competency in them when in social settings.
Every child learns at his or her own pace. Age appropriate activities will help a child develop cognitive skills and knowledge as and when he/she is ready to do so. Frequent interaction with the children helps them develop their vocabulary as do such activities as circle time, songs and stories, role play etc.
At pre-school, children have the daily opportunity to improve on their physical development. During outside play they are using their gross motor skills through running, jumping, climbing, using ride alongs and more. Through planned activities such as painting with a brush, picking up pieces of puzzles, potato painting, learning to hold a spoon at mealtimes etc help with the development of their fine motor skills.
Early childhood education and care can be of great benefit to your child’s overall development.
At Happykidz Childcare centre, we provide all the elements required for indoor and outdoor play. We provide a wide range of play possibilities and we plan for and organise many activities that help children experience new things which are safe, challenging, and enjoyable.
Our Qualified Carers support and talk to the children about their play, they help the children develop their skills for playing and support children interacting with other children and with the carers. Carers help children that need support getting started, for example by simplifying an activity into smaller parts, to help they engage in the activity so they feel involved at all times. They observe, talk and listen to the children while they are playing.
At the Childcare centre we provide a sufficient number of toys and equipment to support the children in their different types of play, inside and outside.
There are many ways to make activities fun for the kids, activities are a wonderful way to show kids that learning can be fun. These activities for kids include hands-on projects and games that are both interesting and educational. With fun activities for children at our day care centre, and activities that range from water-themed garden games to painting and collages and clay and baking projects, there is something to suit the preferences of any child. We do these fun activities indoors and outdoors all year round.
Learning through play
Children love to play and being with friends, and the way they play develops as the children grow. Play can be of many different types; inside or outdoors, playing alone or with other children, with different toys and equipment. Children can learn alot of different skills through play, which helps them also to develop social skills and self-confidence.
Play can take various forms, such as:
- Imagine and pretend: children try out roles and experiences in their pretend play, helping children use their imaginations, they can pretend to be real things such as trains and animals, and they try out occupations and experiences such as going to the market. They play about what they have seen and heard.
- Exploring new things and materials: for babies this could take the form of investigating a piece of fabric and for example playing peek-a-boo.
- Creative play: through singing, dancing and painting: from sing alongs to dancing and story-time, to playing with clay. This engages children and stimulates their creative minds.
- Playing with rhythmic sounds and words.
- Turn taking games: learning what can and can’t be done, helping them communicate while playing with other children and the carers.
- Outside play: practising body movements, balance and co-ordination.
Through play, children can build and strengthen relationships with other children, they learn to express themselves and work through their experiences.
We also do special activities for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Carnival and Halloween and Christmas too.
We also offer a Christmas Concert every year, with the children singing Christmas songs and playing a music instrument. Also refreshments are served after the Concert.
We offer special events throughout the year like a Carnival party, Halloween Party and also a Christmas party with Father Christmas visiting the kids and bringing lots of nice presents with him.
These are all fun ways making children have fun in different ways every day in our fun and loving child care centre.
Our role in play during early childhood, from babies to toddlers and young children, changes over time. Providing multi-sensory experiences and support throughout early childhood is of great benefit to the children in helping them achieve their full potential.
A positive and resourceful play environment, including qualified carers that support and assist the children, will create the learning opportunities that play can provide.
Engaging storytelling: tips to read better with your child aged 3 months to 3 years
Books are a way for children of all ages to experience a world beyond the realms of reality. Through reading, children have the chance to better their imagination, think about things from different perspectives, and learn how to empathise as they relate with different characters. The journey of all of this starts at a young age, when children have stories read to them.
When kids are aged between 3 months and 3 years, you as their caregiver or educator are responsible for engaging them in the story being read. Here are some handy tips to help you do this and ensure they are benefiting from the reading experience.
Change your intonation and voice: As you read, go above and beyond to epitomise and convey the characters of the story. Don’t be afraid to change the inflection in your tone or even change your voice pitch to suit different genders of characters. The more you articulate and intonate, the more your child will be intrigued by what is happening in the story and their ears will be more keen to listen.
Ask them questions: Story telling is an excellent chance for mutual rhetoric and critical thinking skills to develop for the child. As you read, pause intermittently and ask the child to reflect on some things that have happened in the story. For example, if John has given Betty a toy to share and play with, ask the child what you think about this action. Give the child a moment to reflect on this being a kind thing, and as they do they will apply the scenario before them to their own personal circumstances at play school or day care. This allows the child to start making reflexive real life connections with the story.
Talk about the pictures: Picture storybooks are an absolute gem of a visual aid for children to start making connections between words and images. Make sure you point out what is happening in the pictures as you are reading. Ask the child to point to certain things in the pictures, for example if the story is describing an apple; take a moment to ask the child to find the apple in the picture.
Emphasis exclamations: Punctuation is your best friend when you are reading stories to children. On question marks, really emphasis the terminal inflection so that the child can hear the question in your voice. On exclamation marks, be more excited about the story than you ever thought you could. Make sure you take appropriate pauses at full stops and commas, and take pauses between pages so that the story can sink in the child’s mind.
Talk about meaning of new words: As you read stories to children, they are going to be exposed to vocabulary that they haven’t heard before. Use this chance to engage children in learning new words and associating them with new meanings. On every few pages, pick a word that the child might not have heard before and ask them what it means. Occasionally children will be able to guess the meaning through context, and this should be praised if they do. Otherwise give them a quick explanation of the word and what it means in the context of the story. However, make sure you don’t do this too often as it can become dull for the child.
Types of food
A balanced diet is the most important thing to focus on for your child at this age. A range of meats and vegetables should be included. It is a good idea to present food in fun and enjoyable ways for your children, such as cutting up carrot sticks and creating an apple slinky, so that you kids look forward to eating them.
Some of the main food groups to ensure your child eats plenty of include:
Meats: your child should be a getting a variety of red meats, such as beef or lamb, around twice a week at these ages. Lean mean such as chicken or fish should be eaten three times a week.
Vegetables: green vegetables such as broccoli, peas, and spinach are the most important ones for iron and bone development. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes should only be eaten around twice a week in small portions.
Fruit: your child should be having at least two servings of fruit a day. Try to work with fruits seasonally so that your child has variety and gets to experience all different textures and flavours at these young ages.
Always remember that food is the fundamental key to human growth and development. While there is no right or wrong answer in what to feed your children, there are certain nutrients they require to function and develop healthily. The most important thing is for food to be a positive experience for your child. You want your kids to enjoy eating, and more importantly enjoy eating healthily. While sweets and candies are fine in moderation, you really do want your child to love eating fruit and vegetables. You can make this possible by introducing these foods into their diet early on in the ages between 6 months and 3 years and making them enjoy eating these in the way you present and model such foods.
At Happy kidz St. Julians, we regularly include story telling in our children's schedule, it is an excellent opportunity to engage children's imagination and to take part in an activity that the children really enjoy and participate in so actively.
Nutritional Care for Children aged 6 months to 3 years
The food you give your child today helps them grow and develop into the human they will be tomorrow. It is very important for children aged 6 months to 3 years to receive the right types of nutrients in their diet so that they have a positive progression in terms of their health. Nutritional care for children of these ages varies greatly across the timeframe and needs to be altered at each age stage. This article is here to give you some guidance on the best types of food to give to your kids at different ages.
Food by age group
The way you present food to your child has a huge impact on how they react and engage with the food. As your child ages and develops, the way food is presented should adapt with them. Check out this guideline below for some inspiration on how to get your kids to enjoy the foods you give them.
6 months to 12 months: at this age it is best to introduce puree vegetables and meats together so that they are easy to swallow. As your child nears the 12 month mark you start giving them soft fruits and vegetables to eat whole.
12 months to 24 months: start introducing some raw vegetables such as carrot and celery sticks to your child’s diet. Cooked vegetables should be presented separately now so that your child can identify them and get to know what they are eating.
24 to 36 months: as their tastebuds develop, kids can start to get fussy at this age. Try getting creative with food such as creating fruit stick kebabs or making a smiley face with vegetables so that your kids’ imagination is motivated to eat the food in front of them.
Toys for Young Children: from baby to toddler
For young children in day care programs or at home, the toys that they have access to can have significant impacts on their emotional, social, physical, and creative development over time. It is very important to choose the right toys for babies and toddlers and how significant the impact of toys can be. Different toys are designed to stimulate different senses by using colours, lights, and sounds. A mixture of the right kinds of different types of toys can really set your child up for positive cognitive development as well as tuning their gross and fine motor skills. All the while, the most important element of toys should not be overlooked, and this is course ensuring that your child is having fun playing.
How to choose the best toy
When it comes to choosing a toy, there are many things to consider. Some of these include:
Cost and value for money: is the toy going to last a long time? Is it a worthy investment for the long term? Will it just get used once and then neglected?
Safety: is the toy safe and appropriate for the age of your baby or toddler? Check for loose pieces that can become choking hazards or can cause cuts or abrasions.
Versatility: can the toy be used in a range of settings? Is the toy portable and able to be taken in the car or stroller? This gives the toy much better value when it can be used in many different ways.
How toys engage Children's attention
Different types of toys engage kids’ attention in different ways. It is important that children are exposed to a range of different types of toys from a young age so that they learn to be engaged by a variety of things and inadvertently explore and develop their personal interests. Some ways that toys engage the attention of babies and toddlers include:
Play dough: taps into the need for kinaesthetic play and allows children to engage their physical senses while enjoying the sensation of touch and creating a visual product.
Drama play: encourages creativity in children’s imagination while allowing them to physically move puppets and create personas for different characters.
Building blocks: engages the fine motor skills of kids while teaching them about balance and gravity.
Books: reading picture story books engages kids’ sense of connecting words with pictures and the flow of a story.
Music and singing: developing a good sense of tune, rhythm, and associating objects or gestures with music or sing is really important to young children. This encourages creativity thinking.
It is also valuable to invest alot of your time playing with the child, introducing the new activity and encouraging their curiosity and wish to learn new things through play. You will enjoy this very much and you will create memories with your child to cherish dearly.