by Kathy Lee

At this point in your pregnancy, you should already have your child care concerns finalized. Now is when you want to concentrate all your thoughts and energies preparing for the arrival of your precious new addition...

If you’re going to leave your child with someone for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to find out what type of atmosphere will surround your baby...

Child care costs are as varied as the care models themselves, all with a diverse demographic that adds to the complexity of coming up with average costs you can use as a guide...

It’s not enough to have your child enrolled in pretty surroundings if those surroundings don’t have any positive impact on their all-around well being...

Although I can provide you with a lot of information and guidance right here on this site, there's some additional advantages to be gained by connecting to those sites listed on my Resource Center...

I've written about the importance of learning all about your caregiver's philosophy and qualifications, but let's get more specific about three areas of concern: the continuity of care, the routines they develop...

Get all the help and information you need when you need it, no matter where you live. Links to all the places on the internet that can disseminate up-to-date support mechanisms are at your fingertips.

You can apply everything I've said about caregiver philosophy and qualifications in general as it applies to infants and toddlers, but at some point in time...

Even though I am no longer in the classroom every day as a teacher, in my recent capacity as Associate Director, I still would have daily interactions with....

"Mommy, I don't feel so good".Oh, those words we dread hearing. Practice them in your mind and make preparations while they're just an annoying thought so when the time does come...

Is it possible that one can be passionate about a curriculum? Absolutely; especially if that person has already devoted thirty five wonderful years working in the career field of Early...

The late David Weikart, High Scope's founder, originally established it as a camp program for talented adolescents. The name "High" was chosen to signify the aspiration level, and...

Dear Reader: Assisting parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and just about anyone looking for Child Care for their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers is my main motivation for creating this site...

I have been in the Early Care and Education field for over 35 years, ten of them as a classroom teacher, eight years as a Center Director, and for five years as the Infant Toddler Specialist at the Child Care Council of...

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I’ve written about the importance of learning all about your caregiver’s philosophy and qualifications, but let’s get more specific about three areas of concern: the continuity of care, the routines they develop for your child, and their daily schedules.

Continuity of care should be one of your prime concerns when selecting a child care facility. This means that it’s significant to expect primary caregivers and their assigned children to stay together if you know that your child will be there for an extended period of time. Young children often need a full year to get to know and trust all the new faces and settle into a group. It’s also a time that both you and your child acclimate to your new surroundings and develop a feeling of safety in your new environment, all while relieving yourselves of separation anxieties. If you’re going to be there for two years, the second year gives you and your child a deeper level of trust. There is an awareness by the caregiver of each child’s style of interaction and coping and they become known and respected as individuals. This is a time for all parties concerned to encourage new beginnings from a warm, safe, and nurturing atmosphere.

It’s also a good idea to want routines that are predictable; they help children develop a sense of competence and involvement in their world. For toddlers, it’s important that you let the caregiver know of all your child’s current rhythms of sleeping, eating, diapering, and playing. It’s with this information that they can plan routines that early on, won’t stray too far from their comfort levels. Of course, they should be expected to toilet or change your child as frequently as he or she needs. Although the daily routines at the caregiver facility might differ based on the age of your child, don’t be surprised if your child’s routine becomes slightly different than it is at home in order to adjust to their new surroundings.

Finally, there is their daily schedule that provides a framework for the planning and organizing of routines and play activities. It is basically a guide. The children’s day should be enriched by self-directed activities along with the teacher enhanced plans. Caregivers will become sensitive to the moods and temperament of your child in this setting, so that their needs can be responded to quickly and lovingly. And because the interests of children change as they get older, expect adjustments to the schedule as well. Some common changes you may notice in your child’s behavior will include: altered sleep/wake patterns (staying awake for longer periods of time or taking short naps more frequently). You might also notice changes in appetite. These are all part of their normal growth transformationsAll in all, caregivers should use observation and reflection as a basis for designing activities that meet your child’s developmental needs and expand on their emergent interests, deepening their knowledge and understanding of the world. That is why it is always a good idea to find out first whether their philosophy and qualifications meet with your approval.


I Can't Talk, But I Still Have A Lot To Say.

There’s a lot your baby can communicate between the first four to six months of life, but they can’t as yet do it in words.

Instead, they fuss and fidget until they get fed, coo while being caressed, and generally make their wishes known through their actions and sounds. They tell you with their squeals of delight and make funny little faces and let their body move to let you know how everything is.

Playing with your baby is how she learns everything. It’s her time to find out from you how everything works and how good it feels to be with someone. You are your baby’s teacher and friend, and the fun she’s having with you teaches her about positive relationships with others.

You give her things with different shapes and textures, introduce her to a variety of tastes, and make sounds and facial expressions that teach her the basics of communication.

It’s important to teach your baby how to master skills. Bringing an object closer as you coach him into reaching for something builds his confidence.  In fact, by alternately batting a toy he is swinging at teaches him his first lessons about taking turns.

What other lessons can can you or your baby baby learn by simple interactions with each other?

When your baby makes sounds, talk back to her. It’s her way of talking and your way of teaching her new words.

Listen while your baby looks directly into your eyes and makes sounds. Wait until she’s finished, then respond. This back and forth teaches her the art of conversation. At certain times, initiate a dialogue on your own, but if she doesn’t immediately join in, it might indicate that she’s not ready to talk at that time, so try again later.

Offer him toys with lots of different shapes and textures. Square, round, and knobby are just some of the distinctions he will make when he tries all this variety in his mouth.

Your baby is at times able to hang onto things and even pick them up, but at four months old, she’s not yet able to open her hand and let it go. When she drops a toy at this age, it doesn’t mean that she meant to do it.

When your little one arches his back, turns away, and starts crying right in the middle of a play session with you, don’t take it personally. It may be his way of saying that he needs a break.  Just soothe him, and cradle him into calmness with a sweet lullaby.

Your baby is starting to develop her own personality. Take hints from your interaction with her and react accordingly. Does she like a noisy or quiet setting?  Is she a loner or quite gregarious. There is no one right way to be. It’s really very exciting to watch and discover her uniqueness.

Considering Issues That Matter Before Your

Child Begins Their First Day In Child Care.