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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Sinking Your Teeth Into The Biting Issue.

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

A Preschooler's Need To Deal With Jealousy.

Time To Switch Me To Solid Food.

Losing Your Sleep Over Bedtime Issues.

Taking A Fun Trip With Your Infant And Toddler.

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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 Childhood as I have, experiencing the innate curiosity of children inspired by their sheer awe of the world around them. Taking all the questions they have about everything imaginable and fashioning a curriculum around that is nothing short of genius.

Many early childhood programs use “canned” themes developed by well intentioned but uninspired adults, creating text for future teachers to follow with predictable structures; Apples in September, Pumpkins in October, and yes, Snow in January. What a wonderful lesson it would be for all concerned if it was stimulated by the following scenario:  It’s early spring and the little child brings the first daffodils to class picked from her garden; the teacher displays them in a vase for the entire class to admire, who then go to their easels and paint their interpretation of what they see. This leads to more questions such as “what type of flowers are these?” and “what makes them grow?” So the teacher brings in a book on daffodils and the lessons begin building on their own. That’s the beauty of Emergent Curriculum.

Because Emergent Curriculum is not rigid, its unpredictable format gives it a common sense approach to teaching. It not only inspires the children through spontaneity, but inspires the teachers as well for the very same reason. The teachers become practitioners that trust in the power of play and their students become competent players in the learning process.  In other words, the teachers are encouraged to create their own hands-on understanding of a subject inspired by the children’s strong desire to learn all about it.

Leaders in childcare have expressed this kind of curriculum that develops when examining what is “socially relevant, intellectually engaging, and personally meaningful to children.” Expressing their views on whole learning involvement, they said: “As caring adults, we make choices for children that reflect our values; at the same time we need to keep our plans open-ended and responsive to children.” Some curriculum is also negotiated, reflecting what interests the children and what the adults involved know is necessary for the children’s education and development. Briefly, curriculum ideas emerge in response to concerns and interests expressed by different demographics at different times. Never built solely on children’s interests, experts clarify that each emergent curriculum evolves on its own by diverging factors that give birth to new possibilities beyond the initial planning process.

Emergent Curriculum is therefore an Early Childhood learning environment that is built upon our children’s curiosity of the world in partnership with adults who possess an equal passion for providing them with the answers they seek. Emerging content varies based on teachable moments, culture, adult values, interests, and a variety of other similar factors. Picture your child being taught based upon his or her interests and imagine how exciting it is for them to learn what they really want to know at that moment. To my way of thinking, that is sheer genius.


Taking A Fun Trip With Your Infant And Toddler.

Going somewhere on vacation with your little ones doesn’t have to be hard work. In fact, it can be quite a lot of fun and a wonderful family memory for everyone. You’d be pleasantly surprised how enjoyable it can be for adults and children alike if you just spend a little time making some simple, common-sense  preparations.

Whether it’s a day trip, a long weekend, or a full week at a remote vacation spot, taking along an infant or toddler requires some serious planning ahead. Some of us can remember our own experiences when we were children, when once the car was in full motion, we were lulled to sleep by the confines of inactivity and the rhythmic hum of the engine. But if you have children who are not susceptible to this, here are a few suggestions to help you get your trip off to an enjoyable, stress-free beginning.

Dress the children in their most comfortable outfits.  When it’s warm, a onesie for the baby and a cotton tee and shorts or pajamas are fine for your toddler. If you’re looking to impress Grandma, if that’s where you’re heading, you can always change them to special outfits just before you arrive. Important: Don’t forget your child’s lovie (special stuffed animal or blanket). This works wonders, especially if they’re tired and you’re stuck in traffic. Remember, familiarity breeds content. And while you’re at it, keep your diaper bag close by filled with plenty of wipes, diapers, binky, and a fresh change of clothes. Keep all your bottles in a cooler filled with ice packs. If baby needs her bottle warmed, be ready with a compact bottle warmer that plugs into the cigarette lighter. This all makes perfect sense, but consider the impact it would have on your trip if you omitted any of these things. This is a list worth going over several times before leaving.

Provide entertainment: You can burn your children’s favorite music on CDs and create your own “mix” from your experiences with them. Bring along plenty of books, and if possible, consider moving into the back seat to read them some stories. You can even play car games with your toddler, like counting trucks or red cars, and other fun and simple exercises.

Make frequent stops: You might be able to get where you’re going in under four hours if you keep on truckin’, but your little ones might not be able to sit in position in their car seats for that long. Stopping along the way gives everyone a chance to unwind, get some fresh air, and at many rest stops, run around on the grass.

Pack plenty of snacks: Having an impromptu picnic can be a lot of fun for infants and toddlers. Pack cut-up cheese into your cooler, along with a sufficient amount of yogurt, cut grapes, apple slices, Cheerios, crackers and pretzels. Add a cool cup of water and you have a yummy snack for the entire family along with a drink that doesn’t make you thirsty (or sticky) once you’re on the road again.

Finally, make a surprise bag the night before. This was a favorite for my daughters. I’d give them each a paper bag filled with a few surprises, like books, stickers, and paper to affix them to, plus a snack and pipe cleaners. The night before heading out on our trip to Hershey Park, (when the girls were two and six), we watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Once the show was over, I gave them each their own special “Golden Ticket”, just like in the movie. That set the stage for our road trip the next morning. We left in our jammies, sang the songs from the movie, and wondered what we would see on our way there.

Going on a car trip with your children doesn’t have to be along the road to disaster. You can create your own theme based on where you are going. Often, the giggling and laughter that comes from little ones can make the trip much more enjoyable for the adults as well.  Enjoy yourself…and relax.

Understanding The Case For Emergent Curriculum.