Three Tips for Finding Holiday Childcare

During holiday break, it’s not uncommon for childcare providers to follow the same schedule as public schools. In need of holiday childcare? Here are three things you can do if you’re in need of holiday childcare:

1. Ask your current child care provider if they are available.
2. Ask your boss if you can adjust your work schedule.

3.Ask a Family Member/Relative

Community organizations like the YMCA may also offer childcare over holiday break.

Need help finding holiday childcare? Contact us at 336 245-4900.

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Are children carefully watched and supervised?

Effective supervision is essential for keeping children safe and keeping childcare areas hazard free. Childcare providers are responsible for preventing injuries both inside and outside of the childcare facilities. According to Extension, injuries are leading cause of death and disability in young children. (https://articles.extension.org/pages/25767/preventing-injuries-in-child-care). Supervision includes all five senses. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics: being aware of surroundings, focusing on positives rather than negatives, and teaching children the appropriate use of equipment are three ways to practice effective supervision in child care environments.

What Does an Infant Toddler Specialist Do?

In this issue, we are highlighting the work of our Infant Toddler Specialist, Sandy Weaver. Sandy works with child care centers and offers three different programs, dependent upon the center’s needs. All of the programs provide on-site support to the infant and toddler classrooms. The on-site support includes hands-on technical assistance, coaching and mentoring to the classroom teachers, support staff and center directors and administrators by building positive relationships with children, families, and co-workers, creating environments to support social

emotional development and the developing capacity of infants and young children, and implementing best practices for infant and toddler group care every day in order for them to be prepared whenever it is time for a rated license assessment.

Recently, Sandy was asked to help a child care center improve their overall quality of care and help them prepare for the Environmental Rating Scales. The Environmental Rating Scales consist of assessments for the infant/toddler groups (ITERS), preschool groups (ECERS) and school age group (SACERS). The assessments, along with the educational level of the staff, can increase a center’s star rating to a four or five, dependent upon the classroom score.

At the time of contact, the center was three-star facility and had never been through the Environmental Rating Scales before. Sandy met with the center director and shared what she could offer based on their immediate needs and then began working in the classrooms as soon as possible. Through several teacher changes and environmental challenges, Sandy helped them stay focused on the goals set and forged ahead with classroom pre-tests, observations and strategies to increase the level of care provided by the teachers. A year later, the center proudly displayed a four-star license on their wall.

The Center Director said, “We were previously a 3-star center and had never been through the scales. Because Sandy had been so helpful and provided us with the resources she did, we scored a 5.4 on our first try! Sandy has been such an inspiration to me as a Director and helped me implement policies and procedures to make our center stronger. She has shown me ways to be involved in the classrooms and observe and give suggestions. She also helped me create an attendance policy. I am blessed and thankful to have Sandy Weaver as our Infant/Toddler specialist.”

And we are fortunate to have Sandy on staff at CCRC!

Why is it Important for Infant and Toddlers to Wash Their Hands?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a powerful antidote to illness includes washing your hands for 15 seconds. Washing your hands is important especially for infants and toddlers. Teaching children to properly wash their hands can easily prevent the spread of diseases such as Hand Foot and Mouth Disease and the Flu. Teaching children to properly wash their hands is important especially for infants and toddlers, because many infants and toddlers eat with their hands. Check out what types of techniques you can use to wash your hands at home.

 

What is the Importance of CPR and First Aid Training in Childcare and at Home?

Although you may have already taken a CPR course for adults it’s important for all providers and parents to learn CPR for infants. CPR can save a child’s life by providing the brain heart and organs with oxygen. In North Carolina, childcare providers are responsible for preventing the spread of infectious diseases, injuries and preparing for emergencies. CPR and first aid training are one of the requirements every childcare provider must have in order to run a quality childcare facility. It is also important for parents to learn CPR too. CPR is important because it can be used to prevent hazards inside and outside of the child care facility that include sudden infant death syndrome, choking, or drowning in children.

Are they toys, equipment, and materials safe and non-toxic?

It’s important to watch for potential toy hazards such as sharp objects or toys with dangerous materials such as lead when choosing toys for childcare facilities.  Repairing broken materials are important because it reduces hazards such as strangulation, entrapment, or choking hazards. When choosing toys it’s also important to choose toys that are easy to clean. Cleaning up can take a lot of time especially when having to disinfect areas. Cleaning toys is also an important part of providing children with a safe childcare environment because it prevents the spread of common diseases among children such as hand foot and mouth disease.

Does the staff take the time to comfort hug and hold children?

Nurturing relationships help children develop intellectually and developmentally. Holding, hugging and comforting children can help children learn important things like responding well to emotional cues as well as develop creative skills and abstract thinking. It’s important that staff members have the correct training to be able to provide children with quality care.

Does the staff post a schedule of activities?

Posting a schedule of activities is important because it provides children with a safe and comfortable learning environment. Daily Routines like circle time can be used to start the school day and provide a platform for developmentally appropriate activities. Routines like clean-up time can teach children how to be accountable and responsible for their space. Check out these resources for improving daily routines:

What Does a Behavioral Specialist Do?

You may be aware of the role of our Parent Specialists at CCRC. Parent Specialists assist families in their search for quality child care in our nine-county region. You may also be aware of the role of our Provider Specialists. We will be featuring both of these roles in future “Friends of CCRC” issues, but in this issue, we want to share a success story from our Behavioral Specialist, Renae Lingafelt-Beeker.
The director of a child care center reached out to Renae about a four-year old boy who was on the verge of expulsion from the center because of behavioral issues. During Renae’s initial three-hour visit to the center, she observed the child hitting, pushing, and pinching other children when he got angry or when things did not go his way. The other children would cry and refuse to play with the child.
Through conversations over the next several weeks with the child’s teacher and foster parent, Renae learned that the child’s mother was abused by her last two boyfriends, and the child had witnessed her suffering from a concussion and a broken jaw. Understandably, the trauma the child had experienced affected his behavior.
The child had speech delays and was not advanced enough to adequately express his feelings. Renae helped all parties understand that all behavior is a form of communication. The child was communicating his feelings physically because he lacked the verbal ability to express himself through his words. The behavior specialist worked with the director to arrange for a speech therapist to work with the child at the child care center three days per week. Renae then met with the foster parent, director, and teacher to create a strategic plan of action that helped the child find better, more appropriate ways to express his anger and frustration. As his verbal skills increased, the entire team consistently worked with him on relying on his words rather than his hands to let others know how he was feeling. By getting on his eye level and having him rehearse the words and tone of voice he needed to use when he wanted to let people know he was angry, he gradually gained the confidence he needed to say, “I am mad!” or “I don’t like that!” The adults in his life validated his feelings as he learned to verbalize them which gave him confidence as he felt understood.
Renae also taught the foster parent and the teacher how to use the “Tucker Turtle” strategy with the child. The turtle strategy helps children learn how to calm themselves when they are angry or frustrated by teaching children to act like a turtle. Children are instructed to go in their “shell” and take three breaths to calm down. Then they can think of a better way to act. Once the child had ample time to practice the steps, it only took a reminder to “act like a turtle” to encourage him to use the strategy.

Are there opportunities for parents to participate in program planning?

Setting up a trial day is a great way to get involved in your child’s early learning experience. According to a study from the University of Oxford, children are more likely to succeed in the classroom when parents choose to participate in their learning program. By participating in childcare programs parents are able to gain a real world perspective of what their child is learning and how they can use those skills at home.

What is the importance of a safe play area?

It’s important to provide  children with safe outdoor spaces because it prevents the chance of a child getting hurt. Equipment maintenance is a big part of playground safety, and with proper equipment maintenance you can prevent accidents such as entrapment hazards or strangulation. According to the National Playground Safety Institute, good supervision, and proper fencing are two ways to spot a safe play area.