Monthly Archives: April 2017

Developmental milestones for kindergarteners and how daycare management software can help teachers and parents keep track of all their accomplishments

Kindergarten is a big year. For some children, it could be their first time going to school. For others, it could be a big transition from half day preschool to full day kindergarten, sometimes even at a bigger school. With all of these changes, children soak in each new experience and begin to grow and develop at extensive rates. Sometimes these advances happen so quickly, it is hard to keep track of each accomplishment. Thankfully, there are developmental milestones that can help parents and teachers monitor these achievements. Your child’s school should offer a quality daycare management software that provides assistance with developmental milestones for teachers and parents as well. The more informed both parties are of the child’s attainments, the better the learning outcome for the child. Here are some typical developmental milestones to consider during the kindergarten years:

    Physical Milestones

Kids tend to be fairly active at this age and can run, hop, skip and jump without tripping over their own feet. With so much fast-paced activity, developmental milestones are easily overlooked. Make sure you find a school with a quality daycare management software that helps parents and teachers keep track of their important triumphs. Most 5-year-olds learn to do these things:

Gross Motor Skills
• Walk on tiptoes and heel-to-toe like on a balance beam
• Jump rope and pump legs to swing alone
• Stand and hop on each foot
• Catch a ball the size of a softball
• Start to move in different ways at the same time to do things like swim, dribble a basketball or dance

Fine Motor Skills
• Use one hand more than the other (known as “hand dominance”)
• Hold a pencil using a tripod grip (two fingers and a thumb)
• Cut out basic shapes with scissors; may be able to cut a straight line
• Use a fork, spoon and knife easily
• Be able to wipe and wash after using the bathroom

    Cognitive Milestones

Kindergartners learn facts and begin to grasp some basic concepts. Cognitive milestones are often the hardest for the untrained eye to monitor. This is also something that a good daycare management software is able to assist with. The software can provide its users with useful information such as:

By the end of kindergarten, many children can do things like:
• Recognize and name colors and basic shapes
• Know the letters of the alphabet and letter sounds
• Recite their name, address and phone number
• Understand basic concepts about print (such as knowing which way the pages go and how words are read left to right and top to bottom)
• Know that stories have a beginning, middle, and end
• Count groups of objects up to 10 and recite numbers to 20
• Stick with an activity for 15 minutes and finish a short project
• Make plans about how to play, what to build or what to draw

    Language Milestones

In kindergarten, most kids understand and can use thousands of words, usually in sentences five to eight words long. Many 5-year-olds have the language development needed to:
• Use words to argue and try to reason with people; because is an oft-used word
• Use most plurals, pronouns, and tenses correctly
• Tell stories, jokes, and riddles; may understand simple puns
• Use language to talk about opposites and compare things (“That black cat is smaller than the white one.”)
• Talk about things that are going to happen as well as things that have already happened
• Follow simple multi-step directions

By the end of kindergarten, most children can recognize common words, such as the and me, and they can begin reading three-letter words, like a hat.

    Social and Emotional Milestones

During the kindergarten school year, children’s social and emotional development tends to go beyond making friends and expressing feelings. They start understanding more complicated things like right and wrong. Again, this is a where a quality daycare management software can really serve as a beneficial guide during these developmentally critical times. The software can illustrate social and emotional milestones and what to expect in typically developing children around age 5:

• Interest in behaving like their friends and wanting their approval
• Begin to prefer same-gender friendships; become jealous of other people spending time with “their” friends
• Follow the rules most of the time; may criticize kids who don’t follow the rules
• Enjoy being on display; will sing, dance or be silly to get attention
• Want your approval and to be taken seriously; may throw a tantrum or get angry if they think they’re not being listened to
• Start to see why it’s helpful to share and get along with other kids

Keep in mind that kids develop at their own pace and that your child may have skills that aren’t on this list. On the other hand, if your 5-year-old hasn’t met a number of these milestones, you may want to take the opportunity to speak with his doctor about an evaluation of your child’s skills. Knowing the areas where he needs some support is helpful information to have as he enters kindergarten.” (Developmental Milestones for Typical Kindergartners, Reviewed by Molly Algermissen, Ph.D., Columbia University Medical Center).

As mentioned above, keeping track of these important milestones is imperative. Knowing what to expect at each age can help both parents and teachers be proactive when it comes to the development of their children. At iCare Software, we provide an extremely helpful daycare management software that helps monitor and track each milestone so that you won’t miss a beat. A personal developmental specialist will provide assistance with all milestones and developmental information regarding each year of early childhood. This ensures the developmental of each child is accurately monitored and appropriately responded to. Being familiar with developmental milestones can help you identify any trouble spots to mention to the child’s pediatrician for further assistance.

Improve parent-teacher engagement with useful preschool administration software features

After home, children spend a lot of their formative years in school. Teachers are among the first significant influencers in their lives after parents. It is very important that the two biggest influencers – parents and teachers – interact regularly. Healthy parent-teacher engagement is absolutely essential for the growth of a child. Communication between parents and teachers should take place smoothly and effortless. A preschool administration software with the right features can help your center improve parent-teacher engagement considerably.

How can a preschool administration software help?
Let’s look at what are the areas that a software can help with:
– It can help share, monitor and organize daily tasks.
– It can organize children’s activities and development milestones.
– It can facilitate sharing photos of children’s activities and artwork.
– It can let parents and teachers chat instantly with each other or with the administrator.

iCare is one such preschool administrative software that helps teachers make a real impact on the development of children. Through the Journal feature of the software, teachers can post notes on a child’s daily activity, or make an entry about an upcoming event for parents to see. A report of all Journal activity is mailed to parents at 7.00pm every day. Alternately, they can log in and check out the Journal entry anytime and from anywhere. This helps parents stay on top of their child’s programs at their own convenience.

The Photo feature of the software lets a teacher click and share pictures of a child’s artwork or any activity with parents instantly. Just click and share using any tablet or phone.
In case a teacher needs instant assistance regarding a child, she can reach out to parents or other teachers through the Chat option.

This kind of collaborative problem-solving by parents, teachers, administrators and technology can make learning fun and facilitate vital parental engagement.

Why engage parents?

Parents are the people a child trusts completely. Their involvement in a child’s learning journey is paramount. Effective communication is the key to building school-family partnerships. This will help form a strong foundation for all forms of family involvement in education. A Harvard Family Research Project’s research article by William H. Jeynes (Department of Teacher Education, College of Education, California State University at Long Beach) states, “The results of the meta-analysis indicate that parental involvement is associated with higher student achievement outcomes. These findings emerged consistently whether the outcome measures were grades, standardized test scores, or a variety of other measures, including teacher ratings.” Jeynes mentions in the article that this holds true for minority students as well.

Easy to use features, automated notifications and smart journaling of a preschool administrative software will increase participation of all stakeholders helping immensely with the development goals of a child.

Why choosing a quality daycare program with a preschool management software is so important in today’s world

The stage between toddlers and school aged children is what we like to call the “preschool years”. These imperative years are marked by vast growth and development for the child. It is during this time when most children begin to get a sense of who they are as an individual, separate from their parents or care takers. These years provide the opportunity that children need before they enter grade school for social, cognitive, and physical growth. They get more familiar with social expectations and they learn more vocabulary which helps them better understand the world around them. Simultaneously, their little bodies and muscles grow, resulting in better coordination which allows them to be able to run, skip, jump, and climb without too many falls. With this much important development during these preschool years, it is very important to always choose a quality daycare program with preschool management software that help the teachers, parents, and children all have a better experience. Here are some helpful developmental tips to give a better idea of what to expect during these vital years of early childhood.

Three years
What I’m Like: Watch out! I am charged with physical energy. I do things on my own terms. My mind is a sponge. Reading and socializing are essential in getting me ready for school. I like to pretend a lot and enjoy scribbling on everything. I am full of questions, many of which are “Why?” I become fairly reliable about using the potty. I may stay dry at night and may not. Playing and trying new things out are how I learn. Sometimes I like to share. I begin to listen more and begin to understand how to solve problems for myself.
What I Need: I want to know about everything and understand words, and when encouraged, I will use words instead of grabbing, crying, or pushing. Play with me, sing to me, and let’s pretend! Help me by finding a quality daycare program with a preschool management software to help make my experience enjoyable and to encourage growth and development!

Four years
What I’m Like: I’m in an active stage, running, hopping, jumping, and climbing. I love to question “Why?” and “How?” I’m interested in numbers and the world around me. I enjoy playing with my friends. I like to be creative with my drawings, and I may like my pictures to be different from everyone else’s. I’m curious about “sleepovers” but am not sure if I’m ready yet. I may want to be just like my older sister or brother. I am proud that I am so BIG now!
What I Need: I need to explore, to try out, and to test limits. Giving me room to grow doesn’t mean letting me do everything. I need reasonable limits set for my own protection and for others. Let me know clearly what is or isn’t to be expected. I need to learn to give and take and play well with others. I need to be read to, talked to, and listened to. I need to be given choices and to learn things in my own way. Label objects and describe what’s happening to me so I can learn new words and things. Although I am four and feeling older, I would still benefit greatly from a quality daycare program that provides preschool management software. This way my parents and teachers are communicating effectively and I have optimal opportunities for growth. ” (California Department of Education, Ages and Stages of Development.)

In order to promote healthy, nurturing, and successful growth for your child, choosing a quality early childhood program is critical. Preschool programs who have access to helpful software programs such as a preschool management software, always provide multiple benefits for the family and teachers involved. With these software programs, schools have 24 hour assistance with items like parent-teacher engagement and full program administration. With the elimination of routine administration work and the enhancement of the parent-teacher relationship, everybody benefits. This is what creates the environment of a quality daycare program. With less stress and more engagement, teachers are able to focus more on the children, helping them grow and develop. With help from iCare Software’s photo and chat features, parents are even able to text chat with the teachers and receive fun photos of their children hard at play. iCare Software also provides teachers and parents with their own personal access to a developmental specialist who can help with any development questions or needs for all stages of the childhood years.

Child care software can help in all areas, even when dealing with child development

It is always exciting to learn about what’s coming next. In development, learning about areas of study such as milestones can help us get a good feel for what we can expect in terms of future behavior. For children, developmental milestones help organize and categorize behaviors so that those behaviors can be monitored and recorded for future reference. The most important part to remember about developmental milestones is that all individuals are different. Although there are common characteristics of child development, there are many variations to consider as well. Every child develops at their own rate, while the majority simultaneously hit a few typical benchmarks along the way. Here are some traditional milestones (from the American Academy of Pediatrics at healthychildren.org) to consider during the first month of your child’s life:

Movement Milestones:
• Makes jerky, quivering arm thrusts
• Brings hands within range of eyes and mouth
• Moves head from side to side while lying on stomach
• Head flops backward if unsupported
• Keeps hands in tight fists
• Strong reflex movements

Visual and Hearing Milestones:
• Focuses 8 to 12 inches (20.3 to 30.4 cm) away
• Eyes wander and occasionally cross
• Prefers black-and-white or high-contrast patterns
• Prefers the human face to all other patterns
• Hearing is fully mature
• Recognizes some sounds
• May turn toward familiar sounds and voices

Smell and Touch Milestones:
• Prefers sweet smells
• Avoids bitter or acidic smells
• Recognizes the scent of his own mother’s breastmilk
• Prefers soft to coarse sensations
• Dislikes rough or abrupt handling

Developmental Health Watch:
If, during the second, third, or fourth weeks of your baby’s life, she shows any of the following signs of developmental delay, notify your pediatrician.
• Sucks poorly and feeds slowly
• Doesn’t blink when shown a bright light
• Doesn’t focus and follow a nearby object moving side to side
• Rarely moves arms and legs; seems stiff
• Seems excessively loose in the limbs, or floppy
• Lower jaw trembles constantly, even when not crying or excited
• Doesn’t respond to loud sounds
Source Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 (2009 American Academy of Pediatrics)

How iCare Software Can Help
As you can see, there are quite a few behaviors to keep in mind. Thankfully, here at iCare Software, we have developed a child care software program that allows our on-site developmental specialist to personally assist parents, teachers, and care givers at all times with any developmental information they may need help with. With this child care software program, the developmental specialist will help provide scholarly information regarding child development for every age up to adolescence. If you are a teacher looking for some assistance with organizing and recording milestones, or maybe you are a parent simply looking to learn more about the development of your child, this child care software program is here to help. Our developmental specialist will provide tailored feedback and suggestions to help assist in the development process. These days, finding trustworthy, nonbiased information about your child’s development can be hard, but with this child care software program, it doesn’t have to be. Now you can rely on iCare Software to provide valid and reliable sources of information that will help with every aspect of child development.