Monthly Archives: July 2017

How a childcare software program can help detect developmental delays

As many of you are already aware, all children development at different rates. Most of the time however, children stay within their developmental margins for their corresponding age. In rare occasions, a child may begin to develop at a slower rate than his/her peers, or even begin to regress, and lose skills they once had. During these times, a developmental delay is often the diagnosis. A developmental delay is often hard to detect. If a child is not being closely monitored, the delay could go unnoticed for quite some time. The older the child gets, the easier it becomes to detect a developmental delay. For younger babies however, it becomes much harder to detect, and therefore becomes extremely important to know exactly what to look for. Choosing quality childcare that uses a childcare software program that tracks child development always provides much assistance when detecting delays as early as possible.

By the end of the first year, act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:

  • Doesn’t crawl
  • Can’t stand when supported
  • Doesn’t search for things that she sees you hide
  • Doesn’t say single words like “mama” or “dada”
  • Doesn’t learn gestures like waving or shaking head
  • Doesn’t point to things
  • Loses skills he once had

(CDC Milestones 1 year: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/milestones-1yr.html)

“There is no one cause of developmental delays, but some risk factors include:

  • Complications at birth: Being born too early (prematurely); low birth weight; not getting enough oxygen at birth.
  • Environmental issues: Lead poisoning; poor nutrition; exposure to alcohol or drugs before birth; difficult family situations; trauma.
  • Other medical conditions: Chronic ear infections; vision problems; illnesses, conditions, or injuries that have a significant and long-term effect on a child’s day-to-day activities.

Sometimes parents worry that they might have contributed to their child’s delays. That’s usually not the case. For example, teaching a child more than one language does not lead to speech or language problems. And as one mother shares, even though it can be “heartbreaking” to hear the results of an evaluation, in the end, it’s better to focus on next steps and ways to help.” (https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/early-intervention/what-you-need-to-know-about-developmental-delays).

How to Help:

Learn the signs of a developmental delay and act immediately. The more you know about skills to expect at certain ages, the better you’ll be able to spot any lags in development. The earlier you find your child help, the better their developmental outcome. One of the ways to spot these delays earlier is by keeping track of their development from an early age. One way to do this is when choosing childcare for you child, make sure the facility has invested in a quality childcare software program that provides features such as milestone tracking and development journaling. With these helpful tools, developmental growth becomes accessible to all stakeholders (teachers, parents, care takers) and therefore makes it that much easier to detect delays when they first occur.

Once a child’s development has been monitored using a quality childcare software program and a delay is suspected, learn about early intervention services and find out who does free developmental screening. An early intervention agency may recommend an in-depth evaluation of your child’s physical, social, language, adaptive and thinking skills. This is a free or low-cost service. If your child qualifies for early intervention services, you can get an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) that will provide help for you and your child.

Clearly, monitoring a child’s growth and development throughout their childhood can be challenging for everyone. Thankfully, at iCare Software, a quality childcare software program for childcare centers, Montessori schools, preschools, afterschool care, enrichment programs and camps, we have done the heavy labor for you and now provide milestone monitoring services as well as 24-7 personal assistance with developmental information for each age group. With this type of support, teachers, parents and caregivers can rest assured knowing that developmental delays will be attended to and accounted for immediately.

What are the benefits of extra-curricular activities and how can a childcare management system help expand the developmental advances they provide?

There has been a recent controversy regarding whether it is a good idea to put your child into extracurricular activities at an early age. Research proves time and time again that any type of additional activity for your child, that he/she shows a clear interest in, will provide many developmental enhancements. After school activities can promote everything from healthy-living habits, to leadership skills, good time-management, and better social or academic performance. The benefits from these types of developmental advances are everlasting. Always remember however, that with such value, developmental advances also come with responsibilities; the responsibility to keep track and document the advances that are made. This way, progress is clear and problematic areas are quickly seen and are addressed promptly. One of the best ways this is made possible is with the help of a childcare management system. These types of childcare software programs enable teachers and childcare providers to effortlessly keep track of all children’s accomplishments in an organized manner. Journal features, chat, and instantaneous photos all help to keep the documented information available for all teachers, parents and even the children themselves. For more specific information on the benefits of extracurricular activities, read below!

Boosting Academic Performance

Every leading study regarding the impact of extracurricular activities on child development shows that academic grades, study habits, and school-based behavior all improve when children attend regular after school clubs and team sports. According to research, youths who frequently participate in after school activities are more likely to show greater levels of attention in class, be more engaged in school, and are less likely to develop an inclination for violent or problem behavior. What’s more, some extracurricular activities provide students with the facilities and time to pursue interests that they may not be able to pursue at school. This is why it is so important to document these types of growth using a childcare management system so that day school teachers and after school teachers are all on the same page with each student’s progress.

Improving Life and Social Skills

Regardless of whether they’re establishing new relationships, or building upon existing friendships, after school activities provide an ideal environment in which to nurture social skills and confidence. Numerous extracurricular activities work to teach children the value of working as a team to achieve a mutual goal — a skill that will benefit them in their future occupation. Similarly, engaging with new people in a productive environment helps to strengthen independence and confidence in children. The more they explore their abilities within a new environment, the more children can build a sense of their own character, and even develop crucial leadership skills. By working with others outside of a classroom setting, youths begin to learn the value of improvisation, sharing ideas, and offering support to peers in challenging circumstances. As always, a childcare management system helps these children by allowing their growth in social skills to be documented for future reference and analysis.

Creating Safer, Happier Children

After school activities offer a positive environment in which children can grow and thrive when parents are working and unable to make it home for right after school. Many adults today stay at work after the school day has ended. After school activities remove the temptation to sit in front of a television set. What’s more, a number of after school activities promote emotional wellbeing by allowing children to work off excess energy, relax their minds, and overcome the stress associated with school life. While sports help to remove some of the tension that could have built during the day, academic clubs help to reduce the stress associated with preparing for tests by offering extra assistance and support.

Promoting Healthy Hobbies

Finally, children with a regular hobby are less likely to spend less static time glued to a smartphone or screen. Not only does the time spent within a club encourage your child to remain active and away from the sofa, but the interests that they develop during those clubs will prompt them to spend more time practicing skills and pursuing their passions. In fact, the afterschool alliance has conducted research into the impact of extracurricular activities on child health, and found that they are essential in promoting a healthier lifestyle. Studies of after school programs have shown that obesity levels are often much lower in program participants, with only 21% of children suffering from weight problems compared to 33% for non-participants. This is also where a childcare management system would help immensely when keeping track of weight and health levels. Documenting these items would be a great start in promoting healthy habits. This way, trends can be established and hopefully continue throughout adulthood “-(http://www.sparkpe.org/blog/the-benefits-of-participation-in-after-school-activities/#sthash.d12FhI2f.dpuf)”.

Why iCare Software?

As you can see, after school activities can lead to an enriched and fulfilled lifestyle for children. What children learn in school can be strengthened and improved on during after school activities. As always, developmental growth should always be documented and using a childcare management system helps make that possible. At iCare Software, journal features help teachers and parents keep track of those important advances so that progress can be seen and therefore sustained.