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Importance of Child Care Centers in the Growth and Development of a Child

Choosing a child care center is one of the most important decisions that parents have to make. The experiences a child has at the center will have long-term effects on his growth and development.
In a paper titled, ‘Who’s caring for our youngest children?’ authors Deborah Phillips and Gina Adams write: “One of the most consistent findings in developmental research links the quality of care that young children receive to their well-being, developing skills and subsequent adjustment.”

The paper talks about the defining features of caregivers that are essential to have a positive impact on a child’s life. It highlights the point that: “Beneficial child outcomes are most likely when caregivers are responsive, warm, and sensitive to the children and surround them with rich language. Therefore, benefits are associated with the features of care that foster those interactions, such as small ratios of children to adults, as well as qualified and stable child care providers.”

So, how can parents and child care centers make sure that the caregivers are meeting the highest standards of service? A simple solution, for administrators of a center, can be choosing the right childcare management software. It can help a child care center provide the perfect environment for growth and learning. With features like easy scheduling, program and class management, instant chat or messaging with parents and teachers and journaling tools – child care centers can meet the standards that researchers deem fit for child development.

Well-designed childcare management software tools, to assist with the management of a child care center, can help with:

– Meeting standards of child to teacher ratio

– Sharing and messaging tools can help foster parent-teacher engagement that benefits children

– Journaling tools can help parents stay involved in the daily activities of their child and monitor progress

– Effective, hassle-free management can leave more time in the hands of administrators to concentrate on children.

In the paper, the authors point out the fact that “researchers who study variation in the quality of child care now focus on the interactions that transpire moment by moment between child care providers and the children in their care. Does the caregiver respond quickly to the child’s bids for attention or are they frequently ignored? Does she talk and read to the child a lot or just a little? Does she engage the child in age-appropriate activities and foster supportive friendships? Is she warm and affectionate or distant and harsh? Is she patient or easily overwhelmed by frustration?”

A child care center managed using the right childcare management software can easily help a parent and administrator get actionable answers to the above questions. Armed with the right information all stakeholders can work collectively to provide quality child care.

A quality childcare software program that helps you learn the signs and act early on developmental delays in children age 5

Kindergarten marks an important time in the lives of most children. It marks the years of budding independence, new experiences, and broadened horizons. These years provide the foundation of knowledge that supports them through the next ten or more years of their education and lives. These years are simultaneously when children may begin to struggle academically. More rigorous workloads, higher expectations, and definitive milestones may be the culprit. However, developmental delays are extremely important to catch as early as possible. Knowing what to expect from our children becomes extremely important. Milestones are distinct markers that help teachers and parents understand where the majority of children are developmentally, at every age. This way, delays are caught early and quickly intervened. Making sure your child attends a day care or school that provides a quality daycare software program that helps you keep track of milestones and development, can be tremendously helpful. Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:

  • Doesn’t show a wide range of emotions
  • Shows extreme behavior (unusually fearful, aggressive, shy or sad)
  • Unusually withdrawn and not active
  • Is easily distracted, has trouble focusing on one activity for more than 5 minutes
  • Doesn’t respond to people, or responds only superficially
  • Can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Doesn’t play a variety of games and activities
  • Can’t give first and last name
  • Doesn’t use plurals or past tense properly
  • Doesn’t talk about daily activities or experiences
  • Doesn’t draw pictures
  • Can’t brush teeth, wash and dry hands, or get undressed without help
  • Loses skills he once had

Talking to Your Pediatrician

Don’t be surprised if the pediatrician tells you not to worry, to be patient, to give your child more time to develop. Often, that’s what parents hear, especially in the early stages of investigating their child’s seeming delays. And it’s often true. Children develop at different rates; the pediatrician is well aware that many children show sudden bursts in development rather than slow, steady growth.

On the other hand, your pediatrician may recommend that a developmental screening be conducted. Its purpose is to see if, yes, your child is experiencing a developmental delay. The screening is a quick, general measure of your child’s skills and development. It’s not detailed enough to make a diagnosis, but its results show whether or not a child should be referred for a more in-depth developmental evaluation.

Developmental Evaluation

The developmental evaluation should be conducted by a highly trained professional who can use the results to create a profile of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. The evaluation needs to look at five developmental areas. A childcare software program can help keep track of these areas as well: They would look for:

  • Physical development (fine motor skills, gross motor skills)
  • Cognitive development (intellectual abilities)
  • Communication development (speech and language)
  • Social or emotional development (social skills, emotional control)
  • Adaptive development (self-care skills)

The results of the developmental evaluation will be used to decide if your child needs a treatment plan. Treatment plans are tailored to meet a child’s individual needs and, as such, are a very important resource to children experiencing developmental delays. Early intervention services can include:

  • Assistive technology (devices a child might need)
  • Audiology or hearing services
  • Speech and language services
  • Counseling and training for a family
  • Medical services
  • Nursing services
  • Nutrition services
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychological services

Special Education Services are meant for children over the age of three. Services are provided to eligible children free of charge through the public school system. If your child has passed his or her third birthday and you’re concerned about a developmental delay or disability, call your local school (even if your child isn’t enrolled there) and ask how and where to have your child evaluated under IDEA, our nation’s special education law.

By learning the signs and acting early, developmental delays can be intervened and immediate support can be given. If your child attends a daycare or school, make sure the childcare facility uses a quality child care software program that offers child developmental tracking. A quality childcare software program like iCareSoftware provides personal assistance from a developmental specialists 24 hours a day for any additional need and at no further cost. Knowing exactly what to look for can seem daunting for parents and even teachers, which is why iCareSoftware created features such as journaling and milestone recording to help busy parents and teachers keep track of their children’s’ development at every stage. Additionally, it is always very helpful to read more about developmental delay and ask your child’s doctor or school for additional information and support.

Can a quality day care software program help detect developmental delays in preschoolers?

As you watch your child grow, it is important to remember that all children develop at different rates and it is best to try not to constantly compare your child to others. There are however some red flags to look out for when children are not meeting specific milestones and are significantly struggling in comparison to their peers. Developmental delays are lags in one or more areas of emotional, mental or physical growth. The main types of developmental delays that we see in children ages 3- 5 (preschool) are problems with language and speech, motor skills, emotional and social skills, and thinking or cognitive skills.

Spotting these delays early will always help with potential treatment however it is not easy. Knowing what to look for and understanding possible causes and treatments may help parents and teachers when dealing with these types of situations. By keeping track of development with a quality daycare software program you can make this important job much easier to accomplish. With each area of difficulty, there are warning signs to look for:

Language and speech delays in children

Language and speech problems are the most common type of developmental delay. Speech refers to verbal expression, including the way words are formed. Language is a broader system of expressing and receiving information, such as being able to understand directions. Try using childcare that offers a day care software program that assists in journal and record keeping to make sure that each day is recorded for later analysis.

Possible causes. A wide variety of factors may cause these language and speech delays, including:

Types of treatment. If you or child’s doctor suspects a developmental delay, seek an evaluation by a speech and language therapist. This specialist may use speech therapy with your child. The specialist or doctor may also suggest that you:

  • Communicate more with your child; talk, sing and encourage repetition.
  • Read daily to your child.
  • Reinforce speech and language throughout the day.
  • Get treatment for middle ear infections.

Warning signs of speech or language delays

Seek medical advice if your child has any of these signs at these ages. In addition to these red flags, watch for any loss of skills already learned.

By three years, seek advice if your child:

  • Cannot talk in short phrases.

By four years, seek advice if your child:

  • Does not use sentences of more than three words
  • Uses “me” and “you” incorrectly.

By five years, seek advice if your child:

  • Has trouble understanding two-part commands with prepositions (e.g. “under” or “on”)
  • Cannot give their first and last name
  • Does not use plurals or past tense correctly
  • Does not talk about their daily activities.

Motor skill delays in children

Delays in children may be related to problems with gross motor skills such as playing ball, or fine motor skills, such as colouring. To make sure your expectations for motor skills are age appropriate, use a day care software program that helps educate people about realistic expectations for each age group. This will help you when dealing with children of all ages.

Possible causes. Among the most common medical causes of motor skill delays include cerebral palsy and prematurity. In addition, children who have been institutionalised, lack stimulation at young ages, or have autism may have what is called “sensory integration dysfunction.” This complex disorder can cause a variety of problems with the senses, including:

  • Problems planning and coordinating movement
  • Fearful reactions to ordinary movements or an excessive need to seek out sensory input, such as by rocking, spinning or hand-flapping
  • Extreme reactions to touch, textures or pain.

These are other possible causes of motor difficulties, although most are rare:

  • Problems with vision
  • Ataxia, a defect that impairs muscle coordination
  • Myopathy, a disease of the muscles.

Types of treatment. For motor delays, your child’s doctor may suggest taking certain steps at home to encourage more physical activity. Your child may also need:

  • Physiotherapy for gross motor delays
  • Occupational therapy for fine motor delays or sensory integration problems.

Warning signs of motor skill delays

Seek advice if your child has any of these signs of motor delays at these ages. In addition to these red flags, watch for any loss of skills already learned.

By three years, seek advice if your child:

  • Falls often
  • Has trouble going up and down stairs
  • Drools often and has unclear speech
  • Has trouble working with small objects
  • Cannot build a tower of more than four blocks.

By four years, seek advice if your child:

  • Cannot throw a ball overhead
  • Cannot jump on the spot
  • Cannot ride a tricycle
  • Cannot grasp a crayon between thumb and fingers or has trouble scribbling
  • Cannot stack four blocks.

By five years, seek advice if your child:

  • Cannot build a tower of six to eight blocks
  • Seems uncomfortable holding a crayon
  • Has trouble taking off clothing
  • Cannot brush teeth well
  • Cannot wash and dry hands.

Social and emotional delays in children

Children may experience problems interacting with adults or other children — considered social and emotional delays — which usually show up before school.

Possible causes. Some causes of social and emotional delays include:

  • Neglect, such as a result of early institutionalisation
  • Ineffective parenting
  • Weak attachment.

Another common cause of social and emotional delays is called autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). This group of disorders also causes communication problems, ranging from mild to severe, and includes:

  • Autism, a complex yet common disorder
  • Asperger syndrome, a condition similar to autism
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder, which typically occurs in children aged three to four
  • Rett’s syndrome, which often includes learning disability and almost always occurs in girls.

Types of treatment. There is no known cure for ASD. However, treatment may include:

  • Medication to help with behavioural problems
  • Special types of behavioural therapy.

In addition, learning therapeutic parenting skills may help to promote healthy attachment, and social and emotional skills, in your child.

Warning signs of social or emotional delays

Seek advice right away if your child has any of these signs of social and emotional delays at these ages. In addition to these red flags, watch for any loss of skills already learned.

By three years, seek advice if your child:

  • • Shows little interest in other children
  • • Has extreme difficulty separating from parents or carers
  • • Has poor eye contact.

By four years, seek advice if your child:

  • Clings or cries whenever parents leave
  • Ignores other children
  • Does not respond to people outside the family
  • Lashes out when angry or upset
  • Resists dressing, sleeping or using the toilet.

By five years, seek advice if your child:

  • Is very fearful, timid, sad or aggressive much of the time; or does not show a wide range of emotions
  • Is unable to separate from parents without difficulty
  • Shows little interest in imaginative play or playing with other children.

Cognitive delays in children

Problems with thinking and cognitive skills may occur due to a genetic or chromosomal abnormality, environmental factors, disease, prematurity, nervous system abnormalities, oxygen deprivation during childbirth, or even accidents.

Possible causes. Common causes of cognitive delays include:

  • A poor learning environment
  • Institutionalisation or neglect during infancy or early childhood
  • A wide range of learning disabilities
  • Exposure to alcohol or toxins during pregnancy
  • One of the pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs), such as autism.

Types of treatment. As with most types of delays, early intervention for cognitive delays can make a big difference in the progress your child makes. Depending upon the diagnosis, treatment may include:

  • Medication, in rare cases
  • Play therapy or occupational therapy
  • Special education.

Warning signs of cognitive delays

Seek advice if your child has any of these signs of cognitive delays at these ages. In addition to these red flags, watch for any loss of skills already learned.

By three years, seek advice if your child:

  • Has trouble copying a circle
  • Cannot understand simple instructions
  • Does not become involved in “pretend” or “make-believe” play
  • Shows limited interest in toys.

By four years, seek advice if your child:

  • Shows no interest in interactive games
  • Does not become involved in imaginative play
  • Cannot copy a circle.

By five years, seek advice if your child:

  • Is easily distracted
  • Is unable to concentrate on a single activity for more than five minutes.

Remember: There is a wide range of normal development in children. Most developmental delays in children are not serious, and most children can eventually catch up. Even children who do have serious delays can make big improvements, when treatment begins as early as possible.”
(http://www.webmd.boots.com/children/guide/recognising-developmental-delays-your-child-ages-3-5?page=3)

It can be overwhelming for parents and even teachers to learn enough information about developmental delays to feel confident detecting a delay in the real world. Thankfully, at iCareSoftware, a quality day care software program, we have developed a program to assist with this information every step of the way. We provide 24-7 personal assistance from a developmental specialist and can give customised feedback whenever you may need it. Let iCareSoftware help your children where it matters most; their education. Because after all, our future depends on the quality of our children’s’ education today.

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.

Ages, Stages, and Child Care Management Solutions

The school aged years are usually marked by steady growth and development. Making sure to offer children ample opportunities to move their bodies and stay physically active during this developmental phase will help ensure they strengthen the fundamental skills they need to live a healthy lifestyle as they continue to grow into adulthood. These skills will provide the child with the confidence and self-esteem they need to have an ongoing sense of independent accomplishment which often fuels significant growth and development. In this type of healthy development, hitting developmental milestones is a synch. However, not all children will succeed in reaching these targets for various reasons. In either case, it is extremely important to record each child’s development in order to analyze their growth, while simultaneously keeping a watchful eye for any weak areas that require further attention. Always search for childcare or schools with child care management solutions, such as a child care software program, as this makes the task of recording each milestone much more realistic due to helpful software features like daily journaling for teachers and parents. Here are some milestones and developmental markers children ages 6-12 may reach.

“What can my child do at this age?

As your child continues to grow, you will notice new and exciting abilities that your child develops. Here is where child care management solutions come into play and where they can really assist in the process of recording each child’s achievement and developmental progressions. While children may progress at different rates and have diverse interests, the following are some of the common milestones children may reach in this age group:

6- to 7-year-olds:
o Enjoys many activities and stays busy
o Likes to paint and draw
o May lose first tooth
o Vision is as sharp as an adult’s vision
o Practices skills in order to become better
o Jumps rope
o Rides a bike

8- to 9-year-olds:
o More graceful with movements and abilities
o Jumps, skips, and chases
o Dresses and grooms self completely
o Can use tools (i.e., hammer, screwdriver)

10- to 12-year-olds:
o Remainder of adult teeth will develop
o Likes to sew and paint

What does my child understand?

As children enter into school-age, their abilities and understanding of concepts and the world around them continue to grow. While children may progress at different rates, the following are some of the common milestones children may reach in this age group: Using early childhood education that provides child care management solutions that offer help with milestones and keeping track of childhood achievements is always important to remember.

6- to 7-year-olds:
o Understands concept of numbers
o Knows daytime and nighttime
o Knows right and left hands
o Can copy complex shapes, such as a diamond
o Can tell time
o Can understand commands with three separate instructions
o Can explain objects and their use
o Can repeat three numbers backwards
o Can read age-appropriate books and/or materials

8- to 9-year-olds:
o Can count backwards
o Knows the date
o Reads more and enjoys reading
o Understands fractions
o Understands concept of space
o Draws and paints
o Can name months and days of week, in order
o Enjoys collecting objects

10- to 12-year-olds:
o Writes stories
o Likes to write letters
o Reads well
o Enjoys using the telephone

How does my child interact with others?

A very important part of growing up is the ability to interact and socialize with others. During the school-age years, parents will see a transition in their child as he or she moves from playing alone to having multiple friends and social groups. While friendships become more important, the child is still fond of his or her parents and likes being part of a family. This is another area where using an education system that provides child care management solutions that offers help with milestones is always a good idea. This will assist teachers and parents in recording the child’s growth in these important areas of development. While every child is unique and will develop different personalities, the following are some of the common behavioral traits that may be present in your child:

6- to 7-year-olds:
o Cooperates and shares
o Jealous of others and siblings
o Likes to copy adults
o Likes to play alone, but friends are becoming important
o Plays with friends of the same gender
o May have occasional temper tantrums
o Modest about body
o Likes to play board games

8- to 9-year-olds:
o Likes competition and games
o Starts to mix friends and play with children of the opposite gender
o Modest about body
o Enjoys clubs and groups, such as Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts
o Becoming interested in boy-girl relationships, but does not admit it

10- to 12-year-olds:
o Friends are very important; may have a best friend
o Increased interest in the opposite gender
o Likes and respects parents
o Enjoys talking to others”
(Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford – www.standford’schildren.org)

Child development can be an extremely complex subject, even for teachers and school staff. That is why one of the best child care management solutions, iCare Software, has done the hard work for you and offers a complementary, personal developmental specialist who will provide developmental assistance to teachers, parents and children at all times. Keeping track of every milestone can be hard, especially for teachers and schools with hundreds of students. Rest assured knowing that iCare Software will be there to assist you with any and all of your child development questions and needs. With professional assistance like iCare’s, the child involved enters an environment that is catered to their learning and is focused solely on their academic success. Only in these types of prestigious environments can a child reach their highest potential. Let iCare Software help your children get the education they deserve.

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.