Category Archives: childcare software

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  • Unusually withdrawn and not active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.

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.