Category Archives: Childcare

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.

Why iCare Childcare Software?

Parent

Many parents that I speak with often tell me how much child development knowledge they lacked during their child’s first few years. At that time, most parents are too busy simply adapting to their new life style caring for a human other than themselves.  This process takes time, as we all know, but what a lot of parents don’t know is the unrealistic expectations that are too commonly being put on these children at extremely young ages.

One of the most frequent responses I get from parents is that if they had known more about developmentally-appropriate behaviour for each age, they would have parented better, stayed calmer, yelled less and most likely would have had happier children. Understanding what is developmentally expected can make those early years of parenting that much easier. Expecting too much from these little people usually results in frustrated children and disappointed parents.

Once a parent learns about appropriate behaviour for each age, they usually become surprised at just how smart, talented, and well behaved their little ones really are.

Teachers

Similar to parents, there are many teachers who might also need some guidance when it comes to understanding developmental milestones. When teachers become inundated with curriculum and lesson plans, unfortunately many times, developmental milestones begin to fall behind. This often leads to a similar dilemma where students become frustrated and teachers become disappointed.

Once teachers are given more knowledge and guidance for each developmental age, their job becomes easier and the students benefit greatly.

Parents, Teachers and Children

In both situations, this is where one of the helpful features of the iCare childcare software program really comes into play for parents, teachers and most importantly, the children: iCare’s journaling feature.

In the next few pieces, I will walk you through iCare’s childcare software program where journaling categories are set up by age to help illustrate child development milestones and what to really expect at each age group. For parents and teachers, this childcare software is guiding them through each stage of development for a better understanding of child behavior, and therefore, more realistic expectations and better learning outcomes for the children.

Many daycare and early childhood learning centers have had remarkable results from using a childcare software program and it is easy to see why. Having developmental specialists at your side through this childcare software program helps give teachers and parents the confidence they need to foster growth and development for each individual child.