Category Archives: daycare software

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.

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.

Know all about your infant’s day with this excellent daycare software feature

Some people think infants have it easy.  They just eat and sleep, right? Well, if you’ve ever had an infant yourself, or have watched someone else’s baby for just a few hours, you might start to reconsider that thought.

Babies take a lot of time, patience and love to take care of. With so much going on at every minute, being able to keep a journal of everything that happens is essential. Ultimately, this makes the challenging job of taking care of an infant a whole lot easier.

In the daycare software journaling feature for infants, we have done the hard work for you and we have created daycare software categories to help you organize the important information you gather throughout the day.  The first categories are the essentials:

  • meals
  • diapering
  • naps
  • health

By keeping track of these critical categories, it leaves teachers the time to concentrate on an infant’s behavior and activity.  This journaling feature also gives teachers an opportunity to educate parents and care takers about these specific areas of their child’s life.  For example, a teacher may use this journaling feature to not only record the infant’s sleeping habits, but offer additional knowledge like how much sleep an infant should be getting at this age.  There is also room for teachers to make suggestions to help parents at home for each category.

The next group of categories are the behavioral/developmental categories which include:

  • “I was”
  • “I need”
  • “activities”
  • “behavior notes”
  • “accident reports”

With these daycare software journaling categories, you can track child development and clearly visualize areas of strength, while also catching any developmental delays as early as possible. This is also another great opportunity for child care experts to share their knowledge with the parents.  These categories provide a chance for teachers to educate parents on common developmental milestones for each age group.  Teachers would be able to teach parents amazing facts about their babies’ psychological development in each category.  This will in turn, illustrate realistic expectations for child behavior and development. 

When parents are equipped with realistic expectations, they are less likely to become disappointed with their child’s behavior and children are less likely to become frustrated in the process of their learning and developing years. For example, if a parent does not know that a child is usually not developmentally ready to deliberately control their emotions until ages 4-5, they might feel more obligated to punish their two year old when the child is unable to stop crying.  This is a perfect example where the teacher has a great opportunity to help both the parent and child by writing this helpful information in their personal journaling feature of the iCare Software program for the parents to read.  The teacher can also use this feature for making suggestions like diverting the child’s interest instead of punishing them.

With this childcare software program, parents feel confident leaving their children with providers who can monitor and record their children’s activity when they’re gone and leave them with helpful knowledge for when they’re back at home . It is reassuring to pick up your child from daycare and know that his/her entire day is documented and available for you to enjoy. This is one of the greatest parts of using a quality daycare software program like iCare Software.  This childcare software program makes both parents and teachers happy, which in return, makes happy children and that’s the most important part of all!