EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Archive for September 2009

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Brain research tells us that even young babies react to tone and pitch, and can respond to and mimic both soothing sounds and sharper sounds such as tongue clicks and kissing noises. Toddlers use the rest of their bodies when music plays – clapping, rocking, marching and dancing, often squealing and giggling as they do. Preschoolers begin to have favorite songs and artists, sometimes make up their own lyrics and melodies, and love to sing along – what could be better?!

What makes music even better for your child is that it develops their minds as well as their bodies. Through popular songs we play at our EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers, we teach everything from color recognition to the importance of friendship and cooperation. As the children absorb these lessons through song and dance, we also incorporate age-appropriate enrichment activities. Through guided play, reading, art activities and group observations and discussions, the children expand their new knowledge by leaps and bounds—sometimes literally!

Most children love music, and through music, will love learning.

Make Learning Fun!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Direct

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Standards, accountability and testing are seemingly the buzzwords of the educational system in the first few years of the twenty-first century. With so much emphasis on these, why should play be considered equally important?

First, research offers multiple data and references that clearly show play as a crucial component of learning. Children in all cultures play, play builds a foundation for intelligence, and intelligence leads to success.

Walking into a typical 3-year-old room at EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers, you may encounter cowboys, scientists, cooks and builders: children playing dress-up, measuring and weighing found objects, solving problems of space and weight as they build towers and vehicles. Other children may be stringing patterns in bead necklaces, while a large group may be filling the play kitchen with a flurry of ordering, choosing, stirring, seating, serving and cleaning.

Cooperation, conversation and fun will be everywhere; little do the children know they are engaged in pre-reading, math, social studies, science, art…

With classroom play as a priority, choosing supporting materials that align with developmental interests and abilities is critical. Special needs, emergent interests and play progression are considerations that drive our choices.

With attention to each child, we are able to successfully provide classroom areas, materials and play scenarios that provide authentic language and skill building.

“Play allows children a combination of exploring new objects, practicing new skills , meeting new challenges – all these experiences stretch young children” –Jim Greenman & Anne Stonehouse, Prime Times, 1996, Readleaf Press

Make Learning Fun!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

“Adults are world designers for children”

– Dr. Burton White

At EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers, we keep Dr. White’s words in mind when creating the environment in which your children will play and learn. While we pride ourselves on the curriculum we’ve developed and the credentials of our staff, we never forget that our foremost goal is to make sure EduKids is a place where children will want to be.

While our rooms are clean, safe, age appropriate, and invigorating, we also make sure they are inviting. Each child is greeted daily – we make sure they know they are special!

We make it a point to get to know your children – their likes and dislikes, their needs – and establish caring routines. Individual differences count, and we try always to be aware of who needs what and when.

We figure out who are the lap sitters, the music movers, the language learners, the climbers and the colorers, the snugglers and the smarties, and make sure we introduce meaningful experiences and activities for each.

Most of all, we establish an atmosphere of joyful encouragement. Yes, we’re learning, but we never let the children forget: It’s fun to be a kid!

Make Learning Fun!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

We recently held our annual company-wide kickoff meeting at our Maryvale (Cheektowaga) Center. Administrators, center directors, support staff and lead teachers from all 11 locations attended for a full day of program development and networking, with a focus on creating the best possible year for the children in our care.

EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers‘ founder and president, Nancy Ware, began the day by welcoming all 81 attendees to the start of a new scholastic year, before they split up for various breakout sessions. Administrators presented on such topics as NAEYC Standards, Curriculum, Activities, Parent-Partnership Opportunities, and Health and Safety. Geared toward age-specific teams, the sessions also gave staff members from the various centers the chance to network and share ideas with their colleagues.

Following lunch, I introduced the rollout of EduKids‘ mentorship program, where EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers will be paired with specific guides on working together under NAEYC accreditation standards, processes and requirements. I also wrapped up the day’s work with a PowerPoint presentation titled, “EduKids: Celebrating 20 Years of Excellence in Childcare! Where We’ve Been, Where We Are, Where We’re Going.”

The day’s focus was on professional development, but we also had a lot of fun! We enjoyed building friendships, sharing ideas, and feeling a mutual sense of pride in our program. We’re looking forward to another year of serving Western New York’s families!

Make Literacy Fun!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

West Seneca, NY – EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers, with 11 locations in Western New York, has earned a spot on the Exchange Top 50, a listing of North America’s largest for-profit childcare organizations.

“We have grown tremendously in 20 years,” said Nancy Ware, founder and owner of EduKids. “Parents in Western New York have really responded to our focus on high quality, educationally focused childcare. This company was basically started at a kitchen table, and now we are 40th in the country.”

EduKids opened its first location in Orchard Park in 1989, expanded to Hamburg two years later, and now operates nine suburban and two urban centers, including the childcare program at Rich Products Corporation.

About Childcare Exchange
For over 30 years, Childcare Exchange has promoted the exchange of ideas among leaders in early childhood programs worldwide through its magazine, books, training products, training seminars, and international conferences.


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