EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Archive for February 2012

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Potty training is, once again, a hot topic.  There are new and improved products being advertised that will “assist” in helping your child stay dry.  Parents are starting to pay serious attention to potty success because their toddler is going to move up to an early preschool class next September.  We are all thinking about summer.  Summertime is a time of bathing suits and cotton shorts.  Diapers are a required nuisance for toddlers and their families.

Here is some information and standard tried and true tips for potty training:

  • Know your child – each child is not ready at the same time; don’t compare siblings.
  • Typically, children in good health have potty success by the time they are 3 or are in their third year.  While training older infants and young toddlers comes in and out of fashion, these children have difficulty “reading” their body’s message to eliminate.  When they “go” it is typically because an adult knows the signs and can get them to the bathroom in time.
  • Girls typically potty train faster than boys.  Urinating is successful ahead of bowel movements.
  • Help your child in all ways.  Celebrate effort as well as achievement.  Be patient.  Never scold or belittle a child when accidents occur (and accidents always occur!)
  • Daytime potty success precedes nighttime success.  Many children will have nighttime / sleep accidents long after they use the potty with complete daytime success.
  • Set up success – have a potty chair or potty seat in your home bathroom if you think your child will use it – keep it clean.  Keep toilet paper in easy reach.  Teach children to wipe carefully and wash their hands after using the potty.
  • Routines are helpful.  At wake up time, after snack and meals and before bed are critical times to set up for a visit to the potty.  Make this a fact of life.
  • Eliminate drinks and cereal with milk before bedtime.
  • Once started, don’t go back on forward potty progress.  It has been my experience and my training that mixed messages don’t work.  When children start to wear underpants, diapers are gone. Children, at this point, know that cloth underpants are to keep dry as best as they can.   Pull-ups (while convenient for bedtime and older toddler play) are diapers in the shape of underpants.  It was ok to soil a diaper but now they know that they should and they want to keep underpants dry – so what should they do?
  • Buy underpants that your children want.  A Princess or Spiderman can be very motivating!
  • Expect the unexpected Have extra supplies, clothes, etc. in your car, at grandmas and at childcare.
  • Most importantly…Relax about potty training.  Stressful situations delay success.  Work with your child’s childcare program or babysitter so that everyone is on the same page.

Consider this:  it took your child over a year to walk and over 2 years to talk – give them some time to potty train!

“Remember, don’t pee-pee on Iron Man – he might get rusty.”
Dad talking to his little boy while in the middle of a successful period of training!

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director


Posted on: February 13, 2012

Childcare Considerations
Traditionally in most childcare centers and schools, registration for the next year of programming, new school entrance or continued enrollment procedures start in late winter – early spring.  That’s now.
There are a number of indicators of high quality childcare that can guide families in their search for a program that is the best for their child.  These indicators are also good benchmarks to validate the choice that families have made to continue their enrollment in their child’s daycare.
Look for:
Accreditation by naeyc (national association for the education of young children).  This is the “gold standard” for early childhood care and education. Naeyc accreditation assures families of programs for children that are thoughtfully planned, interesting, organized and fun in a safe and nurturing learning environment. Accreditation guides professional qualifications and leadership.
Licensing through New York State.  These regulations mandate systems for safety, health, nutrition, program and leadership.
Play as a priority.  Young children grow and thrive in a setting that offers playful experiences.  Play areas in classrooms and outside play grounds are critical to quality.  Toys are safe and in good condition.  Children and adults smile.  There is a joyful “feel” to the center.
Child centered philosophy.  Look for evidence that each child is respected and celebrated as a unique individual.  Activities and lessons are developmentally appropriate with a balance of structure and free choices.  Each classroom has equipment, materials and supplies that match the age & stage of children.
Quality staff.  Classroom teams are structured with a lead teacher and assistants.  The lead teacher has a formal background in education (early childhood).  Both teachers and assistants participate in training specific to early childhood topics. Assistants are experienced in working with children and/or are education students.  Would you ever take your child to a doctor who didn’t go to medical school?
A beautiful, warm and welcoming center that is safe and secure.  Pay attention to everything.  Is there natural lighting through windows? Is everything clean, organized and in good repair? A security system and organizational procedures that insure each child’s safety and well-being?  Formal policies, procedures, a parent handbook and family friendly registration?  Do you feel welcome?
Parent Partnership opportunities both center wide and in individual classrooms.  “Open Door” policy.
Evidence of solid leadership; professional practices, community involvement, high management.
A focus on health & wellness; nutritious meals and snacks, food allergy procedure, illness policy, health professional on team and staff trained in emergency and illness related procedures.      

Take a tour of anywhere you are interested.  Ask questions.  Have a conversation.                                                   

Take your time and be comfortable and positive about your child’s home away from home!

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Do you have toddlers who love to bang on kitchen pots and pans?  Good, you have an accountant in the making! Toddler’s music of pots and pans has a beat. “Musical elements such as steady beat, rhythm, melody and tempo possesses inherent mathematical principles such as spatial properties, sequencing, counting, patterning and one-to-one correspondence.” Geist & Kuznik 2011.  Numbers are strong.  They are concrete and predictable solids. So is the beat of pots & pans.  Join the kitchen band!

As children get older, encourage attention to natural beats of raindrops, clocks ticking and machines chugging.  The beat of their mom’s heart and the steady rock of a rocking chair soothes a fussy baby, toddlers love to clap and preschoolers bob their heads to the beat of music.  Older children play instruments and listen to favorite songs & artists on the radio  – ahhhh…. math at its finest!

Do you have a little one who loves to dance around the room? Does she dance to rhythms that sometimes you hear and sometimes are only hers?  She is getting ready to explore the wonderful world of patterns!  A child just dancing around her living room has steps and movements that are her design; a hop here, a tap there, then a little stretch. Again, a hop, a tap and a little stretch.  Then again!  Put down whatever you are doing and be her dance partner, not just her audience. She hears music; she sings and then there is dancing!  “Music plays an important role in patterning….patterning is a key benchmark skill of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics” Young Children Journal Jan. 2012.  Formal dance lessons teach technical skills in patterns around the beautiful sound of music.

Patterns are processed and found naturally. There is a pattern in zebra stripes and pansies.  Help children listen for patterns; Question then answer, question then answer. Songs and finger plays have repeating refrains.   Patterns can be “played with”; while playing with blocks, build a tower of green, blue, green, blue…., a colorful painted striped scarf can be a repeating pattern.  Classrooms build on this wonderful, natural part of childhood when number and shape patterns become part of formal learning.

Do you have children who sing while they play, who arrange all the different colors of blue together or who call attention to the “red then white then red then white” flowers in a neighbor’s garden?  Then you have mathematicians in the making!  Music, singing and dancing is made up of rhythmic patterns and pattern recognition is one of the primary skills in mathematics.

Math literacy is necessary for all parts of life.  Children actually love numbers.  They love it when they can hold up fingers to tell how old they are.  It is exciting to make the numbers that tell their address and phone number.  The number on their soccer shirt is always the best number!

“I think it would be cool, To fill my tub with math, 

The numbers I love to learn, Would make a super bath!”                                                             

Mr. Rath’s Math Fun

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director


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