Novel Childcare Auckland

In this article we’re going to discuss one of the most important parts of providing daycare for your child and that’s your child’s nutritional needs.

Out of sight, out of mind is a common philosophy among people. So if a parent ships his child off to daycare and doesn’t see what he’s eating or not eating then it’s okay. Certainly the daycare center is not going to let the child starve and the food the child is given to eat will certainly be good food. Right?

Well, not always. Unfortunately a daycare center’s food value is often dictated by its food budget. In most cases daycare centers are poorly funded. Most of the money goes to paying the workers themselves. Then there is the overhead. This leaves very little for food. As a matter of fact, many daycare centers have no food budget at all.

So, what is a parent to do?

For starters, you have to find out exactly what the center’s food budget is. They may not give you exact dollar amounts, as they may not even know this figure, but they should be able to tell you what foods they can and can’t get. This will give you a good idea of what part of your child’s nutrition will be taken care of by the center and what part you will have to take care of yourself.

That brings us to the next problem. Some childcare centers do not allow food to be brought in from the outside. Many times this can be because of certain health codes that they have to enforce. In these cases only food that the centers are authorized to have will be allowed at the center. This is why knowing what the center will be feeding your child is so important.

What a parent really needs to know is exactly what good nutrition for their child is. Unfortunately not all parents are great roll models for good nutrition. Many people in this country (the United States) are either overweight or malnourished. Depending on these people to know what’s good for their child is like expecting a foot doctor to disarm a nuclear warhead. Probably not a good idea.

So the first thing the parent should do is consult with a nutritionist to design a diet for the child based on the child’s needs. After this is done, find out which of these foods, if any, the daycare center itself provides. If only some, or worse, none, then find out if you can provide the center with the food it needs to feed your child properly. If this is not allowed then maybe you need to rethink whether or not you want to send your child there.

Why such a fuss about nutrition? Simple. Plenty of studies have proven conclusively that a child’s progress and health are directly related to how well the child eats. So if you can’t be around to take care of your child and still want him to grow up healthy and strong, then make sure the daycare center is providing him with the food he needs to be healthy or find yourself another center. Your child’s health depends on it.

by Michael Russell


Dr. Lisa Gunderson on early learning at the 2014 Child Care Resources Luncheon

Dr. Lisa Gunderson on early learning at the 2014 Child Care Resources Luncheon

Dr. Lisa Gunderson, a child psychologist from One Love Consulting (, shares her reflections on early learning at the 2014 "Why Before Five?" Child Care Resources…



Positive Impact Professional Development Has on the Classroom

Professional development is something that every teacher must do within their career. Many times the programs are held as an in-service day workshop so they are not taken seriously; however, it is important for teachers to embrace these programs. Numerous research studies find a direct connection between teachers who are consistently involved in professional development and their student’s performance in the classroom. Teachers who participate in professional development courses upgrade their skills, master new skills and responsibilities, and change teaching habits and practices. Professional development results in many positive aspects within the classroom, which leads to the overall goal; that our children thrive in our education system.

Professional development programs provide teachers the ability to use a variety of instructional practices that are deemed helpful for the current times. A majority of the programs concentrate on students’ reasoning and what process they use to problem solve. Teachers are trained to notice how students learn a particular subject matter. Teachers are then taught different instructional practices that relate directly with subject matter and how to tell if the student can comprehend the methods that are being used to teach the material.

If teachers take professional development classes that focus on how students learn and how to determine their learning successfully, they will be able to help each of their students get a better understanding of the subject being taught. After mathematical professional development training, teachers can watch the process students use to solve problems and persuade them to use more practical methods of finding the answers. Students who have access to this type of learning do better with conceptual understanding, yet still retain all of their basic skills. Reading and English classes help teachers learn how to improve their understanding of word sounds and structures. Through this method, teachers spend more time going over building blocks of words and language with their students which boosts their reading and comprehension test scores.

Teachers who are involved in cooperative learning programs also see a big impact within their classroom. These classes are more likely to use small group lessons at least one time a week compared to teachers who have not taken this type of development course. Also, these teachers assign more group projects that involve both group and individual grading and they encourage their students to partake in more classroom discussions. Group activities are a great way for children to develop their social and team working skills. Both of these skills are extremely important throughout a child’s life and the more experience he or she has at a young age the more beneficial it will be in the long run.

Another way to ensure that professional development creates a positive impact in classrooms is by connecting the development program directly to the teacher’s school district and states’ academic standards and curriculums. The courses provide teachers with a way to directly apply what they learn in the workshop to their teaching. Many times, professional development classes help teachers receive higher assessments and evaluations scores because they are able to use the information they learned and direct it to their students’ learning experiences. By connecting the teacher’s curriculum with the development courses, teachers receive better instructions and students are more successful with learning the subject matter. Also, professional development programs are beginning to join President Obama’s new education reform agenda. By doing this, teachers are implementing both federal and state government regulations into their program.

Overall, professional development programs are extremely beneficial in the classroom. These programs train teachers on the current practices that are most efficient and give them a better understanding of why they work. These practices help teachers focus on the student’s ability to recognize and solve the material presented to them. This leads to teachers being able to teach the material different ways, in order to help the students understand the subject matter completely. These development courses compliment the knowledge teachers already have and build on that to create a well-rounded professional. Professional development programs are available for teachers in every state.

by Shelby A Till

Influence of Educational Theorists on Thinking in Education

This article will assess the influences of Dewey, Lewin, Piaget, and Kolb to the current trends in education. Each theorist will be reviewed separately. The review will include information related to each theorist’s seminal work followed by examples of how they influenced educational approaches today.

John Dewey

Dewey’s influence on today’s education system is significant. Dewey was one of the first theorists to propose the connection of education to the meaningful experience. Tenets of that connection can be found in the curriculum of K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, which embrace the idea of authentic experiential instruction. These schools provide course offerings that include internship, externships, work-study arrangements, and credit based on prior experience. The learner is directly in touch with the realities studied. Often, it involves direct encounters with the phenomenon being studied rather than merely thinking about the encounter or only considering the possibility of doing something with it (Keeton & Tate, 1978, p. 2). The internship type courses provide students with real-world experiences which can be applied to day-to-day situations. According to Dewey’s theory, instruction through application has relevance to the student.

Dewey’s theory also has influenced the current theory of constructivism. He encouraged the students to take an active role in the learning process. The constructivist teacher designs lessons which allow students to be participants in the construction of their own knowledge. Gertek (2004) explains that Dewey’s concept of experience as the interaction of the person with his or her environment reflects constructivist beliefsp.11). In simple terms, learning occurs during the interaction through which the learner gains knowledge.

Kurt Lewin

Lewin also strongly believed that the experience was a construct of the learning process. Lewin added the additional propositions to Dewey’s theory that took into account the interactions of group dynamics, action research, laboratory training, and the training group. His work, which is related to groups, serves as a medium for learning how to encourage planned change within organizational social systems. He emphasized basic values of a humanistic scientific process and authenticity in relationships which offered new hope-filled ideals for the conduct of human relationships and the management of organizations (Schein & Bennis, 1965). Today, many organizations planning change use Lewin’s three-stage change process model.

Lewin’s work on the Laboratory Training Model inspired the formation of the National Training Laboratory in Group Development. Kolb (1984) explained that the laboratory training movement had a profound influence on the concept of innovation and on the practice of adult education, training, and organization development. The training center focused on teaching change motivation and management in group situations, utilizing Lewin’s laboratory practices.

Jean Piaget

Piaget is most widely known of all the educational theorists and perhaps one of the most substantial contributors to the current constructivist theory of education. Marlowe and Page (2005) say that one cannot overestimate Piaget’s contributions to the direction, meaning, and understanding of contemporary constructivism (p. 12). Examples of Piaget’s contributions include his ideas that knowledge should be actively constructed by a child, and learning activities should match the level of the conceptual development stage of each child. Also, several major approaches to curriculum and instruction are based on the Piagetian theory (Berrueta-Clement, Schweinhart, Barnett, Epstein, & Weikart, 1984). For instance, Piaget influenced many teaching techniques such as the focus on the process of the child’s thinking and the active role of the learner (Berk, 2001).

Piaget’s focus on the process of the child thinking promoted the development of the stages of Cognitive Development Theory. Teachers use the stages in today’s classroom as a way to gauge a child’s cognitive functioning. This permits the development of activities and learning experiences that are at the correct cognitive development stage for the child’s ability to learn.

Piaget recognized that students must be self-initiated and actively involved in learning activities. A current application of this concept today can be found with the teacher designing a variety of activities that allow a child to act within the physical world. Today, many of the academic curriculum material include interactive activities and even educational software for the student to engage in self-controlled learning.

David Kolb

David Kolb’s work has been very influential within the education system at the present time. His most notable work is the LSI. The instrument offers educators and trainers the tools to assess and determine behavior related to environmental interactions, which is useful in determining a match between the learner and the learning experience. Sims explains that the effectiveness of Kolb’s model is contingent on a dynamic match between the learner and the experience. In support, Tennant (1997) explains that Kolb’s model can be used as a framework for planning, teaching, and learning activities, as well as a guide for understanding learning difficulties, vocational counseling, and academic advising. Therefore, the inventory provides the learner with the necessary information needed to support the learning process with direction.

Kolb’s measure of learning styles called the LSI has been used increasingly by both education and business organizations. Kolb describes that the increased attention is due to the fact that very little in terms of research and studies have focused on the relation of learning styles to one’s chosen field of specialization in college. Honigsfeld and Schiering (2004) explain that empirical results with the Learning Styles Inventory have shown differentiated learning style preferences in specified disciplines. This indicates that there is a relation with academic choices, achievement, and teaching styles. Therefore, the information obtained from the inventory can be applied to learning choices, career paths, and continued professional development.

Kolb’s LSI is currently used in adult learning and development. Healey and Jenkins (2000) say that Kolb’s inventory remains one of the most widely distributed instruments used in higher education. In fact, the tool can be downloaded for a small fee from a number of web sites. Many management consultant firms also use the model as a tool to develop personal development and planning.

by Cynthia Joffrion

What Is ADDIE?

There are a range of instructional design systems that are used in the development of training resources. These include Dick and Carey Systems Approach Model, Instructional Development Leaning System and ADDIE. This article will look at ADDIE and what it entails.

The five ADDIE phases include Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. The phases create a dynamic, flexible guideline for building effective training and e-Learning programs.

Analysis Phase

In the Analysis Phase, the instructional goals and learning objectives are established and the learner’s prior knowledge and skills are identified. Profiling questions in the analysis phase include:

  • What are the learning outcomes and the pedagogy
  • Are there learning constraints?
  • How is the content to be delivered?
  • What accessibility elements need to be considered?
  • What is the timeline for project?

Design Phase

The Design Phase conceptualises the project. The phase involves learning objectives, assessment tools, exercises, content, subject matter analysis, learning sequence and media asset selection. The design phase includes:

  • Documentation of the instructional design and technical framework
  • Application of the pedagogical philosophy that will underpin the learning
  • Creation of the storyboard for scope and sequence
  • Proofing and academic review and approval of the storyboard
  • Design the user interface and navigation structures
  • Development of the prototype

Development Phase

The Development Phase involves the creation of the learning objects or course based on the completed storyboards. The developers create and assemble the content assets and the programmers build the functions and integrate the assets. Testers complete User Acceptance Testing and debugging occurs. Project variations are applied and the release occurs after approval.

Implementation Phase

The Implementation Phase involves the development of documentation, user guides and training manuals. The documentation covers the course curriculum, learning outcomes, navigation, assessment and learning tools.

Evaluation Phase

The Evaluation Phase consists of two parts: formative and summative. Formative evaluation is present in each stage of the ADDIE process. Summative evaluation consists of tests designed for domain specific criterion referenced items and provides opportunities for feedback from the users.

Rapid Prototyping

Rapid prototyping is an adaption of ADDIE that is sometimes used. Rapid prototyping involves the process of receiving continual or formative feedback while instructional materials are being developed. Rapid prototyping develops learning experiences in a continual design-evaluation process, known as the spiral cycle. The iterative approach means that courses are continually improved as the cycle continues.

You should now have a better idea of the ADDIE system and what is involved.

by Gordon Hack

Cake Desktop 5/15 – Template & Account Categories

Cake Desktop 5/15 – Template & Account Categories

Try our FREE childcare software here at In this video tutorial, Cake will be showing you how to setup your facility's templates and charge categories. These templates…



Childcare – The Hard Facts

Due to the growing number of double-income families in America, the need for childcare providers is constantly on the rise. Just take a look at the statistics: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in their May 2005 Databook, 11.6 million children under age 5 were in some type of regular childcare arrangement every week.

In the 2004 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a whopping 63% of children under age 5 are in some type of regular childcare arrangement every week.

How does this impact our society in general?

These statistics show that more than half of preschool-age children spend a majority of their waking hours in the care of non-family members. According to records, these children spend an average of 36 hours per week in a private or public childcare facility.

These figures become significant when we consider that the first few years in a child’s life are the so-called ‘formative years.’ These are when kids’ brains imbibe a lot of inputs from his environment. Thus, the people with whom he spends much of his waking hours impact his development significantly.

And because childcare is inevitable for double-income families, single parents, and couples who don’t have the luxury of having other relatives to look after their children, childcare providers must be selected with great care.

Quality childcare is important so that the child will be positively influenced intellectually, morally, and socially. A well-trained childcare workforce is important so that the kids left in childcare would eventually perform well in academics as well as have fewer behavioral problems as they grow up.

Childcare facilities must provide quality programs that are both safe and enjoyable for their wards. This means that the overall environment in a childcare center must come as close as possible to the environment that the child has in his own home – surrounded by caring adults who are deeply concerned in his welfare.

Many childcare agencies aggressively encourage childcare providers to obtain early childhood education courses, or at least enroll in continuing childcare education [], so that they come well equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for their jobs.

Even as some teenagers and working students are found worthy to be excellent childcare providers, studies made by the Center for the Childcare Workforce show that the amount of formal education possessed by a childcare provider is still the strongest predictor for his or her ability to facilitate developmentally appropriate activities for children under his or her care.

by Jonathan Andrew

What Is the Average Cost of Kindercare?

KinderCare is one of America’s biggest daycare centers, if not the biggest. With over 1,700 centers that are located throughout the country, you know you’re going to be in good hands if you take your child here. If you’re looking to take your child here, you’re probably wondering what it is going to cost you. If you’re thinking about taking your child here, let’s take a look at what it will cost you in your area.

The factors in the pricing

  • The location – All KinderCare centers are going to be different. What you’re going to find out is that your location, as well as how many kids you’re bringing, the age and more are all going to play a crucial role, when you want to get a price estimate.
  • How many children – Again, if you bring in more children, the centers may offer you a discount. You will also have to factor in their age.
  • How long – The longer your children stay, the more you’re going to be paying obviously. Whether it’s on a weekly basis, or a day to day basis. This will all effect the price tag.

Looking at the average cost

From what I’ve seen first hand, you’re going to pay around $100 to $300 a week per child on average. Again, you will have to factor in all of the items that I mentioned above. What you will also find out is that if you call up, they will more than likely give you an exact estimate, even though they will recommend that you come in for a tour, etc.

How to save

Places like Kindercare are reasonable, but it shouldn’t stop you from working with other centers as well. Try and get at least 3 quotes before you sign up with a company. The more quotes you have, the easier it will be to break it down, to find the cheapest, and best place for your child.

by Hannah Munson

Daycare Marketing Plan – A 6 Step Outline

Your day care marketing plan is a section of your business plan which offers readers with a description of how you will communicate your services to prospects and convert them into real customers, as well as what you will be communicating. A marketing plan includes the 4 Ps (Product/Services, Promotion, Place, and Price) as well as key partnerships and a customer retention plan. Use this outline to provide needed structure to your marketing plan.  

1) Product/Services 

Give readers a clear and complete understanding of what services your day care center will provide through a short description and a chart or menu of options, if appropriate. Be clear as to what the basic services and what are considered add-ons.  

2) Promotion 

Spend the most time on the promotion section, which should detail your choice of marketing tactics based on the implicit rule that each must be useful at reaching your customer target market. List each marketing tactic (such as advertising, public relations, direct mail, etc) along with at least a few sentence explanation of how the tactic will be used.  

3) Place  

“Place” in the marketing plan means how services will be delivered to customers and is not just a description of the location. Include an understanding of how you will sell to parents, whether online, on the phone, through in person appointments, or through a combination of these.  

4) Price 

It is more important to give an overall explanation of how pricing decisions will be made than to list all of the prices in detail. Individual prices mean little to readers without an understanding of the value to the customer and the prices charged by competitors. Show your understanding of where your pricing will fit in the range of other options parents have in your community.  

5) Partnerships

Focus on quality rather than quantity here, describing one or two key partnerships that you will build with existing area businesses or services. Partnerships should only be included if they will lead to significant benefit for your company. To be believable to readers, it must also be clear what kind of significant benefit the parter receives. For example, a viable partnership deal could be offering discounted pricing to a large area business who, in turn, handles the legwork of selling to their employees. The business would have the benefit of being able to say they offer discounted childcare to attract the best employees.  

6) Customer Retention 

In a perfect world, your customers would only leave when families move away or children age out of day care. Of course, this will not always be the case. Nonetheless, pay attention in this section to what you will do to keep your customers. For example, seek to build customer identification with your day care center through long-term projects and parental involvement. Customers may be uneasy about switching to a new day care provider when they feel personally invested in yours.