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
Let's Move! Child Care Training Opportunities and Resources for CACFP Sponsors Webinar
This webinar will highlight the free online Let's Move! Child Care (LMCC) training modules created through a partnership between Penn State University and the Centers for Disease Control and…
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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 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
The following strategies and instructional practices are designed for every classroom and school. Implement 8 key recommendations and improve the quality of instruction at your school.
#1: Meaningful lesson plans
Issue: Administrators often focus on the type of plan and if a teacher has handled in their lessons. Countless hours are spent trying to collect lesson plans. Administrators usually do not have the time to critique them. It tends to be a pointless activity.
Solution: Rather than struggle over the type of lesson plan a teacher uses, create a template to highlight critical components of a lesson plan. Decide components that must be included in the plan such as preview and review, vocabulary building, assessment tools, unpacking standards.
#2: Realistic instructional and pacing guides
Issue: Teachers feel they are unable to spend more time on certain standards because of deadlines to complete units. We are driven by the calendar and learning can take a back seat. However, at the same time, we need a structure that will guide us.
Solution: Departments should meet to determine pacing guides for the semester and year, based on the school calendar and key essential standards. It is better to learn fewer concepts with a deeper level of understanding than to introduce many strands with little or no comprehension of the content.
#3: High leverage strategies
Issue: Ask yourself a few guiding questions. What instructional strategies are necessary for mastery of a content skill? What strategies are high level strategies? Do not assume that staff will know what strategies are best to build a particular skill.
Solution: Have department and grade level teachers collaboratively determine a list of high leverage strategies to use with certain standards and skills. Create a user friendly template that can be adapted and easily interpreted.
#4: Check for student understanding
Issue: It is difficult to find ways to continuously monitor student understanding. When dealing with diverse students with varying learning styles and levels, it is critical for teachers to check for understanding and adjust lesson plans.
Solution: Use daily assessments to review student progress and to monitor mastery of skill content. Create a series of questioning strategies to check for student understanding in a group setting.
#5: Department wide focus on common standard
Issue: Standards overlap and share common elements. Different grade level and/or subject teams may find it challenging to select common standards to implement as a department.
Solution: Have department or grade level teachers’ select one standard, discuss the instructional strategies that support the standard, and how the strategy is used in the classroom. Share student work at meeting.
#6: School wide focus on one common practice
Issue: The best professional development for teachers is to learn from each other and to have learning take place during the work day. However, it is difficult to find and model activities that are common to all.
Solution: Go through an inquiry process to determine what standard to focus on. Departments can decide the activities. For example, you can select literacy (writing samples, reading comprehension strategies) and integrate common standards and curriculum in content areas. Develop a forum for teachers to share best practices.
#7: Support for different learning styles and levels
Issue: It is difficult to include student opportunities that accommodate the diversity of all students (the struggling and the advanced student.)
Solution: Establish extended activities in and out of the classroom. Technology is a great avenue for students who need and want to work independently, at their own pace, and in an interactive setting.
#8: Collaborative classroom walkthroughs
Issue: Observations can be obtrusive and intimidating. The task is to provide feedback that is helpful and meaningful. Determine what is the reason for the visit. The teacher and administrator should be able to easily communicate the intent of the visit beforehand.
Solution: Walkthroughs are not observations. Focused and collaborative classroom visits can be a productive activity. Ask teachers for input . It is best to decide a department or school wide focus for the walkthroughs. When the process is fair, it will not be met with skepticism.
by Patricia Fioriello
Out of all the effective teaching strategies there is one strategy that is more effective than all others. Can there really be a number one effective teaching strategy? You bet there is, because without this strategy you will be met with blank stares from your students day after day.
If I had to decide what my most successful teaching strategy is, what I find to be the most effective teaching strategy, without a doubt it is the connection that I make with students. You see without a connection to your students, there will be little or no content understanding.
Always remember this: connection before content. This should be at the top of your list of effective teaching strategies.
This connection with your students is a two way street – you to student, and student to you. You need to give something of yourself, and in turn your students will give back something of themselves.
This connection applies to teachers at every level and in different learning situations: from kindergarten to fifth grade, high school to college; in seminars, employee training, or sales presentations. The teacher must connect with the students or audience before they will hear the message being delivered, the content.
Think back to situations you have been in, whether it was school or a sales pitch. Who are the teachers or people you connected with? Most likely they were the ones who you felt acknowledged you, wanted to get to know you, enjoyed what they were doing, and were committed to your success. They are the people you want to be around and enjoy talking to. They know and understand that connecting with students is the most important of all effective teaching strategies.
So, as an educator, how do you make this connection? Here are some effective teaching strategies for making that connection:
Be fully present in the moment. When your teaching day starts give your total focus to your students and the task at hand. This will send a message to your students that they are important.
Learn something about each of your students. This is easier for those that teach one group of students. It takes more effort for those at the middle, high school, and college level where you have large groups throughout the day, but it can be done. I think if you really enjoy teaching, you enjoy the interaction with students.
Try this quick check – write down something you know about each of your students. If you are struggling trying to come up with something for particular students make a point to learn something about them. If you have large classes set a goal for a number of students you will make a point to speak to each day. This way over the course of the week you will have connected with each of your students one on one. Sometimes we have those quiet students who slip under the radar and we don’t always check in with them as often as others who are more vocal or needy.
Share information about yourself with your students. Very early in the school year my students know about my family, pets, favorite foods, what I do on the weekend (well not everything), my hobbies, and my general likes and dislikes. Sharing this information with students lets them see you as a person, and gives them common ground to connect. Little bits of information are easy to weave into your general teaching and conversations with students. Don’t cross the line by giving too much personal information, or boring students with long stories about your kitchen renovation. Give information that is relevant in their lives that they can connect to.
Be in tune with your students each day and for every class. Besides connecting with them individually you also need to connect with the mood of the group. If the group energy is low, get students moving with a game or stretch break. If the group is restless and having difficulty settling down, do some calming activities with them. If students seem stressed extend an assignment deadline, or give a “night off” from homework. Being in tune with your group is such an important teaching strategy and most often students will be more productive when you respond to their needs.
Remember, each student and class is different. Respecting and acknowledging those differences will go a long way to achieving a personal connection with your students.
When you connect with students and they connect with you, they trust you and are invested in their learning. Your students will be able to hear the content you present to them because they know you are invested in their success.
There are several classroom activities which are effective teaching strategies for connecting with students.
by Mary Muroski
http://www.sunshinefl.com Sunshine is a family operated not-for-profit child care provider that has been providing superior school-age child care programs in Broward County since 1992. All…
What’s the best way to price a product or service? What are the things that you have to take into consideration? Most business owners who are not very sure what to do will simply use their competitor’s pricing and either price below it or above it. The question to ask then is, how would you know that their pricing strategy is right?
Let’s look at the factors you need to take into consideration when pricing. First, you need to determine your pricing objectives. It basically defines what we want to achieve. There are 3 pricing objectives to consider.
1. Revenue-Oriented Pricing
It is setting a price that will maximize revenue from the target market. For example, if your daycare centre is offering something which other daycare centres are not able to offer such as a particular curriculum, then you can consider this objective.
2. Operations-Oriented Pricing
It seeks to balance supply and demand. It introduces cheaper prices during the lull periods (or when demand is low) and raises prices during peak periods (when demand is higher). For example, during the holiday season, when parents do not send their kids in, you can offer short courses / electives.
3. Target Market Pricing
It uses different prices for different target markets. For example, you can offer parents who put more than one child at your daycare centre a discount from parents who only place just one child at your centre.
Next, you need to think about the pricing strategy you are intending to adopt. Pricing strategy defines how you are going to achieve your objective. There are 3 different strategies in which you can adopt.
a. Market skimming
Do you think that your daycare centre or its services generates added value? Do you think your customers will be able to afford it? Are you the only or selected daycare centre that is offering it? If you answer is yes, then you can consider market skimming. It basically involves charging the highest possible price. You will need to decide if whatever you are offering is something which the customer values. For example, you are offering a particular curriculum which other daycare centres are not offering and you think that this value added curriculum is something which your customer will be willing to pay for. Or your centre is the only centre in town that closes at 8pm and it is something which you think your customer values and is willing to pay for. To charge a higher price will also mean that you need to communicate that to your potential customer through effective promotional means.
b. Market penetration
If there are a number of daycare centres and all of you are offering basically the same curriculum or services, then you should consider penetration pricing. It basically means keeping the price low in order to gain a greater market share.
c. Price adaptation
The last and most complicated strategy is price adaptation. It is offering different prices to different target market. For example, parents who places 2 or more children at your daycare centre is offered a discounts. But what happens when one of the sibling becomes of school going age. It might be difficult to revert back to the higher price.
Pricing strategies is something which plague many business owners. Whilst pricing lower might mean higher chances of increasing recruitment, the low prices might mean that you need to cut back on some luxuries such as quality meals or curriculum, which could impact the image of your daycare centre. Therefore, it is important to think very carefully before setting a price because in most instances, it’ll be difficult to reverse that decision.
by Seraphina T. Dinn
Day care activities can help draw many new customers. More and more parents want someone to not only look after their children, but to help them learn and have fun. Introducing stimulating day care activity to a child’s day can help them physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Any day care activity should be tailored to the ages of the children. Infants and young toddlers will need more basic, gentle play, while older children will need more challenging activities. When you are dealing with a wide range of children, it may be more challenging to come up with day care activity to meet all of their needs. With a little creativity and patience, however, it is possible.
Infants and toddlers need good day care activities as much as older children, but they need activity suited to their age. Younger infants need plenty of floor time to help with muscle strength and mobility. They will also love playing with brightly colored rattles and soft toys. As they get a little older they may enjoy pull toys, riding toys, large blocks, and stacking toys. Games like peek-a-boo are very popular at this age, as is music and singing.
Older toddlers need day care activity that helps them learn new skills and concepts. Puzzles, building blocks, arts and crafts, and outdoor play are all important at this age. Memory games would be a fun day care activity, as well as dress up. This age group is learning not only mental skills, but social ones as well. Try to find activities that help in both of these areas. Older toddlers also like to help adults. With close and careful supervision, they could be encouraged to play with and ‘help’ the younger babies.
Pre-schoolers need books in any day care activity. Books and reading are crucial at this age. Read to them as often as possible. Keep plenty of colorful picture books and encourage children to create their own stories to go with the pictures.
If you are dealing with multiple age groups, day care activities should be scheduled for each. You could, for instance, have preschool activity during infant naptime, or vice versa. All schedules should be flexible however, as children do not always cooperate with your plans. Combining age groups for day care activities when possible is one option, but you may need to make sure you have at least one adult for each group if you are dealing with a large number of children.
Outdoor play is an important day care activity for all age groups, even infants. Older children may prefer games such as baseball, tag, or hide and seek. Most children of any age group love to swing and slide. Babies may simply enjoy the sunlight, but many like to swing or play in the grass.
With a little careful planning, you can easily find suitable day care activities for any age group you are working with. Above all, listen to the children. If they enjoy certain day care activities, try to find other similar things to do. If they don’t like something, look for alternatives. Even the most well intended day care activities will be worthless if the children do not cooperate.
© CG Groth Inc 2007
by Christine Groth
There are numerous benefits associated with early childhood education, so much so that most parents believe that this needs to be made vital and not only a choice. The advantageous capabilities children acquire and the present ones they can enhance are two attributes which helps to makeup kindergarten education, plus it offers positive influence on a young child. This article will look at some of the benefits for enrolling kids in school in early stages right after preschool. Parents thinking about early education or even those uncertain if their children are ready to attend school will find this information extremely helpful.
Probably the best skill that a child will develop and embrace during an early childhood training program would be the capacity to learn. This is the first step in the direction of schooling, prosperity and overall success in life. Virtually all children will be naturally curious and will react to anything they are seeing, touching and hearing. This capacity to learn and adjust should be carefully monitored in early stages to be able to mold a child into a much better person over time and help him or her to become a successful individual in future years. Preschool education will be a key component in guiding your child in the right direction.
Children generally communicate in any way they can, so it’s important to hear what they have to say. Preschool training will engage a child directly and enhance communication with society. They will also learn the best way to express themselves and how to realize what they are being taught. This capability to communicate effectively enables them in their every day work and gives them a better comprehension of the world they live in.
The classrooms will have many children within the same age bracket communicating with one another and carrying out tasks, while participating in recreational and learning activities. The teaching at preschool will impart the importance of doing teamwork as well as how everybody in the group needs to make the effort to reach the finish line.
It is common for children to demand more attention and time, so parents will find it difficult to care for them and carry out other household responsibilities. Preschool will be essential to help in this regard, because it offers kids more than enough room to develop physically and mentally.
In essence, preschool education will put greater emphasis on the significance of recreational and sporting activities. This will help children to maintain a healthy body and mind, which will in turn help them to develop mentally, emotionally, physically and socially.
by Rowann Imms