Why You Should Choose Kare-A-Lot Preschool!

Parents want what’s best for their children, especially when it comes to their childcare needs. There are a lot of great daycare centers out there, and there are a lot of lousy ones, too. So how can you truly tell if the daycare center you are considering sending your children to is a good one or not?

You could check out their website, take a tour, and talk to the director about any questions or concerns you have. You can also look at the reviews that have been left by parents. Good and bad reviews can give you a good picture of a daycare center.

Did you know that Kare-A-Lot Preschool has TONS OF GREAT 5-STAR PARENT REVIEWS ON GOOGLE? So if you have been considering Kare-A-Lot Preschool for your child, make sure you read all of our great reviews! That could be the thing that makes the final decision for you to come on over here!

We are so happy with the experience we have had bringing our 18 month old to this center! Like many first time parents, the thought of trusting our child to strangers was daunting. We enrolled in this program while on the waitlist for another, but it didn’t take long for us to deicide to just stick with Kare-a-Lot instead 🙂 Everyone at the facility is lovely; Gladys, “Gaga” loves and cares for our baby as her own. We never expected our very attached tot to get so comfortable so quickly. She screamed everyday for a week, but now she quickly waves bye-bye to us at the door because she’s excited to start her day. It makes the work-life struggle and parental guilt far more bearable. The photos and updates on the app throughout the day make it even better. No, this facility doesn’t have all the bells and whistles with modern well-lit “minimalist” rooms (to be honest, this is what drew us to the other facility initially). But if what you’re really looking for is trust, genuine care, and safety, we would highly recommend you put this facility on your list.” –A.T.

“I was a stay a home mom before putting my three year old in their care in August. Needless to say I was extremely apprehensive. When I came to check the place out I was extremely impressed with Melinda’s level of professionalism and how she explained everything. Lets just say she knows what she is doing! They were extremely understanding that my daughter has never been without me and she did great! They were attentive to her needs and within the first few weeks she had no troubles at all! They answered all my questions and are extremely professional. I look forward to putting her younger sister there when the time comes!”Nora Mzibri

“I have been sending my children to Kare-a-lot for three years now and have been very pleased with their care. The teachers are amazing, so sweet and love these children. Many have been working their for years so turnover is lower compared to other daycares I have seen. Leadership is responsive and professional. Anytime I have questions, concerns I can easily call or email and they are very fast to get back to me. I have also been very impressed with the precautions they have been taking due to COVID. The precautions have been smart, follow all the guidelines but also have somehow not been overwhelming and make total sense.” – Annie McDaniel

You can check out other positive reviews from our amazing parents here! We love the children we have the privilege of taking care of, and we hope your child can be another addition to our sweet crew soon!

How to Help Your Child Transition into a New Daycare

Adjusting to new routines can be a lot for little kids, especially when that new routine involves transitioning into a new daycare.

Whether it is a switch to a different daycare or it’s your child’s first time, there are some easy things you can do to help make the transition a smoother one!

How to Help Your Child Transition into a New Daycare

 

  • Visit the Daycare with Your Child Before Starting

Visiting the new daycare center with your child before starting is a great first step to making them feel comfortable.

You can call the daycare center to schedule a visit where you and your child will get to meet the director, your child’s teacher, and the other kids in their class as well. This will give your child the chance to explore and become more familiar with their classroom as well.

Having their parent with them in a new environment can help calm a child’s nerves and make them feel safer and more comfortable.

 

  • Start a New Routine Before the First Day of Daycare

If you have a bit of time between your first visit and your start date, you may be thinking up what your new morning routine is going to look like with your child before leaving for daycare each morning.

Don’t wait to start the new routine until the first day of daycare! Make sure you start at least a week ahead of time.

This will help your child as well by acclimating them to a new routine while also taking out one more new thing to get used to while starting the transition into a new daycare.

  • Get Your Child Excited About Daycare!

Young children often react to things the way their parents or older siblings react to them since these are all new experiences for them. And attending a new daycare is no different.

Build up the experience in your child’s mind before they go. Tell them how much fun it will be, that they will make new friends, and that they will get to do fun activities and play with new toys.

All of these things can help build up a child’s excitement so they are more prepared to start at their new daycare!

 

  • Don’t Prolong Goodbyes

The day has finally arrived, and you are walking into your new daycare center for the first time!

Despite all that you have done to prepare your child—and yourself—for this new step, your child could still have tears and uncertainty when being dropped off for the first time.

This piece of advice will be the hardest to follow, but it is one of the most helpful: don’t prolong your goodbye. As difficult as it might be, give your child a hug, a kiss, and a smile, and then leave.

Your child may continue to cry or call for you, but one of the biggest steps to them becoming comfortable in their new space is for you to leave and let the teachers take it from there. Good daycare teachers will have a lot of ways to help your child calm down and acclimate to their classroom which will help in this final stage of transitioning into a new daycare.

 

While this transition stage is challenging, it is usually a short stage. Patience, consistency, and reassurance will be your friends as you work through this; and in the end, you and your child will find a new rhythm that is peaceful and exciting each day!

Developmental Milestones Parents Should Look For in the First Year

Did you know that the new skills or “growth spurts” your child goes through are called Developmental Milestones? Did you know there is a right age range for each of these as well?

Understanding the kinds of skills your child should be developing at each age can help you identify if there are any areas your child may need a little extra help in and can give you the knowledge and resources you needed to help your child continue to grow.

With that said, every child develops at their own pace. So if a child is “slightly behind” according to common standards, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your child has a problem. It could just mean he or she is a late bloomer.

But being aware of these developmental milestones and when they should be occurring can help you determine if the delay of that skill is minor or is taking a lot longer than it should. 

The CDC has published a very comprehensive list of Age-Appropriate Developmental Milestones for children ages newborn to five years old.

 

Developmental Milestones Parents Should Look For In The First Year

 

2-Month Milestones:

  • Your baby should be looking at and focusing on your face
  • Your baby should hold her head up when on her tummy
  • Your baby should seem happy to see you when you walk up to her
  • Your baby should be able to open his hands briefly
  • Your baby can make sounds other than crying, like cooing
  • Your baby should be reacting to loud sounds
  • Your baby will watch you as you move about the room
  • Your baby should be able to focus on a toy for several seconds
  • Your baby can smile when you talk to or smile at him
  • Your baby should calm down when spoken to or picked up
  • Your baby should move both her arms legs

4-Month Milestones:

  • Your baby should be able to hold a toy when you put it in his hand or use her arms to swing at hanging toys
  • Your baby can chuckle or giggle when you try to make her laugh
  • Your baby should look at you, move, or make sounds to get or keep your attention
  • Your baby should be able to make cooing sounds
  • Your baby should be able to smile on his own to get your attention
  • Your baby should look at her hands with interest
  • Your baby should turn her head toward the sound of your voice 
  • If your baby is hungry, her should open his mouth when he sees the breast or bottle
  • Your baby should be able to hold his head steady without support when you are holding him
  • Your baby should make conversational sounds back when you talk to him
  • Your baby should bring her hands to her mouth
  • Your baby should start pushing himself up onto his elbows and forearms during tummy time


6-Month Milestones:

  • Your baby should now be able to recognize familiar people
  • Your baby should put things in her mouth to explore them
  • Your baby’s giggles or chuckles should have turned into laughs now
  • Your baby should now have the ability to blow “raspberries” with their tongue
  • Your baby should be making squealing noises
  • Your baby should close her lips to show she doesn’t want any more food
  • Your baby should enjoy looking at himself in a mirror
  • Your baby should be reaching to grab a toy he wants at this age
  • Your baby should take turns making different sounds with you
  • Your baby should begin rolling over 
  • Your baby should be pushing up with straight arms when on his tummy and should be leaning on his hands to support himself when sitting

9-Month Milestones:

  • Your baby should be looking for objects when they are dropped out of sight 
  • Your baby should start moving things from one hand to the other 
  • Your baby should look at you when you call her name
  • It is normal for your baby to react when you leave, i.e. looking for you, reaching for you, or crying
  • It is normal for your baby to be shy, clingy, or fearful around strangers
  • Your baby should smile or laugh when you play peek-a-boo
  • Your baby should be making a lot of different babble sounds 
  • Your baby should lift his arms to be picked up
  • Your baby should be showing emotional facial expressions, like happiness, sadness, anger, and surprise
  • It is normal for your baby should be banging things together
  • Your baby should be able to get to a sitting position by herself
  • Your baby should use his fingers to pull food toward himself
  • Your baby should now be able to sit without support

1-Year Milestones:

  • Your baby should be calling a parent “mama” or “dada” or another special name by this age
  • By age 1, your baby should be playing games with you, like pat-a-cake
  • Your baby should be waving “bye-bye” to people
  • Your baby should be putting objects in other containers
  • Your baby should understand the word “no” and responds with a brief pause or stopping an activity 
  • Your baby should be looking for things he sees you hide, like a toy behind a pillow
  • Your baby can drink from a cup without a lid with your assistance
  • Your baby should be pulling up to stand, “cruise” (walking while holding onto furniture, and begin attempting to take steps on their own
  • Your baby’s fine motor skills should be at the level where they can pick up small items between her thumb and pointer finger

 

Why Kids Need Daily Routines

People thrive on routine. It provides a sense of comfort, peace, and consistency. And this couldn’t more true of little people in particular.

Routine and schedule are an important part of a child’s life and help teach them a lot. Let’s look at some of the reasons consistent routine is so important for kids!

 

Why Kids Need Daily Routines

 

Routine Helps Kids Feel In Control of Their Environment

Most people don’t like the idea of feeling out of control. It makes us feel unstable and unsure about what is going on around us. This is doubly so for children.

The world is already full of so many new and foreign things for kids—sights, sounds, environments, situations—so having the majority of their life remain consistent and routine can bring a sense of calm and control to their lives as they learn how to navigate the world around them.

Routine Helps Kids Feel Safe, Secure, and Comfortable

Consistency brings a sense of security and comfort to a home or childcare center that a child can feel. When the next expected thing is exactly what happens, it fosters a sense of security and comfort in the child.

When a child feels safe, secure, and comfortable, it allows them to grow and strengthen themselves as a developing person. If a child’s sense of comfort, safety, and security are taken away and they live in a world of chaos and uncertainty, it plays out in the actions and attitudes and doesn’t allow them to feel free to grow in healthy ways.

Routine Helps Kids Know What is Happening Now and What Comes Next

A routine teaches a child the concept of time management and anticipating their day. Let me explain:

At every stage of life, we have tasks that we have to or want to accomplish. Some are work-related, some are for enjoyment, and some are a mix of both that help us grow.

When a child starts to understand that first we are going to have our lesson, then we will have puzzle and Lego time, and then we will have lunch and recess, they start to understand the basics concepts of setting time aside during the day and prioritizing different activities so everything can get done.

When the art of time management is learned and implemented throughout life in age-appropriate ways, it can set a child up for great success as they grow into an adult.

Routine Helps Kids Learn How To Do an Activity or Task

When a child has dedicated time for specific tasks, it allows them to learn how to give focused attention and time to a particular task.

Whether they learning a new skill or practicing something they’ve done before, knowing they have some dedicated time to work on something can help teach a child how to focus as they manage their tasks and their time.

Routine Helps Kids Engage in Learning

Operating in a consistent routine helps kids begin to learn how to act in particular settings as well.

Whether it’s circle time at school or story time at home with Mommy, kids know that means it’s time to sit and listen to the teacher while they learn about something new, do an activity, sing songs, or enjoy listening to a good book.

When kids know that the particular part of the schedule they are in is designated for something specific, then they learn to engage with the tasks and activities at hand.

 

Having consistent routines both at home and at daycare can provide a child with an overall sense of security, comfort, and stability that will help them grow into healthy, well-rounded little people!

 

 

5 Questions To Ask Every Daycare Center

Choosing the right daycare for your children may seem like a daunting task. Every family has different things that are important to them when it comes to childcare, which means there’s no one perfect childcare center for everyone.

Asking a few questions can help you determine the best daycare center for your family’s needs, so check out our list of questions we recommend every parent ask when daycare shopping.

 5 Questions To Ask Every Daycare Center

 

1) What Are Your Tuition Costs and Fees?

One of the first things to compare when choosing between multiple daycare centers is their tuition costs and fees. These can vary wildly from one center to another, and while the cheapest childcare may not be the way you want to go—the quality of care and cost can go hand-in-hand—you also may not want to pay an exorbitant amount for childcare.

So make sure you compare tuition costs and other fees that each daycare center you are researching charges.

2) Do You Have a Waiting List?

This should be one of the very first questions you ask when you start to call daycare centers. Oftentimes child-to-teacher ratios in their classrooms may be maxed out, meaning any new kids would need to be put on a waitlist until one of the spaces in their child’s age-appropriate classroom opens up.

This means you wouldn’t be able to enroll your child right away, so asking this question at the beginning of your conversation with a childcare director can give you a lot of clarity as far as continuing to make your plan and do your daycare research.

3) What’s Your Accreditation?

Childcare centers are required to have a state license to operate, and each individual state has different licensing requirements. These licenses require daycare centers to maintain certain standards that are for the benefit of the children they care for, so making sure the childcare center you choose has the required accreditation can help give you peace of mind that your child is going to be well taken care of.

You can see your particular state’s licensing requirements at the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education.

4) How Many Children Are in Each Classroom?

Part of state licensing requirements is that there are a maximum amount of children to each teacher in a classroom to ensure that there is adequate care for each child and the teachers aren’t spread too thin trying to take care of a large number of children on their own.

Asking a daycare center how many children and teachers they put to a classroom will give you a good idea of how the classroom runs as well as the kind of childcare philosophy a center may have. For example, some centers may have one more teacher than needed for the number of children in the classroom to ensure extra care of each child.

So always remember to ask what their child-to-teacher ratio is in their classrooms.

5) What Is Your Approach to Childcare?

This ties in a bit to our last point—there are many different childcare philosophies, and this factor is probably the thing that makes each daycare center unique.

Some daycare centers may be centered around supervised play. Some incorporate daily lessons and encourage age-appropriate learning. Some operate like a school for tiny people, taking the learning experience to another level with curriculum and lesson plans. Some are much more structured and others are more free-spirited.

Whether a childcare center’s approach is relaxed, structured, crunchy, or conservative, understanding a childcare center’s philosophy can help you find a place that aligns with your ideals for your child.

 

While these aren’t the only questions you can ask when interviewing different childcare centers, they are a great place to start! The answers you get to these questions will give you the insight you need to make the right decision for your child!