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New Preschool Curriculum at The Apple Tree!

| Admin

The Apple Tree Learning Centers is excited to announce the implementation of the Creative Curriculum for Preschool, an award-winning research based curriculum!

The Creative Curriculum for Preschool features exploration and discovery as a way of learning, enabling children to develop confidence, creativity, and critical thinking skills. The Creative Curriculum is based on 38 objectives for development and learning.

These objectives are fully aligned with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework and state early learning standards, and integrated into each of the comprehensive collection of resources that make up the curriculum. The Creative Curriculum has a long, rich history, and has always offered teachers valuable insight into the most current research and best practices for early childhood education.

Our decision to implement the Creative Curriculum at The Apple Tree Learning Centers demonstrates our commitment to update and expand how we teach our children!

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Before and After School Programs

| Admin

While most child care centers operate during traditional working hours, a lot of childcare needs arise in the evening and after hours too. For many of us, life doesn’t run on a 9 to 5 schedule anymore. Our increasingly 24 hours a day economy requires workers to put in odd hours and overtime. You may work the night shift or have a shift that runs over the strict 5 pm workday cutoff. If you work in the service industry, your hours can vary from season to season, month to month and even day to day. And you need childcare that can accommodate your modern, busy lifestyle. Let’s take a look at how before and after school programs can help you and your family balance your busy life and work needs with you quality after hours child care.

Before and After school programs

After school programs are great for school age children

Evening Child Care

After hours’ child care is designed to help parents care for their children at all hours of the day. Some after hour child care centers offer 24 hour daycare. Others offer extended hours childcare that last long into the night and morning. But the most crucial times for many parents are the hours after normal workday hours, typically around 5pm to midnight. Evening child care is great for parents who have jobs that require them to stay late or work shifts that are non-traditional. A quality evening child care provider will provide the children activities, snack and meals to get them settled into the nighttime hours.

Early Child Care

On the opposite end of the clock, some workdays begin in the wee hours of the morning. If you have to leave for work at an early time, it cn be difficult to find someone to watch your child, especially if it is before 6am. That’s where early morning child care comes in. Early child care allows you to get to work on time and ensure that your child is well cared for. A quality early morning child care provider will ensure that your child is rested, nourished and ready for the school day or other activities.

Before and After School Programs 

Before and after school programs are a type of extended hours child care for school age children. A before and after school program offers activities, meals and fun for older children. A quality child care center will also provide transportation to and from school for before and after school programs.

Before and After School Programs with The Apple Tree Learning Center

The Apple Tree Learning Center in Tucson is dedicated providing before and after school child care that will make your life easier. Our professional and caring staff will keep your child busy and engaged while you finish up your workday. Come check out our programs and contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

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The Benefits of Educational Child care

| Admin

So you are looking for child care for your child. What is it that you would like from a child care center? What do you want your child to experience and learn? When you think “daycare” what do you think? Chances are that you may believe that daycare and educational child care are the same thing and most childcare programs are so similar that it doesn’t matter where you enroll your child, as long as it is safe. And while it is true that regulations have made most childcare centers extremely safe, there still can be huge and important differences in program quality. Let’s take a look.

One of the biggest misconceptions about child care is that it is just another form of child supervision, like babysitting. And in some cases, this may actually be true. Not all child care centers are accredited. And not all child care centers hold themselves up to the current standards of quality child care practices. The best way to determine the quality of a child care center is to learn how much emphasis is put on two things: safety and education. Educational childcare centers have programs and staff that are dedicated not only to day care supervision but also to the intellectual and social growth of the children in their care. Let’s take a look at some of the aspect of quality educational child care.

Educational Child Care

The Apple Tree Learning Center is devoted to educational child care.

Educational Child care vs. Daycare

“Daycare” and “Childcare” are terms that are often used interchangeably. In some instances, that is okay. But childcare, especially educational child care, offers more in the way of programs than traditional daycare.

Daycare can best be described as a daily babysitting service. There is nothing wrong with traditional daycare. Children are supervised, fed and given some fun activities to do while their parents work. It is essentially out of home babysitting. But you may be looking for a little more for your child and the money that you will be spending.

Educational childcare is a step above daycare. Educational Childcare offers programs and activities that contribute to your child’s growth and learning.

Types of Educational Childcare

Educational childcare is usually reserved for children from infants to preschool age. But there are also some great programs that cater to school age children as well. Summer camp programs are often a great way to keep older kids engaged and learning during the summer break.

But the most popular and most well-known type of educational childcare is preschool education. There are many benefits of preschool child care for both parents and students, including preparation for kindergarten, social engagement and cognitive development.

Preschool is not just daycare. It is a place where your child transitions from the at home informal learning of early childhood, to the more formal classroom based learning of kindergarten and grade school.

There are also great educational toddler programs that focus not only on play but also on learning and cognitive development and motor skills. Before enrolling your child in a child care program, don’t be afraid to ask the center staff exactly what their philosophy and curriculum is. If they are a quality child care center, they will gladly offer you their information and educational policies.

Educational Child Care Programs with The Apple Tree Learning Centers 

The Apple Tree Learning Center in Tucson is dedicated to providing the most engaging educational child care for children from infants to school age kids. Our programs seek to build the cognitive, social and motor skills in a safe and loving child care setting. In addition to our traditional educational child care, we offer some fun enrichment programs!! Our dance program will get their body and minds moving. Our Music program will flex their higher level abstract reasoning skills. And our Spanish and sign language programs will give a boost to their language acquisition skills. No matter their interest, we are dedicated to the intellectual flourishing of your little scholar! Come check out our programs and contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Benefits of Preschool Music Programs

| Admin

You may already be aware of the many proven and established benefits of early childhood education. And while it is true that some early childhood education like preschool is better than no early childhood education, not all of these programs are created equal. There are not only differences in quality. There are also differences in theory, philosophy and the focus of the program. A quality preschool or early childhood education program is going to focus on a range of learning and developmental categories, giving the child a well-rounded first exposure to formal learning. Part of this broad and all-encompassing preschool education should include preschool music programs.

What are Preschool Music Programs?

Preschool Music Programs

Join us at The Apple Tree Learning Centers for guitar with Mr. Ray!!

Preschool music programs are designed to give young children their first exposure to music as a way of learning. They are also introduced to music as an object of learning. Your child has no doubt by this stage developed an ear for music and perhaps sings along to their favorite songs on repeat, over and over, much to your enjoyment and exhaustion. The next step is to teach the rudiments of music theory. That is what preschool music programs do.

Some Benefits of Preschool Music Programs

According to research compiled by PBS, music education imparts a number of positive benefits on all age groups. In preschool age groups specifically, music programs have been shown to develop the part of the brain involved in language acquisition and speech. Language development, the article continues, is essential for proper social development as well.

Another benefit of preschool music programs has been revealed in measures of intellect. According to the results of a study conducted by E. Glenn Schellenburg at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, six year olds who were given weekly music lessons showed an increase in IQ test scores over children who did not participate in any music education programs. This should come as no surprise. Neuroscience has discovered that the brain of early musicians works more efficiently than that of a non-musician.

Even further, because of the more efficiently functioning brain and neural network of the child exposed to music programs, these children also exhibit improvements in fine motor skills, sound discrimination and spatial temporal skills.

All these subtle benefits of preschool music programs are also displayed academically. According to a 2007 study, students who were involved in music education programs scored 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in Math on standardized tests.

Preschool Music Programs at The Apple Tree Learning Center

preschool music programs

Preschool Music Programs are great for teaching kids to play instruments.

At The Apple Tree Learning Center, we are dedicated to providing our children with quality preschool and early childhood education programs. Because of this commitment to the best, The Apple Learning Center understands the vital importance of preschool music programs. The Apple Tree Learning Center’s music education program, led by classically trained musician Ray Funk, is designed to exercise all the mental, social and physical faculties of the children. Mr. Ray has been teaching in Tucson preschools for over 23 years and has dedicated his professional life to making music part of the lives of the children attending The Apple Tree Learning Center.

Come check out our early education and preschool music programs, or contact us today and schedule a tour for you and your child!! We look forward to hearing from you!

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Learning Games for Kids

| Admin

Before classrooms, desks, notebooks, before writing even, there was play, games and sport. Parents have always intuitively understood that play and games are good ways for their children to learn about the world. Indeed, that was the way they learned a great number of things. And now science and modern theories of education are finally starting to catch up.  Learning games for kids are, more and more, seen as a legitimate way to teach a young child.

Even biologist and animal behaviorists have noted that nearly every mammal on the planet learns to sharpen their instincts for survival through play and games. Why should humans be any different?

We aren’t that different. We humans obviously have different priorities, though. Learning games for kids, toddlers and infants are divided into two main categories: intellectual and cognitive skill games and socialization games. Of course, there is some overlap, but it doesn’t erode the differences.

Learning Games for Kids: Cognitive and Intellectual

The Apple Tree Learning Centers

Games and play are essential to early childhood education

Learning games for kids, including preschool age kids, which flex their cognitive and intellectual abilities are usually of the board game type or are the interactive computer game type. Games like puzzles, shape and image mapping games work out their spatial and memorization skills. Computerized math games can add a layer of fun and excitement to an otherwise bland subject. Most of these games are single player and teach the child to not only get the correct answer, but to see it through to a reward or goal. There are a number of great online games of this type that you can use at home to hone your child’s reading, math and spatial and memorixation abilities. Check out some of these great learning games for kids that can keep them occupied on a rainy day.

Learning Games for Kids: Socialization

Children learn a number of social skills in a supervised free play environment. Allowing them to use their creativity and imagination with other children teaches them to respect others and coordinate activities.

Structured games are also a great way to improve their social skills. Games such as the name game, in which one child is given a ball in a group of children and then asked to say the name of the other person before rolling the ball to them, teach children the importance of identifying others by name, a critical social skill. Games like Simon says and red light green light teach children impulse control and how to follow directions and rules during play.

Learning Games for Kids

The Apple Tree Learning Center Believes games are vital to learning.

Learning Games for Kids at The Apple Tree Learning Center

At Apple Tree Learning Center, we believe in the power of learning games for kids, free play and socialization activities to prepare your child for a future of learning, laughing and loving. Our preschool childcare programs incorporate games into the early childhood education curriculum. And our nurturing and experienced early childhood education staff are dedicated to fostering a lifelong love of learning in your child. The Apple Tree Learning Center also has an excellent set of extra curricular programs, including a dance, Spanish language and a music education program. Stop by and visit us or contact us online today! We look forward to hearing from you!

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Child Care Safety Essentials

| Admin

Sending your child off to a childcare center, day care or preschool for the first time can be a little scary, especially if it is your first child. You worry about whether they will make new friends easily, play well with others and not fall behind the other children. You may also worry about the safety of your little one while they are in a child care setting. Child care safety is always one of the main concerns for first time preschool parents.

That’s only natural. Your child’s safety, no matter what the circumstances, is one of your highest priorities. But what

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Your precious child’s safety is our priority.

can you do to ensure that your child is safe when they are in a child care setting and you are not the one supervising them? The answer is to make sure that the child care center you choose follows child care safety conventions and best practices. Below is a brief list of things concerning child care safety to consider before sending your little one off to learn.

Make Sure the Children are adequately supervised

A no brainer, perhaps. But with all the things involving child care safety, from germs to playground equipment, sometimes the simplest items slip past without examination.

  • Make sure that the children are supervised at all times and that there is a policy in place to prevent any supervision gaps.
  • Ask about how teacher and caregivers transition the children from one setting to another, nap time policies and knowledge of safe sleeping practices.

A good indicator of the kind and quality of supervision a child care center provides is their child to caregiver ratio.

  • Ask about the caregiver/child ratio and ensure that it is within the acceptable limits.

Health and Illness Policies

Child care Safety

Keep updated on your child care safety and illness policies

Anytime children come into contact with other children, there is a chance that illness and germs get passed around. Some of this is unavoidable. But there are things that can be done to keep kids as healthy as possible.

  • Review the child care center’s health policy.
  • Make sure the child care center has a good hand washing policy. Regular hand washing has been shown to cut down on illnesses in child care safety studies.
  • Ask about their sick policy and make sure that parents are encouraged to keep their sick child at home.
  • Ask the center about food handling policies and, if your child has an allergy, ask about how the center and staff deal with children with food borne allergies.

Medication

It is recommended that you administer all medications to your children at home. Sometimes, however, medication has to be administered in a child care setting. If this is the case, here’s what to do.

  • Give the child care staff the original bottle with dosage instructions.
  • Ask about the staff experience with medication administration and any policies they have to reduce the likelihood of improper administration.
  • Make sure the child care center staff are aware off the signs of adverse or allergic reactions and how to handle them.

Play Equipment

Ironically, the times that children are most likely to get hurt are when they are supposed to be having fun. When choosing childcare it is important to review their equipment and play policies.

  • Make sure any toys, equipment or playground structures are safe, clean and in good condition. Playgrounds should have adequate safety foam or rubber in case of falls and padding on any areas that a little one may hit their head on.
  • Ask if the center is keeps tabs on any child product recalls and how they evaluate the suitability of toys and equipment.

Staff and Teacher Training

In order to keep kids safe, child care centers need to keep staff trained.

  • Ask about any regular training the staff are require to undergo.
  • Review the recommended health and emergency training policies for child care safety and make sure that the child care center is committed to following these policies.
  • Make sure that staff have good and up to date CPR training and make sure that someone with CPR certification is on hand at all times.

Child Care Safety at The Apple Tree Learning Center

At The Apple Tree Learning Center, we are devoted to providing quality child care in a safe, nurturing and loving environment. With a Child Development Associate Certificate, Carmina Mariscal, The Apple Tree Learning Center’s Director, has been trained and assessed in providing nurturing and stimulating childcare programs in a safe environment. Contact The Apple Tree Learning Center to Learn More About Our Programs Today! We Look Forward to Hearing From You!

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The Benefits of Reading to Children

| Admin
The Apple Tree Learning Centers

Reading to children helps them learn to read on their own.

Nearly everyone agrees that reading to children aloud has a beneficial impact on the child’s intellectual and cognitive development. It is a common assumption in early childhood education circles. The American Academy of Pediatrics has even gone so far as to recommend that parent read to their children from birth. Keep reading to learn more about the many benefits of reading to children.

Reading to Children Helps Them Learn the Basics

Study after study has shown that reading to children makes the process of learning to read once they are in school much easier. Reading aloud to your child allows them to begin to understand the rudiments of reading. Even if they aren’t talking yet, reading to children has benefits.

For example, children are not born with the sense that reading is performed from right to left. But by reading aloud to your children and pointing to the words as you move along the page, your child will quickly learn that the sounds you are making are associated with the symbols and movement across the page. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but for a child just learning to read, it is huge!

It’s Important to Read to Older Children Too

Once your child starts reading on their own, that doesn’t mean that the benefits of reading aloud to them have been exhausted. In fact, the benefits of reading to older children are just as important to the development of their vocabulary and reading skills as it was when they were younger.

According to a study reported by the New York Times, reading to older children fostered a continued love for reading and learning. Further, by reading more and more complex material to your children, they are exposed to words and ideas that they may not pick up until a lot later in normal educational settings.

Reading to Children

Reading helps with bonding too!

Reading to Children Helps Them Bond with You

Another, often overlooked, benefit of reading to children is the time that you get to spend with them. Bonding and interacting with your child is just as important to their intellectual and emotional well-being as phonics development.

When you read to your child, you are telling them that you are devoted to their education and that it can be a fun. By regularly reading to your children, you are creating a positive reinforcement around learning while getting to spend precious moments with your child.

Reading Development at The Apple Tree Learning Centers

At The Apple Tree Learning Center, we are dedicated to helping your child develop a lifelong love of reading, thinking and learning. Our three year old program incorporates reading and listening lessons that will help your child advance their vocabulary and comprehension before they even start formal education. Contact us today and set your child up for reading success!

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Learning Through Play

| Admin
Learning through Play

Playtime is vital to proper social, intellectual and emotional development

Before schools, books and libraries, there was play. We often assume that real learning takes place in the classroom in quiet, studios settings, where children and adults spend long hours reading and memorizing. But this a modern conception of education and one that increasingly being seen as wrong and counterproductive.

For children, playtime is vital to proper social, intellectual and emotional development. Study after study has shown that what we often regard as wasted time is actually very important. Learning through play is increasingly seen as a legitimate theory of education and there is good evidence to back it up. Let’s take a look at how your child is learning through play.

Learning through Play: Increased Focus and Attention

Studies have shown that children who are given frequent breaks from academic activity with free play are more focused on learning when they return to the classroom. In a study of 4 and 5 year olds, researchers concluded that the children given 10 to 20 minutes of free play time paid better attention to classroom activities. While this is not an example of learning through play, play is shown to contribute positively to the learning process.

Learning through Play: Problem solving skills

Free play, play that is not constrained by any instruction, has been shown to stimulate the problem solving abilities of young children. In a study on the effects of play on preschoolers, those allowed free play time with blocks performed better and were more creative when it came to solving problems presented by the researchers.

Learning Through Play

Playtime is the best time for learning!

Learning through Play: Social Skills

Play provides children with valuable socialization experiences. As children play and interact with other children, they are introduced to concepts and situations that no amount of reading and arithmetic can match. They learn about compromise, sharing and being nice to others while still having fun. When playing with other children with adult supervision, children are learning through play the norms of society and social skills that will stick with them for life.

Play Improves Memory and Brain Development

According to a number of studies conducted on animals, play increases the growth of brain cells in the cerebral cortex, an area of the brain associated with learning and memory. In the studies, animals placed in environments with toys and other stimulations showed a marked increase in the size and thickness of the areas of the brain that are associated with learning.

Another study showed that these animals were also able to complete complex tasks involving memory and intelligence faster and better than animals that were deprived of play.

Playtime at The Apple Tree Learning Center

At The Apple Tree Learning Center, we believe in a balance of play and classroom activities is the best possible way for your child to get the most out of early childhood education. Through our educational and childcare programs, your child will discover and learn new and exciting things in a stimulating and playful environment. Contact us today!