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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!

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Apple Tree Learning Centers

  • Infant Childcare Programs

Summer Camp Programs for Summer Fun!

| Admin

Summer is coming up fast. Soon your child or children will be out of school and ready to soak in the warm summer weather and all the awesome activities it brings. However, experience may remind you that after a few weeks of summer fun the “I am bored” complaints begin. Good news! Summer camp programs can keep them busy and give you a break.

On top of the boredom that can accompany the long, sweltering days, is your need of good childcare for your little ones while you are at work. Child care summer camp programs can solve both of these issues. Summer camp for your child can give you a break from 24 hour care and gives your child fun and exciting things to do. Let’s take a look at some of the great benefits of summer camp!

Say Goodbye to Boredom  with Summer Camp Programs! 

Summer camp Programs

Summer is a time to learn outdoors!

As the novelty of the summer weather wears off and kids get bored, they can often become fixed to their computer and video games and end up spending a good portion of the summer indoors. For us who spent a lot of our summer vacation outdoors exploring, playing and having fun, seeing our children stuck to the screen for hours on end makes us worry that they are missing out on being a kid! Summer camp and other summer programs offer your children fun and engaging activities that will get their body moving, mind thinking and curiosity piqued, and it allows them to be a kid again!

Hands on Learning in Nature

Summer camp and summer programs are a great way to teach kids that not all learning happens in the stuffy classroom. While at summer camp, kids will soon discover that real learning can mean dirty hands, wet clothes and exploring nature. Summer camp can teach your child outdoor skills and will allow them to experience mother nature’s classroom to the fullest.

Unstructured Playtime

Along with structured activities to get a child’s mind thinking and curious, summer is the time for free, unstructured play and exploration. Summer camp allows kids to relax away from the classroom and explore their interests. Summer camp will give your child the ability to explore their inventiveness in play, problem solving and learning.

Social Skills

summer camp

Banish the boredom with summer camp!

Summer camp not only brings kids to nature and great activities. It also brings kids to each other. Summer camp activities are designed around group learning and problem solving. They learn to cooperate with other children, share resources and participate in group learning that prepares them for both the classroom and the real world.

Independence

Summer camp gives kids the opportunity to make choices and decisions as individuals away from their parents. Whether it is a day camp or overnight camp, the time at summer camp is spent learning to be themselves.

Summer Camp Programs at The Apple Tree Learning Centers 

If your children are bored during the summer, they sure won’t be here! The summer programs at The Apple Tree Learning Center are sure to keep them busy having a good time. Let us help you discover that you have what it takes to be a kid with character! Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility… these are the important skills and values you will practice and learn through fun activities, service learning projects and team building activities during summer camp! Come check out our summer program and contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you!

 

  • The Apple Tree Learning Centers

  • Infant Childcare Programs

Starting Preschool Tips

| Admin

Starting preschool is one of the biggest milestones for both parent and child. The start of a child’s first preschool year

Starting Preschool

Starting preschool doesn’t have to be scary! Come check out preschool at The Apple Tree Learning Center!

is often the beginning of his or her first formal learning experiences. And it may also be the first time that parent and child have been separated for any significant period of time. Both the newness of the experience and the separation can create anxiety for parent and child. But if you are both prepared, the transition to preschool doesn’t have to be miserable and scary. Here are a few tips to help you and your child prepare for the first day of preschool.

Starting preschool tips for the Nervous Parent

Believe it or not, parents are just if not more nervous than their child on the first day of preschool. As a parent of a young child, leaving them to the staff and teachers of a preschool can be an intimidating experience. This may be one of the few times that your child has been away from you for a long period of time and you worry about how they will take it. This cyclical worry in which you become worried about your child’s worry – – let that spin for a moment – – is a totally natural reaction. Follow some of these tips to help calm your nerves.

  1. Remind yourself of the great benefits that enrolling your child in preschool will impart on them.

Keeping this positive though in mind can help relieve some of your anxiety, which are mostly negative and defeating thoughts not based in reality.

  1. Get to know the teachers and staff a little before starting preschool. Getting to know the teachers makes it easier to leave your child with them. They are no longer strangers, but partners in your child’s development!
  2. Make friends with the other parents. Being able to share your concerns with another parent is a great way for both of you to deflect and dissipate the anxiety of starting preschool.
  3. Go do something for you! If you have up till this point been focused on your child, the start of preschool may be a great time for you to do some fun stuff that you have wanted to do. Join a gym, take a class you always to take, or just go out to lunch with a few good friends – kid free!

These tips will help make the transition from parent of toddler to parent of young scholar much easier.

Starting preschool Tips for a Nervous Child

Starting Preschool

Some kids can be nervous before starting preschool. Talk to them about their fears.

Starting preschool can be just as intimidating and nerve racking for the child as it is for the parents. While you as the parent are trying to calm your own nerves about the beginning of preschool it is important that you don’t let your anxiety rub off on your child. In this scenario, your over worry is very counterproductive and can end up making your child more nervous than she would be. So the first tip to helping your child overcome any anxiety about the first day of preschool is to speak positively about preschool and how much fun it will be. Below are some more tips to help your child adjust and become the accomplished little scholar you know they can be

  1. Associate the first day of school with new and exciting things. Take your child to pick out a new backpack and fun school materials. Let your child pick out most of the items. This will help them to get excited about preschool instead of nervous.
  2. Make a playdate with some of the other children in your child’s class. Get a list of other parents from the preschool and call them up and ask if the want to have a playdate. This will make it easier for both kids to start preschool because they will have already made friends, making the environment more familiar.
  3. If your child is still exhibiting nervousness about the first day, give them something of your that they can hold onto during the day. Tell them that you are giving it to them for safe keeping and that you will be back to get it. This will help calm separation anxiety.
  4. Talk to your child about your preschool experience and how much you learned, laughed and loved and all the friends you made. If you have any, show your kids pictures of you on your first day of preschool. They will love this and it will show them that it is a positive experience.

The last thing to remember is to never give up. Don’t pull your child out of preschool because you are her may be having a hard time adjusting. It is totally natural to be nervous with such a new setting and situation and any nerves wear off in no time as your child experiences new and fun activities and events. And you get the awesome benefit of hearing all about their great days at school!

Starting Preschool at The Apple Tree Learning Center

At the Apple Tree Learning Center in Tucson, we are dedicated to making the first year of preschool a fun and smooth transition. Our quality caregivers understand the nerves that can come with the first day of school and will help you and your little one transition into preschool life. Come check out our programs and contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you!

 

  • The Apple Tree Learning Centers

  • Infant Childcare Programs

Infant Child Care

| Admin

Being a full time or part time working parent is a tough situation. You want to be there for your newborn infant as much as possible and share in the joy of growing up, but you also want to be able to provide for them and save for their future. Many families and parents are locked in the circle of this parental paradox, especially in today’s economic climate. And many find that enrolling their child in an infant child care program is the best option for their child, their future and their finances.

Benefits of Infant Child Care

Infant Childcare Programs

Infant childcare programs are a balance between supervision and education.

If you decide that child care for your infant is an option, you should know about the benefits that your child will get from the program. The benefits of infant childcare encompass the full spectrum of child development. Quality infant child care programs will focus on four main areas of child development.

  • Sensory Motor Development includes large and fine motor skill development. Large motor skills include balance, motion and, as the child develops, crawling and walking. Fine motor skills include finger and hand grip strength and object manipulation.

 

  • Language Development is the developmental stages of speech acquisition. It is facilitated by infants listening to people speaking. Infants will move from crying to babbling to pronouncing a few prominent words.

 

  • Social-Personal Development is the development of the infant’s sense of self. This is aided by interaction with other children. –

 

  • Cognitive Development is the development of the ability to play games and follow simple instructions.

 

A quality infant child care program will be designed to foster and aid the development of all these skills.

Infant Child Care and Safety

Infant Child care

Your infant’s safety is our top priority.

While most infant childcare programs are safe, they are not all created equal. A childcare program that is accredited or whose caregivers have received a Child Development Associate Credential is required to submit to a rigorous set of training and facility standards over and above those required by the state or local regulations.

One of the most important factors when considering the safety of an infant childcare program is the child to caregiver ratio. This ratio is considered to be one of the best predictors of both the safety and quality of the childcare program. A high quality credentialed infant child care provider will make sure that the caregiver to child ratio is in alignment with the childcare practices.

Infant Child Care at The Apple Tree Learning Centers

Infant child care is a great balance between educational programs and day care supervision for your precious baby while you work. At The Apple Tree Learning Center, we strive to make infant child care a positive experience for both you and your little one. Each infant is given a separate crib and cubby in our warm and comfortable infant care room. Our trained staff supervise the infants at all times and offer loving and nurturing care. In our infant program, your children will explore the concepts of cause-and-effect, trial-and-error, and object permanence through play, provide a variety of materials of different colors, sizes, textures, and shapes, and encourage the use of all five senses to discover the world. Come check out our infant care programs and schedule a tour today!

  • The Apple Tree Learning Centers

  • Infant Childcare Programs

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!

  • The Apple Tree Learning Centers

  • Infant Childcare Programs

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

The Apple Tree Learning Centers

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!

  • The Apple Tree Learning Centers

  • Infant Childcare Programs

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!