Playing sports benefits children in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, many parents move too fast when it comes to placing their children on competitive sports teams, putting undue pressure on children and parents. It is important to remember that when it comes to physical fitness the focus should always be on having fun and learning new skills. And don’t worry, there will always be time for competitive sports as your child grows and expresses an interest. 

Moving a child from a crib to a “big kid” bed is a rite of passage some parents would prefer to put off as long as possible. After all, nothing is more comforting than placing your child in their crib knowing they can’t escape.


Everything is easier with a friend by your side. This is particularly true for kids attending childcare. It is the first place they may learn to make friends.

Children learn so much at childcare but perhaps the most important thing that they learn is how to make friends and interact with other children. When kids have friends waiting for them every day when they arrive at childcare, they look forward to going and it can make drop off easier.

Unfortunately, some children have a harder time making friends than others. With a little help, however, they can learn this valuable skill. So how can you help your child in this regard? Read on for some tips from Premier Academy.

    1. Establish relationships with other parents. Get to know parents of some of the other children at the childcare center and consider play dates outside of school hours to allow for some one-on-one bonding. Making new friends yourself is icing on the cake!
    2. Talk to your child about what it means to be a friend. Knowing how to be a good friend is a skill that takes years to develop. As a parent, it is your job to help your child navigate the sometimes tricky terrain of relationships. Talking to your child about why it is important to share, for example, is a great way to help them understand how to play as part of a group. It also is important to encourage your child to consider the feelings of others.
  • Provide coping strategies. If your child comes home upset about something that happened with a friend, listen and give them ideas for handling themselves when emotions run high. For example, if they are feeling left out, suggest things they can do to feel better such as asking a child who they don’t know very well to play with them instead.
  • Don’t push them. Many introverted children prefer to play by themselves. If your child is happy with more solitary activities, don’t force things. Chances are they will make friends on their own time and when they feel ready.

Finally, keep the lines of communication open between you and your childcare center’s staff. These are the people who witness the day-to-day interactions between children so they will be able to give you the best advice and guidance on your child’s social interactions. If they tell you your child is doing well and is happy, believe them! And if there is something your child needs to work on, you can be sure they will tell you this, as well!

If you are looking for affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area, visit us at to learn how to get your child enrolled. 

If your child gets anxious when severe weather threatens, being proactive is essential to calm their fears. The more children (and adults) know about unpredictable events such as thunderstorms and tornadoes, the more secure they will feel when they occur. Therefore, take the time to explain to your child what happens during thunderstorms and tornadoes on a level they can understand.

An article from Kids First Community, Helping Children Overcome Their Fear of Storms, suggest ways you can help your child cope with a fear of thunderstorms, tornadoes and other types of weather emergencies. One way is to make sure that your child does not see you panicking when severe weather is on the horizon. It also emphasizes the fact that children who have been directly impacted by a natural disaster or damaging storm be able to talk about their experience.

Finally, one of the worst things even the most well-meaning parents can do is to dismiss their child’s fears or scold them for getting upset. Instead, be empathetic and understanding and let them know that you will be here for them no matter what Mother Nature brings.

Premier Academy offers affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area. To learn more, visit us at

We’ve rounded up the top 5 most read articles from the past year and have brought them together in one place just for you!

#1 7 Play Based Learning Activities to Do With Your Child

Here’s some great things to do with your little ones during the Holidays.

“We here at Premier Academy are big believers in play based learning. We understand that one of the wonderful things about being a parent is that you are your child’s first teacher.  You have the unique opportunity to open the door to the world; introducing your child to words, colors, animals and so much more.  Learning can be weaved into the day naturally as you read, talk, sing, and play together. Mr. Rogers said it best, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. . .”

Read the full article here.

#2 Importance of School Readiness

Here are some pointers on getting your child ready for school.

“We here at Premier Academy know the importance of school readiness. The first five years are critical to a child’s lifelong development. Early experiences influence brain development, establishing the neural connections that provide the foundation for language, reasoning, problem solving, social skills, behavior, and emotional intelligence – characteristics that often determine how well a child will do in school and in life. . .”

Read the entire article Here

#3 Tips for a Smooth Morning Routine for Daycare

Mornings can be hectic, this article can help alleviate the stress.

“Why do mornings seem so difficult? For parents, especially working parents that use child care in Omaha Nebraska, there is typically so much to do in a short period of time. We here at Premier Academy agree. . .”

Read the entire article Here.

#4 Choosing Between a Montessori or Play-Based Preschool

Finding the best environment for your child to learn and grow can be tricky, this article explains the differences between Montessori style Learning and Play-Based Learning.

“We here at Premier Academy know that choosing the right type of preschool for your child can be an overwhelming decision. Many parents wonder whether a preschool that uses the Montessori method is the right choice for their child of if a play-based approach is best. . .”

Read the entire article Here.

#5 Fostering Social and Emotional Development in Preschoolers

Preschool is an amazing time for children, it’s also a time for big changes.

“We here at Premiere Academy are big believers in fostering social and emotional development in preschoolers. Social-emotional development affects every aspect of a child’s life, including personal relationships, academic growth, and self-esteem. When children feel good about themselves and have the skills to interact successfully with others, their capacity to achieve skyrockets. . .”

Read entire article Here.

We hoped you enjoyed this look back on 2019’s Top 5 most read articles.
Have a Happy Holidays!
At Premier Academy, the safety of your children comes first. We offer affordable childcare in the Omaha & Elkhorn area, visit us at 

Dealing with picky eaters is one of the most common struggles parents and teachers at your childcare center have. Does this sound familiar to you? Here are a few tips on how to deal with picky eaters.

Is your child a picky eater?

  • Your toddler takes a few bites of food and says she’s “done”
  • You can stock your fridge and shelves full but your little one will only eat the same 5 things over and over.
  • Your toddler asks for one thing, you make it, then he asks for something else then decides he wants something completely different altogether.
  • Coaxing your children to just take “one more bite” is a constant battle in your home.

Why Won’t They Eat?

First of all – meal times are supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable. You want to avoid these battles every time you sit down at the table. Toddlers ages 1-3 typically have smaller appetites, so if they only eat a little at a time, that’s ok. Their appetites can change on a daily basis and even meal to meal.

If they like carrots, don’t be afraid to throw some in at breakfast. Do they prefer eggs? Who says you can’t have eggs for dinner? At Premier Academy it is our goal to provide quality childcare and lots of healthy and delicious food options.

Dinner time is typically going to be the meal that your toddler feels like eating the least. It’s the end of the day and they are tired. Unless they have been doing physical activity like swimming or playing outside, chances are they aren’t going to be as hungry as they are at other times of the day.

How Do I Get My Picky Kid To Eat?

If you are dealing with preschool or school age children who are picky eaters, you may be able to reason with them and enforce the “one bite rule” Ask them to take at least one bite of every food on their plate. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to eat it again. The best childcare for your kiddo is one that provides a variety of healthy food options.

Here are a few more ideas for dealing with picky eaters:

  • Don’t nag or coax your toddler. Choose your battles. Plain and simply, your child WILL eat when they are hungry.
  • Have realistic portions: Many parents set unrealistic goals for their children when it comes to mealtime. A good rule of thumb to follow: If your child is under the age of 5-6, use a tablespoon per year of age. If they ask for more when they’ve finished, you can always give more.
  • Try to introduce new foods – Even if they disliked a food before, tastes change and you never know when you find something new they like.
  • Avoid too much milk, juice and soda in place of food. Many kids will fill up on sugary drinks and have no room for food.

Mealtime doesn’t have to be miserable any longer! Choose your battles. Don’t get upset with them when they doesn’t like a food. Try to help your child find healthy foods they enjoy.

At Premier Academy, the safety of your children comes first. We offer affordable childcare in the Omaha & Elkhorn area, visit us at 

It is difficult to know what to look for in a daycare provider, when it comes to your children. As a parent, you want to give your child the best start in life.  Carefully choosing a high quality child care center is the first step.

Why Early Learning is Important

Kids need to socialize with other children from a very young age. It allows them to become familiar to social interaction, sharing and good manners. Not only will they learn how to act and behave around others, they will learn valuable reading and writing skills.

Statistics show that kids who don’t attend preschools and head straight into schools have a much harder time learning than the children who did attend preschools.

How Teachers Interact With Children

When choosing a preschool for your child, you need to note everything you see when you are taken around the preschools:

  • How the teachers and teachers look after children
  • How do they react to children
  • How do they treat children

Another important thing to watch out for is the way teachers greet children. Do the teachers come down to kids’ eye levels to address them and talk with them? You can usually tell if a teacher has a genuine love and passion for young toddlers when you first meet them.

You want to find a preschool that shows a love for kids and their development. Teachers should address kids in a grown up manner, but take time to acknowledge each child

Observe Your Surroundings

The most important job of a daycare center is to make sure your child is safe. Be sure to confirm that they are a licensed daycare before any consideration. When you visit the facility it should be clean and free of any safety hazards to your young child.

Note how you feel when you visit. Is it bright and pleasant or depressing and dull? Does it make you happy, do you hear sounds of laughter and fun, or silence? How you feel is important when determining what to look for in a daycare provider.

We invite you to schedule a tour with Premier Academy and see the difference a quality daycare center can make. We offer affordable childcare in the Omaha & Elkhorn area, visit us at 

Sibling rivalry is a normal part of childhood. The fact that it is a common doesn’t make it any less annoying for parents, however.

Knowing what causes sibling rivalry and how to handle it may improve the situation but chances are you are never going to eliminate it entirely. So what does cause sibling rivalry? Aside from the fact that you are dealing with children who don’t always think rationally, there are some key factors that can lead to what seems like constant fighting among siblings.

  1. Attention: Children naturally want the attention of their parents. When they see their brother or sister getting any attention from their parents they automatically view it as a threat. Things can become especially dicey after a new baby comes into the picture because newborns demand constant attention. In an effort to get more attention, many kids will act out.
  2. Personality Differences: Everyone is unique. If your family is composed of extroverts and introverts or athletes and artists, these differences are bound to lead to conflict.
  3. Possessions: If you are a parent, you know that getting kids to share can be next to impossible. However, sharing is something all children are going to have to do at some point.
  4. Questions of Fairness: We all know that life isn’t always fair but that doesn’t prevent kids from crying foul when they feel as if they are getting the short end of the stick. This is especially true if they feel that a brother or sister is always getting their own way!

While as a parent, your first inclination is to jump in when things get heated between siblings, that is not always a good idea. While the arguing may be more than you think you can take, the fact is, letting kids work it out between themselves is almost always the best course of action. If you intervene when children are arguing it may be seen as if you are taking sides. It also will prevent children from learning how to manage conflict. Finally, whether you believe it or not, kids are usually better at settling things when you don’t step in.

There are times, however, when things get so heated you must intervene. This is always true if you feel someone is in danger of being hurt. In such cases, the first thing you need to do is separate the siblings who are fighting so that they have the opportunity to calm down. Next, try to get all parties to communicate without yelling. If the siblings cannot come up with a solution to their problem you may have to do it for them.

If you are ever concerned that sibling rivalry has escalated out of control and you feel powerless to stop it, it’s time to talk to your pediatrician or a mental health provider. While it is true that siblings fight, it should never get to the point where you are concerned for one of your children’s physical or emotional health.

To learn more about our affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area, visit us at 

Originally posted on Oh My OMAHA

The days of searching for daycare in Omaha are fresh in my mind. Walking in wide-eyed to each place, not knowing what things I should be looking for, what signs to note for a “good center” and a “bad center.” I asked for recommendations, but ultimately, I just went with my gut. And how a center makes you feel is important, but there are some universal things you should consider beyond the happy vibe a place gives off. I talked with Jewel McKercher, a director at Premier Academy Child Enrichment Center in Omaha and Elkhorn, to help me fine-tune this list.

Before you start looking for childcare

Congrats! You’re having a baby! Or you’ve had your baby. Either way, I bet you’re exhausted and, maybe, overwhelmed. Well, hopefully I can help with this task you have in front of you: Finding the right childcare center.

Step 1 – Start early.

I was barely showing when we started touring different centers in downtown and Midtown Omaha. For my search, I asked friends and co-workers and family and anyone who looked pretty trustworthy. I didn’t realize there were more resources like local experts you can talk to, as well. McKercher suggested you contact Child Care Resource and Referral Agency to get started. They’ll give you facts and a list of childcare options that may meet your needs.

Step 2 – What are your needs?

Ah, see in Step 1, I said you’d contact the referral agency to get started, but you’ll have to have an idea of what your needs are. For me, location was important, as well as flexibility with cloth diapers, for instance. What are your needs?

Step 3 – Make calls.

Once you have a list of places that may fit your needs, it’s time to lineup a tour. Call each place to schedule an appointment.

Things to look for in an Omaha childcare center

The center as a whole

Check if the center is licensed or regulated. “Licensure ensures that the center is registered and has met or exceeded the state’s local requirements,” said McKercher. She also said it’s advisable to contact the state to see if the center has any complaints filed against it.

The employees

You want to know who works there, because these are the people who will spend the most time with your child. McKercher said the State of Nebraska requires the following background checks, at minimum: Department of Health and Human Services Central Registry Check; Nebraska State Sex Offender Registry; and Nebraska State Patrol Criminal History. 

Also ask about any special training employees are required to have. “It is important for providers to have the following training: Pediatric CPR, Pediatric First Aid, Child Abuse prevention; Safe With You training, which is required by the State of Nebraska; and Continuing Education in the field of Early Childhood Education,” said McKercher.

Also ask about any special training employees are required to have. “It is important for providers to have the following training: Pediatric CPR, Pediatric First Aid, Child Abuse prevention; Safe With You training, which is required by the State of Nebraska; and Continuing Education in the field of Early Childhood Education,” said McKercher.

Also be aware of the employee turnover rate. “Consistency is extremely important to children and the environment in which they learn best,” said McKercher. “Getting used to new teachers takes time and energy that could be spent learning.”


I can’t tell you how delighted I was to get updates at the end of the day from my kids’ teachers. Back in my day (not too long ago), it was all paper and an occasional emailed picture. At places like Premier Academy, teachers have tablets that make it easy to send updates to parents, like photos or a video of a fun activity.

So, check how the center’s teachers communicate with parents. McKercher said parents should get a daily report of their child’s day. It should highlight what they ate and drank, lessons or curriculum, and if the child is younger, how many diaper changes.

How’s the classroom?

Most parents eyeball the teacher to student ratio in things like swim lessons, but it’s also a very important thing to keep low in childcare, too.

When you’re touring a childcare center, look into what the teacher to child ratio. “The fewer children the better for your child,” said McKercher. “You want your child to get plenty of attention and care.” McKercher said babies need a teacher to child ratio of 1:4, while 4-year-olds can do well with a ratio of 1:12.

Drawing with sidewalk chalk outside at Premier Academy in Omaha. Photo courtesy Premier Academy

The curriculum

And while you’re in the classroom, ask about the curriculum. Yeah, we’re talking about toddlers, but there are sound practices on how youngsters learn best and develop essential skills. McKercher suggested you ask if the center incorporates the Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines into the curriculum.

On top of that, ask what the Kindergarten Readiness rate is, and how prepared or advanced the students are when beginning Kindergarten. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even think to ask that when I was looking!

Meals at the daycare

Find out how the food is prepared and how healthy it is. McKercher said you can ask for the menu. Also ask if kids are encouraged to try different fruits and vegetables.

One of my kids had trouble with dairy early on, so when I was looking for a center, I wanted to be sure I could bring non-dairy drinks for him (most should be fine with this).

The outdoor space

When you look at that outdoor space, note if it’s fenced-in and if the equipment looks safe. McKercher suggested asking if the caregivers can see the entire playground and all the children playing. You should also ask how often they go outside.

My final thoughts on what to look for

I hope this list gives you plenty of ideas for things to look for and questions to ask when you’re looking at a daycare center. It’s an important decision that may be easy to make or may take some time researching. Good luck!

Schedule a Tour at Premier Acedemy Today!

If you are the parent of a shy or introverted child you may worry that your child may never make friends or relax in social situations. While you can’t make a child not be shy, you can help that child feel more comfortable interacting with other people, including their peers.

Will Your Shy Child Make FriendsAn article from PBS Parents, Helping Your Child Make New Friends, offers some advice on how to help a shy child who struggles with making friends come out of his or her shell. Here are some of the tips contained in the article:

    1. Talk about or brainstorm qualities that make a good friend
    1. Help your child understand how to start and maintain conversations
  1. Organize activities with other children

According to the article, it is also important not to put too much pressure on your child, realizing that some children are simply more outgoing than others. Friendship skills evolve even into adulthood so patience is key.

Premier Academy offers affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area. To learn more, visit us at