It's Better to Give Than to ReceiveYes, Valentine’s Day can feel like a hokey overly-commercialized holiday only meant to sell greeting cards, flowers and candy. But you still love it — admit it.

This year, go beyond the card and flowers and plan a date night out with your sweetheart. Here are six tips to help make it a fun and affordable evening.

  1. Secure a Sitter Early
    Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular date nights in the country, which means it’s also one of the most popular days for families to hire a babysitter. If your regular sitter has date night plans of her own, make sure you know that early. Nothing kills the romance like scrambling to find last-minute child care.Instead of begging your parents to watch the kids (again), hire a babysitter early. That will leave you time to focus on the more important parts of your V-Day celebration.
  2. Show Your Little Ones Some Love
    Yes, you’re going out at night, but Valentine’s Day lasts all day. Plan a special family breakfast or spend some extra time with the kids during the day. Then, when you head out the door, leave them with a fun new movie to watch or game to play with — and don’t forget the chocolate kiss!
  3. Start With a Surprise
    Most romantic plans happen in the evening, after the day’s stresses have passed. Instead of waiting all day to turn on the romance, plan a little surprise for your love first thing in the morning. Plant a little gift in your partner’s sock drawer or tape a cute picture of you both on the bathroom mirror. The sweet gesture will start the day on the right foot.
  4. Pamper Yourself
    Don’t just phone it in — get yourself in the mood for your big night out. Ask the babysitter to come an hour or two early so you could spend time getting ready without your kids hanging from you. Take a real bubble bath, get a manicure, use makeup beyond Chap Stick, treat yourself to a new outfit.
  5. Plan Something Fun
    Dinner and movie always enjoyable, but try to think of something special for this special night. You could recreate your first date. Whether it was drinks at your local bar or a crazy rock and roll concert, reliving that first encounter will bring back the sparks. If you’ve since relocated from your original stomping grounds, try making up a new Valentine’s Day tradition that you’ll both enjoy.
  6. Celebrate the Day After
    You and your valentine probably don’t want to be surrounded by other noisy couples on your evening of romance. Unfortunately, finding a private table at a decent restaurant will be like finding a needle in a haystack. Consider postponing your celebrations to the next night. You’ll get two days of romance and get to enjoy some privacy at the venue of your choice.

We want to hear from you. Set up an appointment today and see how much your children will love Premier Academy!

Premier Academy Child Enrichment Center offers childcare in Omaha, Nebraska for infantstoddlers, preschool, and pre-k children.

Finding the Right Parenting StyleBeing a single parent is hard work. Not only does one have to support a household, but there is also expense.

You may be raising kids in a single-parent household but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Here are a few problems and ideas for solving them.

  1. Maintaining a Work-Life Balance
    As a single parent, you know how important your paycheck is. While some companies allow for more flexibility, others may demand a set schedule. Recognizing what will be accepted at your company and the behavior that will cost you a promotion gives you the framework for creating a support system to keep your child safe while you’re at your desk.
  2. Weekday child care may include a day care center. Many parents find themselves trying to fill the gap between the end of the school day and the workday. Do your best to maintain a set routine for the work week, so your child knows what to expect and can count on a solid, comforting routine that includes homework time for them and time together with you, even if it’s only for a bedtime story.
  3. Getting Personal Time
    Single parents tend to be helicopter parents because we feel guilty. We tend to take care of everything, to make up for our family structure, rather than finding balance.
  4. Between caring for the kids, house and job, this type of behavior will have you burnt out without a second to yourself during the busy work week with no time left to recharge. You need a break, even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day. If your child is old enough to understand, let them know your body needs a rest. Soak in a tub or read quietly while they do their homework or play in another room. If they’re still very small, carve out some quiet weeknight moments for yourself after they’re asleep.
  5. Paying for Child Care Omaha, Nebraska
    It’s no secret that child care can become pricey over time and, if you’re living off of one paycheck, the costs are more draining. Your child’s safety must always be your first concern, so skimping on quality child care isn’t an option.
  6. You may be worried about overstaying your welcome and asking for help from family and friends too often. If that is the case, create a quid pro quo arrangement with the people in your life, so you are lending them a hand as well as enjoying their support.
  7. Traveling for Business
    Even if your job does not include the need for frequent travel, professional conferences or staff retreats may come up, requiring overnight stays. Having a plan in place can help to alleviate both you and your child’s anxiety.If the trip is during the week, try to arrange for overnight care in your own home so your child’s routine isn’t disrupted. If you have a family member who can stay with your child, this can be a great bonding opportunity. Another option is to arrange a sleepover for your child at a classmate’s home, offering reciprocal child care at another time.
  8. Dealing with Emergencies
    Even the most thought out plans can throw you a curve ball. We have all received the call that a child is sick and needs to be picked up from school right away.

Schedule a time to speak with your HR department or boss about the possibility situations may crop up which require you to make a speedy exit. Let them know your job is important and ask if this will affect your standing at work. Make suggestions for systems you can put in place ahead of time so your workload doesn’t suffer and your boss feels taken care of, too. It’s also a good idea to have the phone numbers of several people on hand that can pick your child up in case of an emergency. Make sure the school has their names on file so there are no wrinkles at the door.

We want to hear from you. Set up an appointment today and see how much your children will love Premier Academy!

Premier Academy Child Enrichment Center offers childcare in Omaha, Nebraska for infantstoddlers, preschool, and pre-k children.

Building Healthy Parent-Teacher RelationshipsIf your kids attend daycare, it can be tempting to drop them off in the morning and hit the ground running. But it’s worth sticking around for a few extra minutes to get to know the other parents.

  1. Mingle on the First Day
    The first day of daycare is the day for children, as well as parents, to be introduced to their peers. Take a few minutes in introduce yourself to fellow parents and form relationships of your own. Let your boss know you’ll be a little late to work that morning and take a few extra minutes to exchange phone numbers and emails and leave a good impression on the other parents.
  2. Form Parent Groups
    Take control and make plans with the other parents. Ask the group or just one parent to share a cup of coffee at drop-off time or sit and talk after pick-up while the kids play. Working parents can meet after work for a playdate, giving the parents the opportunity to have social time of their own.
  3. Volunteer
    Whether it’s assisting in a bake sale, setting up decorations before a party or chaperoning a trip, getting involved with the daycare center by volunteering is a great way to get to know other parents.
    Participating in supportive activities creates leadership and partnership opportunities and helps your child to see your commitment to their early education.
  4. Utilize Social Networks
    Social networking can help further friendships between parents beyond the child care center. Create a group on Facebook for your child’s day care parents to join. Use it to exchange notes, share ideas and express concerns.
  5. Virtual friendships are perfect for checking in during a busy day, but also provide a base for which parents can make plans to meet and spend time together when the schedules permit.
  6. Help One Another Out
    When you’re in a bind, having someone to call can be invaluable. These day care parental connections can be a lifesaver. But remember, it’s a two-way street! Offer to have other parents’ kids over twice a month, so that they can have some alone time. Or start a phone tree with other parents, so that everyone always has someone to call if the babysitter cancels or something unexpected comes up.

We want to hear from you. Set up an appointment today and see how much your children will love Premier Academy!

Premier Academy Child Enrichment Center offers childcare in Omaha, Nebraska for infantstoddlers, preschool, and pre-k children.

7 Play Based Learning Activities to Do With Your ChildHomemade games are fun to make and will be treasured for years to come. We love sharing our favorite DIY game ideas for all preschoolers.

Fall time is the perfect time for family play time. At Premier Academy, we teach kids to make a classic game that is both easy and fun to do. The children will treasure the homemade games for years to come. They make great Christmas presents, too.

The DIY game ideas include building a pinball machine. The kids will love to learn about angels and their positions to aim the ball to various directions. Farkle is another classic dice game that can be easily put together. It teaches essential math skills, too. Buying multiple sets of dice and placing them inside cute tins with instructions make great Christmas presents for relatives and friends.

Making a collection of mazes out of empty CD cases is another ingenious idea. All one needs are a few sticky sticks and tiny balls and ready is the miniature labyrinth perfect for a fun afternoon at home.

Making a tic tac toe board out of rocks, building a giant game board to play various classic childhood games, and creating a felt shape kit for endless imaginary play are only a few of the many tips this week.

Another fun idea is making sensory bins. Sensory bins are perfect for exploring preschoolers that love to experience new things. The various bins are great tools to develop senses and provide motor skill play time.

The sensory bin ideas include board game bins, a pirate themed bin, a valentine bin, a winter themed bin, a firefighter bin, and an ocean bin. The snow bin and the earth bin will be among the kids’ favorite. All bins are super easy to set up and will allow for hours of creative, imaginary play time with a purpose.

Premier is your source for preschool and childcare in Omaha Nebraska. We have a first-rate staff of professional, certified teachers who are dedicated to providing the very best care and education available anywhere. We understand the important role that fun plays in your child’s development and early education. We strive to make Premier Academy a fun place to be! We offer a program that combine fun activities, challenging developmental curriculum and first-rate child care. Encouraging an early love of learning will not only prepare your preschool age children for entry into school, but also to inspire a lifelong curiosity, love of learning, healthy self-esteem and thirst for knowledge.

We want to hear from you. Set up an appointment today and see how much your children will love Premier Academy!

Premier Academy Child Enrichment Center offers childcare in Omaha, Nebraska for infantstoddlers, preschool, and pre-k children.

Maintaining a Balance Between Work and FamilyTrusting someone to care for your child can be a frightening experience. Many times, you don’t know the person you choose.

To put some of your fears to rest, it helps to take the necessary precautions to ensure you have chosen the best chidlcare center.

Networking with area mothers can be another good way to find childcare options. Many will be able to tell you what they liked, and didn’t like about the place or person they used.

If you go this route though, it’s always a good idea to research the place or child care Omaha Nebraska provider yourself, to ensure you feel comfortable with the experience, training, certifications and licensure they hold.

Interview the Childcare Option

When you find a couple of places, it’s wise to call to set up an appointment for an interview. When you have the opportunity to sit face-to-face with the childcare center, you can get a feel for the kind of people employed, and be able to ask any questions you have about their knowledge, experience and childcare style.

What to Ask at the Interview

Make a list of interview questions to ask the childcare center or provider. This list should include anything that will help make the decision in either choosing or dismissing the provider as a possibility.

Some of the questions you might want to consider asking are:

  • How many children do you care for each day?
  • What is the staff to children ratio?
  • How do you comfort a crying baby?
  • How often are the children fed?
  • What kinds of activities do you do with the children?
  • Do I need to provide food?
  • What happens if a child becomes ill?
  • How do you discipline children?
  • How is your facility safe for my child?

Take Time to Think

Try not to make a decision on whether or not you will use a particular provider as soon as the interview is over. Give yourself some time to think about the provider, and consider all of your options.

By taking time, you won’t feel as though you’ve rushed your decision, which will make you feel much more confident about your choice.

Asking Your Child

If your child is of age, you can ask him or her about a particular  provider. This will validate your child’s feelings, and help you feel better about leaving him or her in someone else’s care. If your child is happy, you will be happy.

Transferring Providers

Sometimes the childcare center you choose doesn’t work out. It’s nothing you did wrong, and sometimes nothing the provider did wrong. It’s sometimes just not a good fit. When transferring to another child care provider, think about what you didn’t particularly like about the one you use now. Check in with others to ensure they do not do the same, along with considering all of the suggestions mentioned above.

By doing this, you have a greater chance of finding a provider who will be able to care for your child on a long-term basis.

We want to hear from you. Set up an appointment today and see how much your children will love Premier Academy!

Premier Academy Child Enrichment Center, offering childcare in Omaha, Nebraska for infantstoddlers, preschoolpre-k and school age children.

Teaching Your Child Healthy Eating HabitsWith the winter months coming upon us, we find that our children are at risk for infections and colds. Taking care of a sick toddler isn’t fun. But taking care of two sick children is worse. It means more misery and sleepless nights — and for you, more missed days of work.

Kids do pass infections to each other easily in a group setting such as daycare, particularly during the winter months. You can’t prevent it entirely, unless you switch to a nanny or decide to stay home yourself. But there are steps you can take to minimize the chances your baby will be ill at daycare.

Step up your disinfecting:

Even if you’re not germ-obsessed usually, now might be a time to focus more on disinfecting surfaces in your home. It can help prevent germs from spreading from child to child in a daycare setting.

Practice good diaper hygiene:

Be especially careful with dirty diapers now — particularly if you have more than one kid wearing them. The changing table could be a spot where your kids exchange germs. So you could decide to use the changing table only for your sick toddler and change your healthy kid somewhere else. Or you could always lay a fresh blanket over the changing pad when putting a diaper on your healthy child.

Don’t allow sharing at meals:

Mealtimes may usually be chaotic, with your kids regularly swapping silverware, cups, and food. For now, do what you can to prevent that.

Keep the bathroom hygienic:

While germs generally don’t live on towels very long, they can live long enough to make a healthy kid sick. So launder them regularly. You may even want to switch to disposable paper towels for a week to prevent germs from infecting other family members. By the same token, consider replacing the bathroom water glass with disposable paper cups for a while. And get your child a new toothbrush after he’s been sick.

Wash Hands:

Teach your child how to wash their hands with good warm water and soap. Keeping on top of them regarding this is important. Sometimes just having set times where they wash their hands will get them into a good habit especially at daycare. Right after they get back home, before dinner, after they use the washroom.

Coughing in the Elbow:

Teach your child to cough NOT in their hands, but in their ELBOW area of their sleeve or shirt. This helps prevent germs from spreading to toys or other hands at daycare.

Dressing Warm:

The reality is that most of what hits our kids is them getting cold while doors, so dressing them warm with a good jacket, toque and scarf helps.

Cleaning Toys and Doors:

Most of the time germs are spread through toys and the doorknobs. So disinfecting these things always helps.

Cleaning your Computer:

Wipe down your computer keyboard and mouse at least once a week during the winter months to prevent spread of germs and sickness. Using something like 99% hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol will burn off the germs and clean your keyboard and mouse with-out damaging your electronics.

The Importance of Reading to Young ChildrenAs a parent, we all understand the importance of reading.  We use it on a daily basis, and as a matter of fact you are using it as we speak.  Now that your child has learned letters, words and ideas putting together a reading plan can make later learning an easier process.

Children who partake in early literacy activities have more confidence than children who are not offered this resource.  Premier Academy has the tools and resources to encourage reading, as we feel increased confidence will enable your child him to socialize better with adults and other children. These great tips will make reading fun and easy.

Reading is Everywhere:

Driving, grocery stores, at home, at the doctor’s office, reading is everywhere.  While at the grocery store with your Pre-K Omaha, Nebraska child, read the back of the cereal box, the magazine cover or the sale signs.  Ideas live everywhere you and your child go, and actively engaging in conversation about them will expose your child to more information about the world.

Every Day Job

Reading to your child every day will help them have a longer attention span and better listening skills. It complements what they are learning in kindergarten. If your child is able to sit and listen for long periods as you read, they will have the skills necessary to sustain reading on their own for longer periods of time.

Use rich vocabulary

Reading should include a focus on words. Using rich language enables children to better express themselves. Changing words like gigantic instead of big or marvelous instead of good are great examples.

Let your child read to you

If you read your child’s favorite book to them time and   time again, your child will begin to memorize the words.  This is ok as the words will become more familiar.  Let your child read to you!  Even if they are not reading everything correctly, this encourages your child to share reading with you and others they may encounter.

Keep it fun, for everyone

As you read with your child, keep them involved by asking questions about the story, and let them fill in the blanks. You can also create activities related to the stories you’re reading. This keeps your child involved and they may even do this on their free time!

Beyond books

Reading material comes in many different shapes and sizes, some of which may be more accessible to a new reader. Video games, magazines, and comic books all provide opportunities for reading practice. Other suggestions for adding reading into your home:  playing board games, closed caption on your television, instructions for putting together a game and grocery lists are just a few great ideas.

Don’t let reading be a chore.

Reading should be a choice, not a chore. Make sure there are a variety of books, magazines, and other materials available for your child to choose from.  While it’s fine to make suggestions, never force your conceptions of what your child should be reading onto your child. Keep an eye on the reading level of the books your children choose. Let them stretch to the best of their ability, but be ready to help if they get discouraged.

Teaching Your Children About FriendshipPreschool offers benefits that will help prepare your child for kindergarten and beyond.  Children interact with peers, take turns, and follow rules. Attending preschool does come with its fair share of emotions, for both the parent and the child. For children, entering this new phase can be very emotional, as a new preschool environment filled with unfamiliar teachers and kids can cause stress and anticipation. Parents might have mixed emotions about whether their child is ready for preschool.

At Premier Academy, we are here to make this transition as easy as possible.  To create less stress we have a few suggestions to make you and your child comfortable with this new journey.

Easing Your Child’s Fears

Visiting your child’s first preschool classroom a few times before school starts can ease the stress into unfamiliar territory. This offers the opportunity to ask questions, meet the teachers and learn the routines and common activities. While visiting the center, let your child explore and observe the class and choose whether to interact with other kids. Familiarizing your child with the classroom allows them to get comfortable.

Talk to your child about the new experiences they will encounter.  If you have an idea of what will take place, gradually introduce your child to these activities.  You can also ask how the teacher handles the first tear-filled days. How will the first week be structured to make the transition smooth for your child?

The First Day

This may be the hardest part of your new journey.  The first thing to remember, if your child clings to your or is not eager to join in with the other children, don’t get upset as this will only upset your child. Reintroducing the teacher to your child and taking a step back to allow the teacher to begin forming a relationship with your child.

We suggest never sneaking out. As tempting as it may be, leaving without saying goodbye may make kids feel abandoned, whereas a long farewell scene might only serve to reinforce a child’s sense that preschool is a bad place.

Be observant and flexible.

Watch to see how your child is adjusting. Do you feel he’s making a good connection with his teachers? Is your child excited about their new friends and all of the fun they are having.  If you are still seeing that your child is anxious and nervous, offer a time to volunteer. If you are working at a full time job, maybe a lunch hour or early morning time would work with your schedule more.  The teachers might really appreciate the extra help.

Be proud:

Before we know it, our children are ready to take this new adventure.  As hard as it may be, they are growing up! Express to your child how proud you are of them and get as excited as they are to discuss the daily events.

Family Fitness IdeasWhen your children enter kindergarten for the first time, they will be immersed in a completely new and unfamiliar environment. While there may be an initial apprehension especially without their parents present, children have a remarkable ability to adapt and most will come to like their new classroom environment.

Why not give your children a head start? Premier Academy provides an environment not unlike the one they will soon enter once they begin their first year of school. Children will have a whole new surrounding to explore outside the one they are familiar with. Even more importantly, they will be exposed to peers their age. This teaches them important social learning skills that can only be acquired through direct contact and engagement. Pre-K daycare gives your children that experience so they are in for nothing new when they enter kindergarten.

Premier Academy is far more than just a daycare center. It is also a place that gives your children the tools and experience to enrich their learning at a time when their young minds are still impressionable and can soak up new information like a sponge. The environment we provide is very nurturing and will become your child’s second home.

7 Play Based Learning Activities to Do With Your ChildChildren are our most precious resource and most valuable assets. Parents will go to any length to ensure their children are well taken care of when they have to work. To ensure this happens parents must select a premier preschool for their precious little one. Knowing how to recognize a premier preschool is important to ensuring only the highest quality care for your child. The parents of Premier Academy are always happy with the excellent care their children receive. Premier Academy specializes in services for infants, toddlers, preschooler, and pre-K aged children as well as offer school aged after school care programs.

The first way to recognize a premier childcare facility is by the highly qualified caregivers. At a premier childcare facility children will be provided with a positive learning environment by experienced and loving caregivers. The nurturing and caring workers at Premier Academy are devoted to the happiness of the children in their care and dedicated to stimulating their learning. The second way to recognize a premier child care facility is one dedicated to fostering the healthy development of children and providing a safe but fun environment. When looking for the best preschool Omaha Nebraska has to offer look no further than Premier Academy.