Children and Technology: Parenting Tips for the Digital AgeWhile it can be a difficult decision for many parents, choosing to put your child in pre-k daycare may provide benefits that you aren’t aware of. Not only is it necessary for many parents to be able to return to work, but it provides a lot of advantages for the child as well.

A good daycare like Premier Academy will allow your children to socialize with other children in a safe environment. This is especially important if your child is an only-child, or if there is a large gap in ages between your children. Socializing with their peers an excellent way for children to learn skills like sharing. It’s also important for your child to learn what it is like to form friendships from an early age.

Many private daycares provide structured learning opportunities for the children that will better prepare them for school. A pre-k program teaches the children through songs, crafts and independent play time. These kinds of activities will show your children what it is like to attend school, and instill in them a sense of pride from the new skills they are learning.

To ensure your child is attending a pre-k daycare that provides them with the most benefits, find out what kind of activities they do throughout the day.

Reading to Children: Tips for Making Storytime MemorableChild care is short-term care by someone other than a parent. There are two basic types of child care: individual and group.

Premier Academy has defined these services, allowing you to select the best childcare.

Finding good child care can seem overwhelming and a bit scary. It is an important decision. But if you take your time and do some research, you can find a place where your child can play, learn, and be well taken care of.

How can you find good childcare?

When choosing childcare, make sure that it is:

  • Safe.
    Check that it is licensed with your state and county (also called registration or certification). Licensing guidelines vary by state. So make sure that all childcare providers know how to handle emergencies and are trained in first aid and CPR. Also, ask for references. Get the names of people and agencies you can talk to about the care center’s safety record.
  • Right for your child’s age, skill level, and natural outlook.
    Ask what ages of children go to the childcare center. Think about whether your child would do best at home, in a family home setting, or in a group center. For example, a child who makes friends easily may do well in a group center. A shy child may do better in a small, home-based center.
  • Right for your family’s values.
    Ask what kind of learning programs the childcare center has. Think about whether these fit with your family’s beliefs and values.
  • Well staffed.
    Make sure there are enough staff members to care for the number of children at the center. Ask if caregivers are able to give each child one-on-one attention as needed. Check that the main caregivers and program directors are trained in child development and have a college degree or are otherwise highly experienced. Also, find out how long staff members have worked there. It can be upsetting for a child if the staff changes often.
  • Caring.
    Watch how the staff works with the children and if they are kind and caring with them. A good childcare center helps your child learn, interact, and solve problems while protecting him or her from making choices that could be harmful.
  • Affordable.
    In the United States you can deduct part of child care costs from your state and federal income taxes. Your employer also may offer benefits or help with child care. Or you may qualify for a reduced rate at some child care centers.
  • Reliable and consistent.
    You’ll want to know that your provider will be available when needed. Have written agreements outlining specific hours, holidays, and other breaks.
  • Convenient.
    Think about the location of the childcare center and whether the hours work well with your schedule.

How can you help your child get the right start?

Children need time to adjust to child care. It is common for a child to cling or cry when a parent leaves. But you can take steps to help your child do well in child care.

  • Prepare yourself and your child. It may help if you both get used to spending time apart. Hire a babysitter or ask a friend or relative to help watch your child for short periods, and gradually make the sessions longer.
  • Tell your child what will happen. If your child is an older toddler or a preschooler, talk about meeting new friends and doing new things. Remind your child that you will come back to pick him or her up.
  • Work into the new routine slowly. You may keep the first visit short and stay with your child. Stay away a little longer each day. Follow your child’s lead. He or she may be more ready to join the group than you thought.
  • Spend extra time saying good-bye for the first few days. Some children will be ready and eager for the new routine. An extra minute or two to get your child involved in a new project or with a group of children may be all that is needed.
  • Let your child bring something from home, if the childcare center allows it. Having a special blanket or toy can be a comfort.

If you spend time with your child and are calm and loving, he or she will be more likely to adjust to and enjoy child care.  Premier offers the best childcare in Omaha, Nebraska.  We have more than 40 years of experience in the childcare industry. Because of that, we are dedicated to providing your children with a safe, fun, stimulating and structured environment. Our infant child caretoddler child carepreschool child care, and pre-K child care programs are designed to promote the all-important growth and development that is so critical during your child’s formative years. And best of all, we know how to have fun all the while! Because what’s the point of being a child if you can’t have a little fun?

Understanding Quality ChildcareTo assist you in finding the appropriate quality childcare, Premier has listed steps below that will guide you through finding a good daycare center and recognizing the signs of a good daycare center (See Part 1).

Signs of a good daycare center

  1. Reputation:
    The references you talk to should be very happy with the daycare center. If they are unsure or have doubt, you probably will too.
  2. Caring and qualified staff:
    The staff should be enthusiastic and interact with the children in a positive way that shows they really care. The staff should have a philosophy about discipline, feeding and sleeping that follows your philosophy. The employees should be educated with at least two years of college, a background in child development, along with first aid training and knowledge of CPR.
  3. Safe, clean facility:
    A good daycare center has floors, walls, bathrooms, kitchen and changing stations that are clean, well lit, and ventilated. There should be established policies on how to keep things clean, when and how often hands are washed, and how to keep toys and equipment in safe working order. The daycare center should have an emergency plan, with first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and childproof storage areas. All general child safety issues should be followed.
  4. Established rules and policies:
    A good daycare center will be flexible but it should follow set hours, have enforced rules on sick children, and will require checkups and immunizations to prevent the spread of illness. The center should have an open door policy that allows you to stop for a visit unannounced. If they don’t have this policy, they might be hiding something.
  5. A complete schedule of activities:
    Good centers will have a schedule that allows for play time, quiet time, individual activities, meals, snacks, and group activities. One thing that should not be included in a good schedule is TV and videos. A good center teaches a wide variety of topics, while at the same time, teaching things appropriate for the age group. Also look for toys that are appropriate for the age of your child. These toys should be fun, while letting the child be imaginative and creative.
  6. A current license:
    While a license doesn’t guarantee the center will work for you, the center should be licensed by your local city services department. Also look and see if the center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Licensing laws vary from state to state.

Signs of a bad daycare center

  1. Reputation:
    If you have heard bad word of mouth or the references make you question something, the daycare center is not for you.
  2. An unqualified staff:
    A staff that has no formal child training, no college education and no emergency training is not a staff you want around you child. If there are more than three or four children to each teacher, one might suspect the teachers could be overworked, underpaid, and potential not happy with their jobs. This situation could lead to high employee turnover that would not give your child the best daycare available.
  3. Unsafe, dirty facility:
    Do not use a daycare center whose facility is rundown, has bad lighting, dirty play or food preparation areas, toys and equipment in need of repair, or have dangerous items in reach of children. If the center has no emergency plan, is without first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and child proof storage areas, this are no place for your children.
  4. No set rules:
    A daycare center that has no policy with set rules is not the center for you. This will lead to confusion, misunderstandings, spread of illness, and a generally unsafe environment.
  5. No daily schedule:
    If the daycare center has no daily program of activities for your child, your child will not have a chance to learn and grow. Your child needs to be educated with stimulating, imaginative, and creative activities. If the center just lets the children play and watch TV, don’t use them.
  6. Expired licenses:
    If the center has an expired license or no license at all, don’t use them. This means they are either conducting business illegally or could not meet your local city services requirements to operate as a safe, quality center.

Premier offers quality childcare in Omaha, Nebraska.  Our staff is here to help and will assist in making the right choices for the growth of your child!

How To Get Children To Try New FoodsChoosing the proper daycare center for your child should be a carefully thought out and researched process. With some daycare centers being exceptional and some being just plain bad, it is important to pick a center that helps your child grow and develop his skills while also having fun.  Premier Academy has made a great list helping assist in finding the best childcare.

There are several advantages to having your child in a daycare center. Good centers have a mix of activities that will teach different skills. Projects that lead to creativity, storytelling, dancing, and singing all help the child learn instead of just playing all day. Children also get to socialize with other children, which they wouldn’t get to do as often if they were at home with a nanny. Finally, the daycares are more stable and consistent than nannies because the center will watch your child even if a teacher is sick.

To assist you in finding the appropriate daycare center, Premier has listed steps below that will guide you through finding a good daycare, as well as recognizing the signs of a bad daycare center (Part 2).

  1. Make a list of what’s important to you.
    Do you want a center close to home? Close to work? Do you want your children to be with several children or prefer smaller groups?
  2. Research all your possibilities.
    Ask your friends, family, doctors, and referral agencies for a daycare center they would recommend. Look on the Internet and in the phone book for other possible centers. When doing your research, be sure to think about your list of important topics. Is the center accredited by the National Association for the Education for Young Children or the National Association of Family Child Care? Has the center received any local award or recognition?
  3. Once you have a list of possible centers, call them on the phone and ask some preliminary questions.
    This is a very important step. Make sure you remember your initial feeling of the conversation and write down if you had a good or bad feeling, including what made you feel that way. You should ask about their policies, hours, fees, activities, and philosophies on teaching children. Are they flexible to help you with your schedule? Will they accommodate your special requests? What is their teacher to child ratio? Do they change activities frequently? Do they have experienced teachers?
  4. Narrow down your list by crossing off the centers you had a bad feeling about.
    Next, visit and interview the daycare center you had a good feeling about. Get a list of the activities and look around at the facility. Is the center a warm, clean, safe environment in which you think your child would learn and have fun? Be sure to pay close attention to the actual teacher to child ratio during your visit to verify what they told you it was over the phone. Also, ask any more questions you may have and make sure the director is allowing you free access to look at everything you want to see or know about. Again, your gut feeling is most important.
  5. Narrow down your list again then start checking references.
    Call parents of children who are currently at the center or have had children at the center in the past. Ask their opinion of the center and if they would recommend it to you. If their child is no longer at the center, ask why.
  6. Take you child to the daycare center for a visit.
    Observe how your child acts in the environment and around the teachers. Does your child seem comfortable? Do you think your child would be happy at the center?

Once you find a daycare that meets your qualifications and one that you feel your child would like, enroll your child. If there is a waiting list, get your name on the list and find a temporary caregiver until a spot becomes open.

Contact Premier Academy today to make your appointment!  We offer the best childcare in Omaha, Nebraska.

Helping Children Cope With ChangeAs we discussed in our last blog posting, selecting the right preschool can be a difficult decision. The next 3 Steps to selecting the right preschool in Omaha, Nebraska.

  1. How old should my child be when she starts?

Most preschools in Omaha serve 3, 4, and 5-year-olds, with most kids beginning at age 4. (Some preschools will start accepting children at around 2 1/2, but that doesn’t mean your child will be ready when he reaches that age.) You can choose from a part-time schedule or a full-time one. Your choice will depend on your family’s situation — working moms might prefer five days a week — and on your child’s temperament.

Parents typically start investigating options about a year before they want their children to attend.

  1. How do I choose the right preschool and childcare in Omaha?

Research, research, research. First, decide on location (close to work or home?) and hours (half-day, two or three days a week, full-time?). There are programs at private schools, daycare centers, religious institution, state-funded schools, and cooperatives run by parents. Start by asking for recommendations from other moms. Next, check whether the schools are state-licensed, which ensures the facility meets safety requirements and has adequate staffing (visit

Many states exempt religious-based preschools from all or some requirements — although many meet these standards anyway. In addition, many preschools now have Web sites that you should visit.

Call each preschool  you’re considering and ask about its fees, admission policy, and curriculum. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, schedule visits.

Most childcare centers run open houses during the winter. Also, meet with the director and spend time in a classroom to observe the teachers. Visit each school with your child and see how she responds to the classroom, the teachers, and the activities.

  1. What should I look for during a visit?

Check out the basics: Is the facility clean and safe? Keep your eye out for smoke detectors and first-aid kits. Is there a well-kept outdoor play area? Are there plenty of art materials, age-appropriate toys, and books? Are they in good condition? Is the atmosphere friendly and fun? Student work should be displayed in the hallways and around the classroom, hung at kid-level.

The classroom should have a variety of activity areas — a reading place, an art station with materials on shelves that kids can reach: a block corner, a puzzle area, and a place for naps. Children should not all be doing the same thing at the same time; they should be playing with toys or other kids but still well supervised.

Premier Academy offers preschool in Omaha, Nebraska. Our West Omaha childcare center has everything your child will need to become ready for the road ahead. Premier provides a place where your child can gain a sense of self, explore, play with her peers, and build confidence. We are not your ordinary daycare.

Infant Sign LanguageSelecting the right preschool can be a difficult decision.  Is your child ready, are you sending your child to the right school?  These are common questions & Premier can help!  4 Steps to selecting the right preschool in Omaha, Nebraska.

  1. What’s the difference between childcare and preschool?

Child care centers are an option for working parents who need their children to be taken care of during the day; centers accept babies as well as toddlers and are full-time, full-year programs. Preschool refers to an early-childhood educational class for 3- and 4-year-olds. Many offer a part-time schedule as well as full-day care, but only from September to May. Yet the terms are often used interchangeably. A childcare center with experienced, well-trained teachers and stimulating activities offers kids similar advantages to a preschool.

  1. How important is preschool?

Statistics show that a majority of kids attend at least one year of preschool. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), more than two-thirds of 4-year-olds and more than 40 percent of 3-year-olds were enrolled in a preschool in 2005 nationwide.

“Every child should have some sort of group experience before he starts kindergarten,” says Amy Flynn, director of New York City’s Bank Street Family Center. Music and gymnastics classes are great, but what preschools do that less formal classes don’t is teach kids how to be students. Your child will learn how to raise her hand, take turns, and share the teacher’s attention. What’s more, she’ll learn how to separate from Mommy, who often stays in a music or gym class. All of this makes for an easier transition to kindergarten. “Kindergarten teachers will tell you that the students who are ready to learn are those who come into school with good social and behavior-management skills,” Smith says.

In fact, educators have so recognized the importance of giving kids some form of quality early education that about 40 states now offer state-funded pre-K programs.

  1. What will my child learn at preschool?

In addition to strengthening socialization skills — how to compromise, be respectful of others, and problem-solve — Premier Academy provides a place where your child can gain a sense of self, explore, play with her peers, and build confidence.   We are not your ordinary daycare.  “Kids in preschool discover that they are capable and can do things for themselves — from small tasks like pouring their own juice and helping set snack tables to tackling bigger issues like making decisions about how to spend their free time,” says Angela Capone, PhD, senior program manager at Southwest Human Development’s Arizona Institute for Childhood Development, in Phoenix. “Plus, 4- and 5-year-olds have begun asking some wonderful questions about the world around them — what happens to the water after the rain? Do birds play? Quality preschools help children find answers through exploration, experimentation, and conversation.”

  1. But what about learning his ABCs?

“Young children can certainly learn letters and numbers, but to sit kids down and ‘teach’ them is the wrong way to do it,” says Smith. “They learn best through doing the kinds of activities they find interesting — storytime, talking to their teachers about stars, playing with blocks.” To help kids learn language and strengthen pre-reading skills, for instance, teachers might play rhyming games and let kids tell stories. Keep in mind that for small children, school is all about having fun and acquiring social skills — not achieving academic milestones. “Kids need to be imaginative and to socialize — that’s what fosters creative, well-rounded people. It’s not whether they can read by age 4 or multiply by 5,” says Flynn. An ideal curriculum? Parading around in dress-up clothes, building forts, and being read to.

Premier Academy offers preschool in Omaha, Nebraska.  Our West Omaha childcare center has everything your child will need to become ready for the road ahead.

Keeping Your Child Safe from the Summer HeatWorking everyday learning into your household tasks can help your preschool children connect the importance of math, reading, geography, and simple reasoning to their own lives.

Try these suggestions for in-home preschool learning:

* Laundry. Have your preschool child divide your laundry into varying sets. These can be the traditional lights and darks, or you could have him divide the clothing into print piles and non-print piles. You can have her divide the clothing into adult sets and children’s sets. Another option: Ask your preschool child to identify all of her clothing and separate and fold it.

* Cooking. Have your child read a recipe out loud to you while you are cooking, or, better yet, write a family cookbook and have your preschool child come up with his or her own simple recipe. This helps the child with reading, writing, measurements, and general creativity.

* Hometown. What makes the area where you live geologically significant? Is there a mountain nearby? A lake? A desert? An ocean? Ask everyone in your family to draw a map to their favorite place in your hometown. Then get a real map of your town and see if it matches up with the way you each made your own maps. Celebrate by taking your preschool child to his or her favorite place.

Infant Massage
by Carolyn Oleson

Best stated, infant massage is a wellness program for children. When else would it be better to implement and instill wellness into people than in childhood? Optimizing our well-being is generally an ongoing goal for all, and infant massage is a great avenue for reaching toward that goal.

Infant massage, also called nurturing touch, is health promoting in a number of ways. One of the most significant results is the enhancement of immune function. Research findings show lower levels of stress hormones in children who are massaged. Knowing that stress hormones sabotage our immune systems and negatively impact health and learning makes using this anti-stress routine a powerful tool for parents.

Another compelling reason to practice nurturing touch for children is the building of neuronal connections. Brain researchers along with child development experts have identified touch as one of the “10 Things Every Child Needs” (McCormick Foundation Project) to grow the brain and enable children to more fully reach their potential.

Massage also can bring about many positive effects that will help parents get through the day in a more loving way. Such effects include helping the child to sleep deeper and longer, and providing relief from gas, colic,
constipation, teething pain, and congestion. Massage is also known to improve muscle tone, digestive tone, and circulation, and to deepen respiration. Best of all, it strengthens the relationship and enhances bonding and communication between parent or teacher and child.

Unlike other massage approaches, infant massage is unique in that it is meant to be provided by a parent or other primary caretaker. The International Association of Infant Massage trains providers to instruct parents on how to massage their child with emphasis on individualizing for each child. The trick is to get the parent to let go of expectations and allow for joyful interaction. It is when parents let go and give unconditional love to their child through touch that remarkable effects are brought about.

Children with special needs ranging from developmental delays to complex medical problems can benefit dramatically from touch. It is possible that this dramatic effect is related to the empowerment that parents feel from providing nurturing touch to their children. When struggling with physical or medical problems, this empowerment goes a long way.

Small group classes of up to four sessions are taught to parents of well babies through various health outreach programs such as hospitals, spas, or health clubs. Instruction is also done for children with special needs on a private basis because of the need to individualize for that child. Instructors certified by the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) are available in most areas of the United States.

Infant massage is fairly new to this country, starting in the Midwest in the mid ’80s. It has been part of other cultures in different countries for centuries. Americans are catching on. The IAIM’s goal for the future is to have infant massage passed down from generation to generation. Then it will be an important element of child rearing in American culture too.

For more information on infant massage, contact the International Association of Infant Massage at (805) 644-8524.

Children and Technology: Parenting Tips for the Digital AgePatience, and the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown. -Chinese Proverb

Schools nationwide have rushed to supply their classrooms with computers, and many policy makers say it is foolish to do otherwise.  But the contrarian point of view can be found at the epicenter of the tech economy, where some parents and educators have a message: “computers and schools don’t mix.”   This surprising assertion appeared in an October 22 New York Times article, “A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute

>>>View this article online at

The Importance of Reading to Babies and InfantsThe Importance of Finding the Right Child Care for Your Infant

The importance of finding the right child care for your infant can not be understated. There are many things that you need to take into account when you are looking at several different infant care centers. A few of the questions that you should be asking yourself when researching the different child care companies in your area. When looking for an infant care facility, make sure that you are properly evaluating the situation to find the best child care provider for your situation.

Their Qualifications 

Make sure that they are completely qualified to be responsible for your child. They should have some sort of training, and nay of the permits that your area requires in order to run a childcare business. There are various certifications that a child care business can obtain in order to prove their worth to a parent, so having those should be considered a bonus on your part.

The Terrain 

Another thing that you need to take into consideration is the terrain. What is the playground like? What kind of dangers does the playground that they have potentially hold? Are there any streets nearby? Of course, educating your child, if they are old enough, on potential dangers that could pose a risk, that can go a long way toward ensuring that you are able to teach them good habits that keep them safe and out of trouble. Keep this in mind when searching for an appropriate infant child care company.


Try to find a child care center that is going to act as a secondary school. Any good childcare facility should be able to help your child learn how to read, learn basic math, and brush up on the things that they are learning in school. Any infant child care Omaha Nebraska facility should be able to provide you with some educational opportunities for your child.