The amount of time kids spend in front of screens can cause significant anxiety – for their parents. Many parents are turning to screen time limits to keep kids from spending too much time on electronics. 

According to an article from the website VeryWellFamily, not all screen time is created equal, however. A Parent’s Guide to Setting Screen Time Limits notes that neither an outright ban on screen time nor unlimited use is the answer.

“The reality is we need to be flexible in setting rules, taking into account the purposes, timing, and benefits of the electronic devices our children use,” the article states. “As kids grow, they change and so does the technology. Parents have to be ready to make new rules or modify old ones when change happens, but keep that guiding principle of balance in mind as you readjust your family’s rules.”

Finally, one of the best ways to limit screen time is to make sure kids have the opportunity to do other, more hands-on activities to instill a desire for creativity and independent play. Doing so is the first and best defense against too much screen time.

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

kids on ipad

Technology has done a lot to improve the lives of children. However, when kids have too much screen time, the benefits of technology are quickly eclipsed.   Unfortunately, attempts to go cold-turkey often backfire when it comes to cutting off a child’s access to electronic devices. So what is a parent to do?

Screen Time and Children: How to Guide Your Child

With screens virtually everywhere, controlling a child’s screen time can be challenging. To complicate matters, some screen time can be educational for children as well as support their social development.

10 Tips to Cut Kids’ Screen Time

With screens everywhere, it may seem even harder to cut down on a child’s time with them. But limits are worth it.

Parents Trying to Limit Kids’ Screen Time Should Start with Their Own

When it comes to instilling healthy screen time habits in our kids, we need to first be aware of our own habits.

Complete Guide to Screen Addiction

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

Allowing parents to see what their child is doing throughout the day benefits parents, children and child care providers. When parents are in tune with what their child is doing and learning every day, they are able to establish a connection between what is occurring at a child care program and what happens at home. On a more practical level, these app make administrative tasks such as taking attendance much easier, as well.

Want to know what your child is up to at preschool? There’s an app for that

Parents used to rely on pen and paper when it came to signing their son or daughter into and out of preschool. Those days are fading away with apps taking over this and a variety of other child care and preschool related tasks.

Child Care App Provides Real-Time Updates to Parents
Daycares are going digital with apps to keep parents connected to kids

Technology is changing the way we communicate at home and at work. Now it is changing the way we communicate with our child care providers.

7 of the best parents teacher communication apps

There are several parent-teacher communication apps on the market. Premier Academy uses one of the most highly recommended, Tadpoles.

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Most child care programs provide parents an update on what their children did all day at pickup. Wouldn’t it be nice, however, to receive real-time updates? Updates that include things like photos and videos?

At Premier Academy, we use the Tadpoles app to make sure that parents always feel connected with their children. The Tadpoles app allows us to send reports, photos, videos, notes and reminders to parents throughout the day.

As a parent, how many times have you wondered what your child was up to at a particular time of day? Did they eat their lunch? Did they take a nap? The Tadpoles app gives you the answers to those questions. Now, instead of asking questions like, “What did you do today?” you can ask more specific ones like, “Did you enjoy finger painting?” These types  of open-ended questions help to spur more lively conversations.

The Tadpoles app also allows parents to receive emergency alerts or call their child out sick with just a click of a button. And all information sent and received through the Tadpoles app is safe, secure and 100 percent private.

The benefits of the Tadpoles app are numerous and online reviews confirm this. As one parent wrote, “I love using this because it helps me feel connected in real time with my children and their school.”

Other parents echo this statement. “Getting notifications throughout the day, seeing pictures, makes me feel like I’m still with them,” wrote another parent.

While apps like Tadpoles are recommended by child care experts, providers and parents, it is important to keep in mind that there are limitations to such apps. For example, while it is easy to communicate with your child care provider through apps, some issues require a face-to-face conversation. Sensitive topics such as behavioral issues always are best handled in person.

Like all forms of technology, Tadpoles and similar apps can only do their job if they are being used. Make sure you understand how to use the app so that you can get the most out of it. If you are having trouble figuring something out, ask your child care provider for help. Thankfully, the Tadpoles app is very user-friendly.

Allowing parents to see what their child is doing throughout the day benefits parents, children and child care providers. When parents are in tune with what their child is doing and learning every day, they are able to establish a connection between what is occurring at a child care program and what happens at home. This connection helps child care providers and parents work together to improve a child’s confidence, as well as academic and social growth. And these benefits continue into the elementary school years. Studies show that when parents are involved with what is going on with their children in their preschool years, they remain an important part of their education far into the future.

Children and TechnologyAs technology becomes more accessible and affordable, more and more families are using it and when you are looking for a Nebraska daycare, you should look for a center that understand the correct use of technology for all ages. According to a 2013 study by Common Sense Media, an organization dedicated to helping families use technology wisely, 75 percent of children under the age of 8 have access to a tablet or mobile device, an increase of 25 percent in just two years. And that number is growing every year.

Are your children technology junkies? If so, you might be wondering about how to make the most of technology in your home. How should technology be used, depending on your child’s age? How can you choose high-quality content? And, what types of limits or guidelines are appropriate? First, understand that technology can never replace or replicate the benefits of unstructured, creative play at a daycare. Children need real-life opportunities to imagine, create, and explore. They also need the supportive warmth that comes from face-to-face interactions with loving adults. On the other hand, technology isn’t going away and it can offer educational value when used appropriately. Read on to learn more about technology for kids in the home and learn about our favorite media for children.

Toddlers and Technology

According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), passive technology viewing has little value for infants and toddlers; the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that parents limit or omit technology use altogether for children age two and under. At this age, unstructured play and human interactions have more educational value. If you do allow technology such as toddler tablets, use it in “the context of human relationships,” suggests NAEYC, as you would picture books. Load tablets with photos of family members or animals. Hold your child as you look at and describe the photos. Use your digital device to share picture books, many of which have interactive features.

Technology for Preschoolers

Preschoolers are naturally drawn to technology. But before they begin learning with technology, they will need to learn the basics. Allow your child to explore inexpensive mobile devices stored in rugged frames. Demonstrate how to swipe and touch the screen. Later, your child can learn how to use a mouse or keyboard.

Continue to participate with your child with technology. Download simple, age-appropriate games and eBooks or listen to audiobooks. Take photos of your child’s work, such as a block tower or painting, to instantly send to family members. Download a storymaker app and help your child write and illustrate digital stories, which can also be shared with others. Search videos about topics that interests your child, such as the international space station, jungle or arctic animals, or cooking. Use a balanced approach to technology and education, offering it as one facet of a rich learning environment. Be conscious of how much time your child spends with technology and don’t allow it to supplant other activities, such as reading, unstructured play, or outdoor play time.

Some of our favorite technology tools for preschoolers:

  • Curiosityville, the brainchild of Susan Magsamen, is produced by education publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. This subscription-based service features six adorable animal characters who guide children through science, math, art, early literacy, cooking, and community service activities.
  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. While exploring Daniel’s world, young children learn about everyday topics, such as bedtime, mealtime, going to the doctor, or crossing the street.
  • Reading Rainbow offers a host of high-quality children’s literature along with video clips and audio versions.

Online Safety for School-Age Children

By the time your child is in elementary school, he’s probably well-versed in technology. At this age, most children can use a mouse, open and close apps, and even search the internet. It’s time to talk with your child about internet safety. Set clear guidelines and internet safety rules about what types of media are acceptable and carefully support and monitor your child’s technology use. Tell your child to never share her name, address, or personal information online or on social media. Talk with your child about what to do if he comes across inappropriate content (close the screen and alert you), and make sure you have a high-quality web filter and security system in place.

Help your child understand that technology is just one of many tools for learning. Download educational games, read books, and conduct research. When your child asks a question, conduct an Internet search to find the answer.

Some of our favorite technology tools for school-age children:

  • Starfall offers a complete reading and phonics program, as well as early math activities. The basic program is free; a subscription service is available for even more content.
  • PBS Learning Media offers a free round-up of videos, games, and activities on almost any topic. Come here to learn about history, science, math, and literature.
  • DreamBox is a subscription-based online math program for children. We like it because it delves deeper than most online math programs. Children don’t just learn rote math facts; they gain true math literacy.
  • Storyline Online features celebrities and public figures, such as Melissa Gilbert, Annette Bening, and even Al Gore, reading beloved children’s stories.

Remember, technology is just one tool in a parent’s toolbox and an important part of learning at Premier Academy daycare. Use it to support and enhance other activities, such as playing board games, reading together, or exploring nature. Children generally find technology engaging, but their need for hands-on learning hasn’t changed.

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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

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