Teaching Healthy Eating Habits and Positive Body ImageGetting your child to talk about their day can be challenging. But it’s important to talk with your kids about their day, every day, to stay connected and offer encouragement.

Parents often ask questions kids can answer with a word or two. Asking questions that begin with who, what, when, where, why and how isn’t just a good journalism tool. When you ask questions that begin with the five Ws and one H, you encourage more than a yes or no response from your child.

  1. What Was the Best Part of Your Day?
    This question is asked around dinner tables everywhere on a daily basis. Don’t drill kids about their day. The easiest way to get kids to open up about their day is to talk about your day with your spouse or partner when kids can hear you. By listening to you share details of your day; kids will learn how to share their own favorite events.
  2. Who Did You Talk With at Lunch Today?
    Your child may sit at the same lunch table at school every day, but may not always engage in conversations with the same friends. Kids often discuss the day’s happenings at lunch. Asking who your child talked with encourages conversation about the day.
  3. Are They Still Serving Slop for Lunch
    Instead of asking your child what he had for lunch, ask a funny question. It will make your child laugh, but also encourage him to talk about school.
  4. Where Did You Play After School?
    Asking where your child played opens up the topic of what your child was doing after school, who they played with and what they did.
  5. What Was Your Favorite Toy Today?
    Play is a big part of a young child’s day. Asking your child about his favorite toy will help him talk about who he played with and what they did together.
  6. How is Emma?
    Asking about a specific friend. Your child’s day is a huge piece of time in their life.  This helps your child narrow the day down to smaller chunks of time.
  7. How Did You Like That Book?
    What was your favorite part of the book? Who was your favorite character in the book? Asking your child about a book they brought home from the library or read during school will encourage them to talk what they liked and disliked about the book.
  8. What Did Your Best Friend Bring for Lunch Today?
    Did you want to switch lunches with her? Talking about lunch will encourage your child to offer suggestions for future lunches.
  9. What Was Your Favorite Class Today? Why?
    This is a good way to get your child to talk about a specific class. By asking both what and why, your child will reveal more details.
  10. What Was Your Biggest Challenge Today? How Did You Resolve It?
    Again, asking two questions opens the door to more conversation about the subject than just asking one question.

By asking more specific questions and using the five Ws and one H, your child will be more likely to share details of his day at school or day care. By opening up about your own day at work, you serve as your child’s role model.

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.

Is Your Child Ready for Preschool?There are many factors to consider when searching for a daycare for your child. Safety should always be at the top of your list. There are safety standards for things like licensing, child proofing, staff-to-child ratios, indoor and outdoor spaces, staff behavior, behavior policies, etc.

While checking off the items on this list doesn’t guarantee a center is safe, it can help point you in the right direction.

  1. Licensing Standards are Met
    The daycare should be licensed, with the paperwork prominently displayed. Verify that the center is licensed and when it’s up for re-inspection.
  2. Spaces are Childproofed
    Looking for these childproof must-haves:
    Window blind pull strings are looped up out of reach and fastened with anchors
    b.    Cribs are placed out of reach of windows and window blinds
    c.    Outlet covers are in firmly place
    d.    Stairs are blocked off by stair gates
    e.    Changing tables and high chairs have straps which are used to secure the child
    f.    Toys are clean and in good condition
  3. Policies Are in Writing
    You should be aware of the important standard procedures involving things like medication, discipline, cleaning, infection control, sick policies and proper sanitation guidelines. They should all be written down and provided to every family so that parents and staff know what is allowed and what to expect.
  4. Staff is Trained in First Aid and CPR
    For the safety of the children, and because accidents can and do happen, at least one member of the staff should be trained in pediatric CPR and first aid.
  5. Healthy and Safe Behaviors Are Practiced
    You should get an overall feeling that the daycare is a healthy and safe place. You should notice staff and children washing hands frequently, surfaces being cleaned regularly and babies being put to sleep on their backs. These practices can prevent germs from spreading and keep the children and staff safe and healthy.
  6. Caregiver-to-Child Ratios
    There should be adequate caregiver-to-child ratios in the room to allow for an appropriate level of supervision.
  7. Open-door Policy
    Be wary of a center that does not encourage parents to observe — before or after enrolling — and ask questions. Parents should feel comfortable asking any questions they have of the program director or staff to be sure that the program is a good fit for their child and family. Ask the director of the program about their philosophy on discipline and be sure that the staff uses positive discipline techniques with the children. And finally, parents should take the time to observe and visit the classrooms long enough to get a sense of how staff interact with the children and with each other.

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.

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.

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.

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?