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 naccrra.org).

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.

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.