As the weather grows colder, heading out the door in the morning will involve more than just throwing on a t-shirt and pair of shorts. Jackets, long pants and long-sleeve shirts will soon be followed by winter coats, hats and scarves.

While some toddlers and young children want to do everything themselves, others will show little interest in dressing themselves. While it is tempting – in the interest of time and frustration – to dress your child every morning, it is important that children learn to master this achievement. Doing so will allow them to be more independent and builds their self-confidence.

The skills that children develop when they dress themselves are significant and include fine motor, gross motor and cognitive skills. Manipulating small buttons and zippers helps strengthen fine motor skills. Gross motor skills improve when a child is able to stand on one leg when pulling on a pair of pants and understanding that a shirt goes on before a sweater and socks before shoes helps to build cognitive skills.

When you are in the thick of teaching your child how to dress themselves, it may feel as if they will never be able to do it on their own. However, what follows are some tips that will help you both remain patient as your child reaches this important milestone.

  1. Consider teaching them how to put their pajamas on first. Pajamas are usually easier for children to manipulate because they don’t have a large number of buttons or zippers. Further, parents usually have more patience when they aren’t worried about getting to work or day care on time.
  2. Pass on complicated articles of clothing until a child is older. Clothing with too many zippers or small buttons will only serve to frustrate a child when they are still learning. The same goes for shoes. Start with slip on shoes or Velcro straps until the child is used to getting their shoes on and off. Once they have mastered that that they can move on to learning to tie their shoes.
  3. Get creative when helping your child get dressed. Purchase clothes with characters or fun designs so they know which side goes in front. Tear a sticker in half and put one on each shoe. When their shoes are on correctly, the two halves will make a whole picture.
  4. Let your child practice dressing their stuffed animals or buttoning a shirt they aren’t wearing. Fine motor skills take time to perfect. Putting on clothes, buttoning and zipping all in one sitting is often too much when your child is just learning. Let them master one skill before moving on to the next.

Teaching a child to dress themselves is not easy and takes a tremendous amount of patience on everyone’s part. The more fun you make it, however, the smoother it will go. Be sure to cheer your child on when they master a task. While it may seem like a slow process, one day you will wake up and your child will be dressed and ready to go before you!

If you are looking for affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area, visit us at to learn how to get your child enrolled. 

Of all the sources of emotional support Americans have relied on during the current pandemic, one of the most popular has been their pets. Psychologists note that the emotional bond between people and their pets is a particularly therapeutic one.

An article in Psychology Today, Is Your Pet a Pandemic Stress Buster, states that pets are a wonderful source of support for a variety of reasons. One of the most significant is the fact that they don’t judge. 

“Your pet won’t judge you for wearing sweatpants 24/7, being grumpy, or having that extra glass of wine.” 

Some other reasons, according to the article, is that the provide a sense of routine and that spending time with them has a calming effect. Companion animals also can reduce loneliness (feelings of social disconnection) and compensate for reduced human social connection.

If you don’t have a family pet but are considering one, you are not alone. A recent survey from TD Ameritrade finds that 33% of Americans have considered fostering or adopting a new pet amid COVID-19. If you have the time and means to take care of a new furry family member, now may be the perfect time to do so. For your own sake, and the sake of your children.

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

If you are looking for affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area, visit us at to learn how to get your child enrolled. 

kid playing

Children learn a lot when they attend childcare. How to make friends and interact with their peers are two of the most important. While some children have a harder time doing these things than others, every child needs to be given the tools to make sure that they feel comfortable with other children and understand how to be a friend.


The Importance of Childhood Friendships, and How to Nurture Them

There is no one-size-fits all formula for friendship. There are, however, ways to help children develop relationship skills that will cultivate deep, meaningful connections with others. 


The Importance of Friendship in Preschool

Preschool is the age when children start to make friends and build relationships with their peers. By sharing experiences, feelings, and interacting with one another, children learn how to meet the social needs of others and of their own.


The Ups and Downs of Toddler Relationships

Toddlers don’t express friendship in the same way an older child or an adult would, but they are still forging a bond. 

If you are looking for affordable childcare in the Omaha/Elkhorn area, visit us at to learn how to get your child enrolled. 

Asking Questions Critical to Choosing the Best Preschool for Your ChildThe decision where to send your child to preschool can seem overwhelming. After all, a lot is riding on this choice.

Like most decisions in life, doing some independent research, asking the opinions of others and following your gut instincts will go a long way toward finding the perfect fit for your child. Once you have narrowed down your options based on things like distance from home or work and price, BabyCenter’s article, How Do I Choose the Best Preschool for My Child, suggests the following questions:

  1. Is the school accredited?
  2. Does it have clear rules and regulations?
  3. What is the student-to-teacher ratio?
  4. Is there a great deal of staff turnover?
  5. What is the school’s philosophy on educating toddlers?

Once you have the answers to these questions you will likely have found the ideal preschool. At Premier Academy, our preschool program is designed with the betterment of the child in mind. For more information, or to schedule a tour, give us a call at any of our three area locations.

Choosing the best preschool for your child can be difficult, we here at Premier Academy understand this. Is play-based preschool the best approach? Should you choose a Montessori school? How will you know? Taking the time to visit potential preschools and witnessing firsthand the interactions between educators and students will go a long way toward making an informed decision.

8 Questions to Ask When Looking at Preschools

Knowing how to choose the best preschool for your child involves asking a lot of questions. It also means asking the right type of questions.

Why Preschool is the ‘Most Important Year’ In a Child’s Development

There are some who believe that preschool isn’t a big deal, so choosing one shouldn’t be difficult. Not so fast according to many experts who say that preschool is actually the most important year in a child’s development.

What to Do When Your Child Hates Pre-School

Once you have selected what you believe is an outstanding preschool for your child, you may be surprised to find he or she doesn’t want to go. Now what?

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

Does your child seem to have trouble making friends? While it is true that shy or introverted preschoolers can have a tougher time making friends, that doesn’t mean that they will be friendless. Some children simply take more time to warm up in social situations but can still master the art of making friends!

Kids Who Need a Little Help to Make Friends

While you can’t make friends for your child, you can help them develop and practice key social skills. Skills that they will use and refine their entire lives.

How to Help Your Kids Make Friends

Helping your child navigate the mean streets of social interaction can be nerve-wracking. Unfortunately, the anxiety surrounding this issue can kick in sooner than you think.

Girl Friends

How Kids Make and Keep Friends

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that making friends is one of the most important missions of childhood and a social skill that will endure throughout their lives. Some children, however, struggle with this skill and, unfortunately, have trouble making and keeping friends.

If you would like to see the kind of place where your Preschooler can make new friends and learn and grow, schedule a tour at one of the Premier Academy Child Enrichment Centers today.

It is a commonly held belief that children need to form social skills before they can develop friendships. Child development experts tell us that the opposite is actually true.

Friendships begin to develop around 18 months, when toddlers are discovering their own sense of self. As a result, when a child finds another child who seems to be interested in the same things, a special bond can emerge. Of course, such bonds can be short-lived because of the limits of empathy, for example, but they form the basis for friend-making skills.

If you are the parent of a shy or introverted child you may worry that your son or daughter may not be able to make friends since he or she is uncomfortable in social situations. It is important to realize that there is nothing wrong with shy children, they simply have a different temperament. While you can’t make a child not be shy, you can help that child feel more comfortable interacting with other people, including their peers.

It is natural that you want your child to be confident and immediately at ease but some children take more time to warm up in social situations, making establishing friendships more difficult. The key is to work with your child’s natural temperament instead of against it.

What follows are some ways to make sure that you are doing all you can to make your toddler or preschooler comfortable in social situations without causing unnecessary distress.

  1. Give it time. Don’t throw your toddler into situations before they are ready. For example, visit a new childcare center with your child and stay there with them before they go solo.
  2. Praise them. If you notice your child talking to another child or exploring their surroundings, let them know you are proud of them.
  3. Model friendly behavior. Say hello to people you meet and be friendly. Remember, children are always watching how you react in situations and will model your behavior.
  4. Don’t make it a big deal. If your child is upset and clings to you, being overly comforting can send the message that they are correct in being afraid. Instead, no matter how much you are struggling inside, let your child know that you are confident things will be just fine.
  5. Avoid labels. If your child is resisting talking to others, avoid telling people he or she is shy in front of your child. Instead say that your child needs a little time to warm up. Your child will appreciate knowing that you are their advocate.
  6. Avoid comparisons. Every child is different. Comments like, “Why can’t you be more like your sister?” will cause more harm than good. Instead, focus on helping your child become the best version of his or herself.

In the end, don’t project your own social expectations on your children. Some children prefer independent play while others want to be in the middle of large groups. If your child, no matter what their age, is happy with the status of their friendships, you should be, too.

Keeping Your Child Safe from the Summer HeatSome of the best memories your child will make are running around, playing outdoors at Preschool, and being active in the amazing summer weather. However, all this running and physical activity in the heat of the day can put children, and adults, at risk for heat stroke, dehydration, harsh sunburns and other related types of complications.

Heat stroke can be very dangerous and not always obvious if you don’t know the signs and symptoms to look out for. The good news is that parents and childcare providers can teach their children to recognize when they are getting too warm and take the right steps to cool off before it gets to that point.

These symptoms may indicate that your child is showing signs of heat stroke:

  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness and headache
  • Muscle cramps

If the child is not adequately cooled off at this point, the symptoms may progress to full heat stroke and include elevated body temperature, hot dry skin, lack of sweat production, rapid pulse, difficulty in breathing and agitation and confusion.

To help you child avoid heat exhaustion or the more serious heat stroke teach them to:

  • Always ensure that your child brings water with them outside and that they hydrate regularly throughout the day. At Premier Academy, each child has a water bottle that they have constant access to throughout the day. Children should be limited to water or sports drinks. Avoid soda, energy drink or anything containing caffeine.
  • Wearing a hat helps keep direct sun off of your child’s head and wearing lighter colored, loose fitting clothing allows perspiration to evaporate and cool the body.
  • Apply sunscreen. Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and UVA and UVB protection every time your child goes outside. For the best protection, apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outdoors. Don’t forget to protect ears, noses, lips, and the tops of feet.
  • Limit activity during the hottest parts of the day or when humidity is especially high.
  • If possible, encourage your children to find games that can be played in the shady areas of the yard or playground during those hours
  • Teach your child to recognize when they are feeling too warm and to immediately notify you or their daycare

Last, and most important, never leave a child in a car unattended or leave a vehicle unlocked if there is a chance a child can climb into the vehicle and get stuck inside. The greatest cause of injury and death due to heat stroke is related to children being left in vehicles, often for as little as five minutes, resulting in tragedy that could have easily been prevented.
For any other tips or advice on keeping your child cool in the summer months, ask our amazing teachers and staff at Premier Academy. We are committed to providing you with quality childcare that ensures your child’s safety and growth.  Visit our website at for more parenting blogs, tips, and tricks!

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Raising a Confident ReaderAs parents and teachers we recognize the importance that reading skills play in our personal and professional lives. We read on a daily basis, and as a matter of fact you are reading as we speak. Once your child hits the appropriate development level to being reading, putting together a reading plan can make later learning a much easier process.

Children who partake in early literacy activities at home or at daycare, 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 to socialize better with adults and other children at your childcare center. Check out these tips that ensure reading will be fun and easy!

We Are Always Reading:

Road signs, billboards, magazines at the doctor’s office, shopping, reading is everywhere. While at the grocery store with your 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

Your child’s ability to sit and listen for extended periods of time as you read, is an indication that your child is ready to start reading themselves! Reading to your child and having your child work on sight words and sounding out letters every day will help them have a longer attention span, better listening skills, and the ability to learn new concepts. These tend be more crucial when they start Kindergarten than being able to memorize the alphabet or count to ten. Don’t get us wrong, those things are important, but being able to pay attention, listen, and grasp new ideas makes what they’ll learn in Kindergarten a whole lot easier to understand.

Use Rich Vocabulary

How you speak at home and how your quality childcare center teachers speak around your children helps foster a healthy vocabulary; which makes reading easier. Using rich language enables children to better express their feelings and experiences. Using words like enormous instead of big or outstanding instead of good, gives your child the vocabulary to express themselves in more specific ways.

Have Your Child Read to You

If you read your child’s favorite book to them time and time again, your child may begin to memorize the words. In order to make sure your child is actually learning the concept of reading and not just memorization, let your child read to you! They may know all of the words as they are in order, but make them pick out letters and sounds; pick out a word at random and have them sound it out. Even if they are not reading everything correctly, this encourages your child to share reading with you and others they may encounter.

Comprehension is Key

As you read with your child, keep them involved by asking specific questions about the story, and let them fill in the blanks. Try talking about the theme of the book, lessons the characters learned, and ask your child their favorite part. This not only ensures that they are reading words correctly, but that they are comprehending what they are reading.

Not Just Books

Reading material comes in many different shapes and sizes, some of which may be more accessible to a new reader. Even things you wouldn’t think of like 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, and having your child help with grocery lists are just a few great ideas.

Reading isn’t 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, children should be able to pick out stories on their own. Letting them control certain aspects of reading will help them view reading as fun and not just school work. 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.

Premier Academy promises to offer the best childcare to foster a love of reading in all of our kiddos!

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Is Your Child Ready for Preschool?What is the right age to start your child in preschool in Omaha and Elkhorn, NE?  You may worry about starting him too early when he’s not quite ready to grasp all of the new concepts that are introduced in a more structured, quality childcare setting. Or on the other hand, you worry about starting him to late and not giving him enough time to develop the skills necessary to succeed in Kindergarten.

If this decision proves to be difficult for you, you’re not alone. Parents seem to be strategically planning when to start their child in Preschool more and more these days. Certain childcare centers have cutoff birthdates for enrollment that can cause parents to worry about getting their child in to Preschool early. Other studies show that there are benefits to holding a child back to “buy another year” of maturity. This is so common, in fact, that it’s become popular in many parts of the country to have your child start school as late as possible. With a world full of articles and studies with sometimes conflicting results, how do you know what is best for your child?

The world of daycare and preschool isn’t always immune to trends, and the issue of holding them back intentionally to help them gain a competitive advantage is very trendy right now. But just like any trend, this one isn’t really proven to be as successful as parents may hope. At Premier Academy our preschool team can help you sweep aside the myths about early childhood education, and focus on the most important thing: Your child. The best way to answer the question of when your child should start Preschool is; when they are ready!

Signs That Your Child is Ready for School

Knowing when your child is ready to start school might feel like a daunting task, especially if you are not familiar with what skills and traits will make him successful in that environment. Don’t worry, Premier Academy is determined to provide the best childcare for preparing your child for Kindergarten. Here are some signs that your child is ready for our preschool program in Omaha or Elkhorn.

  • Is he comfortable working on art projects or looking at books on his own for a few minutes at a time? Can he focus on a task for short periods of time?
  • Basic skills.Can she (more or less) take care of washing her hands, eating, and the majority of her potty needs? Does she communicate her needs to you?
  • Has she spent time being watched by grandparents and/or other responsible adults? Is she comfortable being away from parents for a period of time?
  • Does he participate well with other children, not just playing, but in structured settings?
  • Predictability. Does she have a somewhat regularly scheduled day? Like eating, napping, playing at around the same time every day? Does she handle moving on to new activities well?
  • Can she handle the demands of the Preschool you’re considering with the amount of napping and activity she’ll get there?
  • Are the classroom size and the specific teacher a good match for your child?
  • YOUR preference.Would it work best for your family for him to go to preschool?

In the end, there is no perfect formula to decide when your child is ready for school. The best thing to do is assess your child based on the qualities listed above and make a decision that feels right to you and your family.  The staff at Premier Academy is here to offer expert advice about your child’s school readiness or any other area of concern. Come see us today!

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