kid and puppy

Welcoming a new pet into your home is a big decision – but a popular one. The number of individuals and families choosing to acquire a pet during the current pandemic is skyrocketing. While a pet is a wonderful addition to any home, it is important that you think long and hard before making such an important decision.

Dog Adoptions and Sales Soar During the Pandemic

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So You’re Getting a Pandemic Puppy. Here’s What it Will Cost.

The pandemic puppy is in many cases an impulse decision that can quickly add up in cost – now and down the line.


Worth of a Pet? Priceless. Cost of a Pet? Get Your Calculator.

Pet owners can’t put a price on their companions, but surveys shed some light on the financial impact of pet ownership.

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


The current situation has caused many American families to consider bringing home a pandemic pet. A recent survey from TD Ameritrade finds that 33% of Americans have considered fostering or adopting a new pet amid COVID-19.

Welcoming a new pet into your home is a big decision. Even if you understand all the benefits of owning a pet – and there are several – it is important that you do not forget about the responsibilities that come with it. Here are some things to consider:

  • Pets require a great deal of time and energy. If you are feeling stretched or always short on time, it probably is not the right time to add a pet to the mix. While pets can provide stress relief, they can add to your stress if you are not ready for it.
  • Pets are not one-size-fits-all. Before you commit to a new pet, you must be sure it is a good fit. For example, if you live in a small house with no fence, a big dog probably does not make sense.
  • Pets are not cheap. Even pets such as fish can cost more than you might think. Consider all the expenses you are likely to incur.

If you feel that you have the time, energy and money to add an animal to your family, then pet ownership can be a wonderful experience. This is especially true today, when social distancing has many people feeling isolated and alone. Further, having a pet gives kids (and parents) a chance to focus on something positive.

Below are just a few of the unique and priceless benefits families can derive from pet ownership:

  1. Improved Mental and Emotional Health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that owning a pet can reduce blood pressure, lower stress and more. Pets love to shower affection on their owners, something we all need!
  2. Companionship. Lockdowns have been hard. Having an animal to focus on and take care of can help children and adults improve their mood by taking their minds off their problems.
  3. Responsibility. When children are expected to help take care of a family pet, they learn accountability. It also can improve their self-esteem because they understand that they are needed.
  4. Better Physical Health. Taking your pet for a walk or even just playing with them encourages an active lifestyle and gets people moving.

Finally, if you are considering a pet, consider adopting instead of shopping. The Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha has several animals ready for a forever home. There also are a tremendous number of pet rescue organizations in the Omaha/Elkhorn area. 

Many children have a tough time adjusting to wearing a face mask. Unfortunately, this is becoming more of an issue as kids are heading back to school, day care and other activities. 

Ask most parents of young children and they will likely tell you how exhausting it is trying to get children to put face masks on, let alone keep them on for any length of time. It is something that must be done, however. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children aged 2 and older wear face masks when they are unable to remain six feet away from others. The exception to this recommendation would be children who are unable to remove a mask from themselves. This includes those with developmental delays or neurologic issues.

To prepare your child for wearing a mask for long periods of time, start them off slowly and gradually increase the amount of time they wear their mask. Each time they put it on try to extend the period of time they wear it by a few minutes until they get used to it.

It is important that your child’s face mask is the right size for their face. A mask designed for an adult is going to be uncomfortable on a child and won’t do its job either. Pleated masks often fit kids the best and ear loops work better than ear ties at this age. Masks should cover the nose and mouth and remain secure under the chin.

If your child seems apprehensive about wearing a mask, there are things you can do to make them feel more at ease. This includes putting masks on their toys or allowing them to personalize their mask.

Here are some other tips when it comes to masks and children:

  1. Teach children how to take off their mask by pulling on the ear loops not on the front of the mask.
  2. Make sure children wash their hands before handling their masks.
  3. Have children take off their masks when they are eating, drinking or napping.
  4. Always have extra masks available for children in case the one they are wearing gets dirty or wet.
  5. Tell your children that sharing masks is not something they should do. Clearly label masks with your child’s name to prevent mix-ups.
  6. Disposable masks should be thrown away after use. Reusable or cloth mask should be washed with soap and water at the end of each day.
  7. Don’t require your child to wear a mask when they are only around their immediate family. This includes in the car or at home.

Finally, as is the case with most things in life, children will take their cue from their parents. In other words, the more comfortable you act when wearing a mask, the more comfortable your child is likely to feel. 

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

During the current COVID-19 crisis, many families are seeing their normal routines up-ended. This can cause stress and anxiety for all family members – especially children. Keeping a sense of calm can help kids manage their anxiety while also teaching them some important lessons about resilience. Lessons they can use long after the current pandemic has passed.

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Fear, uncertainty and being holed up at home make for tough times for families. To make children feel safe, it is important to keep healthy routines and manage their behavior.

Supporting Kids During the Coronavirus Crisis

As the coronavirus crisis continues, parents everywhere are struggling to keep children occupied. If you are anxious about protecting and nurturing your kids through this, you’re in good (virtual) company.

How to Keep Kids Positive Through the Pandemic

Helping your kids stay positive can help them deal with the COVID-19 crisis, it also can help them become better learners!

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

Children grow and learn best when there is structure in their lives. Since kids don’t have a great deal of control, routines are a great way to allow them to feel a sense of comfort, organization and stability.
Research repeatedly shows that kids who have routines are better behaved and develop more self-control. With today’s COVID-19 crisis, many families are seeing their normal routines up-ended. This can cause stress and anxiety for all members of those families – especially children.
While the way families operate may have changed during the current pandemic, that doesn’t mean that routines are no longer necessary. In fact, establishing structure in the lives of children (and adults) has never been more important.
Trying to stick to the same routine they had in place before COVID-19 hit is not possible for most families. However, new ones can be established relatively quickly and they can be just as effective as the old ones. If you have had trouble establishing structure to your days since the pandemic hit, there is no reason you can’t start now. Here are some suggestions to help you do just that:

Keep it simple. Elaborate routines are not only unnecessary they are often quickly abandoned. For younger children, a visual chart is a good way to allow them to understand what is expected of them each day.

Stick to regular bedtimes. Children who are well rested and go to bed and get up at the same time every day are better behaved and able to learn more effectively.

  1. Get dressed. When you stay in pajamas all day it is harder to get motivated. Changing out of pajamas each morning can make a big difference in how kids approach the day.
  2. Serve meals at the same time. Regular mealtimes are comforting and prevent snacking all day. They also stave off mood swings created when children get hungry.
  3. Assign chores. Chores help kids feel as if they are a part of the family and gives them a feeling of accomplishment. Bonus: It helps parents!
  4. Get active. Family walks or bike rides do wonders for every family member. Even just sitting outside in the sunshine can improve moods.
  5. Encourage creative outlets. Painting, drawing and other similar hobbies are a great way to break up the monotony of the day. With school out, such activities also allow for interactive learning.
  6. Monitor screen time. While homework, games and even socializing all take place on electronic devices, kids should not spend hours a day on screens.

Structure and routine provide much-needed reassurance to children during times of uncertainty. They also help to maintain balance and normalcy and promote physical and mental health. The more a child can anticipate what is going to happen, the better they will be able to cope with life in times of uncertainty.

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

The coronavirus has upended lives across the world. One of the most devastating effects of this crisis is the fact that so many families are separated. This includes seniors who can no longer spend time with their beloved grandchildren.

While Zoom and FaceTime seem to be the best options for connecting with extended family, many older Americans do not have tablets, smartphones or computers. Even those who do are often unsure how to use video-conferencing apps. Thankfully there are other ways to stay close amid the COVID-19 crisis.

An article in the Boston Globe, How to Keep Grandparents and Grandchildren Connected in New Ways, from a Distance, highlights the fact that keeping in touch with family members doesn’t always require an electronic device or downloading app.

The article lists some old-fashioned – but equally fulfilling – methods for staying connected. These include things like having a set time for a phone call, writing letters and making care packages. How about deciding on a TV show a grandchild and grandparent can both watch in their one homes and then following it with a phone call to discuss it?

Sheltering in place can be stressful no matter how old – or young – a person is. The key is to find ways to remain close even when we aren’t together.

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