You may be a first time parent looking for a care service for your child or you are changing daycare for some reason or the other. Sometimes parents are so busy they forget to ask pertinent questions when they are checking out childcare programs. Some parents may not want to be considered nosy for asking a lot of questions. Of such they miss important details that later affect their relationship with the child provider. Here are some very important things to consider when seeking out childcare programs.
What are the Business Hours?
You’ll want to know if your work schedule fits into the provider’s business hours. Therefore, determine their policy if you have to pick up late.
What Costs are Involved?
While the cost of daycare will be routinely given to you, you need to know what these involve. What if you have to pick up later than regular hours? Find out if these costs include outings and parties such as holiday times. Is there additional cost for special needs?
Is there a Safety and Security Policy?
This will help you determine how well your child will be cared for. For example, how does the provider respond in the event a child falls ill? Your questions will answer also the procedure for preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in small babies. You will also want to know that their safety policy includes ensuring that children are vaccinated against major diseases. Determine also if there is a plan for evacuation in the event of a fire or other major disaster.
Are the Staff Qualified?
You’ll feel more confident with childcare programs that have professionals to take care of your child. Children in childcare programs are at the most crucial stage of development. Staff should be qualified in carrying out activities that will enhance their growth and development. Additionally, you will feel more comfortable if the staff are trained in CPR and first aid treatment. Find out which staff will be responsible for your child. Determine if you will be able to have short discussions with them to get a report on how your child is doing.
What is the Staff and Children Ratio?
Depending on how you desire to see your child taken care of, this question will address concerns in how well he or she will be supervised. The greater the number of children to one staff, the less amount of individual attention will take place. Ideally, it should be a 1:5 ratio for children one to three years. Younger than this is 1:4. Three to four year olds should be 1:7 and older children is a ratio of 1:15.
What’s the Daily Schedule or Curriculum?
Even at baby stage, a childcare program will have a schedule of activities for their day. Included in the schedule should be time for play, development, and sleep. Find out when is nap time. How does the program cater to children’s development and growth? Are there activities such as reading aloud to children, playing with numbers, writing and other tasks?
Is the Childcare Provider Licensed?
Licensing is an indication that the caregiver has the necessary resources to take care of your child in a safe and caring way. Although being licensed does not necessarily guarantee quality care, it will indicate that the provider is taking his business seriously. At least there is the indication that they are maintaining certain standards.
What is the Play Area Like? Check out where your child will play. Is it free from hazards or is it possible for a child to get hurt easily there?
When can you Visit? A visitation policy should tell you when you can or may not visit the daycare. Of course nap times may be included and you will know definitely that this time is out in wanting to see your child. However, visiting should not be so stringent that you cannot visit any at all. Room should be made for you to turn up and be able to see your child in action.
Finding the best care service in the Albany area for your child means knowing what you want and getting all the answers to make the best decision.
Special needs children are those who have certain challenges carrying out activities normally because they have a chronic physical, emotional, mental, or behavioral condition. Despite their disabilities, they have the same developmental needs as abled children. They have physical, mental, emotional and social needs. At the end of the school day, parents of special needs children want them to be engaged like other children. After school programs
are a world of opportunities for them, and great places to fill these needs.
How Legislation is helping
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that child care centers develop their programs so that children with disabilities can access them in the same way as abled ones. The ADA prohibits discrimination against children with disabilities and requires that after school programs provide reasonable accommodation for them unless it will significantly affect the operation of the program, or pose a threat to the child or others.
In addition, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Federal law also gives special needs children the right to be educated alongside those without disabilities. This includes being able to access after school programs.
How can After School Programs accommodate Special Needs Children
There is evidence that special needs children benefits significantly when they learn alongside abled children in any educational program.
Ways you can accommodate Special Needs Children.
Irrespective of their disabilities, special needs children need to learn, share and express themselves. Incorporating them in after school programs is a good way to help them do so. If you have questions about programs in Albany, please feel free to reach out to TSL Adventures.
There is no doubt that childcare is an expensive commodity. Many families are spending at least 10% of their income on a service to take care of a child while parents are at their job. This is a stressful situation and you may even be thinking that one parent should quit working to reduce the expenses of childcare. Or you may choose to keep your job but have to be satisfied with the small pay check after you’ve paid the childcare bill. Is childcare worth the cost?
Cost of Childcare
Here is what it looks like to employ a care service for the week in 2016.
Whichever service you employ, the cost of childcare giving will work out to be a huge expense. Parents possibly could find services that are cheaper. However many stretch their pockets to great length to get the best service for their children. Besides a caring and safe environment, you may look for services that will provide or enhance your child’s development and learning. Parents are willing to pay more for a wider variety in service, for example teaching a second language, yoga or martial art. Greater expense also comes in how a facility is retrofitted to enhance care and security for the children in their care. A fitting example is the installation of video cameras to observe all activities. The au pair who can cook nutritious meals for the kids will no doubt demand more for their service. Again, there are those parents who will go above and beyond to pay for a service that will teach their child how to use technology.
Are High Childcare Costs worth it?
When families have to spend such huge amounts to employ caregiving for their children something has to give. But would they do otherwise? Families will still go beyond measure to spend on their children. Here is how it is playing out.
In a family where both parents are working but are facing bills for child services, the consideration may be for one party to forego their job and mind the kids at home. When the costs are added up and the balance on your take home pay seems not to be adding up, this may be the first option to consider. If any at all your budget cannot afford the cost, then you have all right to consider your options.
However, consider how your career will be affected. How will you be able to enter the job market in the future? You may need to upgrade your skills. It will be even more competitive out there as every year greater skills are required to do the same job. There will be younger and more work savvy persons to compete with. Being out of a job five or ten years will mean your connections are no longer around. Also, what if there is an opportunity for a promotion or a pay rise down the road? Consider also that children do not require childcare services for all that long a time. Therefore, if there is any way that you can hold out and keep your job, do so.
At the end of the day, there are many childcare options in the Albany area. We recommend, if you need a service for your family, to do your due diligence and identify a company with great people who love what they do and work hard to provide a safe, creative and enriching environment for your children. If you have questions about program options or general inquiries, feel free to reach out to TSL Adventures.
A video of New Jersey costs and things to consider...
There are big reasons why children want to go to summer camps. Yes, we know that they enjoy the educational activities. They’ll also tell you that they go for the fun. There is a whole gamut of activities that campers are engaged in that contribute to the development of their general well-being. However, one benefit that both campers, camp organizers and parents overlook is how the children develop socially. This aspect of development is crucial because it is where children learn who they are and how to interact with the people that come into their space. Here are some important social benefits for children attending summer programs.
One of the most important benefits of children attending summer programs is learning how to interact with others. This development will be crucial for them as they will use it in their adult life.
Visiting or living in Albany, New York? Whatever the season, your stay can be a memorable experience with many great adventure activities for children in Albany, New York that are available. The many fun spots in the capital are designed to let your kids delight themselves, while relieving you of so many of the pressures many parents feel.
Fun Farm Experience
Ellms Family Farm - For a fall experience you will not forget, your kids will go wild at Ellms Family farm. Situated in Saratoga Springs, the owners at Ellms know how to provide a farm experience, yet turn it into a delightful and fun place to visit. Here are some fun-filled activities to engage your kids at Ellms:
Many more attractions are available at the farm. The kiddie sports enthusiast will love the sports center where they can have fun racing to tag pumpkins and light the lights in the Great Pumpkin Race. Or, you can see if your duck can win in the Duck Race.
Liberty Ridge Farm – This is another farm opportunity which will give you other great adventure activities for children in Albany. Your family can bond as you solve the problem of getting out of the corn maize, participate in pig racing and pumpkin picking and enjoy live entertainment.
For older children who have a wilder side and love to explore the outdoors, there is a variety of great camping possibilities for them in Albany.
When it comes time to consider childcare, summer programs or after school programs
, reach out to TSL Adventures with any questions.
When parents decide to entrust the care of their children to a childcare provider, they are looking for a caring and safe environment where their children can grow and develop away from home. Parents may want to see that the facility is spacious and clean, that there is enough staff to care for and monitor the children, and that their little ones are comfortable. When children in care centers are comfortable, parents have greater peace of mind. When looking for a great program, consider the following elements that can create a lasting relationship between you and the provider.
Health and Safety are Priority
Yes, you are not expecting your child to be crawling or running around in messy rooms or play areas. But consider also other key security details that a provider should not overlook, such as installing fire detectors and extinguishers in their facility. A security policy should also be in place that prevents intruders from gaining access to the compound. In addition, children are accident prone and a well-stocked first-aid kit should be on hand.
There is a Learning Environment
Caregivers get to interact with children at the developmental stages of life. This is where emotions and personalities are formed. Great childcare programs should seek to stimulate their development and growth. As you search for a provider, look for programs that will engage them physically, socially and intellectually. A great program will include reading, art, working with numbers, physical activities and free play. When you are able to determine the environment that your child thrives best in, you will find that program that will foster his growth.
Caregivers are Qualified and Personable
Qualified staff is one of the selling points in any program that offers care to children. Caregivers who have their qualification in early childhood education will understand children’s learning styles and be better able to satisfy their needs. Staff should have knowledge in administering CPR. Caregivers should also have the personal touch that makes a child feel comfortable around him or her. Being warm and friendly, showing a natural interest in children, talking with and engaging them in play and other activities, are qualities of good caregivers. Caregivers who sing, read, and speak with children and babies do add to a stimulating child environment. Those who hold engaging conversations with older ones through question and answer, will add to an enriching program.
Clear Rules and Policies Govern the Business
A program that provides care for children will establish policies to govern its operations. What are the business hours of the center? What happens if your child falls sick? What should happen in the case of particular emergencies? Well, if at the end of studying a center you are able to answer such questions from documented information, you know they consider their work seriously.
Child Providers are Licensed
Child providers who are licensed will proudly display their certification status in their lobby. If not, consider that providers have a responsibility to be licensed and accredited to operate. Accreditation is an indication that a provider is operating according to standards set out by state or government regulations. Each state has its own requirements for child operated centers.
Parents can get Involved
Child centers with great programs allow parents to feel connected to their child’s community. They have open-door policies that let parents visit to see how their children are doing, and even to discuss concerns that may arise. Centers that are not open to such communication and relationship may be suggesting that their operations are not above board.
There are many childcare programs in Albany. However, it is important that parents do their research to identify those that have all the right elements to their programs.
The early years of your child’s life are the most important as this is when they develop important skills they will need in later years. They develop physical, emotional, and social abilities to be able to deal with themselves and others. One more important aspect of their growth is their cognitive abilities, those skills that allow them to think, learn, remember, reason out things, solve problems and be focused. Quality childcare is needed from a very young age to stimulate the proper development of these abilities.
What are Cognitive Skills?
Cognitive skills may be considered as the special abilities that a child need to be able to learn. The more important ones are thinking, memory and attention skills. A child gets his or her cognitive abilities through family traits. However, you will find that much of what he or she has can be learned.
How can Childcare help
Quality childcare, whether from a daycare center, aftercare program, pre-school or other service can enhance your child’s thinking abilities. Here are ways childcare providers can do this.
Help in Focusing – Childcare programs engage children in many tasks. Children are encouraged to maintain attention on the tasks until they are finished. Children learn that it is the end product that really counts and so they will not stop until tasks are complete. They adapt and develop these skills over time.
Help in Ignoring Distractions – Children are easily distracted. However, childcare providers know how to help them keep their attention on the most important task and not let them stray to do other things. When in a dance session for example, children will not be allowed to resort to play while the activity is going on. Many activities also teach them how to concentrate on two things at a time. They can be singing yet clapping, dancing, or jumping rhythmically at the same time.
Building Memory – In childcare programs, children are read stories. They also are given opportunities to recall what was read when they are asked to draw, act, or describe scenes in the stories. They are forced to remember things in order to do them. A very effective memory building is when teachers ask children to explain or demonstrate to them or the class something they were taught. Simple card games where they have to remember the rules and cards that other persons have played can boost memory. Reading out aloud to children while acting out the scenes, or letting children read and tell back the story are important ways caregivers encourage their memory.
Engaging their Thinking and Reasoning – Childcare programs do encourage play. This way children learn what causes things to happen and how they affect others. For example, a child may mix one thing with another and get an outcome. But he may start thinking that he could make it better by mixing more of one or including another item. They can learn that if you place too many blocks on top of a tower, their building may fall. Therefore they may need to support their building. When caregivers ask “What if” questions around a topic, it is the perfect element to spark their imagination and start thinking in different ways.
Quality childcare programs can bring out the best in children. There are many opportunities for development and especially their cognitive abilities. If you are looking for a great childcare in Albany, reach out to us at TSL Adventures. We would be happy to answer any of your questions to see if our program is a good fit for you and your family.
Summer camps provide a breather for many parents during that long break from school. Children need to be engaged and there are a whole lot of summer camp programs to choose from. Many parents are happy for them but how do first timers go about choosing the best camps? A camp brochure will tell you about the date and time, the location and facilities, and the activities your kids will be involved in. However, many programs are much more than that and it is for this reason that you start early to research the best ones that will make a great impact.
Look for Qualified, Experienced and Engaging Staff
The quality of camp leaders used can make or break a summer camp. Leaders who do not have experience in dealing with children possibly will not know group control. Similarly they may not know how to manage conflicts. Therefore one priority question that you need to have answered is the level of experience of the staff. Of course, staffers who have been in the business for a long time will make for a great program.
Look for Parents who keep coming back
Quality camp programs will have children asking for more and looking forward to the next camp. Ask what was so good about camp that children and parents want to do it again. In fact, a camp that has been in business for a long time does say something about its program. A poorly run camp will not stick around for long.
Look for a Camp with a Balanced Program
Many camps pursue a general program incorporating opportunities for sports, art, adventure and a variety of other activities. This way kids will find areas that will interest them. If you would like a program that focuses on a particular philosophy such as development in the arts, sports or leadership, determine if your area of need is catered to. Look to see if this is their philosophy. At the same time, a great summer camp includes opportunities for reading, doing math, cultural enhancement and exploring the environment.
Look for High Interest Programs
When campers return home they should be filled with tales to tell about their experiences. They should be able to demonstrate or relate how they have learnt from the experience. This is because they have found the activities interesting and they were fully engaged. Mind you, kids will not have an interest in every possible activity.
Look for Programs that Build a Sense of Community
A camp should provide the right environment for participants to feel that they are part of a community. Activities should be geared toward building team spirit rather than leaving children to clique. Camp leaders must have great skills in managing conflict. Programs should also be structured that teach kids that it is not about the competition, but to succeed in achieving goals.
Look for Programs Delivered in a Safe Environment
Parents will not be content unless they know their children are safe in the camp facilities. Great camps ensure that children had been seen by a doctor within the last year and have the relevant shots before allowing them to participate. Camp policy should also outline how children are dealt with in a medical emergency. Is a doctor and or nurse on site? Part of the training that camp leaders should have is administering first aid and CPR. It is important to look for programs with a history of handling homesickness, a problem which can complicate matters.
Look for a program that Accommodate Specialized Needs
A mention of special needs conjure up persons with physical or mental disabilities. A great camp program will include activities that can involve kids with such challenges. Some camps have programs specifically for them while others find ways to include them in regular program activities. In such situations a great program will employ special staff such as psychologists, teachers, social workers and speech pathologists to cater to such needs.
Many thousands of summer camp programs are run yearly. When your child returns from any of these activities, camp should have a big influence on him or her. Therefore look carefully for the best program.
Here is a great game kids could play at our summer program in Albany...
There is no end of activities for your family if you are vacationing in Albany during the summer. For the kids, there are tons of activities to enjoy and to fill their time. Summer camps are especially popular and your children will not want to be left out. You could also take them to the several museums in the area and they will love the animals at the zoos. Also, experience the many opportunities there are to go nature hiking. There are loads of great summer activities in Albany for you to explore.
Great summer activities in Albany include thousands of camp programs that are held at various centers. Camps are recreational, developmental and educational for the kids. You will appreciate the mental, social and physical skills your child will develop in one of these programs. Kids can join a day or overnight program. Many camps provide an enriching experience where kids get to feed the animals on their farms, go on nature walks, experience horseback riding, team up to plant a garden, and learn nature-based art and craft. If you are looking for a great summer camp program in Albany, consider checking out TSL Adventures.
Amusement Parks and Fun Centers
The summer would not be complete without visiting one of the many amusement parks in the Albany area. Take for example:
Nature Centers and Wildlife Parks
Nature centers add to the many great summer activities in Albany. You are able to explore over twenty nature parks and animal kingdoms in the area. Each one is different and enjoyable in its own right. You can check out:
Kids won’t want to be locked down in the house all summer long. They’ll want to go outdoors and be free to play. Parents can take advantage of the many playgrounds that are created for their kids to have fun in an adventurous and exciting way. And they are free.
Regardless of your interests and the age range of your children, there is always something to do in the Albany area. It's been raining, A LOT lately, but we are confident the weather will break and the outdoor activities we have mentioned will be available to all this summer. If you have questions about summer programs, after school programs or child care options for your children in the Albany area, please reach out to TSL Adventures.
Some additional considerations...
Every year millions of children look forward to going off to summer camp. Whether they are going to one of the thousands of day camps over the country, or overnighting away from home at a resident facility, it is usually a time of involvement, learning and sharing. The benefits of summer camp are many. We may not even be aware of their value beyond helping to fill children’s time with fun activities. Summer camps, however helps to build their physical, emotional, educational, social and creative abilities. The benefits to mental or emotional development are huge and can hardly be measured.
Help Overcoming Emotional Challenges
Help Developing Social Intelligence
Help Developing Self-Confidence.
Help Learning Independence
As you look around for wholesome activities for your child, consider the many mental benefits of summer programs in Albany.
TSL Team Contributions
This blog is for parents and educators to learn more about our organization. It's also the space where we share information of interest to parents.