Friday, November 22, 2013

Teacher to Child Ratios

When looking for a Day Care and Preschool one should always visit the center and ask a few specific questions of the center's director or person giving the tour. One of the most important questions to ask is what is your teacher to child ratio.

First, before visiting the center you should review the state guidelines that are set up for your area as they may vary. Florida state laws require the following teacher to child ratios:

  • Infants - 1 teacher to 4 infants
  • 1 year olds - 1 teacher to 6 children
  • 2 year olds - 1 teacher to 11 children
  • 3 year olds - 1 teacher to 15 children
  • VPK (4 year olds) - 1 teacher to 20 children

*Note that 2 years old and up with mixed ages groups is based on the age that has majority role

"From day one we have always made sure that we never enroll more children than the ratio requirement calls for. While they may not all show up on the same day, its important that we never enroll more because a lot of centers do and have big problems when all the children show up they are over ratio for their teacher to child ratio." - Carla Wooten Tiny Tykes Child Care Ocala, FL

Why is it important to look for a daycare and preschool center that has strict teacher to child ratios? There are several reason. For example, your child's safety relies on the teacher being able to watch your child along with other children in the classroom. Next, for teaching purposes children require a certain amount of one on one time that may not occur should the teacher be over ratio. And, lastly children that are potty training may get the proper care and attention they need, when being cleaned and changed after bowel movements or mandatory changing.

These are only a few examples of why teacher to child ratios are so important. Please make sure when you are touring a center that you count the children in the class room and then ask then ask the director the ratio for that center to make sure they are observing the law as it could mean your child's learning experience could be less than perfect and / or worst their health and safety.

Do you have a question regarding daycare and preschool or early childhood Development? Ask us!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Is Your Child's Diaper Rash Coming from Daycare?

When looking for daycare for your child did you ask the potential provider what is your diaper changing policy? If you answered "no" then read on as you will find out why one of your top questions to ask is "What is you diaper changing policy?" Daycare diaper changing routines may lead to sever rashes, infections or worst.

When reviewing daycare diaper changing policies, most daycares state they will change diapers every 2 hours. However, this is not correct and the fundamental problems is that should your child have a bowel movement right after a changing, which care givers state children normally have a bowel movements in a fresh dry diaper, this leads us to the next question "does the childcare provider allow the child to sit in the bowel movement for the next two hours?" The answer in most cases is yes.

For example, a woman came into the center and stated that she would like to move her child from the current child care facility because she did not feel that the staff there was cleaning the child properly. When asking the parent why they felt that way, the parent stated that ever since the child had gone to the current center she notice that there was a rash that had started and for the past several weeks now had begun blistering on the child's bottom. When asking the mother what the her child care's diaper changing policy was, she replied ever 2 hours.

The Mayo Clinic states the following:

  • Irritation from stool and urine. Prolonged exposure to urine or feces can irritate a baby's sensitive skin. Your baby may be more prone to diaper rash if he or she is experiencing frequent bowel movements because feces are more irritating than urine. 
Therefore, should you leave a child in a diaper for several hours there is a high potential for the child's skin to become severely irritated leading to bleeding and blistering. However, this does not have to be the case Carla Wooten Owner and Operator of Tiny Tykes Child Care in Ocala, FL states that diapers must be changed after each bowel movement regardless of if the child was just changed. "We tell the parents when they enroll to be prepared to go through 6 or more diapers per day along with an adequate supply of wipes because we will not allow children to sit in a soiled diaper." - Carla Wooten

Wooten went on to state that she had seen several children over the years that had been brought from other centers with extreme cases of diaper rash or other irritations only to see those systems remedied in a few short days just by having the diaper changed after each bowel movement. "It's amazing when you place a child in a fresh diaper right after a bowel movement how affective it is in safe-guarding the child from diaper rash and infections. And, the child is so much more happier and productive." Carla Wooten

However, please keep in mind that other issues can cause diaper rashes as well so by knowing the diaper changing policy at your current child care provider it better help you to figure out the cause should it arise. 

For instance, the Mayo Clinic states that the following can also cause diaper rash symptoms as well: 

  • Introduction of new foods
  • Irritation from a new product
  • Bacterial or yeast (fungal) infection
  • Sensitive skin
  • Chafing or rubbing
  • Use of antibiotics
For more informations vist: Mayo Clinic

Do you have a story to share about diaper changing? Please comment below with any tip and tricks to help prevent diaper rash or irritations, which can also occur from food and other allergies.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tips on Preventing Head Lice

Do you remember having head lice as a child and if so do you remember how you got them? I
remember as a child I had picked up a pair of Mickey mouse ears at Disney World while on vacation. When returned back to daycare, all the other children wanted to try them on and of course I let them. However, within a few days my head began to itch and you can draw the conclusion as to what happened next. Head lice spreads easily among children; however there are several great tips for how to deter head lice from deciding to take up residence in your child(s) hair.

Every year I have noticed a notable increase in head lice when school goes back in session after summer break most likely because all the new interactions that occur and close contact that the children have with each other. While this happens predominately in elementary school, preschool and even high schools can be affected as well due to the siblings. However, by following theses few tips you may be able to prevent your child from getting head lice in the first place:

  • Long hair should be kept in a pony or up do
  • Child's hair should be blown dry each night after bathing 
  • Place gel or hair grease into the child's hair
  • Do not allow your child to share hats and/or with others 
  • Use an all natural head lice prevention shampoo, such as Fairy Tales

 By following these few simple rules you have a much better chance of keeping your family free of head lice and the laborious challenges that goes along with removing it once your child has contracted it from another child; however that's another blog post on its own. In addition, good communication with your child's teacher is a big help.

For example, your child attended a family git together or birthday party and you were later notified that a child or children are now affected with head lice. Notifying your child's school allows the teachers and staff to be more vigilant for any signs or symptoms as well as performing additional head lice checks.

Remember that head lice typically is attracted to clean hair. The common misconception among society is that head lice flourishes in children with dirty hair and poor hygiene, while this is not the case.

Please share your tips and secrets for preventing head lice... Thanks in advance!   

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Surveillance Cameras in Child Care Centers

Have you seen all the nightmares on the television or heard some of the stories in your community about daycares? When the time comes to place your child into daycare for early education and socialization, its hard to make the decision on which place your kid(s) are going to get the best care unless they have surveillance cameras.

When you visit a daycare facility that has a camera system, you immediately can feel the difference in the quality of care and cleanliness that the children and facility receive. 
New technologies have also given rise to video monitoring on mobile, such as iPhone and Androids devices, which allow you to monitor the care of your children on-the-go.

In addition, to being able to monitor your children over the internet and on mobile devices for peace of mind. Childcare facilities saw a rise in parents in the armed forces that just wanted to feel connected to their child(s) development while being half way around the world severing our country. And, with grandparents and extended families wanting to stay actively involved it makes for a smooth transition when the whole family can keep tabs on the child(s) progress from down the street or around the world. 

However, just because a Child Care facility has a camera system does not always mean that they will allow you to watch live playback or video archives. Most child care facilities that are now installing the camera systems are not allowing the parent(s) live monitoring much less video playback, which leaves you wondering what they are trying to hide. 

On the other hand, there are several daycare centers in the United States that have always taken a very transparent view on their staff and facilities “From day one we have always allowed the parents the ability to watch the recorded video since the late 90s and we keep several months up to years worth of video archives for the parents to review when they need to, which ensures peace of mind and clearly lines up with incident reports.” -- Carla Wooten President & Co-Founder of Tiny Tykes, Inc. and one of the pioneers of Surveillance cameras in the child care industry. 

Wooten made light that the new DVR Surveillance camera system allows one to go effortlessly to a specific moment in time, while in the old days of slow-time video recording it could take all day to get to one spot in the video tape for playback, which made it very time consuming and frustrating. 

Wooten stated when a parent has a question you want to be able to show them the video right away to help them relieve stress and anxiety. The last thing you want is for a family to be distracted at work or feeling pressure because they could not review something quickly they have a question about. 

In addition, to watching the staffs interactions and remote monitoring, surveillance camera systems can aid in the family dealing with any behavioral issues that may crop up from 0 - 60 months. For example, ADD and ADHD can start as early as 3 years old and become more disruptive if left untreated. Camera equipment is an excellent aid for the child(s) pediatrician to make a successful diagnosis because they are able to monitor the child in their naturalistic environment remotely or from a monitoring room. 

When reviewing child care facilities and the evolution of Surveillance camera systems, there is little doubt it is a great benefit to children and families to have the ability to record the day to day actions of the facility, staff and children while allowing for live and video playback on desktop and mobile devices. 

Finding the right childcare facility can be a challenge, what do you think about surveillance cameras in child care facilities?