Thursday, October 4, 2012

Good news for Child Care Subsidy

In mid-November, there will be a partial “thaw” in the intake process for Maryland’s Child Care Subsidy Program, which helps low-income parents pay for child care. 
 The program intake has been frozen for most families since February 2011.  By using accumulated savings from attrition (people leaving the program as they gain income or move out of Maryland), the State will be able to open enrollment in November 2012 – not for all eligible families, but for those in the three lowest income categories  (families living well below the poverty level, which is $19,090 in annual income for a family of three).
This important information was sent out by the Maryland Family Network.

The Child Care Subsidy Program is vital for helping families afford child care as they work and/or go to school. Even a partial thaw is good news, and we hope the program will be open to all eligible families in 2013.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Easy ways to serve healthy snacks!

This fall, try offering these wholesome snack options in place of traditionally less-nutritious snacks:
  • INSTEAD OF fruit drinks or other sugary beverages TRY frozen cubes of 100% fruit juice in cups of water
  • INSTEAD OF cookies TRY graham crackers dipped in unsweetened    applesauce
  • INSTEAD OF sugary cereal TRY mixing different shapes of whole-grain cereals, such as oat O’s, bran squares, and corn flakes
  • INSTEAD OF potato chips TRY baked vegetable chips       
  • INSTEAD OF crackers TRY whole-grain crackers with apple butter or fruit
  • INSTEAD OF cheese puffs TRY thinly sliced vegetables and low-fat ranch dip
  • INSTEAD OF cupcakes TRY zucchini or carrot mini-muffins
  • INSTEAD OF ice cream TRY yogurt and fruit parfait 
  • INSTEAD OF gummy fruit snacks TRY fresh fruit, cut in small piece 

These small changes can help your child eat healthier and learn to enjoy nutritious food and make good food choices.

These ideas come from Let's Move Child Care (LMCC). Joy Kids is proud to be a partner with LMCC to make positive health changes for the children in our care. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Apple week at Joy Kids

It's Apple week at Joy Kids Learning Center! We've learned about apple trees and apples. We learned that apples have skin; some are red, some green and some yellow!  We tasted all three apple colors and graphed our favorites. Six of us like red apples best, three of us like yellow apples best and two of us like green apples best! We cut up apples, added sugar and cinnamon and baked them, yummy!
Come visit next week, we are going to make apple burritos!

Friday, September 7, 2012

First Day Jitters - how to help your child

 Is your child starting at a new school or child care center?  Here at Joy Kids Learning Center we had several new children start this week. Below are some suggestions to help ease the transition for you and your child.

During the first few weeks of school, don’t be alarmed if your child:

  • Is shy and clings to you                                  
  • Is aggressive and won’t share
  • Hits and refuses to take turns
  • Tires or cries easily              
  • Won’t talk about their day              

These are all symptoms of stress and normal reactions to a new situation.  As your child becomes familiar with the routine and comfortable with the teachers, these behaviors will disappear.  As a parent, you can help your child through this time of transition by being sympathetic and supportive. The following are helpful ways in which transitioning can be made easier for the child, parent and staff members:

You can help by:

  • Letting your child stand back and watch. Observation is one way of participating.
  •  Allowing time for personal routines, a nourishing breakfast and a pleasant ride to school.
  • Having a cheerful and positive attitude as you say good-bye to your child.
  • Encourage discussion about school by asking specific questions.

The more relaxed and happy you are the more relaxed and happy your child will be!

Our new Joy Kids friends!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Use science to teach about God

God loves everyone, no matter who we are or what we do. Sometimes this is a difficult concept for children to understand. How about using a science experiment to teach this basic principle. This is a simple and fun experiment you can do at home.

First grab a pencil and a potato. Stand on a chair in front of your child and ask them which will hit the ground first when you drop them, the pencil or the potato. Very young children will not know and will probably just  guess, but children age 4 and up will probably guess the potato because it is larger and heavier. Ask your child to watch carefully, hold your hands at the same height and drop the pencil and the potato. You can do it several times to be sure your child sees which hits the ground first.

The fun part is that the potato and the pencil will hit the ground at the same time! You can explain to your child that the earth is like a giant magnet, and everything is pulled to the ground with the same amount of force. This force is called gravity, and it is what keeps us from floating off into space! Gravity doesn't care how much something weighs, or how big it is, everything is pulled with the same force.

God is like gravity! He pulls all of us to him with the same force. He loves us all equally! Isn't it wonderful that we have such an amazing God!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Want a fun activity? Keep reading...

When your time is filled with fun activities it simply flies by!  It is hard to believe that it has been a full week since we last updated our blog and here is one of the fun activities that we have been doing:  READING!  In fact, we love to read at Joy Kids Learning Center. Our teacher, Mrs. Barbara, typically reads a book about our topic and/or activity for each day of the week.  This prepares the children for the activity and "why" something happens or takes place.  Here are some other reasons why reading to children in preschool is good (Reading to Infants and Toddlers; High Reach Learning):

1.  They become familiar with the sound of language.
2.  They develop a strong foundation for literacy skills.
3.  See reading as something "fun" to do.
4.  Learn how to turn pages in a book.
5.  Understand that printed words have meaning.
6.  They become life-long readers and we all know that reading equals knowledge.

Reading is definitely a good way to invest your time and energy in helping to make your children smart and well educated.  What are you reading to your children?   Right now, we are reading Mercer Mayer books at Joy Kids Learning and discovering the "fun" in Little Critters and Little Monsters.  

 Take some time today to read to your children and discover the joy of reading and learning.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Get Moving!

"Get Moving!"

It is so important for children to not only have indoor play but also outdoor play and at Joy Kids Learning Center we are blessed to have a wonderful playground and property to explore.  We have beautiful flowers that surround our building, trees that decorate the landscape and right outside our backdoor we have a wonderful playground.  The playground is filled with slides, stairs, pretend ships, a funny looking sea saw, and a couple of tables and chairs.  It is a place where children can "get moving" physically and mentally.  We have one little guy who likes to pretend he is hosting a party at the tables and another child who likes to pretend she's at the beach in the sandbox (okay, I like to pretend that I am at the beach too).  Parents and experts alike, all agree, that "when parents look at a school, they should look for indoor and outdoor learning environments which are safe, accessible and inviting to young children while also being developmentally and culturally appropriate."

Come visit Joy Kids Learning Center and see how our children "get moving" indoor and outdoors!