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We understand completely: Deciding which infant daycare and preschool to send your child to is a big deal. While some people simply type in “daycare near me” and read a few reviews, others are interested in finding the absolute best daycare and early childhood education center available, even if they have to drive a bit out of the way to ensure their child gets what’s best for them.
At A-2-Z Academy of Early Learning, we’re dedicated to providing your child — or children — with the safest and most rewarding infant daycare and preschool opportunities available. We’re ready to prepare them for every stage of their lives from birth through kindergarten.
Choosing the right early learning center for your child is a big decision. And before you can make that decision, you first have to choose whether or not daycare is right for your child. You know your kid better than anyone, and in the end, we respect each parent’s decision regarding whether or not a preschool or daycare is best for their child.
That’s being said, we’re firm believers that daycare centers are the right decision for most children. Here are five good reasons:
How do the teaching methods at our early learning center change as kids grow? Take a look below to find out.
Infants and toddlers are learning so much in such a short amount of time, and the transitions we see with children at this age are absolutely astounding. During this time, children will learn to walk, talk, and begin to discover who they are and how they can interact with the world.
You might wonder if a curriculum is actually necessary at this stage. After all, don’t kids have enough to do just being kids? Again, it’s the deliberate interaction with the children that’s so important. Nearly everything they do can be turned into a learning experience, whether they’re just learning to grasp a bottle or old enough to throw a ball. Our childcare staff incorporates teaching throughout the day, whether it’s tummy time, reading, or singing.
What are some of these skills that can give your child a jump on advanced learning? During our infant and toddler daycare, we’ll work on talking, listening, social interaction, muscle development and motor skills, and creative expression (for the older children).
Our two-year-old and three-year-old daycare classroom as actually two separate classrooms, but they both continue to help children increase their ability to “learn how to learn.”
Most children are able to communicate very well at this age, which makes teaching them so much fun! At this stage, play is such a big part of learning, and we incorporate the teaching into activities kids would be doing anyway...again, in a very deliberate way that plays to the strengths of each child. During this part of their lives, kids can be taught the basics of problem-solving. They’ll also get an introduction to number, shape, color, and letter recognition, with rudimentary reading being the goal for the older children.
Kids at this age can be emotional powerhouses! Social-emotional development is an important aspect of working with them, ensuring they know the best ways to deal with their emotions as they interact with other children.
Have you ever heard of the Flynn Effect? It shows that each generation is getting smarter and smarter. As a parent, you’re likely smarter than your grandparents, and your children will almost certainly be smarter than you! One reason this might be true is that kids are learning more at an earlier age. 50 years ago, kids would get to kindergarten and the teacher would teach them the ABCs. Then Sesame Street came along and taught kids their ABCs before they even reached kindergarten. With this base knowledge set, a kindergarten teacher could move forward with the curricula faster.
What we’re saying is, more foundation before kindergarten will help them once they move into public schooling. Our preschool program here in Hackettstown will teach children the basics that they might not yet know: counting, letters, prediction, phonological awareness, language development, and advanced recognition of colors and shapes. Of course, physical activity is still a big part of helping your child learn!
Now that you’ve learned about some of the curricula, you might be wondering: why should you choose A-2-Z as your early childhood center of choice? Here are some of the most important aspects that make us a leader in the development of young minds in the Hackettstown area.
The quality of staff at any daycare or preschool can have a huge impact on how well children learn. While children will often be learning on their own, it’s important for staff to be there in order to guide them as necessary. A daycare and preschool staff needs to know when to intervene and when to let children figure out problems on their own. Our owner and director, Sue Jennings, has been in early education for over 30 years and only picks the best staff members who exemplify our standards of teaching, no matter the age of the children.
Staff at A-2-Z Academy of Early Learning are all CPR and first aid certified. We also attend regular health and safety courses so that we can provide even better care for each and every child.
Our early childhood center provides an excellent environment in which children can thrive. Our facility is over 7,500 square feet, so each of our age levels has its own classroom. We also have an age-appropriate library so that children can explore their love of books. Of course, we also have a playground for the kids to enjoy and get some of their wiggles out.
Safety is also vitally important to our care at A-2-Z. Classrooms are equipped with video surveillance, and our front door is locked and can only be opened numerically with special codes.
If you’re not familiar with STEM, you should be. The word STEM comes from the first letters of the words science, technology, engineering, and math. The idea of STEM isn’t something we came up with, as it’s a nationwide initiative to get kids interested in those disciplines and foster the kids who already have an aptitude for it. There are many high schools and middle schools across the nation that identify as STEM schools and draw kids in who are interested in careers that involve those subjects.
But isn’t preschool a little young to be starting work on such heady subjects? Absolutely not! Many of the activities that children engage in every day use some aspect of STEM — bouncing a ball, playing with water, building with blocks. We can further open their minds to what’s happening when they do so. Why did the ball come back to your hands when you bounced it? Why did the water on the plate go in one direction and not the other? Why did the blocks fall over when the table was jiggled? Of course, we’ll also provide dedicated mental exercises in order to get kids interested in each component of STEM.
The STEM programs we offer simply provide a safe place in which kids can explore the world, and it helps kids learn even when they don’t know they’re learning; STEM is simply fun! It’s a great way to introduce kids to each discipline without preconceived notions such as “science being hard” or “girls not being good at math.”
Why is STEM so important? Because science is so important. The next generation has a lot of problems to fix that have been building up for decades, and it’s the STEM students of the future who will make things better.
Go to any preschool and you’re going to find music and movement. After all, kids are full of energy, and if there isn’t music playing then there’s probably a kid singing.
But not every preschool is the same as our early learning center in Hackettstown! We understand that music in a preschool environment can be both fun and educational, even if it’s structured. Music is an excellent way to teach teamwork with children, as well as restraint. After all, the music just sounds better when everyone works together!
Movement can be just as important. Kids who don’t get enough movement simply don’t learn as well, and it can be a great way for kids to improve the connection between the mind and the body. Sure, kids are always moving, but movement classes provide kids with deliberate movement that provides feedback between brain and body.
If you’re convinced that early learning at A-2 Z is right for your child, we invite you to contact us as soon as possible. You can enroll right away, or you can schedule a time to come take a tour of our daycare and preschool here in Hackettstown, New Jersey. We’d love to show you exactly what we can do for your child, so be sure to get in touch with us today!