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Leaving a child at a daycare or preschool for the first time can be extremely frightening for parents. However, today’s child care providers usually go through extensive child development training, and that is showing in the evolution of our child care system. Here are five of today’s trends that we think are making daycares a better place for children.

  1. Early Childhood Education
    There was a time when the purpose of daycare was for parents to have somewhere to take their kids while they were at work. However, as research continues to prove the correlation between early education and future success, daycares are increasingly opening up as Early Education Centers. These centers still provide play time for children, but there is much more focus on enrichment and development.
  2. Interest-Driven Learning
    While philosophies like Montessori and Reggio Emilia have been around for years, more and more daycares and schools are beginning to tailor each child’s education based on that child’s individual interests. The one-size-fits-all model of teaching is losing traction in favor of approaches that nurture a child’s individuality and allow each child to blossom in their own way.
  3. More Physical Fitness
    Many daycares are joining in the fight against childhood obesity by including dance, yoga, and other non-competitive sports and games in their curriculum. Even traditional games like Simon says and Follow The Leader are now viewed as opportunities to get children active and moving. In addition to helping children stay fit, these types of activities also help children to develop essential motor skills. Plus, children who are physically active at a young age are more likely to practice healthy lifestyle choices later in life.
  4. Getting In Touch With Nature
    In an effort to teach children about the natural world around them, daycares all over the country are engaging children in activities such as gardening and nature walks. The idea is that children will develop their natural curiosity and grow up to care about their environment. We especially love the idea of having an edible garden, which also encourages children to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Just be sure to check with licensing if you plan to implement something like this, as certain aspects of gardening, such as composting, may not be licensing compliant.
  5. Utilizing Technology
    Computer software programs and smart phone apps are making it super easy for daycares and parents to connect. Many daycares are using apps such as Kinderlime to sign children in and out of care, send photos to parents throughout the day, and even handle their billing. This benefits the daycares by allowing them to stay organized without having to rely on cumbersome paper files. The parents benefit as well, as they are better informed about what is going on and have more access to their children while they’re in care. The fact that it’s much more eco-friendly than using paper is a major plus too!