Category Archives: In-Home Daycare

Celebrating Chinese New Year at Day Care!

Celebrating Chinese New Year at Day Care!

Chinese New Year begins on February 19, 2015. It’s one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar. It lasts for 15 days and is cause for much celebration, and a feeling of renewal.  Sharing the concept of Chinese New Year with day care children would open the door for some fun activities!

Many families will clean the house during the celebration, in order to sweep away bad fortune and welcome good luck into the home. Making cleaning a part of a celebration is a great way to get kids to help clean, and who wouldn’t want good luck?

Children might be fascinated by the story of the Nian, a mythical beast that would come to Chinese villages on or around Chinese New Year to attack people. In order to prevent the attack the next year, villagers learned to bang on drums and set off firecrackers, in order to frighten the Nian away with the loud noises. They also used the color red in lanterns, scrolls, and clothing. The story goes that a small child wore red and the Nian was frightened of the color, so it left the child alone. The Nian hasn’t attacked anyone since people learned these tricks, so they are now used at Chinese New Year celebrations. It would be fun for the kids to make some noise, and perhaps make some scrolls from red paper.

On Chinese New Year’s Eve, many Chinese families will eat a “reunion dinner”, usually having a chicken or pork dish. A fish dish is usually included, but it’s important that not all the fish is eaten. Some must be refrigerated overnight, from the previous year and into the new year, to ensure that each year has a surplus. People may give each other gifts of sweets, such as oranges, chocolates, or candies. These would be inexpensive and easily be prepared as a daycare activity for the kids.

You can find more fascinating information about Chinese New Year traditions on the internet. Learning about other cultures is so important for our children, and so much fun for them. This is a great learning opportunity!

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Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Daycare

mlk-smileMartin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday each January. King’s birthday is January 15, so the observance falls around the time of his birthday. Many schools observe this holiday and are closed for the day, but many workplaces are not, so there will be lots of kids in daycare that are normally in school. These school age kids will likely learn about Martin Luther King Jr. in school, and there may be some activities in daycare.

Martin Luther King Jr. is probably the most recognizable figure in the American Civil Rights movement. He brought attention to race issues in the 1960’s. He rallied citizens to end racial segregation by use of non-violent protest. He also worked to end poverty and bring about an end to the Vietnam War, before he was assassinated in 1968.

The Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011, protesting social and economic inequality, also used nonviolent protest, championed by Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi. These methods have been successful in bringing attention to various causes. The First Amendment to the constitution protects the rights of Americans, including the right to freedom of speech and the freedom to peaceably assemble, meaning that by following a few simple rules, protesters are free to gather and speak their minds.

It’s important for kids to learn not only about history, but how what has happened in the past affects current events and their futures. Children born in the 1990’s and 2000’s  have never grown up with segregation and oftentimes, cannot fathom why anybody would treat somebody differently due to the color of their skin. This is Dr. King’s dream come true, and it was through the work of peaceful activists.

The children in daycare on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, learning about the man and his legacy, are also learning that ordinary people have the power to change the world for the good of all mankind. They have an opportunity to make their voices and ideas heard.

As parents, we have the opportunity to hear what our children have learned and discuss it with them. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is an excellent opportunity to discuss history and current events with our children. Dr. King is a wonderful example of how one person really can make a difference in the world.   What an encouraging message for all of us!

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The Fallacy of Being a Tattletale

Boy Called a Tattletale at DaycareThere is something that has bugged me for some time as a parent: how to discipline a child for being a “tattletale”. It seemed kind of strange that a parent, teacher, or daycare provider would discipline the child that “tattled” to them regarding another child’s bad behavior instead of the child who is actually behaving badly. I dismissed this as “just what we do” for so long but that nagging feeling about this idea persists. As a parent, I have avoided it because it made me feel uncomfortable but I never realized why until now.

It’s Just Plain Laziness

First of all, children need to know what is right and wrong and it isn’t up to them to decide. Parents and daycare providers are supposed to do this. It is in fact one of the main jobs of being a parent or provider. Whether it is something huge like playing with matches or something small like not playing nice, it is the provider’s job to make the judgment, not the child’s. When the child who “tattled” is disciplined instead of the one actually being bad, it sends the message that we don’t care enough to step in and help when they can’t help themselves, or when they don’t quite know what to do.

Parents and Providers Need to Teach

We should not expect children to make decisions in arguments when they are so young. By the time children are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong regarding a certain situation, they shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. So the parents and providers should get involved to take care of the issue. Whether the situation is something new or old, huge or mundane, it is our responsibility as parents and providers to help them work through these situations.

It’s Name Calling

As simple as this point might seem, it is still valid. Calling a child a tattletale is name calling. Name calling at any time, for any reason, is wrong. It’s as simple as that.

Children Should Always Be Able to Talk

This is one of the most important points of this whole thing. A child should always, 100 percent of the time, feel safe about coming to a parent or daycare provider about anything. And I do mean anything. Parents and daycare providers can’t know or anticipate all of the situations a child might encounter and you do not want children to ever hesitate to talk to you. What if something bad happened to a child and they did not talk to anyone about it because they thought someone might call them a “tattletale”?

A Bully’s Playground

When children are disciplined and called “tattletales”, it opens the door for all kinds of other terrible things to happen. If a bully or an adult knows that a child will get in trouble for tattling, they can easily use that leverage to pick on and otherwise torment a child. They know the children who live under “no tattling” rules will hesitate to speak out when something is wrong. This is a terrible and easily abused situation which could be avoided if we would all agree that it is a good thing to speak out when something is wrong.

No More Tattletales

I hope that this list of reason is enough to illustrate why the whole idea of calling a child, or anyone else for that matter, a “tattletale”, is wrong. This can have far-reaching consequences even throughout adulthood. We are the parents and daycare providers for children and we must make sure that the children are always able to speak to us no matter what. As parents and daycare providers both, we need to take the pledge to end the destructive habit of calling children “tattletales” and take the time resolve whatever situation might be at hand. We owe it our children and their futures.

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Daycare Back To School Blues

daycare-center-classroomBack to school time comes with a whole mix of emotions for parents and children alike. Even if you don’t have kids that are in school yet, they are bound to be affected by those that are heading back to school. Some kids will love going to school, while other children will be terrified about a change from their usual daycare routine. Parents can have the same range of emotions as they try to deal with their children in different places and always the struggle of them growing up too fast. Regardless of how you feel, both the children and the parents are bound to be stressed at this time. Here are a few tips to help you along in these transitioning times.

Always Be Excited

Act excited, even if you aren’t!  This will help your child be motivated and interested in these changes.

Always Be Interested

Even though you may feel overwhelmed, make sure you ask specific questions about school or their friends they might have who are going to school.

Take Some Time

Cut out some of the extras in your schedule to make time not only for your kids, but for yourself as well.

Make Sure to Show Attention to Your Kids Who Aren’t in School

It is a huge deal that one of your children is going to school, but you also need to make sure you give attention to those kids that aren’t. They will feel left out if you don’t.

Stay on Top of Schedules

Often during school, schedules become very complicated and hectic. Make sure your schedule matches up with your daycare providers.

It is a stressful and busy time for everyone when school starts and if you have children in daycare it can be very difficult to make everything work. It will be even more difficult if you do not follow these simple rules. You want your kids to be excited about school, happy about those that are going to school, and handling the changes well. As a parent you will need to have them responsive to being dropped off and picked up whether it is daycare or school. These simple rules should make it much easier for both children and their parents to make the difficult transition back to school from daycare.

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Cleaning Out Toys for Daycare and Tax Deductions

toy-messAre you wondering what to do with the piles of new stuff you have for your kids? Are they outgrowing the toys you have been accumulating over the year? Is that tax time just around the corner? Here at Decide on Daycare we can help you with all of those!

It’s that time of year again, when we find ourselves buried under piles of new toys while we look at the piles of old toys to and try to figure out what to do with it all.

First things first, talk to your children and get them involved in the process of cleaning out and cleaning up the old toys. It’s important to teach them that it does not matter how many toys you have, but what toys you have. You can follow your own beliefs but it is a good idea to help your children determine the difference between educational toys and regular toys.

Which Toys are Which 

Developmental Milestones of Young Children
Developmental Milestones of Young Children

Educational toys are ones that help teach A-B-C’s, counting, matching, shapes and colors, etc. When kids have these types of toys, they are playing and learning at the same time. It sets the foundation for their little brains to learn properly for the rest of their lives. It’s important as a parent to show excitement for these toys. Your children are going to feed off your excitement. Even if you are not actually excited about the educational toys you should still encourage them to play with these over the non-educational toys.

Non-educational toys will be more of the “standard” toys that kids often get. Things such as stuffed animals, cars, balls and other toys that are not directly related to things your children will need to learn and know to start school. These toys can be good, none the less, as they can help build imagination, sharing, and several other good behaviors. However, they can still often learn these same things through educational toys.

As a parent I try to keep the ratio between educational toys and non-educational toys at least  50/50. You can strive to make most of their toys educational. That way, the likelihood of them having higher quality play time is better.

As far as books go I try to encourage the same ratio as the toys, but I am much more hesitant to get rid of any books. The reason for this is even the youngest and most “babyish” books are great tools to help your children to read. Children will first learn to memorize the book. However, over time, they can learn to read the book as they grow older. You can really help them along with this by teaching them to skim the words as they read. By showing them you are helping them to learn to recognize the words. It may seem strange but your children can actually learn to recognize words prior to learning how to read or write.

Clean Out the Toys

Now that you have an idea of what’s what, start to go through your toys and books with your children. If you empower them to help and make decisions regarding what to keep or what to get rid of, it will make them feel like they are in control and will make this a much smoother process.

Make sure you talk through their decisions with them. If they want to get rid of something they play with every day, explain that that would not be good because they like the toy so much. On the flip side, encourage them to get rid of things that have sat in the bottom of the toy box without being touched for years.

Take this opportunity to throw away all toys that are broken or missing important pieces. Since they are getting new toys, there is no reason to hang onto the old stuff.

If they are unsure or you think they may actually want a certain toy later, you do have an option for a middle ground. You can tell them you can put their toy in “storage”. Put these toys in a bag or box and then put them in a place like a closet or spare room—someplace accessible to you but out of the way, and out of their sight. You might want to label this bag or box so you know it contains your child’s things, and put the date on the label as well. That way you know how long it has been since they played with the toys inside. If they ask for a toy, you can get it out of storage, but if it’s been six months, chances are you can donate them. If they realize that they want something from storage, you can get it back for them.  If you do, don’t take them with you. They will want all the toys in the bag! Just get the one item they asked for and take it to them. Use your best judgment since the ultimate goal is to clear out the old to make room for the new.

If there are any special toys, something that was one a parent’s, or something that would make a good memento, put it aside special for them. It can be a nice surprise when they head off to college to get the stuffed bunny they carried around for their first three years of their life, or when they are expecting their first child to receive some special toys they had as a kid.

Lastly, make sure that you keep a list of everything that is going into the donation bags. This will come in handy later. Throw out the broken toys but anything that is usable can be passed to another owner.

Donate to your Daycare or Charity

Lower Your Taxes - Big Time
Lower Your Taxes

There are many avenues to get rid of the unwanted but usable old toys your children have outgrown or no longer want. Use the list you created and send a copy to any of your friends that may have kids that are the right age for the toys that you have. Give a copy to your daycare provider and see if they want any of it. It can be fun for your child to find an old toy show up at daycare. Once you have talked to anyone you know that would want them, as well as your daycare provider, take what is left to your favorite charity.

Make a list of the toys you donate to charity. It is quite likely that these donations are tax deductible.

A Season of Getting and Gifting

It can be difficult for kids to understand the importance of why we give to others. It’s hard for them to grasp the idea of selfless giving. But if you help to reinforce this idea before the holidays and then back that up this time of year, you can help them to really absorb this lesson.

Explain to them that by donating their toys to their neighbor, family, daycare or charity is a great way to practice selfless giving. Show them how much you enjoy helping others and they will learn to enjoy giving as well.

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Daycare Winter Preparation

snow-at-daycareWinter is at the doorstep, so it’s time for you and your daycare provider to prepare for cold weather. Responsible parenting requires preparing for winter weather with warm clothes and planning for possible cold weather emergencies.

Daycare Provider

Now is the time of year to talk to your daycare provider to determine what your child needs to bring to daycare for the coming winter season. If you have been with your childcare provider for more than a year, they may still have the cold weather gear from last year. If this is the case, you may need to replace some items with larger sizes, and replace items that may be worn out. Don’t put off purchasing cold weather boots and clothes. Cold weather can hit unexpectedly and you don’t want your child to be cold or wet at daycare. Your location will determine your child’s specific needs. Make sure they have a hat, coat, and shoes appropriate for the winter climate in your area. It is also a great idea to make sure your child has an extra set of clothes or two at the daycare in case they need to change. Make sure these extra clothes are also appropriate for the season. You don’t want your child to be stuck in shorts when there is two feet of snow on the ground!

Winter Preparation at Home

Columbia Youth Core Gloves
Columbia Youth Core Gloves

Now that you have made sure that your daycare provider has what they need, it’s time to make sure you also have what you need for your children at home. Your child’s extra clothes may already be at daycare or they’ve outgrown everything from last year. You might find that you are now short on appropriate winter weather clothes at home! This is a good time to stock up and be ready for the winter weather before it hits. Between wearing clothes out, sending them off to daycare, and simply outgrowing them, parents can count on purchasing at least a few sets of clothes and a coat or two. If the winter weather in your area gets cold enough for snow, it is also a good plan to buy a few hats and a few sets of gloves as well. Gloves and hats are very important when it gets very cold and these are the pieces of winter weather gear that your children are most likely to lose.

Winter Ready on the Go

As a responsible parent you will also want to make sure that you have a set of clothes stashed away in your car for your children. As with the other winter weather stashes, make all the gear fits. You don’t want to risk not having appropriate clothes for your children in case of a winter emergency away from home. Accidents happen and anyone can get stuck on the side of the road. It is very important to have everything you need to stay warm during these winter months no matter where you are.

It is also nice for parents to have spare clothes in the car to change your children’s clothes wherever you might be.

Donate your Old and Outgrown Coats and Clothes

Columbia Preschool Boys' Summit Rush Jacket
Columbia Preschool Boys' Summit Rush Jacket

Parents invariably find themselves trying to keep track of the huge amount of clothes, coats, shoes, and other items that children seem to go through so quickly. Oftentimes they outgrow these things before they wear them out. If they are in decent condition I would urge all parents to donate these to your local charities. Winter is often much more miserable for parents and their children when they can’t afford all of the things they need. A donation of an old coat or winter boots that are too small can make a huge difference and keep those less fortunate warm for the winter. So please do not throw these things out, give them to those that are in need.

Teach Your Children to Plan for the Weather

Columbia Infants' Pigtail Hat
Columbia Infants' Pigtail Hat

Finally, and one of the most important things you can do as a parent, is work to teach your child to prepare for the winter weather themselves. Kids are often absent minded and can run out to the car in a snowstorm without a coat because they are excited to go somewhere. You may not even notice because you are wrestling the infant into their own winter coat. Then ten miles down the road you discover your four year old doesn’t have a coat in a snowstorm. It might sound silly, but it happens.

Make it your goal as a parent to help to teach your children to stop and think about the weather. Not just what is happening now, but what might happen later in the day. If it is winter, they should always take a coat. Even if the morning is warm it might get cold in the afternoon. This really helps your children think about the day and gives them a sense of being grown up and responsible. While instilling important habits in them, you are also giving yourself a safeguard against that rush out of the house where things might be forgotten. Now your child is also thinking about what they are doing and the weather they might run into. You will find that your child will put their own coat on, shoes or even remind you that their sibling needs a coat as well. Compliment and reward this behavior in your child and you will be amazed how helpful they can be!


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Is Your Daycare Open Labor Day?

daycare_swingsLabor Day weekend is upon us already. The summer goes by so fast when we have so much going on with the family. Hopefully things are settling down a bit as we leave summer behind us and make our way into Fall. The older kids should be getting in the rhythm of school once again and the younger children should be back to their normal daycare and preschool routine. Hopefully everything in the land of daycare is going well for everyone. Don’t throw a snag in the works on Labor Day weekend by finding out unexpectedly that your daycare center is closed!

It is a good rule of thumb as a parent to never assume that your daycare will be open on any holidays. With Labor Day just around the corner it is a good idea to check with your daycare provider to see if they are open. Different kinds of daycare are more likely to be open than others.

Daycare centers, for instance, are often open during the holidays but they may have different hours so check with them to be sure that your schedules will match up.

In-home daycare providers are often open during Labor Day but each one may vary if they are open or not. They are more likely to change this policy from year to year so be sure that nothing has changed with your own daycare provider. If it has changed, make sure that you are taking steps to accommodate it.

Many in-home daycare providers use this time as annual vacation for themselves. They may try to capitalize on the high likelihood that the parents of the children will have the day off. This way they daycare provider doesn’t have to inconvenience their parents.

If you have a nanny then whether they are off or not should be worked out in your contract. There should be no doubt whether they are available or not. However, make sure to mention it to them to be sure that everyone is on the same page and there are no unexpected surprises come the holiday.

If your daycare provider is providing childcare for Labor Day, make sure to offer them an extra thanks or do something special for them since they are working on a holiday.

If your daycare provider is taking time off make sure that you also have the time off as well or have made other arrangements. It is easy to miss these simple and easy steps when things get hectic around the holidays. Just a few works between you and your childcare provider can help you to avoid a big hassle when you least want it.

Organize Your Family's Schedule In No Time
Organize Your Family's Schedule In No Time

This is also a great time to go over your fall and winter schedule with your daycare provider for the rest of the year. Moving into fall and winter we tend to have more holidays or take more time off. Make sure that your childcare provider knows when these times are and be sure that they match up with their own time off. It’s best to prepare for these as far in advance as possible to avoid conflicts. Many daycare providers are happy to work with their parents to accommodate as many varying schedules as possible.

With a little foresight, planning and common courtesy the parents, children and daycare providers can all enjoy the hectic holiday schedule. This will help everyone to make the most of their time off during the holiday season.


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Back to School Time at Daycare

daycare-center-classroomBack to school is an emotional and stressful time for both parents and children. Whether your child is heading back to school or not this time of year will likely mean changes for your children. Take the time and make the effort to make these changes as comfortable and easy for your children as possible.

A child who is not going to school will still be affected by others who are doing so. It is important to recognize this time and to prepare your child for the upcoming transitions.

All parents should take a close look at their children and make sure that they are prepared for this fun time. Make sure that you consider all your children, if you have more than one, and how they will see the changes in each other, themselves, and the nature of their days.

Daycare Children too Young for School

Even if your child is too young to attend school, they will be affected by school age children who attend daycare with them, or by changes the family experiences when older siblings return to school. Your child has gotten used to the various ages of the children they are around all day and during the summer this is often with school age children. Young children who are too young for school look up to older children with interest and admiration. They, like their parents, are often role models.

Pink Camo Peace Sign Backpack
Pink Camo Peace Sign Backpack

This is a great opportunity for the older children to help to show preschoolers how fun and exciting school can be. Then you can discuss with the younger children what they are looking forward to when they go to school.

In order to get children in a back-to-school mood, they can play school together. This can be a fun game for all of them and has many benefits. It offers the older children a sense of pride to show the younger children at the daycare what they do in “big kid school”, and helps ease the transition from summer to school days. It also fosters some excitement in the younger children about what school is and helps to teach them a little about it. This is great so when the day comes that they go to school, they will not be as scared since they will have an idea of what to expect, and they’ll be excited to learn. Lastly, this will give the children some good quality time together before the older children are gone for the day and not at daycare.

Daycare Child Heading into Kindergarten

A remarkably important and vital milestone for all children is when they leave daycare and head to school. Even if they are in a preschool daycare environment, the change to Kindergarten is huge and should be handled with care. This is a time when you will set the stage for your child’s success throughout their scholastic career. Make sure to start on the right foot!

It is very important as a parent and a daycare provider to speak excitedly about school. Even if you were one of the many people who really did not enjoy school or if you struggled with it, it’s important not to portray school as something to dread. Implanting that idea into your children as they enter school is very detrimental. It is vital that you help your child get excited about school. They need to be excited about learning and hungry to learn new things.

School is a time that will test your children so be sure to talk about it well before they start and to answer as many questions as you can. It may take days for your child to process the idea of going to school, spending so much time away from friends and those they know. You as a parent need to make a great effort to help them transition into the next stage of their lives and to set the groundwork for their success in school.

This is a great time to play school with them. Go through the alphabet or count with them. Try to play games that are both fun and similar to those things they will encounter in school. They should be ready to enter school excited about starting.

Bring these things up with your daycare provider as well. Make sure they know your upcoming school schedule and help you to prepare your child for school. By reinforcing this as a parent and as their daycare provider it will make this monumental transition from daycare to school easier and better for the child.

During this time, try to empathize with your child. This is a major transition, so they will need a little attention or a little more space to more easily adjust to the new situation. This will also help you as a parent see what they may need for you more easily. It can be hard to do this as a parent, but your children are growing up. Give them the room they need to grow.

Daycare Child going Back to School

With children that have already been in school, this time is a bit easier for them. However, do not neglect to tap into their experience in school. They are likely going to the same school as some of the kids are that are just starting. Use these school age children’s knowledge to help you understand how school is today and to help those preschoolers that are becoming Kindergarteners.

Crayola Crayons, 24-Count, Standard Size
Crayola Crayons, 24-Count, Standard Size

It can seem like the same old routine to those children that are already in school but parents need to remember the younger ones that aren’t in school as well. They may feel left out, alone or not as special as those who are heading back to school. So when you make plans for those children that are heading back to school also make plans for those children that are not going back to school. If you are going to go get back to school supplies for your older child, take your younger one as well and get them a few things.

Make sure to talk to your school age child and see what they thought about last year. What did they like? Was there anything they weren’t too fond of? Use their answers to help them through the next year of school. Each child is different and it is up to you as a parent to get them excited and ready to head back to school. I suggest having the child tell the younger ones about school and what they liked about it. This will help give them a sense of importance and pride and this alone can help get them in the mindset for school.

Back to School Changes at Daycare

No matter if your child is very young or almost done with daycare, this time of year is one of great importance. They will undoubtedly encounter many changes in the next month or so. As a parent you are responsible for making this time as easy as possible for them. Use what you know as a parent to make these transitions as easy as possible. Make sure to talk to your daycare provider and give them any insight or ideas to them about what you want to do. This is a fun and exciting time for both parents and children so do what you can to make the best out of it for everyone. This will help to lead you and your child to another successful year!


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Summer Safety at Daycare and Home

sun-shine-daycare-childSummer is here and it’s an important time to make sure your daycare is following summer safety recommendations with your children. Even if a trip outside is supposed to be short, it’s best to make sure they always apply sun block, sunglasses, and wear hats when they are out in the sun. Granted, we should be protecting our children’s skin and eyes year round, but in the summer it’s especially important. We are all more likely to be outside, enjoying the nice warm weather!

When talking to your daycare provider, bring up sun and outdoor safety and make sure they are following good, healthy practices to ensure the safety of your children.

If you think your daycare provider may be touchy about you “questioning” them, you can try one of these questions to lead into a conversation about summer safety, and if there is anything you can do to help.

  • “Do you want me to bring in sun block or are you providing that for the children?”
  • “Would you mind if I left an extra set of sun glasses here for outside time?”
  • “I have a hat that my child just loves. Can we keep in in their cubby for outside time?”
  • “How long do the kids play outside on days like this? Do I need to apply sunscreen at home or do you do that before they go out and play?

These are just a few examples of how you can get into a conversation about sun safety with your daycare provider.

The first and most important thing that all parents and daycare providers need to know is the Heat Index. This is what the relative heat feels like when you take into consideration both the actual temperature and the relative humidity. Both of these factors play a crucial role in what effects the weather will have on your children.

Below is a Heat Index chart showing both the temperature and humidity and the areas of danger you should be aware of.

  • Green – Caution should be taken and you should keep an eye on signs that the children are showing signs of heat exposure.
  • Yellow – Limit time outside in the heat. Water should be provided. Remain in the shade when possible and keep outside play time in this temperature under 30 minutes.
  • Red – You should not be out in these temperatures unless you have to be. In times of extreme heat, children should stay indoors where it is cool. In these temperatures, you cannot keep them cool enough to stave off the effects of heat.
Stay safe in the summer with this daycare heat index chart.


Health Effects of Heat Exposure

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a heat-related illness that may occur after you’ve been exposed to high temperatures for several days and have developed dehydration, which is an inadequate or imbalanced replacement of the fluids and electrolytes you’ve lost through excessive perspiration.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Pale Skin
  • Rapid Heartbeat

Heat Stroke

Heatstroke occurs when the body fails to regulate its own temperature and the body temperature continues to rise, often to 105°F or higher. This can happen in extreme temperatures because the body loses its ability to cool itself off. This is extremely dangerous and can cause brain damage as well as organ damage. It is very important for everyone to stay out of extreme temperatures due to this reason.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

It is important to note that anyone showing signs of heat stroke should be seen by a medical professional. Heat stroke is considered a medical emergency.

  • Convulsions
  • Unconsciousness
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Temperature over 104 degrees
  • Fast heart rate while resting.
  • Either heavy sweating or no sweating.
  • Skin that is red, hot, and dry, even in the armpits
  • Severe vomiting and diarrhea.

How to Stay Cool and Safe

Summer is a fun time and we all want to spend as much time outside as we can. It is important that we are being safe in the heat and even more important to ensure that your childcare provider is practicing healthy practices. To avoid problems, it’s best to keep trips outside to 30 minutes or less. This limits the children’s exposure to the sun and heat but gives them plenty of time to play and have fun. Make sure that water is available to them while they are playing. When the time is up and all the children come inside, they should drink a glass of water or two as soon as they get in. This is a great time to have them sit down for a snack and some water. Avoid giving them juice, pop or other drinks besides water.

If your child goes anywhere in a car or daycare van during the day (for instance, on field trips or to pick up other children), make sure the daycare provider has a procedure in place to make sure a child is not left in a car when an adult is not there. When the group gets to their destination, and when they return to the home or daycare center, make sure that an adult ALWAYS checks the car, van, or bus to make sure all the children are safely out of the car. It is easier than people imagine to accidentally forget a child in a car, and in the hot summer months, this can be a death sentence in as little as fifteen minutes. Ask that your provider never leave the children unattended in the car.

Whether you have a nanny, in home daycare provider, or drop your children off at a large daycare center, it is important, and it is your responsibility, to make sure they are keeping the safety of your children in mind in these hot summer months. It can be dangerous to assume that they know all of the best practices or that they follow the same guidelines you do as a parent.

Ensuring that your daycare provider follows good hot weather habits also makes it much more likely that your children will pick up on these good habits and carry them for the rest of their lives. Ultimately, you will be helping them to avoid so many problems that can arise from unhealthy and even dangerous habits in the heat.

Have a great summer!


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Winter Playtime at Day Care

snow-at-daycareTime spent playing outdoors is very important for children of all ages. However, during extreme heat in the summer and cold in the winter, it can be unhealthy and possibly dangerous to send children to play outside. Here at, you’ll get some helpful parenting advise to make sure your child is safe and healthy.

It’s a good idea to check your daycare provider’s handbook regarding when a child goes outside to play, and what gear they need in order to be allowed to go outside. If this information isn’t in the handbook, you might want to talk it over with your daycare provider. Be sure to be clear with a babysitter or nanny. Oftentimes they may have different opinions and you want to make sure your expectations are clear.

Cabela's Kids' Waterproof Fleece Mittens
Cabela's Kids' Waterproof Fleece Mittens

As a general rule of thumb, it’s OK for children play outside when the temperature is anywhere above freezing, and below the early nineties. However, the temperature should not be your only consideration, especially when it’s cold outside. You need to know if the wind is blowing, if it is overcast or sunny, and what the forecast is for the day. When kids are outside playing in cold weather, it’s important to be ready to pull the kids inside immediately should the weather turn for the worse.

Even if the temperature is above freezing, you need to consider the wind chill and humidity. These factors can affect your child and make it seem much colder outside. It’s so quick now to check a news or weather website. A widget on your PC, laptop, and phone make it easy to keep track of the weather. These will give you information on temperature and possibly even wind speed. However most of them do not show the wind chill, so use the table below as a quick and handy guide to figure out if it’s OK for your children to be outside.


Make sure they wear the proper clothes for the weather, at any time of year. You need to give your daycare provider extra gloves, a hat, and an extra set of clothes (including socks and possibly shoes). If you have an extra coat, and your day care provider has the room, you might even provide an extra coat for your child. You might want to toss a bag with an extra set of clothes for your child in your car so you are always prepared.

White Sierra Kids' Bilko Pants
White Sierra Kids' Bilko Pants

Keep in mind that children often don’t understand the dangers of cold and windy weather. Kid just want to go outside and play. Be sure to explain the dangers to your child so they can appreciate the dangers of cold weather. It’s easy to overlook the obvious, but they need to learn to handle weather appropriately. Teach your children to look for signs of having been in the cold too long, such as numb and tingling fingers, sniffly nose, and watering eye. If they are able to let someone know they have been in the cold too long, they can come in on their own before frost nip or frostbite sets in.

A great benefit to teaching them to take care of themselves in all weather conditions is that they can tell their daycare provider their needs. If they are visiting a neighbor or relative, or other situations where you might not be readily available, they may be able to correct their own situation or recognize trouble signs in other children.

Just these few extra steps can save a whole lot of pain and trouble, keep your child safe and insure a good and fun winter for everyone!

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