Technology in childcare: Using it wisely
At a very young age children are developing a sense of initiative and creativity. They become curious about the world around them and how things work. At Alpha’s Discovery Kids Preschool and Daycare, we understand the importance of educating children in all areas to help them grow and develop.
Technology is one of the key programs that we focus on in our Four Pillars of Learning Curriculum. It is the second letter in the STEAM program. Digital technologies provide an outlet for them to demonstrate their ability to explore and learn. It is important to use developmentally appropriate interactive technology that is designed to enhance feelings of success.
Capturing photos of block buildings or artwork that children have created or videotape dramatic play to replay for children, allows them to look back on their accomplishments and re-tell stories of events that have happened in their classroom.
Technology plays a positive role in children’s development and learning. With the help of technology, teachers have access to more innovative and improved teaching methods that allow them to promote learning and create an active learning environment for children. It is very important to ensure safety when using technology with children. Teachers support their growth by following the children’s lead. For example, if the children are talking about bears, a teacher can use technology to show the children where different bears live, the types of food they eat or how much they weigh.
Children under 5 years old have been raised with technology and they are familiar with it from a very early age. Have you ever handed your child an iPad or your phone and watched them magically move through the screens with ease? Sometimes our children seem more capable of using technology then we do.
We understand why some parents may have concern about their child being introduced to technology at school when it surrounds them so much at home. We know that some parents are concerned about the negative effects of “too much screen time”. While we understand their concerns, we also know that when technology is used wisely to enhance learning, it can assist in achieving the learning goals set out by the program. Allowing technology in the classroom can encourage more opportunities for students of varying ages and abilities to engage, communicate, and explore.
It is important to understand that the goal of technology use in the classroom is to support collaborative learning environments and, therefore, enrich student’s interactions with their peers. It is important for teachers to be there to know when it is an appropriate time to introduce technology into a lesson or activity.
With technology children can reach places they may never see, the galaxy, the jungle, mars and more. They can visit all of these places in a safe environment with the support of the Early Childhood Educator. Preschoolers can take more control of their learning and expand their own horizons. They can learn about things that interest them and build on their own understandings.
Technology can also be a way to create more structure and focus in a classroom that may be busy with energetic preschoolers. Simple things like playing music in the classroom for nap time, music and movement time, yoga and relaxation can be a great way to calm a room and provide for some focused activities. Technology tools also support the ways educators measure and record development, document growth, plan activities, and share information with parents. At Alpha’s Discovery Kids, we use HiMama to communicate with parents so that they are always aware of what is going on with their child in the classroom.
It is how we use technology that makes the difference. If we use it wisely, in a positive and educational way both at home and in the classroom, we can teach children valuable skills. There is no doubt that children need to be able to use technology to be successful in the future. We think it’s important to prepare them to be successful.
We strongly believe in supporting children in all areas of their growth and development. Visit our curriculum page for more information about how we incorporate technology into our four pillars of learning through STEAM curriculum. We have truly developed an exceptional program that focuses on the child from a wholistic approach. We believe that language/literacy, STEAM, physical activity and mindfulness can provide children a path for continuous growth.
Why choose part-time daycare or preschool?
by Nichole Folino
As an early childhood educator, I see the impact that daycare or preschool has on children every day. I see them grow and develop, make friendships and become more social. I know that as a parent, it can be hard to justify sending your child to daycare or preschool when you are home with them or have family watching them. I can tell you that nothing has the same impact as the social aspects that are learned in a group environment such as daycare or preschool. It is clear to see the difference in the development of a child that has been to daycare and one that has not.
Developing social skills is very important for young children. Social interaction helps to build a child’s sense of self, and also helps children to learn what is expected of them. By playing and interacting with other children, they learn skills that will last their lifetime. If you look back to when you were younger, do you remember your childhood friends? Do you remember if they were kind or if they hurt your feelings? Most of us could easily answer yes to those questions.
During our childhood, the people that we interacted with helped to shape the adults we are today. Daycare and preschool are the beginning stages of that. Children make new friends, learn to feel accepted, learn to play cooperatively and be respectful to others. It is so important that at a young age, children learn how to build positive relationships with other children their age. Children who have poor socialization skills can struggle to develop close bonds with those around them, making it hard to build strong relationships with people later in life.
In a daycare or preschool environment, children learn how to share, take turns, set boundaries and problem-solve. Children even begin to develop empathy. They can tell when their friends are happy or sad, hurt or angry. Children begin to understand how to manage their behaviour as well as experience consequences for their behaviour. As children grow and develop, they begin to pick up on what behaviours and reactions are appropriate and which ones are not.
In addition to the many social benefits associated with being in a daycare or preschool, children at Alpha’s Discovery Kids also experience numerous other benefits including:
- Learning to follow a routine
- Structured learning environment
- “The Four Pillars of Learning” Educational curriculum designed to teach young children
- Parenting tips and advice from trained early childhood educators
Childcare is a great way to begin to prepare your child for the large world that lies ahead of them. For more information about our part-time program options, visit our Programs.