Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Getting Supply Lists to Parents: Please Bring from Tadpoles

How do childcare providers and early childhood educators let parents know what supplies their child should bring in? The new "Please Bring" feature from Tadpoles!

Getting young children to bring in the necessary supplies to daycare or school can be a daunting task—the odds that a supply list will even make it home are slim. Now, for daycare providers and early childhood educators using the Tadpoles app, this task becomes much easier.

Tadpoles recently launched the “Please Bring” store, powered by Amazon. Now, childcare providers and early childhood educators can easily communicate with parents to let them know what to bring. Items are categorized, such as “meal time” and “art supplies,” so parents can easily find what’s needed. The items also show up as links in daily reports, making it even easier to see everything you need in one place.

Since most working parents are extremely busy, and the Please Bring store is powered by Amazon, parents can easily order supplies online through the shopping cart feature.

Still don’t have the Tadpoles app? What are you waiting for! Get the free app, Childcare by Tadpoles.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Homeschooling in Early Childhood Education

Is homeschooling the right decision for early childhood education?

Homeschooling has become increasingly popular over the past few years—as private schools become more expensive, and public schools near home aren’t a good option, it makes sense. But what about homeschooling for early childhood education. Is it detrimental to childhood development?

The obvious benefits include a 1:1 student teacher ratio, with parents being able to focus on their child, rather than being in a sometimes over crowded classroom where child’s needs aren’t always recognized right away. In addition, homeschooling also makes for more opportunities for creativity, as a school's curriculum can be quite regimented. The most obvious benefit is the flexible schedule, but is that really what your child needs to prepare them for the future?

Homeschooling during early childhood education offers many benefits, but with those, come many challenges. Since pre-school and kindergarten years are the ones that matter most from a developmental standpoint, it’s a critical time for a positive education experience. The experiences throughout early childhood will set the stage for the rest of a child’s life.

While even preschool is optional, it helps children develop both mentally and socially If homeschooling is the question, there’s no right or wrong answer, but it depends heavily on commitment from parents.

If you’ve homeschooled any of your children, or are considering it, or perhaps don’t believe in it, share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

XO-3 at CES: Are Tablets for Kids the Future of Education?

Are tablets for kids going to be the biggest thing for education in 2012?

While there are a lot of great iPad apps for kids
available, let’s be honest--the iPad is a bit pricey for most parents to justify getting one just for their child. And sharing can be difficult, especially if your personal iPad is also used for business.

Luckily, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), One Laptop per Child, a non-profit organization, debuted the XO-3--a rugged tablet for children that will cost around $100.

While it’s still in the prototype phase, the XO-3 seems to revolutionize tablet computing, making them even easier to use for kids, and most of all, more affordable for parents and organizations. In the next few years, tablets are speculated to become a huge part of education.

Rather than having to carry around enormous loads of books, everything could be stored on one device. But then again, there are those that still believe traditional methods of education are better.

Do you think tablets will play a big role in schools within the next few years, or are they just a soon to be dead fad, like netbooks. Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.

See the tablet prototype in action at CES:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Community Joins Forces to Focus on Early Childhood Education

The community of Danville, VA realizes the importance of early childhood education, especially the transition from daycare and preschool to kindergarten.

In Danville, VA, parents and community members gathered with educators earlier this week to discuss the importance of transitioning children from daycare or preschool into kindergarten. The event, “Building Bridges to Kindergarten,” attracted over 200 people, of which included Jason Downer, an associate professor and school readiness expert at the University of Virginia.

Downer believes that, “when children start off behind, the gap widens overtime.” In addition, he knows that both parents and teachers need to be involved in early childhood development in order for children to be ready for kindergarten. According to the findings at Smart Beginnings, 85 percent of a child’s critical thinking skills are developed by age 5.

Since 75 percent of children in Danville have working parents, what’s learned in daycare can be critical to their future. However, the transition from daycare to kindergarten can be difficult. With increased academic demands, changing social environments and less time with family, children can have trouble adjusting.

Even if both parents do work full-time, making a concerted effort to visit your child in school and talking with their teachers after school can make a significant impact. In addition, teachers can ease the transition by suggesting after-school activities that they think the child would like.

“What we are asking folks to do is change and to collaborate at higher levels,” said Ann Stratton, Smart Beginnings executive director. It’s easy for people who don’t have young children to feel like early childhood education doesn’t have anything to do with them, but early education is the future of every community and has long-term economic benefits.

Danville, VA should be viewed as a model community for others to follow in their footsteps. Being proactive about early childhood education and exploring different options about improving the transition from daycare/preschool to kindergarten can truly have an effect on our youth that could make or break their future success.

How has your community addressed early childhood education, or what do you think should be done to improve? Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.