How Nannies Can Partner with Child Development Programs
December 2, 2013 | in Nannies
Nannies and Preschools Can Make a Dynamic Duo For some nannies, the beginning of preschool can feel like something akin to the end of the road. The truth of the matter is that enrollment in preschool can actually provide nannies with the opportunity to truly blossom. Establishing and maintaining a successful nanny career requires that private, in-home childcare providers do more than simply look after and play with their charges. Nannies are hired not only to keep kids safe and well cared for, but also to ensure that little ones hit the requisite developmental milestones along the way. By working with your charges’ teachers and instructors, you can form a solid team that’s dedicated to ensuring their long-term success and continued growth. More often than not, preschool classes only take up part of every morning or several hours of a few days each week. That leaves plenty
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of time for nannies to not only continue their work with kids, but also to step up the proverbial game by placing a stronger emphasis on learning and cognitive development. By working with your charges’ teachers and learning about the program in which they’re enrolled, you can make a concerted effort to continue the trend of learning and growth when the kids are at home. That means that you’ll need to have a clear understanding of both your role and that of a child development program in the lives of the youngsters in question. Taking the right steps to ensure that your charges are retaining and expanding upon what they learn in preschool or through a child development center can have a very real impact on kids, so it’s essential that you learn to view these centers as a part of your team and work with them accordingly. Stay Informed The first and arguably the most important aspect of forming a functional relationship with a child developmental center that your charge is attending is to understand what’s being taught in order to work in conjunction with that program. That means that you need to take an active role in kids’ lesson plans. Make
a point of staying abreast of changes in the curriculum and knowing what kids are currently working on, and formulate a plan for the next unit. Consistency is key when it comes to helping kids grow and learn. If you’re not aware of what your charges are learning and how it’s being taught at their child development center, you’re likely to have a difficult time supplementing those lessons while you’re on the clock. Get to know the teachers and administrators of the center and the basic scope of the curriculum for the term. When you’re aware of what your charges are learning and the methods by which those lessons are imparted, you’ll be better able to maintain a similar system during off days and after-preschool hours. Get Involved Many child development centers understand that parents and caregivers alike need to take an active role in the education of kids while they’re at home and away from preschool. Priscilla Williams is the President of Especially for Children, a group
of nationally accredited child development centers in Minnesota, and holds a degree in Child Psychology and Early Childhood Development. The network of eight regional centers she’s in charge of actively foster relationships with parents and caregivers, and suggests that nannies, as caregivers, take an active role when it comes to participating in and volunteering for field trips and group activities to which family and childcare providers are invited. “Our child development centers see themselves as being in partnership with a child’s parents or caregivers,” she says, underscoring the importance of families working in conjunction with a high-quality, center-based child development program. When you know that there will be a large field trip or group activity, make an effort to get involved by attending or even working in a volunteer capacity. Not only will you be able to get an accurate picture of the way that your charges are being taught and what they’re learning, but you’ll also be able to further cement your working relationship with the teachers and administrators of that center. Reinforce New Concepts When preschoolers and older toddlers are learning new skills, repetition and reinforcement of those concepts can make a noticeable difference in their ability to retain and practice those concepts. That means that you should be working to reinforce new lessons when you’re on the clock, ensuring that kids are retaining the things they learn at a childhood development center. This especially holds true if your charges only attend a two- or three-day program each week, as long gaps between classes can make it easier for kids to lose proficiency in very new skills or concepts. Making a point of integrating preschool lessons into the daily routine when kids are at home is one of the best ways to foster an environment in which kids are able to thrive and acquire the skills they need to continue their preparation for starting kindergarten and their academic careers.← Ten Essential Elements of a Great Nanny Contract | 10 Celebrity Parenting Fails and How to Avoid Them →
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