Joseph H. Messina Center kids pitch their own tent

[fa icon="calendar'] 6/1/17 9:00 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in outdoor activities, summer, children, play, development

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When you think back on your memories of summer camp, what stands out the most? Forging friendships? Canoeing? S’mores by a bonfire? While planning activities for summer camp, Joseph H. Messina Center employees were inspired by their personal camp experiences and decided to help the children pitch their own tent.

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The hazards of distracted parenting

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/18/17 5:06 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in safety, children, development

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Being the parent of a young child is a huge responsibility. Not only are you in charge of your little one’s everyday care, but you’re also given the monumental task of raising your child to become a decent, happy, healthy human being. Knowing that you are accountable for the happiness and wellbeing of this little person can feel a little overwhelming at times. Many parents are dealing with these feelings of stress by relying on their phones and tablets to make it through the day. However, just as distracted driving is hazardous to yourself and others, distracted parenting can be just as dangerous.

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Vlog: The importance of play

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/11/17 10:32 AM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in vlog

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Research shows that children learn through play. Playing is a key part of healthy brain development as it encourages children to use their imagination while helping develop their physical, cognitive, and emotional skills. It is also an important part of how little ones discover and interact with the world around them.

This week's vlog post features Martha Kebhart, Director of the Children's Learning Center at FSW, explaining why play is so important for young children.

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Why won't my child sit still?

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/10/17 6:38 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Learning, children, music movement, development

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Any parent knows that staying still can be difficult for young children, but the truth is that adults aren’t much different than kids when it comes to sitting quietly. Think about it: have your thoughts ever drifted off during a boring meeting? Have you ever found yourself struggling to stay awake during a lecture or training? Most people can’t help but start fidgeting when stuck at a desk or conference room table with nothing to do. This is because sitting for long periods of time significantly reduces our ability to pay attention.

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Infographic: Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/5/17 4:18 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Child care, Teachers, Learning, children

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Teacher Appreciation Week begins May 8, and ends May 12. We want to take the time to say a big THANK YOU to all of the amazing teachers that work at our learning centers. 

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Why preschool is definitely worth it

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/3/17 5:52 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Learning, children, development

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All parents want the best for their children. While there is no magic potion or formula that guarantees that their child will have a better life, research shows that early childhood education programs lead to success in school, the workplace, and beyond. Unfortunately, financial struggles can cause some parents to start considering whether or not preschool is really “worth it.”

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Week of the Young Child

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/27/17 4:24 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in children, development

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It's the Week of the Young child, an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world's largest early childhood education association. In honor of young children everywhere, we're asking you to post on social media using #WeekoftheYoungChild!

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Vlog: Using Your Words

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/25/17 8:59 AM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in vlog

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When we ask children to "use their words," we are are encouraging them to use language and develop their communication skills. As adults, we have a responsibility to be patient and respond to a young child's attempts to communicate in a positive way, as this can have a big impact on their language development.


This week's vlog post features some helpful tips to encourage toddlers use their words as told by Miss Sharonda, Preschool Teacher at the Joseph H. Messina Children's Center (hint: ditching the sippy cup helps!)

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Infographic: National Kindergarten Day

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/21/17 8:56 AM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in children, behavior, development

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It's National Kindergarten Day! Celebrate by taking the time to say thank you to a kindergarten teacher today and share your kindergarten memories using #NationalKindergartenDay on social media.

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Rain, Rain, Go Away!

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/19/17 5:09 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Learning, children, play, behavior, music movement, development

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The old saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” However, we Floridians know that the real rain starts in May and can last through October! Southwest Florida may be going through a bit of a drought at the moment, but rainy season is almost upon us. While playing outside can be little tricky on a rainy day, Spring weather provides the perfect opportunity to keep our kids engaged and curious about their surroundings and everyday experiences. 

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