2019-01-16 by NAHB
The increased adoption of technology in modern society has brought numerous changes, but it can also have far-reaching consequences—both positive and negative, especially when it comes to childhood development. There is still debate over whether exposing children early to technology like tablets, computers, and digital entertainment can help or hinder their personal development, and popular advice can vary from enthusiastic support to staunch condemnation.
As with many things, however, there are both good and bad aspects that you should take into consideration, especially if you’re considering a career in early childcare. Technology has the ability to open children to new modes and styles of learning, but it also can affect their development and how they learn. If you’re interested in getting involved in early childcare, read on to find out what you should know about how technology can impact your future career.
1. Technology Can Affect Children’s Attention Levels
A good attention span helps our thinking process, perception, memory, and decision-making, among other areas. Our development of attention is influenced by our environment during and after childhood, and that includes the use of technology.
Technology primarily uses visual stimuli, which makes our brains pay attention to information in a more segmented way than reading or manual tasks. This means that children who are consistently exposed to technology are more capable of drawing information quickly, but it also means that they may fall behind in other areas, such as their attention span and ability to engage in critical thinking.
2. Early Childcare Assistants Should Keep Kids Active Indoors and Outdoors
The increased focus on technology has led to a reduction in how frequently children participate in regular physical activity. A recent Kaiser Foundation study found that children spent a daily average of 7.5 hours using entertainment technology, and this can affect how they build and apply their creativity and imagination.
Professionals with early childcare training should remember to keep kids active with classroom activities that engage different areas of their brains than the ones they use when interacting with technology. This can be as simple as gathering the class to read a book out loud, playing a game at recess, or incorporating hands-on toys and crafts that stimulate creativity.
Students can use their training to start their early childcare career with confidence
3. Early Childcare Assistants Should Balance Screen Time Use in the Classroom
If you’re interested in an early childcare assistant career, technology can be a useful resource to use. It’s important, however, to remember moderation.
Childhood development is comprehensive, and incorporates many different areas. Overwhelming kids with too much technology can make them fall behind in other crucial areas, which is why you should try to reach a healthy balance between using technology and engaging students in other activities that encourage growth. Having students participate in real-world social activities teaches them different lessons than what they learn from an online activity, and a great daycare includes a healthy mix of both.
Are you interested in learning more about where your early childcare assistant diploma can take you?
Contact NAHB for more information about our programs.
2018-06-13 by NAHB
Learning about emotions and how to control them during our formative childhood years is critical to future success and development. By gaining a greater understanding of their emotions, children may learn to better contend with their fears, doubts, and more, which can give them a greater sense of control over their experiences and build up their confidence. Furthermore, learning how to be empathetic and compassionate helps children develop important interpersonal skills, as well as learn how their actions may have lasting consequences.
Here is a short guide on how proper emotional development can affect the lives of the kids under your care.
Emotional Development Leads to Emotional Intelligence
Cultivating emotional intelligence could arguably be one of the most important reasons for promoting emotional development in kids. Emotional intelligence can help a child to question their feelings and distinguish their emotions, so that they can address them in a healthy and constructive manner. According to experts, there are four “branches” of emotional intelligence: Perceiving, Reasoning, Understanding, and Managing. Each branch is like a step in the emotional development process, starting with a child’s ability to pay attention to their emotions, and to label them accordingly (Perceiving). The next step (Reasoning) means that a child can think critically about what they are feeling, which is quickly followed by determining the root cause of their emotional response—why they feel the way they do (Understanding).
The Managing step is when a child can determine how to better regulate their emotional reactivity so that they can respond to situations in a constructive manner. Helping a child develop their emotional intelligence could be one of the most important things an early childcare assistant can do!
Good Emotional Intelligence Can Help Children Better Confront Stress and Other Emotions
Stress is a fact of life, and children will need to be able to confront stressors as they get older. Proper emotional development can help a child contend with this particularly intense emotion, as well as others that they experience.
Early childcare assistants can help children better connect with and understand powerful emotions by giving kids a vocabulary with which to describe their feelings. For instance, early childhood assistants can observe and comment on when a child seems stressed, happy, excited, or scared. Comments such as “You seem frustrated today” or “It looks like you’re really enjoying playing with that toy” can help children identify the emotions they’re experiencing. This in turn can give kids the ability to express and regulate their feelings in an appropriate manner. As a result, they develop a greater sense of self-awareness and self-confidence, helping them be better able to handle future challenges and stressors.
Early childcare assistants can help children better discern their emotions!
An Early Childcare Assistant Can Help Children Become Stronger Team Players
Generally speaking, children who can sympathize with others are often friendlier and more generous towards their peers at school, which can be very important when making friends and working in teams. In addition, a child who understands how to show empathy and sympathy might also be better equipped to recognize their own feelings, strength, and weaknesses.
After early childhood college, you can help kids develop empathy by encouraging them to reflect on the emotions of their peers. Questions like “How do you think Jenny feels when you don’t share with her?” can help children consider the emotions of others, and how their actions can positively or negatively impact them. As a result, young kids can develop important interpersonal skills that pave the way for future cooperation and teamwork. These early stepping stones lead to greater emotional maturity and development, helping kids grow into happy and successful adults.
Are you ready to earn your early childcare assistant diploma?
Contact the National Academy of Health and Business to learn more!
2018-02-28 by NAHB
Can you think of a day when you didn’t listen to or hear music in some form or other? Music permeates our lives on an almost daily basis. We may hear it over the radio, in movies, or we might just make our own music by humming while running some errands.
As it turns out, music is extremely beneficial for early childhood development. And kids love it, too! Babies enjoy boisterous babbling, toddlers tinker with triumphant dance moves, and preschoolers love practicing their penchant for singing.
Musical development in children begins as early as the sixteenth week of pregnancy, and musical stimulation helps children develop in a number of critical spheres. In fact, neuroimaging has shown that music turns on large sectors of a child’s brain. To find out just how using music as an early childcare assistant can be beneficial, keep reading!
From Sounds to Words, Music Helps Develop the Building Blocks for Communication
Music is none other than an amalgamation of patterns, and humans are pattern-sensitive creatures. It’s how we communicate! To create speech, we need to think about what sounds to put together to make individual words and what words to use to say what we want in a way that makes sense. The whole process also involves intonation, rhythm, and even pitch which can demonstrate the additional dimension of emotion. Communicating through the patterns of language may seem like second nature once we’ve got the hang of it, but it’s actually quite a complex process that requires some crucial brain development—and music can help out.
As the ultimate neural stimulator, music helps babies learn and distinguish the sounds needed to make words. Already before they can understand the words of a song, infants can recognize and try to mimic melodies. Have you ever thought a baby’s babbling was nonsensical? They’re actually just learning to speak and building the necessary neural pathways in their rapidly growing brains!
Music provides the building blocks for learning speech
Eventually, as children start producing their first words, music continues to help them develop their vocabularies so that they can become skilled communicators. Who knows, maybe the music you use after childcare assistant training might just be a crucial stepping stone in the development of a champion orator!
Music Develops Spatial Skills Which Influence Movement and in Turn Mathematical Ability
Speech is incredibly important. It’s how we understand each other, after all. But being able to make sense of the space around us and move through it is also a critical sphere that music helps develop. Engaging in musical activities often involves things like clapping, dancing, or even simply swaying to a lullaby. All of these activities have one thing in common: motion. Engaging in even the simplest of movements in relation to music helps that crucial spatial awareness develop.
Dancing to music can help contribute to mathematical abilities
Curiously enough, letting loose some killer dance moves not only helps children improve their coordination, it also influences mathematical abilities. Boogying to a tune involves taking into account things like tempo and rhythm, and this along with figuring out how to move through space all comes together to create the building blocks needed for better understanding math.
Professionals With Childcare Assistant Training Can Use Music to Teach Emotional Awareness
When you become an early childcare assistant you’ll work hard to make sure your charges are happy, and music is an excellent tool to use! All of the aspects of music that help teach language, motor skills, and spatial reasoning—pitch, rhythm, lyrics, and tempo—also communicate and carry emotions, often bringing children delight and excitement. And this doesn’t just happen by chance. Music actually induces endorphin production which uplifts mood.
Not only does listening to, moving to, and creating music bring happiness, it can also help children develop an understanding of how to sense and express emotion. The experience of being soothed by a lullaby, for example, helps develop the ability to regulate emotions. As an overall result of the emotional development promoted by music, children develop stronger social skills. All in all, it seems like music is an excellent tool for early childhood educators to use!
Are you looking to earn an early childcare assistant diploma?
Explore the program offered by the National Academy of Health and Business!
2017-12-06 by NAHB
Early childcare is one of the top professions that lends itself to individuals who empathize with others—an instinct that will be used to its fullest extent when working with young children in preschool, daycare, and other environments.
If you are a compassionate individual looking to make a difference, here are some of the reasons why you might be ideally suited to a career in early childcare, and how your compassion will be a true asset you can turn to.
Early Childhood Is a Key Development Stage
One of the top reasons why compassion is important to early childcare is because this stage is such a crucial one for development. Becoming an early childcare assistant means that you will create a nurturing environment that will directly aid children’s development every day. Current education theory indicates that the direct experiences that a child encounters during their early development can have a big impact on the rest of their lives. This includes the social and environmental stimuli they are subject to, such as the very earliest educational experiences they have. In fact, a firm understanding of early childhood development is so important that this subject is included right into the curriculum of top early childcare assistant programs.
Whether helping children develop important social skills like sharing, or promoting the development of fine motor skills through crafts and games, the role of an early childcare assistant is an important one. For compassionate individuals who want to make a lasting and positive impact on future generations, very few professions compare to the rewarding nature of a career in early childcare.
Compassionate Individuals Know Patience Is Key to Any Career as an Early Childcare Assistant
Children at this age are especially vulnerable to becoming upset and frustrated, without yet having developed the skills needed to communicate their feelings effectively. This can lead to tantrums and other negative behaviour, which early childcare assistants know to address calmly and firmly.
Compassion, patience, and understanding can help in this regard, helping to prevent tantrums from escalating. By remembering that the children under your care are still learning important social and communication skills, you’ll be better able to address the situation at hand and help kids learn from the experience. By remembering to stay patient, you’ll thrive in your career after childcare assistant training, helping children develop healthy social skills.
Childcare Assistant Training Will Help You Teach Compassion Too!
As with most things, children will act out the behaviour they see in adults. Therefore, a caring and compassionate professional will help kids learn compassion too.
By championing compassion and praising examples of emotional intelligence, graduates of early childcare training show children just how important it is to act fairly and with consideration. Modeling and rewarding this behaviour will be an important part of your day-to-day activities as an early childcare assistant. Completing in-depth training will allow you to channel the compassion you already have into useful techniques for helping kids develop this essential skill. This is perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of a career in early childcare.
Do you want to build a rewarding career caring for young children?
Contact us at National Academy of Health and Business today to find out how easy it is to attain an early childcare assistant diploma.
2016-10-19 by NAHB
Sensory awareness, or the act of noticing a particular sensation, can be interesting and surprising. Whether becoming aware of the blueness of a clear sky or the softness of a new shirt, these moments of awareness are often pleasant, and can let people experience familiar things in new ways.
For young children, developing senses lead to many of these kinds of moments, and this presents both opportunities and challenges for early childcare assistants.
If you’re curious about how sensory awareness can affect the way you interact with children in your workplace, here are a couple of points you might consider.
1. Considering an Early Childcare Assistant Career? Sensory Play Is Great Stimulation for Kids
Play time doesn’t need to be about “doing,” necessarily. Kids spend a lot of time in a state of sensory awareness, and can get lots of value out of simply experiencing their different senses.
PBS points out that “Children… learn best and retain the most information when they engage their senses,” and states that investigative play time—time during which kids can touch, play with, and explore an object—helps “develop and refine cognitive, social and emotional, physical, creative, and linguistic skill sets.”
Guiding children to play in ways that engage different senses is a great way to help them develop their minds. Consider playing music together, introducing different play materials like “oobleck,” or playing with shadow puppets to get kids to engage with their senses.
2. Future Early Childhood Assistants: Sensory Awareness Can Be Embarrassing for Some Kids
It might not seem like a big deal, but “getting caught” enjoying sensory stimulation like listening to a favourite song or touching a soft fabric can be embarrassing for some people. If you’re thinking about pursuing an early childcare assistant career, this is a good thing to keep in mind.
In a paper entitled “Sensory Awareness,” written for the University of Nevada’s Department of Psychology, researchers speculate that the reason for this potential embarrassment is that sensory awareness is typically a reaction to “what feels good… in a very sensual way,” and “sensual interests are intensely personal.”
The best approach to deal with this embarrassment will be different from child to child, but knowing the potential for this phenomenon will be helpful when going into the classroom.
3. Children With Disorders May React Differently to Sensory Awareness
Though sensory awareness can often be a pleasant experience, for some children—particularly those with developmental disabilities that have affected their sensory system—they can present a challenge.
According to Autism.com, for some children, “Sometimes one or more senses are either over- or under-reactive to stimulation.” which can lead to “behaviors like rocking, spinning, and hand-flapping.”
For example, once you become an early childcare assistant, if you see a child cover their ears when music plays, then they might be oversensitive to sound. Children who are under sensitive, on the other hand, might seek out loud noises or other sensory experiences. By being aware of these reactions to sensory awareness, you can adapt your lessons accordingly.
Some kids may have a difficult time reacting to sensory awareness
Sensory awareness can be great fun, and is an essential part of childhood cognitive development. It also poses a few challenges that future childcare assistants might want to keep in mind while working alongside kids.
Are you considering an early childcare assistant diploma to put yourself on the path to a rewarding career?
Contact an advisor at the National Academy of Health and Business today to discover more!
2016-08-10 by NAHB
An early childcare assistant career lets you teach kids fundamental skills
Working with children is one of the most important and enriching jobs anyone could have. The ability to teach children values, manners, and the fundamentals of what they’ll learn in school is a precious job that should not be taken lightly.
Due to the level of influence in this position, it is not a job that anyone can just jump into. Luckily, there are short-term programs that teach students the different skills they will need to successfully become early childcare assistants. On top of that, some of these programs offer placements as part of the process, in order to make sure graduates are ready for this important position when they finish school.
Interested in a career in early childcare? Read on to find out three benefits of doing a hands-on placement.
1. Early Childcare Training Teaches Students How to Create a Positive, Safe Atmosphere
There are a couple of things that children need in their early years in order to thrive as they grow older. Primarily, they need to feel safe, they need to be engaged, and they need people to pay attention to them. Doing these three things will create an atmosphere in which children can explore their creativity, learn from their peers and elders, and develop into attentive, curious students. Professionals who have gone through early childcare training understand this and have taken many different classes to ensure that all children under their care have the attention and direction they need to thrive. For example, they learn the fundamentals of health and safety, first aid, and child development, among many other topics.
Completing a placement after learning all of these skills in the classroom will allow you to put those skills into practice, and develop the hands-on methods with which you will interact and engage with students throughout your career.
Early childcare training teaches you the value of creating a safe, positive environment
2. A Hands-On Placement in Early Childcare Training Allows You to Observe Pros at Work
The early years for a child are crucial to their development and offer insight into the kind of people that they’ll grow up to be. An early childcare assistant career puts you in a position to guide these children as they begin to make sense of and explore the world around them.
The easiest way to ease into this role is to see others in action and learn from them. Hands-on placements generally involve both observation and active participation, but because you can do both, you’ll never feel unprepared or overwhelmed. Watching professionals at work allows you to appreciate the value of everything you’ve been learning and see how it translates to the real world.
3. A Placement Lets You Confirm an Early Childcare Assistant Career is Right for You
A career as an early childcare assistant gives you the flexibility to work in such varied places as daycares, preschools, and not-for-profits. It is a growing field with tons of opportunities for career stability and growth. It relies on the development of interpersonal relationships between childcare workers and children, which means that it will never be phased out by technological advances. There will always be children and those children will always need to be taken care of, so working as an early childcare assistant will always be in demand. That kind of stability and the emotional satisfaction of helping a young child begin to grow are incredibly valuable.
A hands-on placement lets you experience working in this rewarding profession so that you can confirm this is the right career and right path for you.
An early childcare assistant diploma lets you work in multiple fields
Careers that offer stability and a strong future outlook are hard to come by, not to mention ones that offer an immense sense of emotional satisfaction. Early childcare assistants help shape the future generations; why not take part in that?
Are you interested in obtaining an early childcare assistant diploma?
Contact NAHB for more information or to speak with an advisor!
2015-05-06 by NAHB
Many educators feel that conflict resolution strategies are the best way to eliminate or at least reduce fights in elementary and high school. But what if it were possible to instill the values of amicable conflict resolution and cooperation in even younger children? Would that carry over into the elementary and high school setting and possibly stay with children the rest of their lives?
There is a growing movement of people who think that yes, it would. They have developed strategies which early childhood assistants can use to deal with conflicts in a preschool classroom while imparting the fundamentals of conflict resolution and cooperation to children at a very young age.
Why Early Childcare Assistants Should Implement Conflict Resolution Strategies
In addition to the immediately apparent benefits, such as a more manageable preschool classroom, implementing conflict resolution strategies early on can have lasting positive repercussions for young children. These include:
- A sense of confidence through knowing their opinions and feelings are heard and valid
- A concept of how teamwork can solve problems
- The ability to look at problems from an outside perspective
- Association of conflict resolution with fundamental concepts of the alphabet and numbers
Early Childcare Conflict Resolution Ground Rules
Before an early childcare assistant can begin demonstrating to children how a conflict can and should be resolved, it is important to find a quiet place where everyone can discuss. By placing the resolution process in a different part of the room from where the conflict occurred, it creates a separation between the disagreement and the potential agreement, which promotes looking at the situation rationally instead of emotionally.
Once the group has been relocated, it is important to lay down some ground rules. Good ones to use are:
- Every child gets to have their input
- No interruptions from the other children when a child is speaking
- Each child must propose a solution which will be discussed by the group
- The group will select the best solution and will respect it
Steps in Early Childcare Conflict Resolution
Once ground rules have been established by the early childcare assistant training graduate, the conflict resolution process can begin. It is important that the education assistant follows an established procedure so the young students can get used to it. A typical order of stages could go like this:
- Go around the circle and let each child tell their side of events
- The childcare assistant summarizes their understanding of what has happened and asks for confirmation on their analysis of events from the children
- Each child proposes a solution
- The group decides on a finals solution together
- The childcare assistant monitors the children to make sure the resolution is followed
Do you plan on employing the principles of conflict resolution after you earn your early childcare assistant diploma?
2015-04-15 by NAHB
Every early childhood assistant knows that having effective communication skills is an essential part of the job. This is mainly because they are required to communicate with children, parents and colleagues on a daily basis. Of course it should come as no surprise that the skills required to communicate with a child are very different than those required to communicate with an adult. Additionally, an early childhood assistant would not speak to a student’s parents in the same manner that they would speak to a colleague or peer. Here’s a quick guide to the communication skill-set that every early childhood assistant should have:
When Communicating with Children
Individuals holding early childcare assistant diplomas understand the importance of using positive reinforcement when communicating with their students. This means that when a child does something good, like follows the rules or lends a helping hand to his or her peers, a childcare assistant should provide specific praise. For example, by saying “it was very nice of you to help Marco clean up his toys, Timmy” instead of “that was nice of you, Timmy,” Timmy will understand exactly what it is that he is being praised for and will likely continue to help others.
Experts know that when communicating with young children, it is always best to advise them on what they should be doing, rather than what they should not be doing. This is again because children respond well to positive encouragement. For instance, if a child is running when he or she should be walking, a skilled childcare assistant might tell him or her to walk instead of saying not to run.
When Communicating with Colleagues
Since a certain level of communication is required within any professional environment, having the ability to effectively communicate with colleagues and peers is important when pursuing a career in virtually any field. Any and all communication between colleagues should be kept professional at all times. Experts know that providing negative feedback can be difficult, however, if this feedback is sandwiched between a few positive observations it might be a lot easier to swallow.
Individuals pursuing childcare training should also consider the fact that, for the most part, they will always be surrounded by children during work hours. This means that a child might be watching and listening to a conversation that is being had between two colleagues. And, since young children are very impressionable, it’s important that all conversations are kept respectful.
When Communicating with Parents
Any communication between a childhood assistant and a student’s parents should always come from a place of mutual respect. Early childcare assistants know that it’s important to communicate regularly with their student’s families. This will enable families to keep track of their child’s educational progress and it will also allow the educators and assistants to have access to information about how that child is doing at home. When communicating with a student’s parents, it is important to speak in a casual manner and use simple language. This will ensure that there are no miscommunications or misunderstandings.
Do you have any other tips for effectively communicating with children and their families as an early childcare assistant?