Being an expatriate in New York City can be both exciting and challenging. You are looking for who to take care of your kids when you go back to work and you want the best for them because you know that early education is crucial to their future development and success.
One of such child care providers with branches in Manhattan is KinderCare. Kids at KinderCare ranges from infants to five-years olds, which is a crucial time in their developmental stage. What is unique about them is not only the large spacious and clean environment, or the caring and enthusiastic nature of the teachers helping the kids to build self confidence , it is the kind of program they teach the little one. They have cleverly woven learning into play through their curriculum.
Other than their regular early years education curriculum, they have add-on programs like Before and After school Programs, Learning Adventures and Bilingual Mandarin Immersion Programs.
I was privileged to attend their New Music Explorers Program which is part of the Learning Adventures Program with my 7 months old daughter. The class teaches music and mindfulness. During the musical session, the children were learning about the season – Fall. They were asked questions and encouraged to think and use imagination in a fun, playful and relaxed atmosphere. It was very relaxing. The kids ranged from 2-4 years old. Although the programs seems to be more suitable for the older children, but my seven months old daughter enjoyed the music season.
I observed them for a while and noticed the way the staffs listened to the children, the children’s voices were heard and listened to. They are encouraged to speak up their ideas and were supported to learn new things. Encouraging new ideas and helping them to build skills are needed when they start school.
Other enrichment programs in KinderCare include: Cooking Academy and Phonics Adventures which helps children to read and write. There were diverse group of staffs and children working together like one big family. Most of the children at KinderCare looked more than ready for first grade and no doubt they would excel in school.
Here’s what to look out for when looking for childcare in your area.
1. Pay them a visit. More than once if necessary. Go with the kid and one other person where possible. There might be something you missed that the other person can pick up on.
If can’t go and visit, contact consulting service like us using the contact page on www.thelondonmom.com to see how we can help you with your relocation needs.
2. Do your research, what programs do they offer? What is their curriculum? What is a typical day like? What is their policy on diversity? Your kid is going into the real world in five years time, they got to know that the world is filled with different kinds of people.
3. How accessible is the place? Can you get there in less than 30 minutes from home or work? Is there a bus or train to get there or do you intend to drive – is there car park?
4. How’s their facility like? Are there variety of toys and learning resources? If they don’t have an outdoor space, how close is the nearest park and how do they intend on getting there and back.
5. What’s the menu like? Can they meet the cultural and spiritual needs of your child if need be? I will advise to allow your child to be a little flexible in some aspects of things like food (except when dealing with allergies) because, again we are preparing them for the real world. He may not always have his way or have what he wants.
6. Do your child need medication? What’s their medicine policy on giving medication to a child? Is there a trained or qualified staff always on duty?
7. How do they communicate children milestones with the parents?
Parent guilt is real. It’s unavoidable but always being in the know helps a little with that feeling. Little things like “Today Faith took her first step”. “David wrote his name”. Little things like that will put a smile on any parents face.
Finally remember to ask questions when going or speaking with the center. Don’t be shy about sounding silly. No question is silly. Take note, jot down your questions or worries and take them along with you.