2015 LAUP Preschool Teacher of the Year
Do you know an outstanding preschool teacher that deserves to be recognized for the meaningful work they do with children every day? Do you have a story of a preschool teacher who is creating an impact on a young child’s life?
For eight years, LAUP has honored the achievements of preschool teachers who are making a difference in Los Angeles. As a champion for early childhood education, LAUP strives to recognize quality programs that are giving our young learners the developmental skills they need to succeed in school and in life.
Each winning teacher is awarded a $2,000 cash stipend through the Elizabeth Lowe / Bob Weekley Award for Excellence in Preschool Teaching endowment, as well as classroom supplies generously donated by Lakeshore Learning Materials. In addition, they will be honored with a celebration luncheon in May at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration and presented with an official scroll from the LA County Board of Supervisors. Click here to Nominate a Preschool Teacher
Transforming Discipline from an Obstacle to an Opportunity
Everything you say to your child is absorbed, catalogued and remembered.
According to a recent early childhood report released by Harvard University, in the first few years of life, 700 new neural connections are formed every second – that’s 42,000 connections per minute and over 2.5 million connections per hour, which equates to over 60 million connections in a single day— and that’s just one fraction of the many impressionable moments of your child’s life. This means that words, actions and deeds cast a concrete mold for the clay that composites a child’s development.
To think that a chosen method of discipline can characterize 60 million of the connections taking place within our child can be daunting. What, then, is the proper method of discipline? Is the chosen method damaging or beneficial? Read More
New Year, Old (and New!) Routines (from Too Small to Fail)
Singing songs at bedtime, eating dinner together every day, reading a special book to your baby or toddler—these are all routines that children enjoy sharing with parents and caregivers. But routines also play an important developmental role, because they help children develop stronger social and emotional health that can benefit them long-term.
According to a study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, routines can improve the social and emotional health of young children. Researchers found that story telling, shared meal times, singing and play routines doubled the odds of a child having high social and emotional health. Other studies have shown similar findings. Turns out that routines help children learn to trust and depend on others. This is a valuable asset for stability in relationships, and strengthens parent-child bonding time.
In addition, routines help babies and toddlers better manage emotions, since they know what to expect and aren’t as easily pulled into power struggles with parents and caregivers.
While family life can often be chaotic, there are many ways that parents can introduce routine into their children’s lives. Finding time to have regular meals together can be challenging for busy families, but this time together offers a great way for parents to build trust with children and encourage new vocabulary. Establishing a regular bedtime is also a great way for parents to help their children get the physical and mental rest they need, while providing a comforting way to regularly connect through bedtime stories or songs.
Resources for Sharing:
- This article from ZERO TO THREE explains how routines benefits babies and young children—as well as adults!
- Real advice for parents from this PBS Parents expert about creating routines for children, from birth through teenage years.
- This article from Michelle Howell Miller on Huffington Post shares how a bedtime routine benefits young children.
The Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children (from Too Small to Fail)
Reading aloud to children from birth has many benefits for both parents and children—and can be great fun! No matter how young, children can learn a lot when they are read to, and benefit a great deal from the cuddling and bonding that accompanies a reading session. In addition, the act of reading aloud to children is highly beneficial to both their vocabulary growth and in preparing them for school later on.
Even from birth, children are absorbing language by listening to their parents and caregivers talk, read and sing to them and others. When parents and caregivers read to their children, they help instill a love of learning and language in their children that helps build self-esteem, confidence and curiosity. According to research by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), reading has been found to be the “single most important skill” for a productive life.
Unfortunately, according to Read Aloud 15 MINUTES, only 48% of young children in the United States are read to each day. And studies have shown that as many as 10 million children struggle with basic reading in school.
Parents and caregivers can inspire a love of books in their young children by reading books together every day, in any language. And it doesn’t matter how young the child is; even newborn babies show interest and excitement when their parents read simple books to them as they cuddle or nurse them, or when parents describe the pictures in a book during a short play session. No matter the book—and no matter the age—children will learn to love reading if it means spending more time with loved ones.
Resources for Sharing:
- Tips for choosing books for babies and toddlers, from ZERO TO THREE. Also,tips for reading aloud.
- Four ways to encourage a love of reading, from Parenting.
- Check out this list of favorite baby and toddlers books from NAEYC.
Active Play is Good For Everyone!(from Too Small to Fail)
Ever notice how some young children appear capable of generating enough energy through their movements to power a large city block for a day? Whether by running in circles, swinging their arms or jumping up and down in place for a long stretch of time, many babies and toddlers enjoy levels of physical activity that exhaust all but the most physically fit adults.
A young child’s instinct for movement and active play is an important one. In addition to helping them develop good habits and physical health, active play also helps them develop critical emotional and communication skills that will benefit them through childhood and into adulthood. Physical activity helps children understand how to interact with their environment—like how to throw a ball or hang from a monkey bar—and provides them with the self-confidence they need to actually do those things. And when children play with adults or other children, they learn how to communicate their needs more effectively and better manage their emotions. A research study published in Pediatrics in September 2014 showed that children who engaged in active play for at least an hour a day were better able to think creatively and multitask than other children who were not as active.
Like practicing an instrument, engaging in physical play builds muscle memory and helps children apply new skills towards other activities.
Parents and caregivers can encourage their children’s natural desire to play and move by starting early and getting active with them! Instead of always placing their infants in a sitting position, parents can try placing young babies on a towel on the floor so that they can strengthen their muscles and prepare to crawl or walk. Parents of toddlers can also practice throwing soft balls to them and encouraging them to throw it back, or by singing songs together like “Hokey Pokey”, which encourage dancing and following instructions.
Resources for Sharing:
- This article from ZERO TO THREE explains how physical play helps children learn, grow strong and become better communicators!
- Current research highlighting the importance of physical play to children can be found in this story by National Public Radio (NPR).
- Great ideas for encouraging physical play in toddlers in this piece from KidsHealth.
LBCC CDC-PCC for the Spring 2015 semester
The LBCC Child Development Centers and Learning Labs are currently registering children for their full-day and part-day preschool programs for the spring semester. LBCC students always receive priority enrollment, but the CDC’s also serve children of faculty, staff and community members. Limited subsidized funding available for families that qualify as low income and are in need of child care and a sliding scale may be available. Visit the website at http://childrencenter.lbcc.edu or call at (562) 938-3079 (PCC) or (562) 938-4253 (LAC) to set up a tour. Please feel free to post and share this information!
CDC-PCC has the following openings:
1 MWF full-day space for a child that turned two years old before 9/1/14.
1 TTH full-day space for a child that turned two years old before 9/1/14.
3 T-TH full-day spaces for children that turned three years old before 9/1/14.
4 full-time (M-F) full-day spaces for a child that turned four years old before 9/1/14.
1 part-day (8:30-11:30 AM) full-day space for a child that turned three years old before 9/1/14 and qualifies as low income. Preschool will be FREE for this family.
3 part-day (12:30-3:30 AM) full-day spaces for a child that turned three years old before 9/1/14 and qualifies as low income. Preschool will be FREE for this family.