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Summer camp 2017

Just Children summer camp 2017 is filling up, and it should be another great year!  From water play, to activities, games, and trips…the fun lasts all summer!  It works especially well with children who get nervous meeting new teachers.  Our staff remains all year long, and the kids and parents love the consistency!

There are camps at each of our 11 different child care centers.  Just Children has 11 locations in PA and NJ.  Just Children’s 2017 Summer Day Camp will be kicking off in June!

Summer Fun Camp officially kicks off in June, and runs throughout the first week of September.  We’ll be taking our young campers on a series of exciting yet still educational field trips. There are excursions to Tree House World, the Brunswick Zone,  the Pretzel Factory. and others.  Water slide days, sand play, ice cream trucks, field days, and more!

More info!

The cost of our Summer Fun Camp varies slightly by school, so if you’re interested in enrolling your child in a particular location. just give us a call!  Contact the Just Children location of your choice and let us know what you need.

In the meantime, we can tell you that a fairly typical day at Summer Fun Camp might kick off with a snack, and then perhaps some water activities.  Water tables and water sprinklers are used as well.  All water activities are monitored by CPR and First Aid-certified staff.  There is craft time, lunch, a bit of rest time or a movie, a second snack period, and then some outside or inside play time, depending on the weather.

Summer Fun Campers are grouped by age,  and your child’s activities this summer may differ from week to week.

Also, if your child has special needs of any sort, he or she is certainly more than welcome to be a part of Summer Fun Camp this year.  All of our centers are handicap accessible, and all have accessible restrooms.

We’re incredibly excited to get the hottest season of the year off to a refreshingly fun and culturally beneficial start. Get in touch today for more information, or to enroll your child in their most memorable summer experience yet!

Back to School at Just Children

Back to School 

Back to school at Just Children is always a big deal for our little ones.  Regardless of what grade your child is in, back to school is always an exciting, stressful, and sometimes overwhelming time. Catching up
with friends, seeing who’s class you’re in, and discussing summer trips you took are all part of the fun. The summer winds down, and fall is right around the corner. The lawnmowers are replaced at the big box stores with snow blowers and bags of rock salt. In recent years in the northeast, it seems like summer goes directly into winter with passing go. Shorts and tank tops are soon replaced with jeans and sweat shirts.

The change is fun and nerve wracking at the same time!  

Overwhelming!

There is always a bit of anxiety among kids for the back to school. Whether your child is going into first grade or is going to be a senior at the top of the heap, some things are the same. Kids often worry about their supplies, clothes, and everything in between. Who will be at my bus stop? Who will be in my homeroom? Who will be home when I get home from school? What if I don’t like the lunch they are serving at school? These are all the types of things we should be speaking to our children about, in between worrying about them ourselves.

Because of the overwhelming stuff kids do these days, we can’t just assume they know everything, and once we drop them off at school everything will be fine. Some children have anxiety about foods, and lunch may be a large source of anxiety and panic. Some children worry about being on the school bus for the first time. I remember being a senior and worrying if i’d have a place to park my car at school! Like they say, as children get older, the problems don’t go away, they just change.

Listen to Your Children

In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives with worrying about dinner for the week and bills that need to be paid, it’s important to talk to our children. It’s important to find out if there is anything they are worried about with back to school, and if they need help with anything rather than assume all is well. Maybe something as simple as going over the lunch schedule with their child to show them all the foods they like can relieve anxiety. Maybe updating their computer with newer software can make them less worried about their AP class that may seem overwhelming.

Despite the corporations on TV wanting us to believe that back to school is about the newest fashions and iPads, it’s a lot more than that.  Before we know it, they’ll be graduating school, and we’ll wonder where the time went.  It’s only then that we’ll actually miss back to school panic time!

Back to School at Just Children

We always try to make back to school at Just Children as painless as possible for the children.  We move them into the next classroom in spurts to get them used to the new classroom, teachers, and children.  Even though they are very young, they are very sensitive to the new changes around them.  Kids like what they know, and this is new and consequently can be overwhelming for some.  Stop by any time at any Just Children location, no appointment needed.  We will show you the care and attention we put into back to school down to the smallest detail.  With locations in Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Philadelphia, and Burlington, there is a Just Children Child Care Center near you.  Call or stop in today!

Preserve and Protect a Child’s Right to Play

Today’s children are growing up in an era of rapidly growing technology, shrinking backyards and playgrounds that put safety (of course that’s important!) over exploration.  Today’s families are busy, busier than they ever have been!  Eating one meal a week together anymore is a luxury, and I’ll bet while you are sitting together around the table, at least one cell phone is out and one person is thinking 10 steps ahead to what needs to get done next.  One thing that has not changed is that we all still want what is best for our children to grow into well-adjusted, happy and productive people.  Just Children Hilltown strives to do what’s best for the smiling faces that we see every day.

Educators and families need to understand the importance of play for young children and to respect it as the primary way children learn real life skills that can be applied in all learning environments.  Research has shown time and time again that children learn best when engaged in whole body experiences, and these experiences occur most optimally in the context of play.  Everyone’s favorite pediatrician, the world renowned Dr. Benjamin Spock, tells that children love their play, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard.  Children apply knowledge and skills to new situations constantly, and when they do it through play based activities of their choosing it is more meaningful and longer lasting.

When our staff here at Just Children Hilltown thinks of play, they think of it as an opportunity to extend a child’s learning.  Through careful observation and reflection, they can create guided learning opportunities to meet critical developmental goals that align with state early learning standards.  We look at what the child knows, consider what we need them to learn next, and plan specific opportunities to get them to that next level of development.

Seemingly simple play activities involve so much more than just recreation.  When children are playing with blocks or exploring with sticks, leaves and rocks, they are engaged in scientific processes of cause and effect, problem solving, social collaboration, spatial reasoning, geometric patterns…. The list goes on and on.

When we release children to openly play and explore a natural outdoor environment or open ended play based rooms, we are freeing them to develop critical thinking skills that will take them further than simply being able to memorize and recall information.  We are equipping them to be the new creators of information that could lead to the solution for pollution, a cure for the Zika virus, or even how to develop an economy that really works for everyone!

Please don’t look at a child’s report card, worksheet, or the ability to navigate the latest learning app as a true reflection of what your child is capable of.  Watch them play, listen to what they say, and better yet, think about what they aren’t saying, but what they are showing you about how smart they really are.  Let them play!

We must always preserve and protect a child’s right to play.  Always remember, Just Children encourages parent feedback when at all possible, so please feel free to write, call, find us on social media, or stop in and say hi!

Offering Child Care in Feasterville PA Since 1983

Happy New Year from Just Childen Child Care CentersAs we ring in 2016, it’s a bit nostalgic to think that Just Children Child Care Centers have been in the Feasterville, PA area since 1983!  We live in a microwave society, where everyone wants things quickly!  Unfortunately, caring for and raising a child can’t be rushed.

As many other small businesses and large corporations have opened and others have closed in that time, including Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, Just Children grew to have 11 locations throughout PA and NJ.  As a family owned business, we’ve always wanted to grow, without feeling like a cookie cutter turnstile for children.  As every parent knows, their child is different than the child next to them…even identical twins!  A point is made to get to know every parent and child by name, so each morning or afternoon feels like you’re being greeted by a friend.  Just Children’s largest source of business is current and former family referrals, which makes it all worth it when a family thinks that highly of us.

Child care is a very competitive business, especially with the number of parents who are both employed growing every day.  It’s come a long way since 1983, and continues to evolve daily.  Just Children, like any business, cannot be everything to everyone, and that’s ok.  We try our hardest to accommodate our families’ schedules and budgets.  With locations in Bensalem, Feasterville, Trevose, Telford, Downingtown, and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, there is probably a location near you.  If you’re in New Jersey, we have 4 locations in Medford and Mount Laurel, NJ.

As we enter our 33rd year of business, we wanted to thank you, the parents and community folks, who have made it possible.  People are often amazed when they walk into a Just Children location, and see how far things have come since the days of babysitting.  There is actual learning happening!  Parents love when their children come home and are excited to share what they’ve learned or made in school.  Kids never want to feel behind or left out, which is why our preparation for grade school makes the transition so smooth.  Learning reading, writing, math, science, social studies, computers, foreign language, the arts, and many other topics helps their developing brains (they’re like sponges!) absorb this important knowledge.

If you are interested in child care for your child(ren), please don’t hesitate to call, email, stop in, or find us on social media.  We can also contact you via email or phone at a time convenient for you.  Our website now has a chat feature as just another way for you to ask a quick question while at work or on the go.  We’d prefer to see your smiling face in person and show off our beautiful facilities, but we realize that days are short and time is precious.  If you can, stop by with your child and watch their face light up…it will make your decision to join the Just Children family that much easier!  Happy and healthy 2016 to all of you!

Halloween Safety

Child Care - Halloween SafetyWith Halloween upon us, there are many things we can all do to make it not just fun, but safe for the children who go door to door for tricks and treats.  While many of them seem pretty basic, there are numerous stories every year of children who are injured or worse.  Always practice Halloween safety!

Walk Safely

Most children walk to houses during Halloween, so it’s so important to pay attention to their surroundings, including cars, other people, and walking surfaces such as potholes, cracks in the sidewalk, and unpaved dirt paths that could be sloped and dangerous.

Always look both way before crossing the street.  This goes without saying.

Put down the cell phones for a little while and pay attention.  It’s hard to see where you are going or who’s coming at you when you’re staring at a phone screen.

Trick or Treat With an Adult

Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Drive Carefully, Especially on Halloween!

Kids and parents are everywhere on Halloween.  Crossing driveways, walkways, and streets.  It’s a good idea to drive BELOW the speed limit, as kids sometimes dart across streets to get to the house that gives out the best candy, and aren’t always paying attention.  Be proactive rather than reactive and slow down!

Other Tips…

Avoid costumes that could be misconstrued or potentially dangerous.  Halloween weapons such as plastic pirate swords and fake guns can often be difficult to see at night, and if you think it might be viewed as potentially dangerous, it’s best to leave it at home.

Check all candy and other items before anything is consumed.

Bring a flashlight.

Only visit well lit houses.  If the house is dark, skip it and move on to the next one.  A piece of candy isn’t worth putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.

Halloween is a really fun holiday for the kids and parents alike, and can be super safe if you take precautions, and use your head about how you plan the evening.  Have fun, don’t get too scared, and don’t eat too much candy!

 

Back to School!

Enroll at Just Children for Fall ProgramsJust Children Child Care Centers will be shifting gears pretty soon from summer fun to back to school!  While it may not seem too different for the children who spend their summers with us here at Just Children, the focus shifts back from fun in the sun to learning fun!  Kids get older, and some move up classrooms to the next age level.  They will make some new friends, meet new teachers, and develop both mentally and emotionally.  Socialization is very important for our young ones, and it better prepares them for first grade and beyond.

We love to hear at the end of a year how much the students have grown and come out of their “shells” as they turn into young students.  Some children enter Just Children clinging onto their parent’s leg, and end up crying when it’s time to go home!  They look forward to going to school everyday where their friends are.

Pretty soon the new school year will be upon us, and we never get tired of seeing the new and returning faces each and every day.  They grow up so quickly, and it’s never more evident than when they return each year or enter their new classrooms.  Child care is so much more than watching children while their parents are at work.  Just Children Child Care Centers are preparing our students for their future, while having a bunch of fun at the same time!  Contact a Just Children Child Care Center near you today, and we’d be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have, and as always, visit any time with no appointment necessary.  If you are new to our center, please download our enrollment form. We hope to see you soon, and can’t wait for “back to school”!

Just Children Participates In Keystone STARS

Just Children Partcipates in Keystone STARSKeystone STARS (Standards, Training/Professional Development, Assistance, Resources) provides families with a tool to gauge the quality of early learning programs. The STARS program supports early learning programs in the commitment to continuous quality improvement. Programs that participate in Keystone STARS care about providing quality early learning for your child. As programs move up the STARS ladder, they are providing even higher quality experiences, so your child benefits even more from the program. Early learning programs can earn a STAR 1 to a STAR 4 level. At each level, programs have to meet certain research-based quality standards that measure four areas that make a difference in the quality of care your child receives:

  • Staff Education
  • Learning Environment
  • Leadership Management
  • Family and Community Partnerships

As a program moves from STAR 1 to STAR 4, the requirements in these areas increase.

At a Keystone STARS Program you should find:

  • Department of Human Services Certificate of Compliance for child care centers and group homes or Centers of Registration for family care homes.
  • A comfortable place where your child can explore and learn.
  • Laughing, reading and talking which builds language skills.
    Teachers learning new ways to help your child thrive.
  • A safe, healthy and exciting place.
  • Music, art, science and play activities that increase school readiness.
  • Your child feeling good about himself or herself.
  • Families involved in the program and their child development.
  • Teachers that listen to children and parents.
  • Children having fun together and being respectful of each other.

Just Children Child Care Centers are proud to be a part of the Keystone Stars program!

Introducing Just Children’s 2015 Summer Day Camp!

summer day campThe rumors are true: At each of our 11 different child care centers, which are located throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Just Children’s 2015 Summer Day Camp will be kicking off in just a few days.

Our Summer Day Camp (also known as Summer Fun Camp), if you’re not already familiar with it, isn’t entirely different from the Before & After School programs we run during the school year. During the summer, we simply crank up the day-long fun all season long with a schedule of field trips, movies, outdoor activities, water activities and more.

Summer Fun Camp officially kicks off on Wednesday, June 17, and runs throughout the first week of September. We’ll be taking our young charges on a series of exciting yet still educational field trips, including excursions to the Camden Aquarium, Cherry Hill’s Barclay Farmstead, the upcoming Tall Ships Festival, The Funplex in Mount Laurel, BounceU, and even a petting zoo or two.

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Why Some School Districts Don’t Offer Kindergarten in Bucks County

kindergarten bucks countyDid you know that in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, public school districts are still not legally mandated to offer kindergarten classes?

In fact, according to the New America Education Policy Program, there are only five other states aside from Pennsylvania—Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, New Jersey and New York—without laws of any sort that require districts to provide kindergarten.

Nevertheless, because of the changes to the public education system that have come about as a result of Pennsylvania’s Common Core-based academic standards, not only do nearly 400 of Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts offer kindergarten—they offer full-day kindergarten only. That’s because school districts are finding it difficult to cram all the Common Core requirements into the more traditional half-day.

Of course, that still leaves roughly 100 Pennsylvania districts with either half-day kindergarten or no kindergarten at all. If you and your spouse both work full-time—or if you’re a single parent who works full-time—that can make life with kindergarten-aged kids incredibly challenging.

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Springtime at Just Children Child Day Care Centers

Springtime at Just Children Child Care CentersAfter a LONG Winter, we at Just Children cannot wait to jump into our Spring activities! Spring for us means getting back outside to our modern playgrounds and working on our gross motor skills! We look forward to creating child friendly gardens both inside the classroom and outside the day care center. Our favorite part of planting the garden is getting to eat fresh veggies for snacks later in the summer! We will be celebrating Week of The Young Child and Teacher Appreciation Week in the coming months. These are times in which we show just how much our little ones and teachers mean to us! Stay tuned for crazy fun activities such as Just Children pride day, carnival day, ice cream sundaes, and much more!

It is not too late to sign up for Just Children’s summer program. We will be kicking off in late June with thematic weeks and AWESOME trips! Children enjoy visits from special guests, activities, and water play during the program as well. We welcome Just Children alumni and siblings back with open arms! Our child day care educational program incorporates our academic curriculum with the idea of GETTING ACTIVE! Children are encouraged to learn through play and experience. We will utilize our creative educators to keep the children engaged in a high quality learning environment during the summer months! Please inquire with any of our centers to get your child enrolled today! As always, from our “family” to yours, thank you for letting us be a part of your child’s educational journey!