Tag Archives: day care

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!  


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!

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!