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3 Ways Infant Care Can Ease the Transition

Posted on Sunday June 05 2016


Infants at Play
 

Making the transition from being at home with a parent to being in infant care can be hard for your little one. However, great infant care in Laguna Niguel can help your child to grow and develop. Here are 3 ways that infant care helps your child develop in healthy ways. 

Independence

Being away from a parent is a challenge for an infant but also offers the opportunity to grow in independence. A child who is away from the primary caregiver will start to develop confidence and to take risks in a safe and comfortable setting. As your infant grows in confidence, he or she will begin to get more used to being away from you and taking important steps that are necessary for his or her development. Encourage that independence and nurture it the most you can. 

Age-appropriate interaction

Being in a room full of other infants is a prime time for your infant to interact with other babies his or her own age. Infants will begin to play with others and learn the value of relationships. This young interaction is very important for their social skills further down the line. Getting the chance to be with other young children helps them to form early connections and begin to see outside of their small world at home. Being able to be with other infants their age will set the stage for a lifetime of interactions with other people.   

New Toys and Stimulation

An infant care environment opens up a whole new world for your infant. There are new toys and different stimuli for your infant to enjoy. He or she can begin to take in the world in new ways. Your infant will be learning and gradually expanding his or her mind. Opportunities in Laguna Niguel infant care will be there for your young child to get used to all the sights and sounds that the world has to offer.

Toddlers Learn Best by Play in Preschool

Posted on Monday May 09 2016


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Parents in the 21st century are busy with a variety of activities including work, playdates, extracurricular activities, and family time. Some parents feel guilty that they are unable to provide complete one-on-one time with their children. However, these parents need not feel guilty because they are doing the best they can. There are many daycares in Laguna Niguel that will be able to offer the playtime and attention your toddler needs to grow.

Through numerous studies, it has been concluded that toddler learn best by play. Though to an adult, toddler play just looks like play, this activity is actually helping toddlers develop specific skills as they engage in play with other children and toys. They are developing important physical skills to help them gain muscle control, balance, and hand-eye coordination. These skills are building blocks for other complicated skills that are necessary for toddlers to learn.

These daycares in Laguna Niguel offer a preschool-type learning atmosphere for toddlers where they will be able to master these skills. When learning these skills, it should be seen as fun and games to them and not something that is boring and menial. During this time, your toddler will be given many opportunities and a variety of ways to learn and enhance these skills as they grow. They will be closely monitored and supervised to ensure they are engaging in safe play. Opportunities for them to explore, ask questions, use their imagination, and work on their fine motor skills will be given on a daily basis. Your child will engage in a specific amount of play on his or her own and with an adult. A child between the ages of 12 months and 3 years will receive around an hour of play on his or her own and around 30 minutes of structured playtime with adults. The only times these toddlers will have more than an hour of inactivity will be when they are sleeping. It is important for the growth and development of toddlers to have as much playtime as possible.


3 Reasons Why Parents and Teachers Working Together is Best

Posted on Tuesday Apr 07 2016


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It is not always easy to know what is best for your kid. However, when parents and teachers work as a team, there can be extraordinary results for the child. Here are 3 reasons why parents and teachers working together is best for your child's development.

Constant Check-In

When sending your child to a private kindergarten in Laguna Hills, you put your trust in that teacher for the day. The teacher also might notice some aspects of your child's personality you might miss. On the other hand, you know your child very well and can offer great insight into your child's personality and life. When both the teacher and the parent are constantly checking in with each other on how the child is doing, the student will benefit the most. Any changes to the child's mood or behavior will be noted immediately and adjustments can be made.

Common Goals

Having goals for your child is very wise. Whether the goal is to improve homework or behavior performance, there are always areas for growth. Parents and teachers who share common goals will help the children reach milestones faster. Parents can help their child to focus on the goals at home and teachers can monitor the student during the school day. Having a set-up where parent and teachers act like a team offers the best opportunity for success for your little one. Your child will feel well supported and encouraged to thrive in a private kindergarten in Laguna Hills.

Stronger Authority

When the parent and the teacher are working together, they will find their authority strengthened. A teacher can remind the student of her great relationship with the parent and the parent can tell their child about the strong bond she has with his or her teacher. Knowing that the parent backs the teacher up and the teacher sides with the parent will add another level of authority and adult supervision.


5 Questions to Ask to Find the Right Preschool

Posted on Tuesday Mar 22 2016


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Getting ready to start your child in preschool? From parent co-ops to a Montessori preschool in Laguna Hills, there is a lot of variation between schools. It's important that you spend time going over your options to find the right place for your child. Here are 5 questions you should ask each preschool you visit.

What is the Educational Philosophy?

As with any environment of structured learning, the educational philosophy of a preschool is a great place to start in your search. This includes the school's curriculum, the prioritization of children's needs, and the allocation of time for different activities.

What Does the Daily Routine Look Like?

You will want to know what a typical day will look like for your child in a Montessori preschool or other setup. Find out what kinds of activities to expect, such as nap time, snack time, and outdoor play. If there is a problem with your child's participation in any part of the expected routine, ask about alternative options.

What Kind of Training Do Staff Members Have?

The professionals working with your child should be qualified as well as experienced. Teachers should have an excellent understanding of child development and design their activities and classroom rules accordingly. Spend time talking to staff members to get to know them and assess whether or not they will mesh well with your child's personality and needs.

What Kind of Safety Measures are in Place?

You want to know that your child will be safe and cared for when you drop them off at preschool. Before you decide on a facility, tour the grounds and raise any concerns you may have. Ask about staff first aid training, playground monitoring procedures, and, perhaps most importantly, drop-off and pick-up policies.

How is Discipline Handled?

Even the calmest child will misbehave every now and then. Just as different parents have different philosophies and methods of discipline, each preschool will have its own approach to conflicts and disruptions. On the other end of the spectrum, you may also want to ask about the ways in which positive behavior is reinforced and rewarded.


What is the Montessori Method and Why is It Used?

Posted on Jan 20 2016


Methods of teaching children are many and varied and there are too many opinions on what is the best method of teaching children in school. One of the most controversial educational methods is the Montessori method because of how different it is compared to other methods. The traditional methods of education in the US focus around testing and assessment, while the Montessori method takes a completely different approach.


According to an article by theobjectivestandard.com, Montessori children never sit at desks while teachers instruct them. Instead, they are required to choose their own activities from a range of options, from Practical Life skills to math skills, and will work independently. Despite its unusual approach of letting students learn at their own pace and learn what they want to learn, this approach seems to foster a love of learning in students and makes it easier for children to learn more quickly and more effectively.


This method works better than other methods because Montessori students acquire the academic skills necessary for their age group, but also because they acquire these skills in such a way that makes them a better student and more curious and open to learning. Many studies have been performed on the benefits of the Montessori method for students and a few studies have proven that there are many advantages to the Montessori method over a traditional schooling attempt, so much so that many Montessori children are proven to have an edge over non-Montessori children in reading and math before coming to kindergarten. 


Accordingly, the Montessori method is used because students are able to develop an active mind, as well as develop good concentration skills in a world where concentration is difficult. Dr. Montessori explained that this type of learning emphasizes the most significant thing about a child’s development—the capacity to reason—which differentiates us from the rest of the animals in the world. With the Montessori method, children are able to facilitate this capacity through his or her own effort and will “create the man he will become.”

Lastly, when a schooling system focuses on teacher’s efforts to teach a classroom, students are more passive than active which is the opposite approach of the Montessori method of teaching. Overall, the Montessori method teaches children to learn and discover for themselves—which is the beauty of learning in itself—and should be considered when enrolling your children in a school like the Montessori preschool in Laguna Niguel


6 Reasons to Enroll at Academy on the Hills

Posted on Friday December 19 2014


If you are looking for a great Montessori in Aliso Viejo, look no further than Academy on the Hills. Not only is the preschool in a great location, we offer many great benefits for your precious children.

First, Academy on the Hills offers structured curriculum. Through our curriculum, we focus on your child's creativity and emotional well-being in addition to your child's intellect.

Second, we offer a team-based curriculum. Our staff members are not only qualified and experienced, but they truly care about the children and are dedicated and enthusiastic to help them learn. It takes a village to raise a child, so we work closely with families in their children's education.

Third, in order to ensure a great curriculum for your little children, we have built in benchmarks for each year. Each child is unique, and based on their age, we strive to give them a great learning environment and opportunities for growth.

Fourth, in addition to yearly benchmarks, Academy on the Hills also takes assessments every 6 months to ensure your child is on the right track. This helps to ensure your child is on track for accomplishing goals and that they are learning at an appropriate speed.

Fifth, since every child is unique and has their own style of learning, age-appropriate assessment and goals are implemented. Our staff is great at observing the children and tailoring lesson plans accordingly. Based on your child's age, they will be exposed to different toys, books, and other learning tools in an effort to promote hands-on learning.

Sixth, we believe that children need to be involved with their learning, so in an effort to create excitement for them, we will sit down and make goals with each child for optimum improvement. We want children to feel confident not only intellectually, but emotionally and socially as well.

Academy on the Hills is a great option for your child's early education, and you can know they will be taken care of. Whether you are interested in our Montessori in Aliso Viejo, or one of our other locations, rest assured you are getting a great return on investment no matter what age your child is. We offer classes for infants all the way through kindergarten age.


3 Reasons Preschool Is Critical for a Child's Intellectual Development

Posted on Monday December 8 2014


It can be difficult seeing your baby grow up. When they are between 3 and 5 years old, they are old enough to start preschool. Sometimes children on the young end of this age range are not yet ready to leave their parents. Other times, it's the parents that aren't quite ready to send their kids off! However, the benefits of preschool have been measured by childhood development specialists and sociologists the world over. Preschool-aged children are able to absorb unprecedented amounts of information and at this age can begin to master skills that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. We've seen kids blossom and begin their intellectual journeys in preschool with careful instruction and individual attention. Time away from parents can be stimulating and activate their self-confidence. Here is a list of the top 3 ways that preschool opens the gates of knowledge for toddlers who are just beginning on the exciting road to childhood discovery.

Self-Awareness and Confidence

A preschool in Mission Viejo, CA, or the city where you live, allows children to interact with other kids and begin to discover themselves away from their parents. While the bond between toddlers and their parents is always strong, when kids are nurtured in a school setting they begin to realize that they can do things for themselves and they have their own unique personality. Preschool nurtures self-confidence by giving children tasks to master at their own pace. School rewards hard work and dedication, which will give kids a positive experience of working to overcome hurdles and learning skills that can make it easier the next time around. Introducing these concepts to toddlers is critical for their development and mental growth.

Social Behavior and Cooperation

Many children don't have the chance to spend significant amounts of time around other kids unless they have siblings. The best preschool curricula encourage cooperation and group learning. This helps kids communicate with each other and the adult teacher. Asking for help and sharing can invite children to learn positive ways for interacting with others. Conflict can arise in group learning, but when kids figure out how to deal with these scenarios they also mature. The atmosphere of learning in preschool is as important as the material.

Language and Intellectual Development

Children in our preschool learn basics that they will build on throughout their years of education. Sounds, words, colors, shapes, and numbers are only some of the topics that preschool begins to tackle, preparing kids for kindergarten and eventually reading. Giving your child this first step is invaluable!


Preschool: Giving Toddlers the Care They Need

Posted on Tuesday October 14 2014


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Has your curious toddler overrun your home and your personal life? Are you finding toilet paper clogging all the toilets, and cute crayon drawings on the walls? Chances are, it’s time to take your toddler to preschool. At Academy on the Hills, we share with you the many benefits of a preschool program. Give your toddler the nourishing education they need and give yourself a break as well with preschool.

How Important is Preschool?

Preschool provides many benefits for toddlers. In preschool, children are exposed to letters, numbers, shapes, and more. They learn how to interact, play, and share with other children, teaching them great socializing skills. In a preschool setting, the classroom is child centered and they will have access to age-appropriate toys, books and other materials that will encourage learning. Toddlers will develop motor skills and learn basic self-help skills.

Toddlers who attend a preschool will enter kindergarten with better pre-reading skills, stronger basic math skills, and more developed vocabularies. A preschool provides the physical, emotional, and intellectual growth a healthy child needs.

What do Children Learn in Preschool?

A preschool setting is a bit different than a normal school setting. Rather than sitting down to be taught, toddlers learn best through doing activities that interest them. Your toddler will learn simple tasks such as pouring milk or helping set up for activities. They will learn through stories, play rhyming games, build with blocks, dance, do finger painting, and much more.

Letter and sounds are also a big part of preschool education. Toddlers will learn to recognize their own first name and how to write it. They’ll sing the alphabet song and be able to understand some of the sounds the letters make.

Preschool is a fun and safe environment that really allows toddlers to be imaginative and creative, honing their development skills and making them well-rounded.

When it’s time to take your little one to preschool, consider Academy on the Hills. Give us a call today to see how we can give your toddler the care they need and give you the break you deserve.


Three Silent Truths about Montessori Education

Posted on Wednesday September 29 2014


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If more people were familiar with the Montessori Method, our public schools would be turned on their heads and American education would cease to be a global joke. What is it that makes Montessori so amazing? It is designed to teach children in the way children learn best.

The Truth about Montessori

The truth about Montessori schools is that students start reading, adding, and subtracting at the tender age of three. Public schools don't see that kind of progress until children are around 6 or 7. By keeping classes small, allowing children to experience concepts through hands-on work and careful direction, Montessori schools allow young children to reach their full potential.

The truth about Montessori schools is that they respect their students as sentient human beings. Traditional education has led us to believe that children are too simple minded to understand complex concepts: nothing could be further from the truth. Children are sponges, they are curious, and they are hardworking. These traits enable them to tear down complex concepts layer by layer in a way that many adults can't fathom.

Perhaps the most important truth about Montessori schools is that they allow children to be children and revel in the amazing potential of each individual child.


Four Reasons You Need Infant Care Instead of Just Childcare

Posted on Wednesday September 23 2014


Far too many parents have had the experience of leaving their infant in a childcare center and return only to find a crying, distressed baby. We believe this scenario shouldn't ever happen and, if it does, should indicate to you that your baby needs a safer place to play while away from you.

Despite the fact many childcare centers boast a special "infant area," few are well-equipped to deal with the special needs of their smallest class members. Here are four reasons you should seek out specialized infant care for your baby.

Immature Immune Systems

While it is true that kids can bounce back from almost anything, infants are different. Immature immune systems make babies especially susceptible to viruses and bacteria that may not bother an older child at all. For this reason, we have made sure that the infants in our school have their very own play areas that are separated from the bigger kids.

Limited Motor Skills

Even though it may seem like your baby moves at the speed of light, the truth is, he or she has got nothing on a bunch of excited three year olds. We know that the limited motor and ambulatory skills of babies make them much more susceptible to injury when they are around older children. By providing a sheltered area in which our youngest classmates can play, we can prevent a whole host of injuries.

High Sleep Needs

We know babies need sleep: and lots of it. Just like adults need quiet to get a quality nap, so do children. For this reason, we make sure that infants have a nice, comfortable space in which they can catch their catnaps in between play sessions.

High Cuddle Needs

While no one can cuddle your baby like you, we guarantee a 4:1 baby/teacher ratio so that your baby is never neglected. You'll have a much easier time parting with your bundle of joy if you know that when he or she cries, someone will be there to stop the tears with hugs and gentle words.


Five Tips to Help You Prepare Your Child for Preschool

Posted on Wednesday September 17 2014


At the Academy on the Hills, we offer an age-appropriate curriculum that will prepare your toddler for school. However, even preschool requires some preparing for in order to help your child better adjust to the new environment and make the most out of this experience. We put together a few tips to help you get ready for this new step in your child's life.

1. Organize Social Activities

When going to preschool, your child will have to interact in a group, and social skills don't come naturally to all kids. Some children are more shy or reserved, which might make it difficult for them to adjust to the preschool environment. To make sure your toddler has an easy transition, organize various social activities such as playdates. This will prepare your child to interact with other kids, share things, take turns, and play together.

2. Have a Goodbye Ritual

When you drop your child off at preschool, he or she might worry that you won't be coming back, which can add to other fears and emotions associated with this process. To avoid this, practice saying goodbye on different occasions and making sure the child knows you will be picking them up. For instance, you could do this when dropping your toddler off at his or her grandparents' or leaving them with a babysitter.

3. Read Together

Reading to your child will both develop their listening skills and prepare them for one of the most common preschool activities. In addition, kids who have an early exposure to books generally make better readers later in life. Giving them an early start like this will help develop their curiosity, memory, imagination, and other valuable skills.

4. Establish a Routine

One of the things that will help your child better adjust to preschool is a set daily routine. Children follow a schedule once they are in preschool, and setting up a routine at home will help your prepare your toddler for this. It will give your child an opportunity to learn the concepts of time, sequencing, and order. As part of this process, your child should have established sleep times, as well as morning and bedtime routines that involve doing the same tasks in an established order. This can include dressing, brushing teeth, bathing, and putting away the toys.

5. Encourage Creativity

Similarly to reading, encourage your child to engage in various creative activities, such as painting, drawing, and clay molding. Not only will this prepare your toddler for similar activities in our preschool, but it will also help develop his or her creative skills.


Making Toddler Care Affordable

Posted on Tuesday September 9 2014


When people talk about childcare, they often express dismay at how expensive it can be. The truth is, however, that with a little research, you can almost always find a toddler care center that is right for your children and your budget.

What You Want

Before you begin your search, decide what you're looking for in childcare. Are you looking for a care center that doubles as a school? Are you looking for somewhere where your children can play and get out some of their energy? The expectations you have for the program will determine how much you will need to budget for your child care needs.

What You Need

Once you have decided on the type of program you want, take some time to research those types of programs in your area. You may find that they fit well within your budget. If you find that some of the programs are a bit too expensive, take the time to find out why. Some of the things to consider are how many days a week are covered in tuition. Are they full or half days? Does tuition cover things like field trips and materials? Once you find out what tuition covers, you can start making decisions about features you do and do not need. Perhaps you only need childcare three days a week as opposed to five. Perhaps you don't need a school that takes your child on field trips because you already do enough extracurricular activities with your children. Usually, if you simplify the toddler care, you decrease the price.

We know child care can be pricey, but we also know that good programs don't have to be. If you have questions about how you can fit child care into your life, call a local facility you are interested in and ask for a meeting and a tour. You'll be surprised at how eager they are to help you give the very best to your children.


Montessori Schools: Where a Kid Can Be a Kid

Posted on Wednesday July 16 2014


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For years, ADHD has been spreading like wildfire among young children. What few people choose to recognize is that many cases of ADHD are "diagnosed" by teachers and that, overwhelmingly, it is little boys who suffer. While the disorder is real and there are children who actually do suffer from it, we believe that the teachers who suggest it are simply unaware of how children learn and what they need.

Honoring the Child

If you have active young children, the traditional model of education will likely prove more of a challenge than a blessing; a Montessori school can change that. We have built our school and educational program upon research done by the amazing Maria Montessori. This incredible woman dedicated her life to teaching children and realized that the best way to educate them is by tapping into their natural curiosities.

Hands-On Approach

At our school, your child will never be set behind a desk and lectured to. He or she will have the opportunity to explore concepts with their hands, which is the number one way children learn. From a very early age, children began grabbing objects and bringing them to the mouth. This action teaches them what things are edible, introduces them to different textures, and helps them organize their world. While the actions of the hands may change as the child grows, their importance in education does not.

Follow the Child

Aside from allowing children to learn as they do best, our school allows them to lead their own intellectual journeys with our teachers as guides. In a Montessori school, children are allowed to choose activities they will participate in and how long they will participate in those activities. This fosters our students' love of learning by turning it into an adventure instead of a drudgery.

If you want your children to love learning and to have the opportunity to be children, a Montessori school is the best choice.


Private Kindergarten Gives Your Child a Head Start

Posted on Monday June 16 2014


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Do you remember how excited you were to start kindergarten? Finally! You got to have your own backpack, crayons, and even a lunch box! And you got to see your friends five days a week! Back then, the class sizes were probably a lot smaller too and the teacher was able to spend a little more one-on-one time with each student. These days however, most public kindergarten classes are overcrowded which means your child may not get the personal attention he or she needs to thrive. Private kindergarten classes can ensure every student gets that affection and attention they deserve!

How Much Attention Does Your Child Get at School?

Every child learns in their own unique way. Regardless of what those ways are, our kindergarten teachers can give every student the personal, one-on-one attention they need to get a great head start with their education. This attention helps both the child and the instructor.

Our teachers can better assess on a daily basis if the student is following their own personal learning curve.

  • Learning and comprehension issues can be discovered and dealt with earlier in life.
  • Personal time with their teacher can help foster a child's sense of self-worth and increase their self-esteem which will greatly benefit them in all aspects of life now and later.
  • Higher self-esteem will give the child more confidence to be creative, to ask questions without fear of ridicule, and understand that it's OK if they make mistakes.
  • Students, even precious kindergartners, can get more direct help with learning very basic math, spelling, and comprehension skills.

Structure and Boundaries

When you interview the caregivers, ask about their training, qualifications, and amount of experience they have working with toddlers. Find out about their approach and the types of activities they engage in with children. Check if there's a schedule the caregiver sticks to, so the children know what to anticipate next. Ask what types of safety measures are implemented, and look around to see if the play area is clean and well organized. If your child has any special needs, find out if the caregiver can accommodate those. Ask about the caregiver's approach to feeding, toilet training, and discipline, and make sure this person's values match your own.

Down the Road

The benefits of smaller, private kindergarten classes can be seen into upper grade levels. Students that have a positive experience with school very early in life are less likely to be held back a grade, are more likely to stay in school, and are more likely to have the desire to learn.


4 Reasons Why Kindergarten Selection Is Important.

Posted on Monday June 9 2014


academay blog

Your children are one of the most important things in your life, so it's important to give them the best educational opportunities possible. This begins long before they apply to college. Before a child even starts first grade, he or she will go to kindergarten to help build a foundation of knowledge that they will build on as they grow older. We believe a good kindergarten program also helps a child get used to a structured school environment and build social skills. Not all kindergarten programs are the same, so it's important to find a program that fits with your vision and your child. Here are four reasons why choosing a quality kindergarten is important:

1. Importance of a Teacher

You don't want just anyone teaching your child. Find a kindergarten with a quality teacher who will love, teach, and engage your child.

2. Structure and Boundaries

Children thrive within an appropriately structured schedule and with behavioral boundaries. Some kindergartens are more of a free-for-all. A structured kindergarten will help your child prepare for school by getting them used to a schedule, sitting for periods of time, listening to a teacher, and interacting with classmates.

3. Curriculum

Kindergarten shouldn't just be day care. A good kindergarten program will be actively teaching your child about numbers, letters, shapes, colors, art, science, and more.

4. Environment

When looking for a kindergarten program, check out the facilities. Your child will learn best in a clean, well-maintained building. Look around the room at the resources available and projects children are working on to see what sort of environment exists. It's important to find a kindergarten that fosters creativity and exploration.


Choosing a Toddler Care Facility: Experience Matters

Posted on Monday June 2 2014


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The toddler years are an important time in the emotional, cognitive, and social development of your child. Keep this in mind when choosing a toddler care facility and look for a stimulating environment for your child to grow in.

Evaluate the Caregivers

The first thing you should be looking at when choosing a daycare facility for your toddler is the experience and approach of the staff. Good caregivers like us should have a lot of practical experience as well as theoretical knowledge about working with this particular age group. Based on their education and experience, the caregivers should have a good understanding of the toddlers' developmental needs.

Ask the Right Questions

When you interview the caregivers, ask about their training, qualifications, and amount of experience they have working with toddlers. Find out about their approach and the types of activities they engage in with children. Check if there's a schedule the caregiver sticks to, so the children know what to anticipate next. Ask what types of safety measures are implemented, and look around to see if the play area is clean and well organized. If your child has any special needs, find out if the caregiver can accommodate those. Ask about the caregiver's approach to feeding, toilet training, and discipline, and make sure this person's values match your own.

Spend Some Time Observing

In addition to the interview, spend at least a couple of hours observing how the caregivers interact with toddlers. Watch them in different situations, such as caring for a group of children and spending one-on-one time with a toddler. Check how they transition between two activities and how they mediate conflicts.

Other Considerations

Remember that while experience is extremely important, there are several other qualities you should look for in a perfect caregiver. This person should be loving, responsive, and caring. All in all, this should be someone you are very comfortable leaving your toddler with. At Academy on the Hills, we value your child and have the necessary experience to care for them while they learn.