We Still Have Room for Your Summer Campers!

School’s over, summer just started with a long way to go! We know students and parents are ready for a break. So what will your school-aged kids do this summer?

We still have spots open in our Summer Camp at Ida Barbour for our curious fellas, hungry for knowledge, loving life. No time to be sad, no reason for it with this phenomenal line-up our teachers put together for this year’s participants.

Highlights like the Children’s Museum, Bubbles the Clown, Jonathan the Juggler, trips to the Portsmouth Police and Fire Department, Mr. Tim’s Ice cream truck, Cinemark Movies 10, Portsmouth Splash Park, Norfolk Zoo, City Park and the Portsmouth Public Library make our camps so amazing.

Who would be bored with this variety of entertainment? All those exciting features are well worth the small registration and summer activity fee to cover the cost of in-house and off-site field trips.

Open enrollment for our next camp, named “Bliss” is happening now for children up to age 7, and again:

14 spots left.

I want to encourage you to not miss that chance and allow your kids an unforgettable summer filled with friends, fun, excitement and adventure.

Hurry, quick !!!

Professional Child Care Centers Verses Care at Home

Being ready for school contributes greatly to a child’s ability to succeed academically and socially, in school and in later life. It requires physical and emotional well-being, motor development, a positive approach to new experiences, social and language skills, cognitive skills and knowledge in general.  A child’s readiness for school is impacted by many things, including home life, health, and their social environment.

At a licensed child care center, multiple employees are available to interact with and teach children, and they are there for a single purpose. They are professional caregivers and educators. Their only job is to care for and teach the children at the center, which is a different environment than being home with Mommy or Grandma, alone, where it may be tempting to have the TV or laptop as their only guide and “teacher.”

So many people view child care just as a babysitting solution for kids whose parents work. But it is SO much more than that.  It is important for children to be around other children to start developing normal social skills.  Kids thrive in child care centers, being surrounded by activity, other children, and people of all ages. Teaching kids the coping skills of dealing with new environments and people is important long before kindergarten.  Appropriate ways to behave around others is more easily grasped, and with the guidance and supervision of caregivers and educators in a professional environment, problems of many kinds (social, physical, emotional, health related, etc.) can be noted and resolved early.

It’s interesting how children learn from each other, not just from adults. Speech moves along more quickly, (potty training, too!) and there is a great improvement in confidence.

Routine and structure are important to learning. In a child care center like Ida Barbour, it is more likely your child will have an educationally enriched curriculum that encourages literacy, language development, social and emotional development, as well as age appropriate learning of math, science, and other disciplines.

Have you ever received a frantic call from a relative or other caregiver that they can’t take your child the next morning? Parents who work are either left at the last minute with what to tell their boss if they cannot be at work when they need to stay home. In a child care center, should a teacher become ill, there is always a substitute who will fill in who already knows your child.

There are advantages to staying home with your child. Every child is different and every family has a different situation. At some point, however, we highly recommend having children in a structured learning environment before they go to kindergarten.

The mission of the Ida Barbour Early Learning Center is to prepare each child for success in school, community, and life. The Ida Barbour Early Learning Center enhances the life chances for all children and their families by providing care in a safe, nurturing, and highly enriching environment.

Space is available for your child or a child you may know who is not in a learning environment right now.  We believe “Your child’s success begins here.”

Introducing Lakeshia Clark…

Ida Barbour’s Lead Teacher loves what she does, especially at the Center! She is in her third year at Ida Barbour, after running her own day care at home. Born and raised in Portsmouth, a graduate of Woodrow Wilson, Lakeshia has enjoyed the larger space, equipment and extra assistance Ida Barbour has over trying to teach and care for children in a home environment. She also realizes that you don’t often get to know everybody and grow professionally in a large corporate type chain or franchise offering childcare.

“I love getting to know everyone I work with and all of the parents,” said Lakeshia. “It is so important to understand each child’s family environment, and especially with new children coming to Ida Barbour, she finds it so important to communicate with the parents to learn how their child adapts to new situations.”

When asked what she feels is her best results when teaching, Lakeshia will tell you the learning process for colors and shapes, two of many important aspects of early childhood curriculum. Lakeshia especially likes to teach Ida Barbour’s two-year-old children as they are eager to learn and take in everything you say.

Lakeshia stresses that the priority for Ida Barbour is to gain more space so that both teachers and the children can focus directly on the activities of the day and listening easier to each other. She is excited about the architectural design for the new Ida Barbour.

Please be sure to check out the design and information about our Ida Barbour Building Campaign. We need your help, both in donations and being an ambassador for us to share our news!

What’s Important for a Four-Year-Old to Know?

4 year old article

Though every child’s development is unique and complex, we know that this age is critical to future learning. The opportunities to learn at a child’s own pace is so important. Children develop from birth through a generally predictable sequence of steps or milestones, but they don’t all proceed at the same time. As you can imagine, the relationship between the child’s teacher and parent speaks volumes because those closest to a child, with good listening and observation skills, can really make a difference in how much learning is going on.

One of the most critical times in a child’s life is the learning that happens when he/she is four years old. That’s why Virginia has spent a great deal of concentration on guidelines and tools such as the Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning.

When it comes to learning, four-year-old children are developing greater self-control and ingenuity. Their pretend play is more complex and imaginative and can be sustained for longer periods. Four-year-olds want to try new experiences. They also want to be more self-reliant and seek to expand the areas of their lives where they can be independent decision-makers. Developing literacy skills at this point sets the pace for reading, speaking, writing, listening, and interacting for preparation for kindergarten success. Here is the list of some of the guidelines in the Literacy Block recommended in Virginia’s Block for Early Learning for four-year-olds.

• Activates engagement through book reading that is expressive, frequent, interactive, and which represents a variety of cultures and perspectives.
• Uses poems, chants, rhymes, and repetition books that feature both fact and fiction to enhance children’s imagination and engagement.
• Promotes concept development through enriched language and activates meaningful conversation through “when, where, how, and why” questions.
• Extends understanding by encouraging children to describe feelings, explain ideas, compare events, and apply new vocabulary/knowledge to past and present experiences.

With technology at our hip, how easy is it to miss opportunities to engage in literacy skills with children? Have you noticed that children seem to stop pretending early these days? It is important for children to play because that is how they learn, explore their feelings and interact with others. Using props is an excellent way to bring children into the lives of characters and stories. Putting aside the cell phone to really listen to children, with eye contact of course, can make such a difference in promoting meaningful interactions, asking children questions. At Ida Barbour, we know our day-to-day activities allow our four-year-olds to communicate. No matter how busy the day may seem, we create opportunities for four-year-olds to engage in new experiences that promote literacy.
If you would like more information on the Virginia Foundation for Early Learning or other resources, visit http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/early_childhood/ .

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