By: Ifeoluwa T. Akinola
Child care guidelines for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
Child care simply refers to all it entails to look after a child. It is done by both parents and caregivers who are often paid by the parents to render care service in their absence, either in homes or in a specified center (like daycare, nursery or kindergarten).
Emphasizing the role of parents in childcare, it is really a thing of concern for responsible parents/guardian and they will try everything in their power to see to the well-being of their children (infant, toddler, preschooler or beyond).
Child care can be demanding as the growth of the child is rapid during his/her first few years on earth. Childcare also requires close attention because, every child needs guide and relentless support for positive growth and development in the new world he has been brought into.
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Definitely, it demands from parent’s includes but not limited to time, resources, affection, attention, guidance, skills, impact and lots more to grow and develop kids into a total child. The responsibility often shared by caregiver, child tutors and nannies who receives pay from parent to be part of this important role required in raising a total build.
On a general note, infants, toddlers and preschoolers talks about children from birth till around 6years old. Giving adequate childcare, the children grow to be responsible, trustworthy, dependable and well-developed adults with good sense of self-worth.
Research has shown that the first 6 years of a child’s life is for modelling character and imbibing principles. Hence, everything done to take care of a child during the mentioned years is very important because it forms crucial and significant part of kids life.
Therefore, parents and caregivers should see childcare as an opportunity to mold great leaders who will make our society worth living acknowledging the fact that children of today are leaders of tomorrow
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If there is good reason to make the world a better place for all, then starting in early childhood will be one of the best way and place to start from by raising our future generation with quality care required.
To cut the long story short, followings are guidelines for effective child care suitable for infants, toddlers, preschoolers children
Guidelines for effective child care of infants
Infants is a word widely used for babies from birth till around 1 year old. At this point, they have not begun to walk or talk. These ‘bundles of joy’ depend very much on their parents and caregivers for their basic needs.
They are new in the world and will need great help to fit in properly. There basic needs include food, sleep, comfort and cleaning up, which you must give them at the appropriate time they need them.
The only way baby’s communicate is by crying and the parent or care giver should be able to recognize what each cry means: hunger, tiredness, discomfort for heat or other things, boredom and so on.
Discerning what your infant needs per time and responding appropriately and accordingly spells out the quality of care they receive.
Hygienic and nutritious food cannot be negotiated to give your infant a healthy and strong body. If you are using a daycare center or a nanny, ensure the hygiene of the caregiver in handling your child’s food.
The major food of the infant should be breast milk and infant formula from age 6month. Special care should be given to feeding bottles as they can be a source of contaminating the baby. It should therefore, be well sterilized before and after use.
Feeding the infant with expressed breast milk or other food should be done carefully. The baby must not be force fed. Also, ensure your baby has enough time to rest, play and listen to educative audio-visuals during the day to boost his mental capacity.
There was an incident that happened at a daycare center recently that caught my attention. A particular parent was accusing a caregiver of not taking proper care of her child.
She complained that it is the same diapers she wore for the child in the morning that is still on the child; even though it was dirty, the caregiver ignored it and failed to change the diapers for him.
This situation should not be overlooked because cleaning up an infant is very essential. It helps the child wear a good scent around him and make other people comfortable being with him.
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It also helps to savage the possibility of the child having bad body odors. Add extra clothes and diapers to your child’s bag when you send him to daycare to ensure proper cleaning.
Guidelines for effective child care of toddlers
A toddler is considered to be a child that is just learning to walk, usually between the ages of 1 to 3 years. At this stage of growth, your child becomes more independent and moves freely about without much assistant, and exploring everything he/she has access to can not be exempted.
As a parent or caregiver, it is your responsibility to see that your toddlers do not have access to things that can harm him/her or that can be destroyed by toddlers while they are innocently exploring and satisfying their curiosity.
Parents of toddlers must be ready at this point to teach his/her toddler how to do few things rather than doing it for them. Start to teach your toddler how to use things like the spoon, pencil, drink water from cups and other simple tasks for themselves. In addition to these, they need at this time to learn social etiquettes such as politeness.
They also need help with their vocabularies development and communication skills. This is a good time for parents of toddlers to help grow their oratory. At this point you begin to teach them how to identify and pronounce family members’ names, starting with mommy and daddy and the use of some common words that are tied to routine activities and needs.
Have handy adequate instructional educative materials and game to help them learn with fun. Also. the use of audio-visual to help quick learning cannot be overemphasized at this stage. Parents must also ensure there is time for your child to rest in the activity log of the daycare or preschool center you enroll your child in.
Be concerned about the health policy of a daycare or preschooler’s center where you drop your child in and let them be inform when your child is ill and on any form of medication. Most daycares and preschool centers have playground. Ensure that the one you enroll your child in has a safe playground and that they play under close supervision.
Guidelines for effective child care of preschoolers
Preschoolers are children who attend a preschool or kindergarten, usually between ages 3-5 years. They relate more with people closely because they stay long hours from the home with a set of new people who include other preschoolers and teachers/instructors).
They exhibit more of the traits they have learnt over time. It is easier for teachers and parents to monitor the traits they have imbibed and correct them when necessary. Children at this point are influenced by parents, teachers and other care givers. Your child begins to learn how to make friends and interact with others.
At this point, proper discipline should be ensured, children are to be guided with instructions. Teach preschoolers to obey simple rules and be corrected if they exhibit any form of disobedience. Preschooler must have activities log. He or She must know when they are expected to do certain thing.
Create quality routine time for their meals, recreational activities, active learning, helping with house chores, resting, sleeping and so on. Teach preschoolers how to respond to the bell, so that they can cope well in the elementary school.
At this stage in live, preschooler must have the fundamental concept of all aspect of life to an extent. Making friends, interacting and working as a team is one of the good takes and should have also learn to be positive influence to peers.
Teach your preschoolers the act of giving and not being self-centered. Let him or her know sharing is consider been caring. Teach preschoolers personal cleanliness, how to use the toilet and the need to clean up and wash their hands after use.
Let him/her know why and how to bath, brush their teeth, comb or style their hair. Educate on the need to eat balanced diet and feed with it. Ensure you pack good lunch for your preschooler and not junks food like just noodles, soft drinks and candies.
Pack balanced diet along side fruits and water/fruit juice in his /her lunch pack to daycare or preschool center. Care giver are also to educate parents who seems not to understand on the need for their children to feed well.
Preschoolers are to be taught how to play and work with other preschoolers without fighting them where necessary. This helps them to learn and grow well with the concept of teamwork and interpersonal relationship.
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They also must learn to help other and respect elders. Teach them the use of the magic words to include ‘please’, ‘sorry’, ‘thank you’, ‘excuse me’ and ‘pardon me’. It will surely help them communicate well with other people or their age and older.
It has been noted that about 75% of a child’s adult moral, intellect and emotional traits are formed by age 6 years. This age bracket is crucial because it is the formative stage of the child. It is very important to lay the right foundation for your child to build upon.
Devote the needed time and resource to ensure proper child care for your infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
With the information provided above. You are now empowered with information you need to be able to give your child best care he/she needed. Hoping to see you perform brilliantly as you provide our society with capable, healthy and energetic leaders of tomorrow. Thanks for reading.