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What outcomes parents should expect from early childhood education and care

Medical X-Press – Wendy Boyd

“Parents often have different expectations for their three- to five-year-old children when they attend an early learning centre. Some parents expect their child to engage in academic learning activities or “real learning”. Academic activities are associated with formal school-based learning such as writing, reading and knowing their numbers.” (more)

Needed: an ‘action plan’ for kids prone to severe allergic reactions

Medical X-Press – Amy Norton

“When kids are at risk of severe allergic reactions, all their caregivers should have a written action plan and epinephrine auto-injectors readily available, according to new reports from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The reports include a new “universal” action plan for doctors to give parents, to help ensure they’re ready to manage a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a sudden, severe allergic reaction that affects multiple organs in the body. The symptoms include swelling of the throat, lips and tongue; trouble breathing and swallowing; chest tightness; vomiting, and hives or skin rash.”(more)

Give kids a safe, stress-free holiday

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“With all the parties, outings and family gatherings during the holidays, it’s easy for kids to get overwhelmed or lost in the shuffle, a leading group of pediatricians says. Amid the hustle and bustle, parents and caregivers should be mindful of children’s safety, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises. While staying in other people’s homes, for instance, be aware of potential dangers for little kids, such as decorations that are sharp or breakable. Also watch out for unlocked cabinets, stairways or hot radiators, the doctors’ group explains.”(more)

Body Image: Even Preschoolers Think About Their Looks, Study Finds

Medical Daily – Kelsey Drain

“Toddlers between the ages of 2 and 5 are going through a crucial growth stage. According to the Child Development Institute, this is a stage of rapid physical and intellectual development. Results of a new study have revealed that these preschool-aged young children actually develop perceptions of body images, which is significantly earlier than their parents probably thought they would develop this awareness. These perceptions of their small selves can be either positive or negative, and parents may be missing opportunities to promote healthy mindsets about physical looks, Medical Xpress reported.”(more)

How To Spark Learning Everywhere Kids Go — Starting With The Supermarket

NPR – Anya Kamenetz

“Picture this: You’re in the supermarket with your hungry preschooler in tow. As you reach into the dairy case, you spot a sign with a friendly cartoon cow. It reads: “Ask your child: Where does milk come from? What else comes from a cow?” In a small study published last year, signs like these, placed in Philadelphia-area supermarkets, sparked a one-third increase in conversations between parents and children under 8. The extra family chatter happened only in low-income neighborhoods. Research shows that’s exactly the place where it’s needed most: Studies have documented a “word gap” that can lead, ultimately, to poor kids starting school months behind in language development. The total cost of the intervention? About $20 per grocery store.”(more)

What parents need to know about California’s childcare and preschool rating system

Ed Surge – Jeremy Hay

In 2014, California launched the Quality Rating and Improvement System – QRIS – in part to help parents quickly assess the quality of childcare centers and preschools. Another goal of the rating system is to identify ways childcare providers can do a better job delivering high quality care by giving them training and tools to improve their programs. Here are answers to some common questions about the system. You can also read more about the QRIS system, particularly how it affected one childcare provider in Contra Costa County, here.”(more)