In today’s society new mothers hold advanced degrees, and are entirely more educated than the mothers of years past. The glorious news of a new pregnancy is immediately followed by a concern that mothers of the 1970’s never gave a second thought….child care upon returning to work. Way before the arrival of their new bundle of joy, soon to be parents are researching early learning and development centers nearby. Notice the use of our new terminology which was once referred to as simply “day care”. Today, mothers and fathers are securing their unborn child’s position in a well established and highly reputable early learning development center before the end of the first trimester. Situations like this usually were reserved for families of wealth and prestige. Now, any working family also wants the best for their child. Since the new millennium, child care expenses are now a major factor in their family budget. Parents cannot even ask Grandma to “babysit”, because she too is still in the work force.
Simply having a responsible adult in a child friendly environment is no longer meeting the criteria for today’s, highly expectant and thoroughly educated moms and dads. Parents want to ensure hours of stimulation, both physically and mentally for their little “sponges”. Early Childhood facilities are ensuring education and stimulation by the choice of their titles. You can see by their titled establishments that your children will not be seated in a circle watching Sesame Street or Barney. Places using terms such as Chesterbrook “Academy” and South Jersey Kiddie” Kollege” are guaranteeing that minds will be stimulated and thinking caps will be on and in use
Fortunately for the families in Southern New Jersey, there are many establishments that meet and maybe even exceed their expectations. After all, children retain more information by the age of five years old and reputable learning centers are taking full advantage of this known fact by incorporating age appropriate curriculum. The new, updated curriculum comes complete with lesson plans, audio visual resources and a strong focus on the arts, such as music and art. Teachers’ educational requirements have also been extended. Pre-school teachers are now required to hold a Bachelor’s degree in Education or related field. Most centers will not even consider a teaching assistant candidate unless she/he have their CDA (Child Development ) completed and a minimum of five years working experience with children. All employees are now required to present clearances in Child Abuse, a Criminal Background check and the latest FBI fingerprint test. Medical assessments and TB shots are also a requirement prior to employment. Facility owners, executive directors and supervisors uphold the standards and state requirements to ensure top quality to the parents and children.