Reasons for part-time parents to send their child to daycare

Why Stay-At-Home Parents Should Send Their Children To Daycare

Getting to spend tons of time with your children as a stay-at-home parent is a true blessing. You get to be involved in every part of the process and watch as they grow, achieve new things, and best of all, you get to do it all in the safety of your home.

While most of the kids that come to cornerstone academy have working parents, you would be surprised how many stay-at-home parents bring their kids to daycare for even a half-day a few times per week. 

Why would stay-at-home parents bring their kids to daycare?

Socialization with other children

While we are sure your child loves interacting with you all day, there is nothing like getting them into a room full of their peers to really let their personalities come through. Building strong social skills, creating friendships, learning to share and learning how to work through interaction is essential to the development and research shows that children with strong social skills are more likely to thrive as adults.


Get to do activities that they don’t get to do at home (and you don’t have to clean up after!)

Don’t get us wrong, you are probably full of fun activities to do with your kids to help them learn, but there are limitations to what you can do. By sending your child to a daycare a few times per week, they can discover new things that they would not have been able to experience before. We take the kids on field trips, bring in special guests like firefighters and magicians, and even host a holiday concert and thanksgiving meal! The best part? Because we are handling the fun, we handle all the messes that come with them too! 

Sometimes… You need a little break too

Being a stay-at-home parent is a full-time job and just like any other job, sometimes YOU need a break. Sending your child to daycare part-time is a great way for your child to get lots of new experiences while allowing you to get some things done without distraction and even spend some time to yourself. Giving yourself a little time to do something for you and coming back refreshed can make you much happier and allows you to be a better parent! 

Gets them familiarized with school routines

Especially as children get closer to school age, getting them familiarized with a school routine can make the process a lot easier on both you and them on day one. It is important to expose them to the structure of a classroom, how to follow directions from a teacher, and what it is like to not have a parent around. Even just a little exposure to this process, will set your child up on the right path and give them a headstart when they start their first day of school

If you are interested in having your child join us part-time, we would love to talk to you! Make sure to reach out and stop by for a tour anytime – We would love to meet you!

Fun fall activities for families in Kenosha

Fun Fall Activities For Families in Kenosha

Fall has officially arrived! 

While we might be saying goodbye to our swimsuits and beach days, fall in Kenosha, Wisconsin is our favorite time of year! The weather is cooler, the trees turn beautiful colors, and the kids have weekends to have some fun and try new things with their families!

Being a daycare in Kenosha, we are pretty in tune with some of the awesome things to do around the city. We are always looking for new things for the kiddos to experience and help their inquiring minds.

Here are some of our favorite fun fall activities for families in Kenosha!

Apple Holler

Let’s start with an easy one! While it isn’t technically in Kenosha, we will call it close enough. If you haven’t been to Apple Holler you are missing out on a one-stop-shop for all things fall. Apple picking, hayrides, corn mazes, and so much more are waiting for you and your kids. They also have an incredible restaurant with one of the best breakfasts in the area (make sure to get yourself a reservation: 800-238-3629). Throughout the fall, the activities change giving you a new experience every single time you go!

Hiking At Petrifying Springs

Looking to get out an enjoy all the amazing fall colors? Petrifying spring park is a hidden gem right in your backyard. With miles and miles of family-friendly hiking trails, kids of every age can get outside to stretch their legs, enjoy the crisp air, and watch the leaves change colors. And parents don’t think we forgot about you! After your done, make sure you stop by the Biergarten which is still open all fall for a little relaxation time before heading back home.

Carthage Observatory

Have a little one that dreams of being an astronaut? We have a great activity for them. Check out Griffin Observatory at Carthage college! They have dates all through the fall where they open their doors for free to the public to use their equipment and look at the stars. Kids are welcome as long as they are accompanied by an adult. There will be students and faculty available to answer your questions and show off all their amazing equipment. The perfect event for the little one with a BIG imagination!

Most people dread the end of summer, but there is still so much fun to be had around Racine and Kenosha before we all hibernate for the winter! What are your favorite fall activities for kids? We would love to hear them!

The Cornerstone Curriculum

The Cornerstone Curriculum: The Best of Both Worlds

While you are looking for preschool and 4k programs in the Kenosha and Racine areas, one of the biggest questions you should be asking is what type of curriculum is used to help your children learn. 

Now, there are tons of different pre-made curriculums and programs out there that childcare centers use, but they really boil down into two main types – play-based and academic.

But we do things a little differently here at Cornerstone. While other centers use pre-created programs that fit into one of these two types, we have our own curriculum that blends both academic and play-based learning! 

So what are the difference between academic and play-based learning and how did we take the best of both worlds to make the Cornerstone Curriculum? I’m glad you asked!

Academic Learning

Academic learning uses much more traditional methods to help children learn during the day. Activities are very structured and lesson plans are created to keep children on track and in a routine. Days are very planned with specific times for certain activities and lessons making it much more like a normal schooling environment, making the transition to kindergarten a little easier.  

Lessons are what you would typically expect to see in a classroom. Shapes, colors, letters are all taught on a regular basis with children completing activities like worksheets and art projects to help enforce the learning. The care providers are very focused on children hitting “markers” for their learning and while there is not testing per se, their attention is given to make sure children aren’t being left behind.

While the structure and the preparation for more advanced learning are clear pros, the cons are many children get less social interaction with their peers and can cause children to become frustrated with learning and education early on.

Play-Based Learning

Play-based learning is on the other end of the learning spectrum. Instead of highly structured lesson plans, learning happens using activities that are much more fun and active. Instead of sitting down and reciting ABCs over and over, for example, children will draw farm animals and associate the letters of the alphabet with the characters.

In a play-based environment, teachers are seen less as lecturers and more like facilitators of learning. They let children explore and try new things on their own while adding extra learning into their everyday discoveries. Themes are much more important than topics in this environment. Instead of a lesson around colors, a classroom might be learning about planets instead. Within that lesson, they will learn that Mars is red and Earth is blue, reaching the same objective in a different way.

The cons of this learning style are simply that they are different from what they will experience when they move into kindergarten. Research shows that children who learn in this environment tend to struggle a bit when first moving up, but almost 100% of the time, they acclimate to their new environment in the first month or so.

The Cornerstone Curriculum

What happens when you take the best of both play-based and academic learning? You get the Cornerstone Curriculum. We are the only daycare in Kenosha that has developed its own curriculum because we believe your child deserves the best. 

We focus both succeeding inside the classroom and outside in the world. We put an emphasis on lessons like tying shoes and zipping up a coat in order to help your child find their independence and strive to learn more and more. Doing this in combination with very structured lessons and learning goals gives the balance of learning found nowhere else. Making the education they receive at Cornerstone fun and impactful is our ultimate goal!

At the end of the day, we want your child to learn so much more than their ABCs and we want them to LOVE the process of learning those things. Our goal is to not just help them learn things that will help them today, but set them up for success as they move up to the next stage of their education

That is the Cornerstone Way!

Back to School Tips!

The back-to-school season is here! If you are like most parents, you are running around like a crazy person trying to make sure your child has every ruler, pencil, and watercolor set that they need to have another great year!

While this is an exciting time for your kids, let’s be honest, it is an exciting time for you as well! You know the kids are at a safe place where they are doing a ton of learning throughout the day and you no longer have to figure out how to entertain them! 

But I think you know as well as we do that going back to school isn’t always a fun process out of the gate. Getting your kids out of the summer groove and back into early mornings and homework is far from easy, but it might be a little easier this year with these back to school tips!

1) Start the new routine now!

Early to bed early to rise! Start living by this rule now in order to make the first day of school a little easier. Go through the whole routine: Wake up, eat breakfast, get ready and dressed for the day, and do whatever else will they be doing on their first day of school. At night, it’s time to enforce bedtimes a little more strictly. Easing them into the start of the year will make for a better and far less stressful first day of school!

2) Involve them in school supply shopping! 

It would be much easier to just go to the store with your school-provided list of supplies and get out as fast as possible, but this can also be a beneficial step in getting everyone excited for school. By letting your kids pick out their own folders and pens, it lets them feel like they have some level of control. You can talk about all the fun things they are going to learn and projects they get to work on, and also spend a little time together before that first school bell rings. 

3) Schedule playdates with classmates they haven’t seen in a while

Often times, our summers get so busy with vacations and family commitments, you’re kids may have not seen their “school friends” in some time. This can make the first day a little difficult because your kids might feel like they have to start all over again with those connections. Getting together with other parents and planning some fun activities together can make the social aspect of school a little less scary and make kids a little more comfortable 

4) Have open conversations about how your child is feeling

Are they excited? Nervous? Stressed? Your child will probably feel all of these emotions at some point leading up to the school year. This is completely NORMAL and it’s important to always have an idea of where they stand. If they are nervous or stressed, you can take action and try some little things to change their mood. If they are excited, you can feed off that excitement and try and do some little things that prep them for a year of learning. Again, these moods can change day-to-day so it’s important to check-in often and adjust accordingly.

To a young child, heading back to school after a summer fun is a HUGE shift. Their schedules, the people they are around, and what they think about all change. Think back to when you were a kid, I’m sure you remember feeling all kinds of emotions leading up to the first day of school. By starting early and using these tips, you can help control those emotions and make back to school a fun process for everyone! 

Make sure to check out our 4k and Preschool programs today! We still have a few spots available!

5 Steps to Picking a Daycare When You Are Expecting

Congratulations! You’re expecting! 

Having a child is the greatest joy that anyone can ever experience, but there is a lot to get done in the time between finding out and welcoming him/her into the world. 

One of the items on your list is surely finding a daycare provider. Many daycares in Kenosha accept applications months and months in advance so it can be stressful to try and find the place that is the best for you and reserve your spot. 

But where do you start? How do you go through the process of finding daycare and making sure it is the right decision?

Step #1 – Gather a list of all the possibilities

The best way to start on the process of finding a good daycare is to take a look at all your possibilities. The truth is that there is a TON of options when it comes to childcare. For example, a simple search for “Daycares in Kenosha” will give you 20+ different options. Even though that might seem overwhelming, it’s a great place to start in deciding who is out there in the world and what your options will look like. 


Step #2 – Talk to friends and family

One common thing people say about having kids is that everyone has an opinion – and let us tell you it’s not a myth. While people will give you all kinds of parenting tips that you are going to want to let go of, daycare advice is a great thing to seek out. Ask friends, family, coworkers, or anyone else you meet about what they did for daycare. Where did they go? What did they like? Not like? What types of questions did they ask? All those answers are going to help you start to narrow down your list, or discover new places that you didn’t know existed before.


Step #3 – Get down to your top 3 or 4

Now that you have a nice big list of all the childcare providers around Kenosha and you have gotten some recommendations, it is time to narrow down your list. Look at which ones are not close to your work or home and remove them from the list. Check out their pricing and see who is in your price range. You will be surprised how quickly your list will go from 15 or 20 locations to only 3 or 4 that are the best of the best.


Step #4 – Schedule Tours

Tours are the most important part of the process of finding a daycare facility. A tour will give you a good idea of what your child will experience every single day and allow you to gather a good gut feeling about each location. Most places want you to call ahead and schedule a time so they can prepare for you to come. We do things a little different at Cornerstone, we want you to see us during a normal day without any extra preparations which is why we allow new parents to stop at any time to take a tour! 

Come prepared with even your most outrageous question so that every concern can be answered. The more questions you ask, the better understanding you will get for each place and how they approach care.

Step #5 – Use a Pro/Con List

You have all the information and you have seen every location. The final step is to take all that information and create a pro and con list for each. Divide a piece of paper in half and list out the best features on the left and the drawbacks on the right. Decide which place has the best location, most reasonable price, and even rank your overall gut feeling of each location to help come to your decision. If you still can’t decide, never be afraid to book another tour and gather even more information. Ultimately you will come to a decision that is best for you and your little one!

The process of finding a daycare can be a very stressful one. You only want to give your child the best, and selecting a daycare is the first big decision you are making that will directly affect your child’s life. If you allow yourself to gather all the information and trust your gut, you will know what the right facility for you will be!

Planning the Best Beach Day in Kenosha

Planning the Best Beach Day in Kenosha

One of the most underrated parts about growing up in Kenosha has to be the access to so many great beaches like Simmons Island Beach, Eichelman Park, and Wolfenbuttal Park.

With the temps starting to rise and the sun starting to shine, you and your child are probably gearing up for a little fun in the sun, but a day at the beach isn’t going to be a walk in the park.

Many parents stay away from the beach because they know what is coming next. Lost items, wet children, and sand…. So much sand. So how can you make beach day the best experience for both you and your child?  Here are some of our favorite tips and hacks on:


Planning the Best Beach Day in Kenosha

Use a fitted sheet as a “play area”.

This viral hack is an ABSOLUTE must especially with young children. Sick of your towels getting all full of sand and blowing away? Bring a fitted sheet and create a “playpen”. You can use your bag, toys, cooler, and whatever you brought with you for your trip to hold up the corners. This will keep all your things contained and make a nice spot for kids to play when they have had enough sand.


You can even bring your own kiddy pool!

Another way to take this up a notch is to bring your own inflatable pool! You can pick them up from Walmart and other stores for under $10 and give your child a place to splash around without the risk of playing in the waves. You can simply use some lake water and fill it up! Just make sure you pay attention in case there are any accidents and change the water out if it happens!

Freeze your drinks the night before.

It is always a bummer when you haven’t been out for long and all the ice in your cooler has melted and your drinks are warm. The night before, make sure to freeze all your bottles of water, juice boxes, and other beverages so they are nice and cold all day! You will be able to drink whenever you are thirsty…

And you can use them to keep some washcloths cold!

As you are grabbing all the food and drinks for the day, throw in a few washcloths as well. These will come in SUPER handy for when your child is starting to look a little warm and needs to cool off a bit. A few wipes on the forehead and back of the neck can go a long way in keeping your little one cool and comfortable. And if your little one has allergies, here are some tips for preparing for that!

While you’re at it, put the sunscreen in the cooler too!

We all know the importance of sunscreen, but have you ever thought to put yours in the cooler? That’s right! Keep that sunscreen nice and cold. Not only will you be helping protect your child’s skin from the sun, but you will also be keeping their body temperature down.

Keep it simple when it comes to toys!

The beach is full of new things to touch, see, hear, and, let’s be honest, taste. You are going to be tempted to load up on the toys and bring all the favorites, but really just the simple shovel and bucket and a few balls should be more than enough! The simpler, the better for you!

So what do you think? Are you going to go out and enjoy all the Kenosha beaches this summer? What are your favorite places to go? We hope these tips make those trips much less stressful and a whole lot more FUN!

BONUS CONTENT

Now that you have all of your tips to plan your trip to your favorite Kenosha beach the best yet, here are some of the events going on this summer (2019) at our local Kenosha beaches:

Simmons Island Beach:

Tribute Island Music Festival
July 19 – July 21, 2019

The Tribute Island Music Festival features the most celebrated tribute acts from around the Midwest. Over 50 bands across five stages. There will be food vendors and other fun activities. You won’t want to miss this one!

Pike River Rendezvous
August 3 – August 4, 2019

At this “Colonial through Western Fur Trade era of the 1650s – 1850s, there will be over 300 reenactors, craft and trade demonstrations, musical entertainment, and much more with plenty of activities for you and the young ones.

Downtown Kenosha Pop-Up Beer Garden
August 8 – August 11, 2019
August 15 – August 18, 2019

What else do we need to say?? This will be a fun one featuring local beers, live music, family activities, food, and much more!

17th Annual Car Show To Benefit Our Wounded Veterans
September 1, 2019

The show is open to all cars, trucks, motorcycles, and military vehicles for a $10 show entry. Spectators are free. There will be food, drinks, family fun activities, 50-50 raffles, music, door prizes, and most importantly, a ceremony at noon to honor our troops. 100% of all funds raised go to our wounded warriors.

5 Benefits Of Summer Camp

5 Benefits Of Summer Camp

SCHOOLS OUT FOR THE SUMMER! (Well almost)

While these words are music to your kid’s ears, it can become a stressful time for parents as they look for a place for their kids to go or for activities to keep them busy and engaged.

Our Cornerstone Academy Summer Camp is getting ready to kick off and we know a lot of parents are trying to figure out what the benefits of sending their kids to a summer camp are vs a lot of other options out there.

The truth is that summer camps have a crazy amount of benefits for childhood development and education while solving your out-of-school problem! Here are just a few!  

Keeps the structure, but with less structure

The school day is the ultimate form of structure to a child. They have very specific times for activities and they know every moment what to expect. And while this is great for a child, it doesn’t give them full freedom for open play and to use their creativity. Summer camps share some of the structure of your average school day, but also has the flexibility to let your child play on their own!

Helps them make new friends

After seeing the same kids every single day over the last 7 months, it is about time they get to meet new people and make new friends! One of the most important elements of childhood development is learning social skills – one of which is the process of meeting new people. The more you get to practice these skills early on, the easier these moments will be for your child as they get a little older!

Cornerstone Academy Summer Camp!

Gives them new experiences

Being a childcare facility in Kenosha gives us access to so many amazing activities right in our backyard. As a parent, it can be difficult to help your child see them all! For our summer camp, in particular, we offer 2-3 field trips every single week! This gives your child the opportunity to see all sorts of new things and go places that they might not have been able to make it to this summer! Parks, Zoos museums and everything else in between is on the table!

… which helps them find new interests

What is the best way to know whether you like something or not? To try it of course!

All these new things your child is going to experience over the summer might help them find the things that they absolutely love! They may discover a new love of animals or find that they really want to play soccer this year. Getting to try new things is the first step to finding a passion for themselves later in life!

They will go back to school with so many things to talk about.

Oh, the memories that they will make! How awesome is it going to be when your child heads back to school and they get to have the coolest stories about their summers! While some of their class is going to talk about all the games of Fortnite that they played, your child will get to tell stories completely unique to them!

So what do you say? Ready to sign up your child for an incredible and exciting summer? You can get more information about our summer camp and reserve your spot below! We can’t wait to see you and your child this summer!

Fun Things to Do in Racine & Kenosha this Spring!

Fun things to do in racine & kenosha this spring

Hooray spring!

We think it is safe to say that everyone is excited to see some warmer weather in the forecast.

Spring unlocks a whole sea of fun adventures that you and your kids can enjoy together. NO matter what your family is interested in, Racine & Kenosha can deliver! We don’t often think of our little communities as packed with fun, but if you do a little searching, you can uncover some real hidden gems!

Here are some of our recommendations for fun things to do in Racine & Kenosha this spring, that your child will be so excited to tell us about when they come to daycare!

1) The Racine Zoo

The perfect adventure for your animal loving little one! The Racine Zoo is a perfect weekend trip to explore many species of animals that you would normally have to travel all the way to Milwaukee to see. With an incredible amount of activities and programs for kids, it makes it the perfect place for your child to learn and have fun. Children under 2 years old are completely free and tickets only cost between $6 – $8.

2) The Kenosha Public Museum

I think we can all agree that kids ask A LOT of questions. The Kenosha Public Museum is perfect for that little inquiring mind. With their Field Station, which gives kids the opportunity to get an up-close look at fossils, insects, and shells, your child will have the opportunity to use their noggin in new ways and learn all sorts of new and exciting things! It is always an amazing thing to see a child learn something new!

3) Explore Petrifying Springs

If you really want to get out and stretch your legs, Petrifying Springs Park in Kenosha can be a full day of fun! The park is over 360 acres large and has miles and miles of trails for your child to experience everything nature has to offer. You might have to deal with a little mud during the spring, but that just adds to the fun. And parents, once summer comes, The Petrifying Springs Biergarten is the perfect combination of fun for parents and kids!

 

So which one of these activities is first on your list of fun things to do in Racine & Kenosha this spring?

These are only 3 of the many exciting things that Racine & Kenosha have to offer for families and kids. Whether you realize it or not, our little area is packed full of things to do and ways to enjoy the spring. What are your favorite activities? We would love to hear them!

Tips for Seasonal Allergies for Your Children

seasonal allergies for your children

 

While everyone gets excited for this time of year as the temperatures start to rise and the sun starts shining longer, something we don’t look forward to is those brutal seasonal allergies, especially for your children.

Allergies can be tricky for children and can make the process of taking them to daycare a little more difficult. In Racine and Kenosha, we get hit hard with the pollen from trees, grass, and flowers that can leave you and your little one feeling just gross.

So, what do you do? If your child is suffering from allergies you can’t just keep them from daycare every single day, but at the same time, you want their experience at daycare to be enjoyable, not miserable.

 

Here are some tips for seasonal allergies for your children

 

1)     Talk to your doctor 

This is an obvious place to start but it is by far the most important! We aren’t doctors here, so speaking to your doctor will allow you to get the most accurate information possible and help you identify exactly what your child is allergic to. They will be able to give you recommendations about medications and maybe even give prescriptions in extreme circumstances.  This will make treatment a lot more effective and have them feeling back to playing form in no time!

2)     Teach them the importance of washing their hands

Especially if we get outside to play. Teaching your child the importance of washing their hands can make a huge difference in their symptoms. You know as well as anyone that child hands touch everything, including surfaces and plants that they might be allergic too. By having them wash their hands right away, you can prevent pollen from entering sensitive areas like the eyes. This should help greatly reduce symptoms and make them feel much better.

3)     Make sure to let us know 

We can try our best to make some accommodations, especially for those children that suffer from the most severe of allergies. By letting us know in advance, we can help make smart decisions about outside time and be prepared to help in any way possible!

*Remember that allergies and colds have very similar symptoms. If you feel that your child might be sick and not suffering from allergies, it might be smart to keep them at home 😊*

Allergies are just a tough reality of springtime here in Kenosha and Racine. Hopefully, with these tips, you can have your little ball of energy feeling back to their normal selves and ready to have fun at daycare – which is much more fun for us as childcare providers as well!

Tips For The First Day Of Daycare

Tips for the first day of daycare

The big day is coming soon!

You have decided to enroll your child in daycare for the first time. I think we can all say we are excited to see them!

But we understand it can be a little bit of a stressful experience for you and your child. This might be the first time your child has been away from you for a significant amount of time or maybe it is the first time that they will be playing and learning with a bigger group of their peers.

Thankfully, there are ways you can make the transition a little bit easier for your child, so they can adapt quickly and start to enjoy all of the new things they are going to experience even sooner.

 

Tips For The First Day Of Daycare

 

1) Make changes to your schedule right away.

Don’t wait until the last minute to help your little one get into their new routine. Make sure to start waking them up a little earlier, getting them ready for their day right away, and putting together a schedule similar to what they are going to experience when they show up for their first day. Even sending them off with another parent or family member for the day will help with separation when the day comes!

2) Talk about how much fun it is going to be!

Make sure to talk about how big of a BLAST it is going to be to come and see us every day! We post a lot of the cool activities and games we play with the kids on Facebook, and showing this to your child will help them see what the other kids are up to. This will help ease any concerns they might have, and get them excited to join in on all the fun!

3) Give yourself a little extra time in the beginning.

Especially if this is your first child, you are going to do a little bit of learning. In the beginning, make sure to allow yourself a little extra time to make sure you don’t forget anything. Make sure to pack everything up the night before so it is not a crazy scramble in the morning that is going to have both you, and your child stressed out! Make a list, check it twice, and give yourself a few extra minutes!

4) Try not to hang around, even on the tough days.

This is going to be hard, we won’t lie to you, but the best thing you can do is leave and let your child begin to figure out his or her new world. They will be just fine, we promise! If you want to stick around for a little bit the first few days and just make sure, be our guest, but make sure after a few days to let your child be. They are amazing, after all!

The first few days of childcare can be stressful and everyone’s experience is just a little bit different, but with these little pieces of advice, you can make sure your child has the greatest chance for success in adapting to a new place and new people.

The sooner they do, the sooner the fun will start!

 

If you liked this blog, here are some additional insights from CornerStone Academy:

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