Welcoming a New Military Child into Child Care

Girl on first day of school

Being “the new kid on the block” is a feeling many of us can relate to. Being in a new environment can be emotionally challenging. Leaving home, friends, and all that’s familiar to relocate to a completely new community is especially hard, even for the most adaptable children. If you work with military families, you know that relocation, or PCS (Permanent Change of Station), can be  a very common experience. With each move, parents and children experience the discomfort of …

Coping with Change: Practical Ways That Child Care Providers Can Support Young Children from Military Families

Welcome home

Child care providers know that if there’s one thing about military family life that’s predictable, it’s that it is  unpredictable! Change happens. A lot. These changes usually affect children from military families in very significant ways that they neither control nor fully understand. Whether it’s a parent going far away or the return of parent, or a move to whole new place – the impact is enormous. Coping with such significant change is a monumental task for very young children. …

Coping with Change: Young Children in Military Families Find Comfort in the Familiar

Soldier giving girl high 5

As a child care provider, you know the importance of familiar routines for young children. They like to know when and what to expect. This is especially true for military children. Every child experiences changes as part of normal life. But as someone who provides child care for military families, you know that the changes common to military children are super-sized:

  • A parent is out of reach for long stretches of time…and then comes back, shaking everything up all over

Ensuring that Children’s War Play Is Healthy, Safe, and Positive

Boy playing with water gun

Three-year-old Derrick thinks about his daddy a lot. Maggie, his teacher, can tell because nearly every day she sees him pretending to be a soldier. When his dad’s National Guard unit was getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan earlier in the year, Derrick would act out packing a suitcase, saying goodbye to his pretend family, and getting all his gear ready to “go to work” – gear that included a helmet and a gun. When his dad was injured in

Reflections of Military Life in Children’s Pretend Play

Boy playing with water gun
As Maggie surveys her active 3-year-olds on the playground, she notices one of the boys pointing a toy shovel like a gun out the window of the play structure. “Derrick!” she says as she comes closer, “you know we don’t play with guns at school. Find something else to play.” 

This is a situation that plays itself out over and over in child care programs. Many child care providers are uncomfortable with children pretending to use weapons and want to …

How Child Care Providers Can Help Deployed Parents and Their Children Stay Connected

Soldier kisses son

The separation of deployment is hard on everyone in a military family. But it’s especially difficult for families with young children because young children don’t understand or, worse yet, misunderstand the circumstances surrounding the separation. Deployment is difficult for the deployed parent because young children, especially infants and toddlers, grow and change so much in such a short period of time. Missing this exciting period of growth contributes to feelings of being disconnected and fears that the parent won’t …

What are the views and opinions of praise versus encouragement for young children?

Most studies report that encouraging children is better for their development than giving them praise. Encouragement promotes the child’s self-motivation and autonomy. This type of positive reinforcement allows them to choose their own standards of achievement without depending on comparison with others or unrealistic expectations. An example of encouragement may include general statements about a child’s work, such as, “It looks like you worked really hard on that painting,” or “Your picture is very colorful — you must be very …

Why do some toddlers bite other children? How can child care providers prevent biting before it happens?

Biting is common among very young children, particularly in group settings such as child care. It is very important for child care providers to understand why children bite so that they can help children find more appropriate ways to express themselves.

There are many reasons why young children bite. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Children may be trying to express their independence and feel a sense of personal control.
  • Babies’ mouths are sore when teething; biting feels