Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Kangaroo Kids Child Care and Learning Center donated $3,322.39 to Autism Speaks, “Julia’s Hope!”   Children enjoyed a special day with their families and friends supporting a very worthy cause. 

Kangaroo Kids celebrated 25 years of being leaders in education at their family carnival.   Community members, Kangaroo Kids families and teachers worked tirelessly to raise money through bake sales, Jean Days, and special events, culminating with a family carnival.  There were games, food and activities for the whole family complete with a special visit from Sparky and hugs from Kanga the Kangaroo! 

Families enjoyed a performance by the Robotics Team and Gifts from Dr. Oz and local sports teams.    And, what carnival would be complete without pony rides and cotton candy.

According to Autism Speaks, Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States, affecting 1 in 68 children and costing families an average of $60,000 a year.
The Grand finale of Kangaroo Kids Family Carnival was to create a human puzzle piece in support of Autism Speaks!

 If you would like to learn more about Kangaroo Kids or to participate in their upcoming community service events like “Tools for School” where school supplies are collected for needy families, the November food drive or the "Giving Tree" in December call 908-231-7800 or like Kangaroo Kids Child Care Facebook page.  Kangaroo Kids will also be hosting Open House tours daily through the month of August for visitors to see firsthand why Kangaroo Kids was awarded #1 Child Care in America by the National Association of Child Care Professionals. 

Summer Camp is so much fun!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October is Fire Safety Month

October is National Fire Safety Month!  Have you replaced your smoke detector batteries and planned an emergency evacuation point for your family?   Kangaroo Kids will be teaching the children all about fire safety and how to keep themselves and their family’s safe this month.

Kangaroo Kids Child Care and Learning Center has fire safety as a part of their history.  Their building, now home to Kangaroo Kids was the North Branch Fire house in the 1950’s.  October is a step back in time as firemen from the North Branch Volunteer Fire Department will visit the school to teach the children about fire safety.  Seeing a fireman in a full firefighting outfit can be a little scary for young children so this visit helps them to know what to expect if they are ever around a fire and teaches them that the fireman is our friend!  According to the National Fire Protection Association, Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.   The 2016 Theme is, “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.” 


Here are some things we emphasize at Kangaroo Kids that you can practice at home “Stop, drop, and roll.”  This is an important skill to teach children especially with Halloween nearing as there are many candles burning in those seasonal pumpkins.  Many times children as well as adults have the impulse to run when their clothes catch on fire, but the best thing you can do is stop and drop immediately to the ground and roll around to extinguish your clothes, running only fuels the fire.

This is also a good time of year to check your smoke detectors, and create an evacuation plan with a specific meeting point at your home.  You can also encourage your schools to have a visit from a fire company so children can see these community helpers in full gear and learn they are important friends in our community.  It is also a good time to explain to your children that their schools will be having fire drills to help them learn how to be safe if there ever is a fire. 

If your children are a little nervous about fire drills here is a fun song or poem by Sharon Siegelman you can sing or read with them:
Did you ever have a fire drill?
We had one today.
Our teacher told us what to do
So We would be ok
There really was no fire at all;
It was only a drill. We walked out to the school yard
And stood there very still.
We could not talk or run or play
Until the drill was through.
Now, if there really is a fire,

We’ll know just what to do.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

What to Look For In The Environment When You Are Choosing a Preschool

Keeping Your Child Safe in Preschool

Choosing a Preschool is an important first step in your child’s education.  Make sure they are safe by checking for the things listed below when you visit schools.  On the last blog we presented the importance of high quality teachers and low turnover so children have positive interactions with caring and consistent teachers.  In this blog we will focus on health and safety in the environment. 

Is the facility you are considering safe?  Here are some of the aspects you should consider regarding safety:
1.      The facility should be clean, bright and safe!  Look for or ask about these areas of safety:
       Is the facility secure from strangers?
       Are the doors secured, yet parents have free access?
       Is there a security system in place for parents to sign the children into to school?

2.         Are Emergency Plans and procedures posted?
       What are the emergency pick up procedures?
       Are there procedures notifying parents of early closing or weather delays?
       Do they conduct monthly fire drills? 
       Look for posted logs – schools are required to post a log of their fire drills.
       Are there Emergency Evacuation plans?  You may have to ask about this as some plans are confidential.  Schools should a plan even if they can’t divulge the specifics.

3.             Is the environment safe?
       Proper ratios are key to good supervision and safely monitoring children.  Infant rooms should have a maximum of 1 teacher to 4 children and preschool classes should have a maximum of 1 to 10. 
       Is there an open door policy?  Parents should be able to visit at any time. 
       Are there viewing windows?
       Are all the electrical outlets covered?
       Are all hazardous materials, including medications, out of reach of children?

4.      Playground surface
       Is the playground surface soft?
       Is the playground area protected by a fence?
       Has the playground been inspected?
       Is there adequate and engaged supervision on the playground?

5.            Clean
       Is the facility clean?  A preschool facility is an active place and you may see a little paint on the floor or playdough on the tables, but the overall appearance of the facility should be clean.  If it is too sterile, you might question if developmentally appropriate activities are happening.
       Are children and teachers required to constantly wash their hands?
       How are toys cleaned?
       How often is the facility cleaned?

6.              Credentials of the school
                         All schools in NJ must be licensed; is the school licensed?
                         Accreditation is the gold standard of quality; is the school accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)?
       All schools should be inspected by the fire inspector and health department.  Has the school been inspected?

7.              Health policies
       Are medical records kept on all children including current immunization records?
       Are there policies for dealing with sick children?
       Are there policies regarding giving children medications?

8.               Staff
       Is staff trained in CPR and First Aid for young children?
       How are staff credentials checked?
        Does the school require fingerprinting, Cari Check, references and health records?
         Do the teachers receiving ongoing training and continuing education opportunities?
          What is the turnover rate of staff, consistency is a key indicator of quality.

           Does staff have ongoing continuing education?