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Foundations Child Care & School Blog

Foundations School blog covers a range of topics relating to the care and education of young children, with special focus on development, brain research, and progressive education.
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WSB News Report Features Foundations School

On April 19th 2018, Foundations School hosted a group from the organization Mission: Readiness that included leaders of the organization as well as retired rear-admirals that help support the organization.  Foundations School was chosen to represent high quality centers that focus on important initiatives like reducing childhood obesity through activity and nutrition, as well as maintaining the highest standards for quality care and education.  The WSB News article is reprinted below, with a link to the original article for reference. NEW REPORT: 73% OF GEORGIANS (AGES 17-24) NOT QUALIFIED TO SERVE IN THE MILITARY By: Michelle Wright April 19, 2018 3:43 PM (copied 4/27/18 from WSB News) Lots of physical exercise, healthy meals and learning your numbers can help get you ready to protect the nation. In other words, “child’s play” is vital to the nation’s security. Of course, we know that national security depends heavily on qualified adults who are willing and able to serve in the United States Armed Forces. However, due to things like educational deficits, health issues, and behavior problems, nearly three-quarters (73%) of the state’s
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Another One Bites the Dust: Financial Health of Daycare Centers

The title of this article is hopefully just a little bit shocking, and that is purposeful–several sudden daycare closures have happened in the West Cobb area over the past year, and another (Children’s Corner Childcare in Marietta) was announced this week.  This should be alarming to anyone with children in daycare in this area.  Why is it happening? How do I determine the financial health of a daycare?  Will my daycare close suddenly?  These are crucial questions for anyone with children in daycare. This is the fifth daycare closing within this small part of West Cobb in the past year.  Why?  There are many factors, but they are all related to enrollment.  Daycare centers need a minimum number of enrolled children in order to pay the basic operational costs.  When enrollment goes below this minimum, the daycare center cannot continue to operate, and so that’s the simplistic answer as to why these daycares have closed. When trying to assess the health of daycare program, you could try directly asking the owner or director.   But, some places might not be forthcoming if
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Avoiding The Summer Brain Drain: Summer Learning Activities For Your Child

Avoiding The Summer Brain Drain: Summer Learning Activities For Your Young Child Summer is just around the corner. Images of sandy beaches, later bedtimes, and walking barefoot in the yard are running through your head. Permission forms, homework assignments, and project deadlines will soon be a thing of the past. Who doesn’t like summer with trips to the pool and nights filled with catching lightening bugs in mason jars? I know I do. A week into summer break, say sometime after Memorial Day, you will read an article, maybe even this one, about the infamous summer brain drain. (Or if you are a planner like me you probably started reading about summer brain drain in say, March.) You may panic with the thought of failing test grades and teacher conferences because your child has forgotten everything they learned over the summer. Sometimes referred to as summer learning loss, the summer brain drain occurs when children take an extended break from academic work making it easier to forget material already learned and harder to retain new information. Summer learning loss is
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Ivy Hall Day School Closing: Invitation to Families and Teachers

The closing of the Ivy Hall Day School in Kennesaw is an unexpected loss during this holiday season for the approximately 70 families and 20 teachers that were a part of that program.  Foundations School in Kennesaw would like to warmly welcome the Ivy Hall daycare families and teachers to come visit Foundations, located just about a mile down the road. Foundations provides child care for children six weeks old through preschool, as well as private Pre-K, private Kindergarten through 6th grade, and before and after-school transportation to and from Hayes Elementary school, with a fantastic and active after-school program.   Foundations is working hard to accommodate the Ivy Hall child care families and teachers displaced by this sudden closing announcement.  Foundations is committed to assisting families in finding ways to bridge the gap between the current rates at Ivy Hall school and Foundations School.  Foundations accepts CAPS funding, as well as funding for military families through Child Care Aware.  Foundations may also be able to help families find other scholarships as well. We know this is a difficult time
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Childcare Facilities: How Daycare Facility Design Affects Your Child

Have you ever walked into a building or room and felt different? At first, you aren’t sure why. Sometimes you notice right away. Other times it takes a while. All you know is when you entered the building, or room, something about your mood changed. There is a science behind these changes–how the environment affects humans emotionally and physically.  There are different areas of study, including color psychology, study of room design and layout, and the use of water in design to name a few.  Businesses have long used these findings to improve sales and employee performance.  Now some educators are finally incorporating these methodologies to improve student performance and the general well-being of your child. The Use Of Nature In Child Care Facilities The use of nature in rooms and design is probably one of the most positively correlated relationships. There is a fancy word for the use of nature in design: Biophilia. It refers to the positive benefits of including elements of nature in building and room layout. Details such as color, lighting, textures, patterns, and water all
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Why You Should Choose A Licensed Child Care Center

Did you know that some of the programs you are considering for your child may not be state licensed?  Some might be exempt from licensing for certain reasons, and some might be operating unlawfully.  Either way, when a program is not state licensed, they do not have unannounced inspection visits from state agents to make sure they are in compliance with health and safety rules and regulations.  Unannounced drop-ins are not uncommon, so licensed daycare owners must always be on top of government mandated requirements or risk shutting their doors. Did you know that many “Mother’s Morning Out” programs, and many after school programs, often fall into the unlicensed category?  If they are not licensed, they are not held to basic care standards by the state.  In addition, home daycares can go through the process to be licensed, but some choose to operate unlawfully without going through the process.  Some home daycares have been operating for years before being caught, so be sure to check, since even years of operation is no guarantee that they are complying with state regulations.
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How to Find A Daycare in Three Helpful Steps

Need to find daycare?  Sending your child, especially your young child, to daycare can be a scary and intimidating decision. This decision is even more challenging if it is your first child and you are not familiar with the ins and outs of daycare. The majority of parents send their kids to some form of childcare or daycare, so there are many resources out there for parents2. The good thing is, there are many studies showing the positive benefits of putting your child in high quality childcare3. In fact, there are studies that show positive benefits of putting your child in daycare at an early age. We have outlined some important steps and questions to make the process easier for you. Three Steps To Finding The Best Daycares Near You 1st Step: narrow it down by daycare cost, location, and reputation Start your search by listing all the daycares near you.  Do a google search for “find a daycare near me,” or near your work address, and you will get a map of the closest locations.  This is your master
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Before & After-School Program for Hayes Elementary Students

The Foundations For The Future School in Kennesaw, GA Offers Before And After School Care In Coordination With Hayes Elementary School The Foundations For The Future school located in Kennesaw, Georgia is excited to announce before and after school care for students at Hayes Elementary. This new program allows parents to drop their child off as early as 6:30 AM at the Foundations School and pick their child up as late as 6:30 PM in the evening at Foundations, with transportation being provided by Foundations to and from Hayes. Students are dropped off at Hayes Elementary by 7:25 AM. Students are picked up from Hayes Elementary School at dismissal and brought back to Foundations for an afternoon of snacks and enrichment opportunities such as assisted homework time, outdoor exploration, gym time, indoor rock climbing, arts and crafts, and more.   Inspired by what they saw as a perfect opportunity to bring another affordable, quality, and convenient option for after school care to parents with students at Hayes Elementary, Foundations co-founder Lynn McKinnon stated, “We are excited about this opportunity to
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Private School Kindergarten Readiness: What You Need to Know

private kindergarten - Kennesaw Foundations School
The process of determining if your child is ready for kindergarten in a private school can be stressful and confusing, especially for children with summer birthdays.  It isn’t uncommon for moms and dads to second guess themselves; If Jacob’s mom is holding him back a year, should I hold my child back? Am I missing something? Does Your Child Meet the Age Requirement for Kindergarten? Before you spend time assessing your child’s readiness for a Kindergarten program, first make sure they meet the school’s cutoff age requirement.  In a public program, the cutoff age is typically the same for the whole state.  For instance, in GA, your child must turn 5 years old on or before September 1st of the school year.  However, private schools often have different cutoffs, because they are not controlled by state regulation.  Because the required skill and maturity level for a private kindergarten classroom tends to be higher than what is required in a public program, private schools often have an earlier cutoff date, so that the children entering the program are older.  Read our
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7 Tips For Choosing The Best Child Care: Marietta, GA

Did you know there are currently 217 childcare centers in Marietta, GA?!  Looking at all the available options can seem overwhelming, and the internet is full of so much information that it’s hard to determine what is important and what isn’t. Parents often find this period of their child’s care and education to be stressful, as the negative and positive consequences of this decision flow through their minds: “If my daughter isn’t exposed to another language at age 3, is she on the path to low academic achievement and inability to compete in a globalized economy?” “Do I ruin my child’s chances of getting into a great public school gifted program or great private school if I don’t send them to the “right” preschool or child care?” These are just a couple of the many questions and worries parents have expressed to me over the years. Choosing The Best Child Care in Marietta, GA For Your Child The good news is that there are some tried and true things parents should consider when selecting a childcare center.  You can quickly
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Opting Out of Georgia Milestones?

Considering a GA Milestones Test Opt Out? There are many reasons you might be considering opting your child out of the GA Milestones testing.  If you do decide to opt your child out of the GA Milestones Test, there are still some major issues that exist with the testing in GA that you may want to consider for next school year.  The problem is not just the test itself, but everything surrounding the testing system that affects your child’s school experience.  As a private school Head of School, I meet the families who have opted out of the public system all the way, and often their experience with standardized testing is a primary reason for that choice.  But standardized testing isn’t all bad.  Surprised to hear me say that?  There are many issues with it, but there can also be many benefits when it is implemented in a way that benefits the students and teachers.  Read on to find out the top issues with standardized testing, including the GA Milestones Test, and also a look at how it could be
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Summer Camps For Kids In Kennesaw, Georgia

It is that time of year again; the time of year to start looking for summer camp options for your kid. Your reasoning behind searching for summer activities for your child may vary. Some parents work full time and need options to fill the time that school once occupied. Other parents need to save their sanity from a summer of nothing but free time. Regardless, the vast majority of parents realize the importance of keeping their child’s mind active and stimulated during the summer break, and summer camps are a great way to achieve that. The Importance of Summer Activities For Kids The benefits of summer camps are well documented. Students lose an average of 30% of their school year progress in math, reading, and spelling over the summer, making academic based camps like STEM camps an excellent choice for avoiding the summer “brain drain.” Keeping your kids physically and mentally active through participation in summer activities further develops resilience, confidence, leaderships skills, independence, and the health and well-being in your child1.   Day camps such as a sport-specific camp
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Comparing Creekstone, Ivy Hall, Kids R Kids, & Foundations

Comparing Creekstone Academy, Ivy Hall Day School, Kids R Kids West Cobb, and Foundations Child Care & School When looking for daycare in the West Cobb area, there are many centers to choose from. Creekstone Academy, Ivy Hall Day School, Kids R Kids West Cobb, and Foundations Child Care & School are all within about three miles of each other. They mostly provide the same basic services, with similar days and hours of operation, and age groups served. There are differences in the details, but how can you tell which details will impact your child’s experience the most positively? Qualified Teachers What makes a great teacher? Years of experience in the early education field have led me to believe that it is a combination of the right personality type paired with experience and education. When you compare Creekstone Academy, Ivy Hall Day School, Kids R Kids West Cobb, and Foundations Child Care & School, look closely at the teachers. At Foundations, every family that tours is provided a handout with information about each teacher’s education and experience, and how long
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Private Schools in Kennesaw GA

The Georgia Department of Education records show that there are 11 private schools in Kennesaw GA, and there are 34 private schools in Marietta GA.  For families looking for private schools in Cobb County, sorting through 45 options can be a daunting task.  The good news is that with so many options, you are sure to find one that is the perfect fit for your family. You can narrow your options down quickly if one or more of the following statements describes what you are looking for: a private school that is not affiliated with a religion (also called non-religious or secular) a private school that has a special emphasis a private school that carries a specific accreditation a private school that accepts Georgia Special Needs Scholarships a private school that provides early care and education for children in preschool Non-religious Schools: Only about 20% of private schools in Georgia do not have a religious affiliation, so if your family prefers religion to be taught at home, you can narrow down your school choices greatly.   Special Emphasis Schools: About
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Meet Our Preschool (Kennesaw) Teachers

At Foundations for the Future Preschool (Kennesaw), we believe that our teachers are one of our greatest assets. We have an enthusiastic group of educators dedicated to the development and education of young children. These teachers use student interests to develop individualized project work that addresses learning in eight core curriculum areas: social/emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, mathematics, science & technology, and social studies. We would like to recognize the following three preschool teachers for their contribution to our preschool program: Ms. Tiarra (pictured left) has been working with children since 2006, and she obtained an Early Education Technical Certificate at Chattahoochee Technical College in 2013. She has been with Foundations Preschool (Kennesaw) since 2013. Ms. Tiarra knows that children learn best through play so her approach to teaching involves creative approaches, such as singing, to not only help students reach developmental milestones, but also to make them feel nurtured. Ms. Jameela (pictured middle) initially set out on a path to pursue Marine Science, but after two years she realized she really wanted to work with children, in particular those
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Progressive Learning Environment at Foundations School

Foundations for the Future School prides itself on creating and providing a progressive learning environment for students. This environment is fostered by many things, but one collaborative learning tool is at the core of how we help our students think and learn. This tool is called a K-W-L chart. In June, the Washington Post featured a blog on why it is such an ingenious teaching tool, simple yet indispensable in a progressive learning environment. Foundations’ classrooms regularly use K-W-L charts to enhance learning, as early as in the preschool classes, and all the way through our Elementary School program. K-W-L charts are viewed as a comprehensive educational instrument that emphasize discovery as a means of learning. Because of this, Foundations uses the charts regularly when beginning a new project or discussing a new topic with students. The children are encouraged to list what they know (K), and then what they would like to know (W). After the project or discussion is complete, the children return to the chart for review and then list what they learned (L). The discussions that
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Summer Camp: Fun, Safe, AND Educational!

How do you find the best summer camp program for your child?  Foundations Summer Camp program, conveniently located in the Kennesaw/Marietta area, offer the perfect balance between fun, safety, and learning, for rising Pre-K students through rising 6th grade students.   Safety Children should have fun over the summer weeks, but many families feel like they have to sacrifice safety when choosing an unknown summer camp program.  Typical programs have 25 students to 1 teacher, and their ability to supervise and interact individually with students is very limited.  Summer camp programs that do multiple off-site field trips each week with these group sizes can be very difficult to manage, and potentially unsafe.  At Foundations, there is one teacher for every ten to thirteen children, and we bring the field trips to the students each week, with just two local off-site field trips during the summer.  Students love the personal experience of having the Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts and the Atlanta Zoo, just two of our in-house field trips, come to them!  And with such low teacher to child ratios,
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More Than Montessori: An Eclectic Approach to Education at Foundations School

Montessori is term for a teaching style, originally created by Maria Montessori, that is defined by several key tenets.  In contrast to this, at Foundations Creative Child Care and School in Kennesaw, the teaching methods are compiled from a variety of resources, including Montessori, so that the best elements from each method can be utilized to provide a classroom setting uniquely suited to the creative exploration and learning of children. Here are some of the types of educational philosophies for young children: Academic/Traditional:  activities are presented by the teacher with little input from students (teacher-directed); reinforcement through frequent repetition (recitation, tracing dittos, etc). Montessori: classrooms set up primarily with specialized educational materials developed by Maria Montessori; three hour blocks of independent work time; mixed- age classrooms of children 2.5 yrs old to 6 years old in one classroom Play-Based: classrooms set up with a variety of activity centers to promote engagement; children play throughout the day, with teacher supervision Reggio-Emilia: heavy art emphasis, with dedicated art rooms and art teachers; child-initiated projects as the primary topics; children’s work displayed and
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Measles Vaccinations in Georgia Daycare Centers

As the country watches the number of measles cases slowly rise, concerns begin to surface about the safety of children in childcare centers in Georgia.  Georgia, unlike some states, does not make vaccination rates of daycare centers and schools available easily online.  The Georgia Department of Health publishes general information about measles on their website.  The Georgia Department of Health also requires daycare centers and schools to immediately report any cases of measles.  From 2005-2014, there were only five confirmed cases of measles in Georgia.   The Georgia Department of Health is in charge of regulating the requirements for daycare centers and schools, and they audit each childcare center and school each year to ensure compliance.  Georgia requires daycare centers and schools to provide one of two things for each enrolled student: 1) a GA Form 3231 immunization form that is not expired, or 2) a notarized exemption form, which is allowed for religious or medical reasons.   The LA Times news article published February 4th, 2015 titled “Many California Childcare Centers Have Low Vaccination Rates” cites: “Experts say a 92% vaccination
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GA Public Kindergarten Eligibility Age Debate: The Private School Shortcut

private kindergarten school - age debate
THIS BLOG UPDATED ON 4/24/18; ORIGINAL ARTICLE AND COMMENTS BELOW We have received many questions for clarification on the issue of the enrollment age restrictions in Georgia schools, and if there are any exceptions.  There is a way for a child to essentially skip a grade and enter school at a younger age than stated in the rules.  It is not a clearly stated rule, so please read carefully as I attempt to walk through the logic of how to make this happen. First, to clarify, in 2015 GA considered changing the age eligibility laws for school entrance, but it did not go through, so the cutoff date is the same as it has been for decades: “A child must be five years old on or before September 1 to enter a public Kindergarten. The child must be six years old on or before September 1 to enter first grade. School systems must verify age before enrollment.*” There is no exception to this rule in public schools.  However, please note the first of a few very important facts: the only