Teaching good habits

Last month, our favorite UPS driver wheeled a big box of toothbrushes into the Day Nursery administrative office.  Was someone trying to tell us something? It turns out they were going to be distributed to the children in our seven centers so each location could illustrate the importance of regular dental hygiene.  Because we are NAEYC accredited centers, we follow standards that are best for young children. NAEYC has created 10 standards that measure the quality of early childhood programs. The standards were created by a blue-ribbon panel of early childhood experts and are based on the latest early childhood research. Patty Fisher, Day Nursery’s Director of Center of Administration explained to me that being a NAEYC accredited center means more than just having a great academic program.  Our centers meet high standards for providing a safe and healthy physical enviroment. NAEYC Standard 5 deals with health and says at least once daily in a program where children older than one year receive two or more meals, teaching staff provide an opportunity for tooth brushing and gum cleaning to remove food and plaque. Because many children under 6 have not mastered the art of brushing (and spitting!) the children do not use toothpaste when they brush at Day Nursery. Day Nursery Federal Center preschool teacher Diane Taylor said her students can’t wait to brush their teeth after lunch…they all want to go first. They all enjoy watching themselves in the mirror. Many classrooms brush teeth after lunch, but it is up to the individual classroom teacher to schedule it when it fits best into the classroom schedule. Thanks to Federal Center Director Sarah Parks for sharing this photo of D’Shon brushing his teeth in Ms. Taylor’s class.

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