How To Protect Your Child From The Flu

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 09/08/18

You’ve probably seen the recent headlines that we’re facing a major flu epidemic. Unfortunately, this isn’t just media hype; this year’s flu is particularly harsh. For the first time ever, the CDC has announced “widespread [flu] activity in all of the continental U.S.” Since October, the CDC has identified approximately 60,000 positive samples of the flu, and about every 23 in 100,000 people have been hospitalized. While that may seem small, it’s still considered epidemic proportions by the CDC. Additionally, this season has already seen 20 pediatric flu-related deaths. Children are particularly susceptible, and that’s why it’s important to know how to prevent your child from contracting the virus.

Symptoms Of The Flu

It can be hard to distinguish between flu symptoms and a regular head cold, as they both can include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle or body aches, headache and fatigue. If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s best to have a doctor see them as soon as possible. While there’s no “cure” for the flu, your pediatrician may be able to provide Tamiflu or other antiviral medications that can shorten the length of your child’s sickness as well as reduce the symptom’s severity.

Get Your Child Vaccinated

While we’re at peak infections in mid-winter, the flu season can even extend into early Spring, so it’s still a good idea to get the vaccine. While the vaccine isn’t foolproof, it is an essential step to limiting the spread of the disease. The flu vaccine can be given to children six months or older, so everyone in your family who can get it should get it. That will also help protect infants younger than six months against contracting the virus.

Teach “Coughing Etiquette” And Good Hygiene

Be sure to teach your children to cover their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing using a tissue (ideally), or at least their hand or elbow. If your child sneezes into their clothes, be sure to have them change. And make sure they wash their hands with warm soap and water afterwards! Flu germs can persist for up to 24 hours, so the more you and your child can do to reduce harmful germs, the safer everyone around you will be.

Keep Your Child At Home

Children under five are particularly susceptible to the flue, and the CDC recommends keeping sick children at home to prevent the spread to other children. They can be contagious as long as seven days after the first symptom appear, so even if it seems mild, it’s generally better to be safe.

Remember: by protecting your children from the flu, you’re actually helping to ensure that everyone stays as healthy as possible.

For information about our child daycare services in North Vancouver, Smiling Stars Daycare, please call (604) 986-3380 or email us by visiting

3 Ways to Keep Your Child’s Photos Secure Online

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 08/18/18

While the target audience may be a collection of family, friends, and trusted acquaintances, information shared on the internet often takes on a life of its own. It’s important to establish safe practices when sharing photos of children online. Here are 3 ways to establish safe practices that will help keep photos of your children secure on the world wide web:

End-to-End Encrypted Messaging

The most secure way to go about sharing photos of children online is through end-to-end encrypted messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Apple’s iMessage. These types of apps allow photos to be sent to individuals or groups directly from your phone. An added security measure available with these apps is disappearing messages, which will delete photos once they are viewed or after a specified period of time.

Dedicated Photo Apps

Another secure way to share photos is using apps that are dedicated to transporting photos in the digital world. These apps allow the creation of shared family albums which streamlines the process. Dedicated photo apps usually allow the creation of a link to photos and albums which can be shared with anyone.

Social Media Safety

Taking advantage of the safety measures provided on social media is one of the best ways to protect photos of children. All social media accounts should be kept private and sharing preferences should be changed from the default public setting to private, for more control of who sees photos.

Pruning friends lists and creating private groups for sharing are other practical ways to keep photos secure online.

Sharing photos of children online is an easy way to keep family and friends updated. Follow a few simple safety tips to keep the photos as secure as possible and the children protected.

For information about our child daycare services in North Vancouver, Smiling Stars Daycare, please call (604) 986-3380 or email us by visiting

Life Lessons About Being Grateful

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 08/11/18

A child’s brain is constantly developing, taking in the actions of everyone around him. From the time he’s born, it’s up to you to teach your child gratitude. Harvard Medical School states that, among many things, “gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions…and build strong relationships.” The authors of Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character, state that if there was something that “got kids to behave better, improve their grades, feel happier and avoid riskier behaviors,” that would be gratitude.

Here are some fun activities for families to help instill gratefulness in your child:

1. Get in the practice of thank you notes.

For preschoolers this can be a simple drawing or something that expresses their creativity. For elementary aged children it can be a hand-drawn a picture and a brief note that simply says “Thank you for being so kind.” To help make this a habit, keep a basket filled with card making supplies such as construction paper and crayons. Try dedicating a time once a week to write a thank you note to someone. It could be a teacher, a bus driver or even the mailman. This will get your child in the mindset of always looking for something to be grateful for and recognizing and thanking those important people in your life.

2. Create a gratitude tree.

Get a large piece of poster board or foam board and draw a tree trunk with branches. Have your child color in the tree trunk using crayons or markers. Using various colors of construction paper (green, orange, brown, red, yellow) cut out leaf shapes. Each day after school help your child think of something they were grateful for that day, let them write it or draw it on the leaf (or you can write it for them) and then glue it to the tree branches. Keep this in a visible location so that it is a constant reminder of the things your family is grateful for.

3. Bake treats or homemade items.

Who doesn’t like a homemade treat? Once a month plan a “Gratitude Delivery Day” to deliver these treats to the person you and your child have chosen: a neighbor, the school secretary, the front desk staff at the dentist office. This is an activity that will enable your child to see just how happy this small act of gratitude can make another person.

For information about our child daycare services in North Vancouver, Smiling Stars Daycare, please call (604) 986-3380 or email us by visiting

Get Your Child To Eat Healthy

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 07/29/18

Getting your children to eat right is a constant struggle for many parents. Kids can be picky eaters, and getting them to try new things or even eat generally healthy meals and snacks can be a real challenge. It’s often easier to give them something we know they’ll like, but that may not be as nutritious for them. However, developing good eating habits is essential to both a child’s mental development and long-term health.

Today, about one in three children in the U.S. are considered obese, triple what it was 45 years ago in the early 1970s. Obesity is linked to a wide variety of health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and others.

March is National Nutrition Month, making it the perfect time to think about how you can feed your kids more nutritious meals and snacks. Created and promoted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Nutrition Month “focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.”

With that in mind, here are a few tips for ensuring your child develops some healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

Talk About Eating Healthy

One of the most important things we can do with our children is to talk to them about eating healthy. Even if they’re just learning to talk, it’s a good practice to tell your kids about your food choices and why you’ve picked them. Don’t worry if they don’t understand it all. Just talking about making healthy choices will help them develop a frame of reference and learn the behavior.

Sneak In The Greens

Now, we’re suggesting you lie to your child—like telling them broccoli is chocolate. However, it’s entirely possible to sneak more vegetables into their snacks, packing in an extra dose of brain-boosting nutrients, without sacrificing your child’s taste buds. For example, there are many easy-to-make recipes for zucchini bread. You can also mix veggies into homemade chocolate chip cookies. Or how about avocado chocolate pudding? Fruit smoothies are also pretty easy to make, and always a kid favorite. And if you don’t have time for these options, there are a number of healthy snacks on the market that are a good alternative to potato chips.

Read A Book About Healthy Eating

There are no shortage of books for infants and toddlers about healthy eating. Even reading a picture book with different vegetables and fruit in it will help your child develop an awareness of the healthier options out there. And the books for toddlers and older children will teach them about making good food choices in an entertaining manner. Plus, reading with your child is never a bad thing when it comes to development!

For information about our child daycare services in North Vancouver, Smiling Stars Daycare, please call (604) 986-3380 or email us by visiting

What is Self-Regulation in Young Children?

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 07/21/18

How Can Parents Help with Self-Regulation?

Every parent has been on the receiving end of a tantrum. From the endless stream of tears, to children throwing themselves on the floor screaming, tantrums can be both embarrassing and frustrating for parents. While most children grow out of tantrums by the time they are ready for school, some children can have problems controlling these outbursts of emotions. So, what is self-regulation and how can you, as a parent, help your child learn to regulate their emotional responses?

What Is Self-Regulation?

The term “self-regulation” is used to refer to a range of different characteristics and abilities. A child’s self-regulatory skills are used to focus his attention, control his emotions, and manage his thinking, behaviour, and feelings. While adults are good at multitasking and compartmentalizing, children have not developed these skills yet. An adult can receive a present they dislike and “grin and bear it”, but children often live in the moment and are not able to hide their disappointment. Children are ruled by their impulses and immediate desires and feelings, while adults can filter out distractions, exercise control, and decide what is an appropriate response.

Teaching Your Child Self-Regulation

A child’s natural ability for self-regulation is based on temperament as well as their personality. While some babies cry themselves to sleep, others are able to quickly sooth themselves. Children who have trouble self-soothing often have trouble with emotional self-regulation when they get older. Environmental factors often play a role in self-regulation as well. When parents give into tantrums or work to soothe their children, kids have a hard time developing self-discipline. When parents use these techniques, the child is going to constant look to the parents for external self-regulators instead of self-regulating. To teach self-regulation skills, parents can:

  • Provide structured and predictable daily routines and schedules
  • Work to eliminate environmental distractions when the child becomes upset
  • Talk and teach the child about feelings
  • Review home and classroom rules regularly
  • Allow the child to let off steam in a quiet place
  • Stay calm and firm in your voice and actions
  • Re-direct attention or actions when needed
  • Pair children with others who have good self-regulatory skills

Using these skills and tools, you can help teach your children to self-regulate their behaviour, allowing them to grow into a well-mannered, emotionally adjusted child.

For information about our child daycare services in North Vancouver, Smiling Stars Daycare, please call (604) 986-3380 or email us by visiting

Benefits of Teaching Your Child a Second Language

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 07/14/18

You’ve spent years trying to teach your child English. Correcting their grammar, teaching them to write their name, and even helping them learn bigger and harder words. But have you ever thought about teaching your child another language? It is said that people who have learned a second language have more successes in life. But when should you teach your child a second language and what are the benefits of learning one?

When Should Your Child Learn a Second Language?

Many parents are finding out that children who learn a second language between the ages of three and four have a better chance of retaining a second language. “Kids this age are developing language skills rapidly, and they quickly absorb whatever they hear,” according to Erika Levy, PH.D., who is an assistant professor of speech and language pathology at Columbia University Teachers College, in New York City. “They can learn to understand new words in two different languages at an incredibly fast rate.” Many families around the world are jumping on the bilingual bandwagon, helping their children become more worldly and setting them up for success.

The Benefits of Teaching Your Child a Second Language

Teaching your child another language can help them reach fluency at an early age. Learning a foreign language while they are young helps children absorb the language much faster. This is because the part of the brain that develops language, the left frontal lobe, is still developing. This allows them to learn languages much faster when they are young because they are easily absorbed. However, the language part of the brain usually stops developing when they are between the ages of eight and 12, making the younger years crucial for new languages. Exposing your child to a second language can also help him or her learn about other cultures and team them to be more creative thinkers. People who are bilingual also have shown better critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and greater mental flexibility. One study even suggests that bilingual individuals have sharper brain functions as they age. Setting your child up with multiple linguistic skills can help them prepare for life as a well-rounded adult.

For information about our child daycare services in North Vancouver, Smiling Stars Daycare, please call (604) 986-3380 or email us by visiting

Choosing the Right Daycare Centre

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 07/07/18

Whether you are choosing an occasional daycare centre or a centre to watch your children every day, there are some things you should know before enrolling your child in the program. To help you make this important decision, check out some these tips on choosing the right child care.

Do Your Research

Before visiting a potential daycare centre, it is important to do your due diligence. Researching daycare centres in your area and their different programs. Doing preemptive research can help you decide which programs you will want your children in and which programs the centre excels in. Doing your due diligence can also tell you if the centre is well run and if there are any complaints from other parents.

Visiting the Centre

When you’re visiting a potential center, you should make sure to pay attention to how to staff interact with the children in their charge. Ideally, a caregiver should be playing with the children and supervising them closely. If you are look for a facility for your baby, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises a ratio of one adult for every three babies up to 24 months. If you do not observe the proper number of supervision, be sure to find another facility for your family.

Ask for a Commitment

Children need predictability. Stability and predictability can help your children feel secure in their surroundings. If you are considering a center, it is important to find out how long the current caregivers have been working there and how much turnover the center usually experiences.

Look at the Policies

Before signing your child up for daycare, it is important for you to look at the policies of the centre. Finding out the policies will help you see if your parenting style aligns with them. Find out whether your parenting philosophies on discipline, media, food and drinks, sleeping, and play time align with that of the centre. The more questions you ask about the centre and its policies, the more you can find out if the centre will work for your family.

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up

If something about the centre is bothering you, it is important for you to speak up and to resolve any problems. Addressing problems right away rather than ignoring them can help solve issues quickly. While some issues can be resolved quickly, others may require more discussion. Take the time to solve the problems before leaving the centre and finding a new child care facility.

Call Smiling Stars Daycare Today! We would love to answer your questions! 

Happy Canada Day!

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 06/30/18

How To Prepare Your Toddler For Preschool

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 06/24/18

It’s Back To School Time And Toddlers To Head To Preschool.

Whether this is your child’s first year in preschool or her last, there are things you can do to ensure a successful school year. Here are four tips to get your toddler ready for preschool.

Get Back To Regular Bedtimes

It’s easy over the summer to let bedtimes slip a little bit. However, little ones need to get far more sleep when they go to preschool than when they’re on vacation. A good night’s sleep will help them concentrate better, and will aid in brain development. And the best way to give them a good night’s sleep is to have them go to bed at a more reasonable time.

Make Time For Story-time

Even when your child is pre-verbal, reading is one of the best activities you can do with them. Not only will it help them grow their vocabulary, but it’s a great activity that will help them discover the joy of learning. We suggest setting aside about 20 minutes each day to read to your child. This could be before bedtime, as reading is a good activity to help your child unwind before going to sleep, but it could also be in the morning before lunch or in the late afternoon before naptime. Additionally, it’s a good idea to always keep a few books on hand. You never know when you’ll have some free time to squeeze in a few minutes!

Teach Them How To Clean Up

It’s never too early to teach your child good manners, and the first step in that direction is to teach them to clean up after themselves. That means putting toys away when they’re done playing with them, and even bringing their dishes to the kitchen after a meal. Be sure to always reinforce good behaviors with positive encouragement.

Pay A Visit To The Preschool

Even if your child is returning to the same preschool, it’s a good idea to give them a sneak peek of what’s coming in just a few weeks. If they’ve never been there, a quick visit to get them familiar with the setting and the instructors will go a long way to reduce any issues about being in a new setting.

For information about our child daycare services in North Vancouver, Smiling Stars Daycare, please call (604) 986-3380 or email us by visiting

Parent’s Guide to Baby Teeth

by Smiling Stars Daycare on 06/16/18

Birth to 6 months:

  • The baby’s front teeth are forming below the gums and are almost ready to erupt into the mouth.
  • Clean you babies gums with a damp washcloth every day.
  • Do not allow your baby to go to bed with anything in the bottle but plain water.
  • Wipe mouth off after nursing with a damp cloth.
  • Never sweeten a pacifier with sugar or honey.

7 to 12 months:

  • The front teeth or incisors are usually starting to erupt into the mouth and there permanent teeth are starting to form underneath the gums.
  • Continue to wipe the gums off with a washcloth and if teeth are starting to erupt, use the smallest baby toothbrush you can find, but DO NOT USE ANY TOOTHPASTE WITH FLUROIDE.
  • Do not put the baby to bed with anything other that plain water.
  • Start introducing a small tooth brush as soon as your baby has teeth.

13-24 months:

  • Primary or baby tooth molars are starting to erupt into the mouth and may cause some discomfort.
  • You can start to introduce fluoride toothpaste but should make sure your child can spit it out and not swallow it.
  • Use a toothbrush with soft nylon bristles.
  • The amount of toothpaste should be smaller than the size of a small green pea.
  • Only plain water in sippie cup
  • Brush your kid’s teeth at least twice a day.

2-5 Years old:

  • By 5 years of age, the roots of the front baby teeth are starting to dissolve to make room for the permanent teeth.
  • You can let your child brush their teeth but you still need to be the primary brusher.
  • Remember to floss the child’s teeth where they are touching.
  • Floss using a flossier to make it easier to remove food and debris in between teeth.
  • After your child brushes their teeth, remember nothing else to eat or drink except plain water before bedtime.
  • Replace tooth brush once a season.
  • A rotary toothbrush may encourage your child to brush.
  • It’s important to set a good example for your children, so make sure your child should see the dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.
  • Offer healthy snacks that are low in sugar.  A diet with less sugar decreases the opportunity for cavities to occur.

6-7 years old:

  • Around this age, the first permanent teeth start to erupt, which are usually the incisors or the six-year molars.
  • Your child should gradually become the primary brusher, but still check afterwards.
  • Floss your child’s teeth where two teeth touch.
  • Lightly brush your child’s tongue to remove bacteria.
  • Your child should see the dentist two times a year for a check up and professional dental cleaning.

8-10 years old:

  • Permanent teeth in the front of the mouth move into place and primary teeth towards the back of the mouth begin to fall out.
  • If your child brushes alone, check his or her teeth afterward.
  • Floss your child’s teeth where two teeth touch.
  • Your child may start flossing around age 9, but may not be able to floss back teeth properly.
  • Set a good example by practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist two times a year for a check up and professional cleaning.

11-12 years old:

  • Primary teeth finish falling out as permanent teeth continue to erupt.
  • Your child should be brushing and flossing their teeth two times a day.
  • Set a good example by practicing good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist twice a year for an examination.
  • Talk to your child about the consequences of poor oral hygiene – stained teeth, bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Encourage good nutrition; don’t keep junk food around the house.
  • Encourage your teen to talk to his or her dentist or hygienist about brushing and flossing.
  • Offer healthy snacks to your child, such as fresh fruits and fresh vegetables.
  • Avoid sugary snacks.

13-15 years old:

  • Permanent teeth are moving into place.  The wisdom teeth are preparing to erupt into the mouth.
  • Set a good example by practicing good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist twice a year for an examination.
  • Talk to your teen about the consequences of poor oral hygiene – stained teeth, bad breath and gum disease.
  • Buy plenty of oral health-care supplies and keep them readily available for your teen to use.
  • Provide your teen with information about the consequences of smoking and using smokeless tobacco.
  • Take your child to the dentist for an examination at least twice a year.

Smiling Stars Daycare