Best practices: traveling and vacationing with toddlers

Columbus child care tips from packing up to the car ride home

Summer vacations are in full swing, and millions of families are packing up and hitting the road for weeklong escapes. These getaways may mean a deviation from meal and <bedtime routines> for your children, but going on vacation doesn’t have to mean fussy kids and chaos. Consider the following helpful packing and travel tips this year for the fun, family trip you all deserve.

Packing tips

Columbus daycare downtown• Diapers – Be sure to bring extras in case there’s a flight delay, traffic jam or emergency.

• Clothes – Pack one to two outfits per day. Darker colored clothes hide spills and stains better. Also, pack layers for fluctuations in weather conditions and temperature.

• Clean-up supplies—You can never have enough mini hand sanitizer bottles, wipes or tissues on-hand. Bring laundry soap, too, for handwashing clothing that was soiled in the car or on the plane.

• Nightlight—If your toddler is used to having one during their bedtime, remember to grab his from home to use in their room at the hotel or vacation home. There’s a good chance these places come equipped with nightlights.

• Plastic bags – When an outfit gets dirtied, or an emergency diaper change is required, having a stash of bags handy could turn out to be a lifesaver.

 

Traveling tips

Columbus child care center• Consult your doctor—If your little one has never been in the car for an extended period of time or on an airplane before, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get a professional’s advice of what medicines to give for motion sickness or sinus pressure relief.

• Prepare for a late arrival—What’s inevitable about doing anything with kids is that things always take longer when they’re involved, and vacationing is definitely not an exception. Anticipate more pits tops on your road trip, and be prepared for breakdowns and temper-tantrums.  Have patience, and know that by expecting bumps in the road will make accepting these setbacks a lot easier.

• Don’t forget their favorites—Have your child’s favorite toy nearby to comfort and keep familiarity during the vacation, whether that be a stuffed animal, binky or blanket. Bring the second favorite, too, in case of the worst case scenario and the favorite becomes MIA in a lost piece of luggage.

• Prepare a goody bag—Don’t just shove an iPad in front of your child’s face if they’re giving you a hard time. Did you know that tablets and TV have been proven to make your toddler fussy? Have your child split their time with the electronic and a drawstring bag filled with busy toys, from coloring books, a few action figures or dolls, to a small container of play dough or puzzle books to exercise their minds.

• Put a bow on everything—To add an extra element of entertainment and distraction, wrap up everything in their goody bag, even their snacks! Kids will think this is fun, and for a real surprise, make one of the wrapped toys a brand new one.

Our Columbus childcare center will be awaiting your return

If you’re seeking a Downtown Columbus daycare that will take excellent care of your child during the workweek, check out Sprout Early Education Center today. Call today at 614.233.7776 to set up a tour or fill out our admissions application.

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Get your child to sleep: how to solve 6 bedtime problems

A Downtown Columbus day care lends advice

Throughout childhood, getting children to sleep is a struggle that many parents face. Although it’s natural for kids to be reluctant to settle down and call it a day, there are plenty of ways to control how long it takes to get your little one to bed, and help them become warm up to the idea that sleep isn’t so bad. You can start by explaining to them why sleep is so important.

Everyone needs sleep. Your Child needs it most. Why?

Sleep is just as important as the food, water and safety in your child’s life. Often, parents unintentionally don’t promote enough sleep for their child, simply because our busy lives overtake our schedules and sleep isn’t set as a high-priority item. Going to bed a few hours late or missing a nap here or there may seem minor, but when children miss sleep, it could lead to irreversible consequences.

Columbus daycareIn his book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”, Marc Weissbluth, MD says, “Sleep is the power source that keeps your mind alert and calm. Every night and at every nap, sleep recharges the brain’s battery. Sleeping well increases brainpower just as weight lifting builds stronger muscles, because sleeping well increases your attention span and allows you to be physically relaxed and mentally alert at the same time. Then you are at your personal best.”

How would a Columbus daycare resolve bedtime problems?

The foundational rule to getting your child to sleep is an effective manner is to institute a persistent, consistent bedtime routine. However, even when that’s in place, kids have these common behavioral tendencies. Here’s how to cope with these six common nighttime occurrences:

1. Frequent waking – This is common in children 12 to 18 months old. Try a fan to drown out the little noises that may wake them suddenly. Make their room look the same at bedtime than in the wee hours of the night. If you sit in the rocking chair or have a dim light on until they’re fast asleep, your youngster will be confused more likely to cry out for you rather than quickly falling back asleep.

daycare Columbus Ohio2. Wake up as soon as they realize you’ve left– As children grow older, they soon realize that the second they shut their eyes in bed that you’ll slip away and be gone. Knowing that, they’d much rather stay awake and make bedtime extremely difficult. End your bedtime routine with them still awake to accustom your child to fall asleep on their own.

3. Claiming there are monsters – Many toddlers are kept awake out of fear of monsters in their room. Put on a night light and spray some “monster poison” (water) in the closet and under the bed before bed to assure your son or daughter they’re safe. Some children are afraid of shadows on their walls at night. Lay down with your child for a night in their dark room and talk about what other fun, friendly shapes the shadows are making, to help them overcome their fear.

4. Asking for “one more” – Many children abuse bedtime routines by asking for just one more song, bedtime story, minute of cuddling or glass of water. Be firm and stick to a consistent bedtime ritual. Tell your child that the last time means the last time. The longer your child stays up past their bedtime, the more sleep-deprived they’ll be the next day.

5. Clingy/”I need you”- When your child calls from you from their room after you’ve put them to bed, come back to comfort them, say “goodnight” and that you’ll check on them soon to make sure everything’s okay. The trick is to strategically stage your appearances, returning at longer intervals each time. 

6. Night terrors- These scary dreams begin between the ages of three and six. Five percent of children have night terrors. They generally happen within the first two hours of sleep and children are waked by their own scream, flailing and breathing heavily. “They’re actually much worse to watch than to experience,” says Mindell, so try to remain calm.If you know night terrors are a part of your child’s life, the best advice is to do as little as possible.

How can Sprout Early Education Center help?

At Sprout Early Education Center, we promote effective routines and good habits for young ones throughout playtime and naptime.

If you’re interested in enrolling your child in our Downtown Columbus daycare, fill out our admissions application and contact us today for a tour.

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Five sit beside me activities: Keeping your toddler busy while you are, too

Turn to your Columbus daycare for must-try ideas

When you take your child out of a Columbus daycare staff’s care and back into your own after work, the busy part of your day has often just begun.

As much as you’d love to interact one-on-one with your child every moment you’re with them, preparing dinner, balancing the checkbook or making important phone calls are difficult tasks to accomplish with a toddler who isn’t being entertained. The solution? Sit beside me activities.

Here are five non-messy, stimulating activities that are fun for your child, therefore maximize your productivity so you can get back to one-on-one time.

Columbus child care1. Books – Grab a pile of your child’s favorite books and have them independently look through them. It may seem extremely simple, but looking through books is great for their development. Encourage your son or daughter to “read” the story, too. Although they’re not at reading age yet, it’s fascinating to hear what toddlers’ creativity takes them when telling a story solely off pictures.

2. Stickers—Have your child make sticker art on a poster board or construction paper. You can even make an educational game of it and have them organize stickers by color, shape or type. It keeps your toddler occupied, as an outlet for creativity, while exercising their motor skills, too. If the stickers are too hard to get off the sheets, give them a head start by slightly peel them off in advance or sticking them to the edge of a table.

3. Spice Jars and groceries— A little less noisy than pots and pans, spice jars are fun for kids to shake, stack and roll around and the perfect activity to give to your child while cooking dinner or doing dishes. Just make sure the lids are tightly secured. Another kitchen activity is to have your toddler play with all of the boxed groceries, stacking them into towers or arranging them into fun “set ups”.

4. Laundry Hamper— Have you child throw all of the clothes out of the hamper for you to fold. They’ll feel like they’re doing something they’re not supposed to, when really, they’re lending a hand. You can even have them help you out by having them match socks. And when they’re done, have them play make-believe, transforming the hamper into their own tunneChild Care Columbusl, hiding place or car.

 5. Rip and tear— Toddlers find destruction very satisfying, so why not channel that energy into something fun they can do? Have your child tear strips of construction paper into pieces and place into a container. Then, in the future, you can have them make the colorful pieces into a beautiful piece of refrigerator-worthy art by sticking them to contact paper.

Our Columbus early learning center is focused on building your child’s relationships

All children are innately curious. They are competent, capable learners who increase their understanding through exploration and discovery. Sprout Early Education Center’s philosophy lies in helping your child build relationships with not only those around them, but with the objects in their environment.  Choose a Downtown Columbus daycare that believes teaching and learning is an inquiry process. This approach to learning builds on a child’s natural inclination to question and investigate, just like the sit-beside me activities.

Download our admissions application and contact us today to arrange an in-person tour and meeting.

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Why is play essential to your child’s development?

Our Columbus daycare staff weighs in on its importance.

Making time for play is not only fun for children, but also vital in your child’s development. As children play, they gather important skills that form the building blocks for many cognitive and physical activities.

Whether at a Columbus daycare or at home, toddlers’ brains are hard at work as they play and interact, forming the foundation for completing more difficult tasks like running, jumping and being physically active. Allowing your child plenty of time to play is not only a way to encourage development, but can also be a way to build relationships.

Columbus day care

Types of play

Different types of activities work to stimulate different parts of the brain, forming memories and concepts to apply to the future. Giving your child the opportunity to interact and play with different kinds of objects allows them to become more familiar with language, relationships and creativity.

  • Object play Object interaction stimulates a child’s brain. Essentially, a child is using all five senses when they are playing with objects, developing problem solving skills and a creative imagination while also building curiosity about the world around them. Using simple objects or toys can be a great way to experiment through touColumbus daycareching, throwing and pushing. Join your child to interact with them. Adding this social factor generates interpersonal and language skills.
  • Symbolic Play – Use objects such as cardboard boxes to represent something familiar like a bus. Add a role play element to the mix by transforming hairbrushes into microphones to sing into. Using every day household objects can spark creativity and learning during play time.
  • Social Play – Play dates with other children are not only stimulating, but also important throughout the first year of your child’s life. Infants like to look, laugh and play with other babies just as much as adults like to socialize. At Sprout Early Education Center, our programs allow children to interact and play to build relationships and interpersonal skills.

How much time should you allow for play?

As a general guideline, the National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE), advises roughly 30 minutes of structured play lead by an adult or 60 minutes of unstructured playtime is sufficient for developing those crucial skills that children need to develop.

Generally, children should not be inactive for more than an hour unless sleeping. This may be a lot of work for Columbus daycare staffs as well as parents, but getting outside or away from electronics is extremely important step for continued learning as well as staying active and healthy. Playing and learning is natural and fun for children. Giving your child as much time as they like to play will allow them to continue developing their skills under supervision, but make sure not to over do it. Each child has a different threshold for stimulation. If they become tired or fussy, it’s time for a break and/or some rest.

At Sprout Early Education Center in Downtown Columbus, our daycare center will offer your child the opportunity to enhance their social and developmental skills. We offer programs for ages six weeks to five years. Enroll today your child today.

 

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Choosing a Columbus daycare: 5 questions to ask yourself

Take advice from the experts at Sprout Early Education Center

Think of choosing a Columbus daycare like shopping for a new car. It needs to be dependable, safe, clean, and most of all, the best choice is often made after extensive research. So where do you start? Before beginning your quest for the perfect daycare match for your child, consider the following questions. 1. What are the daycare facility’s and staff’s qualifications? Choosing a daycare is a commitment to send your child to spend a substantial amount of time with the same childcare staff each and every day. It is crucial to get to know everyone who will be interacting with your child. Although it may be difficult, your child’s safety and education comes first and addressing even the toughest points is essential. Take these questions into account when you’re at your first meeting:

  • Have all staff members passed background checks? If so, what did that background check entail?
  • Is the daycare’s curriculum accredited?
  • Has their space passed safety inspections?
  • Is the curriculum certified?

2. What qualities does the daycare’s staff possess? Although a daycare may have all their ducks in a row on paper, the way they interact with your child and the content of their character is just as important. Here are just a few important qualities to look for in staff members:

  • Wants and likes to bechild care columbus ohio with children
  • Has a sense of humor
  • Feels a connection with children
  • Has common sense about what a child needs
  • Stays calm under pressure
  • Has physical energy to keep up with your child
  • Possesses a positive attitude

“The quality of childcare really depends on the adult-child interaction and how good that is,” says Linda Smith, executive director of the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. “That requires someone who has the ability to focus in on a child, where she’s at, what her needs are (developmentally). The expectations are really important.”

3. What is the daycare’s philosophy/teaching style? Be sure your principles and expectations align with the mission statement and foundation of what the daycare is built upon. At Sprout Early Education Center, we believe that children are competent and capable learners in their own right. Knowing that, we embrace children as sources of their own learning and development, helping them to build relationships and explore their environment. Our internationally minded but locally engaged approach to helping children grow allows us to guide them through the learning process. Want to learn more about our philosophy and learning environment? Click here.

4. What is the teacher-to-child ratio? The fewer children tended to by each staff member is critical to quality childcare. The more attention and care your child receives from the daycare’s staff, the more your child’s growth and development are ensured. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services requires licensed childcare centers to adhere to its childcare staff to children ratio law. For example, one staff member is required for every five infants (under 12 months) and two staff members for every 12 infants. One staff member is required for every seven toddlers (children between 18 months to two and a half years old).

columbus early learning center5. How well kept is the facility? Whenever there are many people in a shared space on a daily basis, germs are bound to be a concern, let alone when small children are involved. Little ones have a tendency of putting toys in their mouth, eating art supplies and having little manners when runny noses and sneeze-spells happen. All toys and surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized often. Be sure that hand washing is encouraged and cleaning supplies are handy, but safely out of children’s reach. Besides cleanliness, an open, uncluttered, organized space with multiple areas for different types of learning activities is best.

DSC_0133 Are you ready to consider Sprout Early Education Center as the right Columbus daycare for you and your family? Conveniently located Downtown, Sprout possesses all of the characteristics of a quality childcare center. Download our program application today or call 614.233.7776 to schedule a tour.

Is your iPad and TV making your toddler fussy?

Columbus child care insights for parents

Many parents have been there. You’ve had a long day at work, just picked up your toddler from a Columbus child care center and still have to get dinner on the table and switch a load of laundry. To add to the mix, your child beings throwing a temper tantrum. In order to curb the kicking and screaming, what do you do? Click on the TV or swipe the unlock button on your tablet and hand it to your child. Instant silence. Problem solved, right? Not so fast.

Recent studies have shown a correlation between fussy children and a high amount of media consumption.

“The [study’s] principal investigator, Dr Jenny Radesky, said it’s impossible to tease out the chicken-or-the-egg answer as to whether it’s because parents are using TV and videos to soothe crankier babies, or Columbus daycarewhether the extra media time is creating sleeping and attention problems.”

In this day and age, media is only becoming more popular and convenient. The average child spends approximately eight hours consuming media per day, which is the second longest activity next to sleeping.

Dr. Adam Dewes, a pediatrician at Tidewater Children’s Associates encourages parents to consider these child care tips when it comes to media consumption:

  1. How involved are you during the electronic activity? When children are simply parked in front of the television or handed a tablet, it more or less acts as a pacifier. It’s much better, for example, to use an educational game app with your child in a social, engaging way.
  2. What sort of content is being viewed? For example, eBooks are a better option than cartoons.
  3. Do you practice what you preach? If your kids see you glued to your smartphone or turning on the TV as soon as you get home, they’re more likely to follow your lead.

Limit your children’s screen time by disallowing TV and Internet access in their bedrooms. Like most things, media consumption is perfectly fine in moderation, and when it is used, use it to your child’s benefit.

Alternate activities to TV for children

The key takeaway is to come up with alternatives to soothe your child. Although children do enjoy the light and sound that come from electronic devices, these medias don’t help teach a child to manage their own emotions, and eventually, using TVs and iPads as a way to remedy fussiness becomes a dangerous cycle. Consider some of these alternative suggestions:

  • Involve the kids in chores – While you fold the shirts out of the laundry basket, have your little helper match the socks. While you dust shelves, have your kiddo run a toy vacuum. While you cook, sit your child in their highchair and have him/her identify the colors of the veggies you’re prepping.
  • Make a busy basket—When you find yourself very busy, give your child their busy basket, filled with books, puzzles and toys.
  • Play storybooks on your iPod or CD player – Give your child an interactive book that comes with a soundtrack and recording of someone reading it to them. Shop online for some here.

How can your Columbus child care center help?

Choosing a Columbus daycare for you and your family is an important decision. We feel it’s important for children to learn through play and interact with others. When you send your child to Sprout Early Education Center, we encourage kids to explore the environment around them, build relationships and have fun in order to develop and learn.

If you’re interested in enrolling your child in our Downtown Columbus daycare, fill out our application and call us today at 614.233.7776 for a tour.

 

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Home for the Holidays With Little Ones

For many people, the holidays truly are the most wonderful time of the year, especially if you have little ones at home. There’s something magical about witnessing the wonder and excitement in children this time of year. From trimming the tree and baking cookies, to visiting Santa and watching their faces light up on Christmas morning, children add an undeniable element of joy to the holiday season.

In spite of the holiday hustle and bustle that often ensues, here are a few low-key, but fun, family activities you can enjoy. They’re guaranteed to create some lasting memories with your child.

  • There are so many wonderful holiday crafts that you and your children can enjoy making together. We love this personalized ornament! Wouldn’t it make a lovely addition to your tree, or the perfect gift for Grandma and Grandpa? This one is great, too!
  • As most parents know, sticking to a holiday budget can be tricky. But with a little creativity, there are plenty of simple things you can do to save time and money this time of year. One of our favorite ideas? Homemade wrapping paper!
  • So you found out the hard way that making a gingerbread house with your toddler is not as easy as it seems. Keep life simple with these candy cookie trees. They’re not only delicious, but they’re also easy for little hands to decorate.
  • Columbus has so much to offer when it comes to holiday events the whole family can enjoy.  Nearly every community around the city hosts celebrations complete with light shows, hot chocolate and visits from Santa. This year Franklin Park Conservatory is offering several wonderful events that include everything from exploring winter holidays around the world to breakfast with Santa. (And speaking of Santa, here’s his phone number!) “Zoo Lights” at the Columbus Zoo is another fantastic family event. Your kids will love strolling through the zoo (at night) to see their favorite animals amidst thousands of colorful lights.
  • For many families, the holidays are rich with tradition. Once children come along, it’s not only important to pass down special family traditions, but you should be creating new ones as well. You may decide to buy new jammies for Christmas morning, or check out holiday books for bedtime reading. You might even sing Christmas carols at a nearby senior center. Whatever tradition you decide to celebrate with your children, you can be sure they will look forward to it year after year. We personally love this sweet idea.

Take a little time this year to truly enjoy the holidays with your little ones. Try to see the season through their eyes—full of wonder and abounding joy!

Minding your P’s and Q’s…Teaching Children Manners

With the holidays quickly approaching, children and adults will likely encounter plenty of opportunities to mind their manners. From dinner parties and gift exchanges, to sharing your home, toys and space with family and friends, the holiday season is especially trying for young children and parents alike. With this in mind, let’s explore a few, simple things you can do to teach your children about manners.

Table Manners

By the time kids reach the age of 3, they should be able to eat with a spoon or fork, sit at the table for about 15 minutes, and use a napkin to wipe their mouth. This behavior may require plenty of reminders and a great deal of training. A great tip for parents who struggle to keep their children at the table for more than a few minutes is to consider serving them dinner in courses, rather than putting everything on their plate at once. Once your child is finished eating, instead of jumping down from the table to play, ask him to say, “May I please be excused?”

Remember, one of the best ways to teach children manners is to model the behavior. Do you always say “please” when asking someone to pass the salt? Do you stand when eating your food, or do you make it a point to sit at the table? Over time, your children will do what they see you doing.

Please and Thank You

Teaching children to routinely use the words “please” and “thank you” begins at an early age. Long before they can talk, babies can learn to communicate these words using simple sign language. Once they find their voice and can verbalize what they want, they will need plenty of cues and reminders such as: “What should you say when you want something?” or “What do you say when you receive a gift?”

Politeness with Adults

Teaching children proper manners around adults – including strangers – is a skill that takes a while to develop, especially if your child is shy. When your child is talking to an adult, remind him or her to look directly at that person’s face and say hello. If the adult asks your child a question, you may need to help provide an answer, remembering to praise him or her for a job well done.

Interrupting can be another problem. When adults are speaking to one another, it’s important for kids to learn not to interrupt unless there’s an urgent need. A great way to teach kids not to interrupt is to come up with a silent signal – like gently touching your leg – if they need you when you’re talking on the phone, for instance. You can respond by touching your child’s hand, which signals that you’ll be with her shortly, either when there’s a break in the conversation or when the call is complete.

When your kids visit someone else’s home, remind them about the importance of sharing, asking for things using the word “please,” and always thanking the host before leaving.

Politeness with Peers

While it’s important for your child to be polite in the company of adults, it is equally important to learn these same social graces when interacting with their peers. Sharing is often a tough issue among toddlers, so parents often have to play the role of referee during play dates. A great way to work on sharing with small children is to choose two similar toys and help them offer one to their friend. You can coach your child by saying, “We have two trucks – a fire truck and a dump truck. You may play with the fire truck and let your friend play with the dump truck. After a little while, we’ll switch so that you both can have a turn playing with each truck.” When sharing goes awry and physical behavior such as hitting, pushing or biting occurs, step in immediately. If your child is the offender, you might say, “Hitting hurts our friends; let’s help him feel better by telling him that we’re sorry.”

Remember, learning manners takes time, so be realistic about your expectations. Try not to get discouraged when your child decides to bury his head and frown at the grocery store clerk – instead of smiling and saying hello. Simply use the opportunity on the car ride home to discuss the interaction and role-play future conversations. Your child will eventually learn to respect others and grow up to be a gracious adult.

Etiquette expert Emily Post said that manners are “a sensitive awareness to the needs of others.” With patience, consistency and positive examples, we can teach children to think of others first. It’s a great skill for life.

Celebrating Fall With Your Children

If you’ve lived in Central Ohio for any period of time, you know that autumn is a wonderful time of year in Columbus. From sunny, mild days–perfect for picking apples–to cool, crisp, campfire nights, the possibilities for fall family fun are endless. Lucky for you, we have some great ideas to get you started.

Check out these five ways to celebrate fall with your little one!

A fun, colorful fall craft – The colors this time of year are truly breathtaking.  While beautiful to look at and fun to collect, leaves also provide a visual opportunity to teach children about the seasons. Perhaps best of all, leaves are perfect for fall crafts; they are colorful, full of different shapes and textures, and readily abundant outside your door. Here are two fall crafts to try today.  One is perfect for babies and toddlers, while the other is great for preschoolers.

Fall fun in the kitchen – A great way to teach children about healthy eating is to involve them in the cooking and baking process. While chopping vegetables is probably not an option for your child, there are plenty of ways that kids can help prepare a meal; think measuring, pouring and scooping! If you are struggling to find healthy fall foods your kids will actually enjoy, look no further. Your little ones will love helping with this yummy Alphabet Soup, and for dessert, these delicious Apple Pie Turnovers.

Nature hike – With winter quickly approaching, Midwesterners know all too well that our days for carefree romps through the woods are numbered.  Thankfully, Columbus is full of amazing Metro Parks and trails that are perfect for a fall, family hike. Bring a “nature bag” so your child can easily collect items such as acorns, pinecones, sticks and leaves to construct this great Autumn Mobile once you’re done.

Visit a pumpkin patch – For many families, fall would not be complete without a visit to a pumpkin patch. Hayrides, donuts, apple cider and, of course, the hunt for the perfect pumpkin.  No matter where you live in the city, there is a pumpkin patch not too far away. As for what to do with those pumpkins once you return home–check out this great idea for a child who is still too young to carve. This one is fun too!

Halloween – Both kids and parents love Halloween. From parties, to costumes, to trick-or-treating, there are so many ways to celebrate this fun holiday. Unfortunately, preparing for Halloween can be overwhelming for some parents. Check out this helpful guide for making this year’s Halloween happy and safe. Need some great ideas for homemade Halloween costumes? How about 25 to get you started!

We hope you have a wonderful, relaxing fall with plenty of time to create some precious memories with your children.

A Conversation with Jerzell Pierre-Louis, Founder

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Why did you decide to open an early education center?

Since I was 19, that was the career path I set for myself. Growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, I understood the value of education at a very young age. I appreciate that children have to be in an environment where they feel nurtured and where they trust the individuals who are helping them create a lifelong learning path. I know that was important for my development and for my own children’s development, and I want to offer that to the community.

You have said that early education is a journey and not a race. Can you explain this? 

We live in a time when everything is about results and easy access, and I think it’s important as parents and as a community to understand that learning is a process. Much like an accomplished violinist or athlete spends years training, practicing and studying, learning does not happen overnight. And, the process is not without failure. I think we should have a healthy amount of respect for failure because it allows us to investigate and resolve issues within ourselves in order to become refined. Education requires refinement, patience and nurturing–not just so the child can understand how he or she learns but also so the parent can learn how best to support the child.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to working with children?

Providing them with a safe, nurturing environment that places them on a path of discovering their world. I think that is at the crux of learning. It’s okay for children to make mistakes and discover their environment; at Sprout we are here to assist and guide them in that discovery.  As working parents, our children spend 8 to 10 hours of the day in someone’s care.  I want to make sure their care is quality care. I want parents to know that when I partner with them, I am assisting in setting a good trajectory and helping to establish a strong foundation for their child.

What is your favorite memory with your own family?

A white-water rafting trip last summer. It was challenging, and we all had to work together; it was an experience we all enjoyed.

What is a favorite memory from your own childhood?

Spending summers in the country with my cousins. We hiked and explored for hours, often leaving the house at 8 in the morning with a packed lunch and not returning until it was time for dinner. I loved being in an environment where we could explore–digging for worms or learning to identify snake holes because we accidentally ran across a few on our own. We learned to find our way by tying strings to the trees, and that helped us navigate our way home.

What do you love most about the Central Ohio community?

I love the diversity of the community. I was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi where there is not much diversity in thought or religion, and actually not a lot of diversity in social economic class. Columbus is different. It’s a progressive city with a small-city feel.  It’s a city of opportunity. I think my kids are better for it. I am better for it.

What are some of your favorite children’s books?

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.

A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer

Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Conner