Twin Cities Mom Collective

Tending to the Whole Child in 2022: Reflections from Lake Area Discovery Center

tending to the whole child 2022 - daycare worker and child working at a tableThere is no question the COVID-19 Pandemic has had a greater impact on early childhood than possibly imagined.

Families have been experiencing it firsthand and the data shows it.

According to research, there has been a whopping 20-42% decline in early childhood enrollment throughout the pandemic across various states. This has resulted in the emergence of two areas impacting our youngest learners the most: a decrease in social and brain stimulation. This has presented a need for additional support in the areas of friendship skills, flexibility, and problem-solving skills to name a few.

The Good News

What can we do about it?
The good news is, these skill deficits can be easily transformed through targeted interventions and support in an early childhood program.

This is largely because: A. The brain is growing at an exponential rate between birth to age five, and B: The brain has the ability to change when engaged in stimulating activities and experiences.

As an example, research has shown that children who attended group childcare involving peer interactions had higher language and executive function skills compared to those who did not, highlighting the importance of early childhood education.

young girl at day care

Lake Area Discovery Center “Tending to the Whole Child” in 2022

It is evident that children are needing more than just an education following the effects of the pandemic. Children are requiring an increased emphasis on the development of self-regulation skills through the use of social, emotional, and behavioral supports.

Lake Area Discovery Center, a faith-based early childhood program in the Twin Cities, has been working to help families fill in the gaps created by the pandemic.

Here are five ways they’re “Tending to the Whole Child” in 2022 through their early childhood and preschool programming:

1. Licensed child psychologist on staff to support teachers
Lake Area Discovery Center has staffed a licensed child psychologist since 2017 as an integral part to supporting parents and teachers in the development of social, emotional, and behavioral skills in early childhood.

2. Individualized trainings focused on social/emotional needs in classrooms
Since 2017, Lake Area Discovery Center’s licensed child psychologist has been creating individualized continuing education courses for LADC staff that allow for hands-on application of positive behavioral strategies they can use immediately in their classroom.

3. Increased tools within the classroom to support and develop children’s mental health needs
Teachers have been supported in adding additional calming resources in every classroom.

4. Behavioral Handouts for Parents and Teachers
Parents have access to monthly behavioral handouts that target a variety of social, emotional and behavioral challenges throughout early childhood.

5. Parent-Teacher Collaboration to Promote Development
All teachers are trained and supported to engage in parent-teacher meetings that aid in early intervention or referral to alternative services.

Together, with the proper interventions, trainings, and tools, we can help our children reach their full potential in mind, body, and spirit. They are our hope for a brighter future!

child at daycare doing dot art

Looking for childcare for your toddler or for a place to call home for your upcoming preschooler this fall? The following LADC sites are currently accepting registrations for the ages listed for 2022-2023:

For a full list of locations and availability, click here.

tending to the whole child 2022 - a boy and girl preschooler play trains

Lake Area Discovery Center is a Twin Cities faith-based Early Childhood Program for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years of age with 17 metro locations. The program has been NAEYC Accredited and 4 Star Parent Aware since 2009.

Learn more about Lake Area Discovery Center’s early childhood
and preschool programming here!

Article Citations:
Tate, E. (2021, July 14). The pandemic was disastrous for early childhood education-and both kids and adults are feeling it. EdSurge.
Cardona, M.A & Neas, K (2021, Oct. 19). Supporting child and student social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs. US Department of Education.

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