We’re Hiring!

Little Steps Early Learning Center is currently accepting applications for full-time teachers to provide childcare to children ages 6 weeks to 6 years old. Up to three full-time positions are available.

 

Candidates must have experience working with children in a licensed childcare program; must have the ability to work independently and be comfortable with exercising good judgement and decision making skills as well as maintaining a safe environment at all times.

 

Requirements:

Candidates must be CPR & First Aid Certified and successfully complete pre-employment requirements of the daycare and the organization. This position involves:

  • Supervision of children ages 6 weeks up to 6 years
  • Acting as a liaison between the children and parents
  • Addressing problems and answering questions
  • Creating a stimulating environment for the children by conducting developmentally appropriate activities under the creative curriculum.
  • Following all health and safety rules, both state and center regulated
  • Willingness to maintain education and training

 

Benefits:

Benefits eligible employees are eligible for health, dental, vision, life insurance, short term disability, long term disability, 401K, and flexible spending accounts. Other benefits include a smoke-free work environment and on site employee discounts at our spa!

 

Education:

Candidates must meet minimum education and experience requirements of the State of NH Child Care licensing rules to be considered for these positions. Consideration is given to candidates who are Assistant, Associate or Lead qualified teachers.

 

Location:

This position is located at 7 Works Way in Somersworth, NH.

 

Interested in learning more about the position? For more information and to apply please visit: http://www.pmcmedicalgroup.org/employment-opportunities/

2016 Thanksgiving Food Basket Drive

2016 Thanksgiving Food basket Drive

 

 

For many families in need, the holidays cause increased stress as limited finances make it difficult to provide special holiday meals.

In 2015 the Community Food Pantry provided Thanksgiving baskets for 410 families in Somersworth, NH and Berwick, ME. This year, they are anticipating a greater need, and our support is needed to help fill these baskets.

How you can Help:

 

  • Make a monetary donation (these allow the pantry to purchase exactly what they need at discounted prices)
  • Donate gift cards to local Supermarkets. The pantry can use them to purchase needed items.
  • Donate Canned and Dry goods in the box provided.

Example items: Canned Veggies and Fruits, Stuffing, Dry Boxed Meals, Cake Mixes, Canned and Boxed Pasta, Canned baked Beans, Snacks, Other Non-Perishables

 

All donations made to the pantry are tax deductible and are used in direct support of purchase, storage and delivery of food.

 

Donations may be made to:

The Community Food Pantry, Inc.
PO Box 228
Somersworth, NH 03878-0228

Now Hiring!

bigstock-Happy-teacher-sitting-with-chi-50600429_webLittle Steps Early Learning Center in Somersworth, NH is currently accepting applications for full time teachers to provide care and nurturing to children ages 6 weeks to 3 years old. Full time positions are currently available in our infant and toddler rooms.

Eligible full time employees can enjoy benefits such as health, dental, vision, disability insurance, life insurance, PTO and holiday pay!

At Little Steps Early Learning Center, children always come first. Our programs are designed to encompass all learning styles and abilities. We use the Creative Curriculum and provide a variety of developmentally appropriate learning opportunities.

At Little Steps Early Learning Center, we welcome all children and families. We appreciate that all families are unique and that we can all learn from each other. We embrace the diversity of each child and family.

Candidates must have a a minimum of 1,000 hours of experience working with children in a licensed child care program. Previous experience caring for infants or toddlers in a childcare center is preferred. Must have the ability to work independently and be comfortable with exercising good judgement and decision making skills as well as maintaining a safe environment at all times.

Please send a cover letter and resume to: jennifer.newsome@painmd.com

Fax: 603-692-1879
Or mail to:

Human Resources
7 Works Way
Somersworth, NH 03878

Little Steps Early Learning Center is a smoke-free work environment.

Holiday Survival Guide: Stress Management For Parents

Thanksgiving is over but the holiday season is in full swing. By now, you’re shopping for gifts on your very little spare time, staying up late planning another holiday event, and maybe even working additional hours to bring in extra money. This time of year can trigger nostalgia with holiday lights, first snowfalls, and family traditions but it can also wreak havoc on our mental and physical health. Parenting is hard! Parenting during the holidays? Forget about it! Instead of wearing yourself thin this year, make a plan with your spouse or partner to mentally check out from the stress and do something that lowers the blood pressure. Need ideas? We’ve got you covered.

Find A Responsible Babysitter:

This is essential! When you feel ready to leave your sweet little one for a couple of hours, find someone that is qualified and trustworthy. This can be a family member or someone you hire from a website like care.com. Take a date night before a big event. Detach yourself from the obligations and planning and treat yourselves to a night out. Add some extra money to the holiday budget for this and know that it is going to good use.

Get Some Extra Rest:

Ok, you’re a parent, this isn’t always possible. I get it! If you have a child that still loves nap time, forget all the list making and present wrapping and catch some Zzzzz’s with them. You don’t need a marathon 2 hour snooze. Having a 20-30 min nap can help take the edge off and give you extra energy to make it through the rest of the day. This can be extremely helpful for parents of infants and toddlers. I’m speaking from experience.

Get Outside & Breathe:

Researchers are discovering that surrounding yourself with nature can be one of the most powerful stress-relievers out there. Bundle up the kiddos and get outside for a walk or even just a hang out in the yard and play games. Take some deep breaths, center yourself, and enjoy the moment. Stop thinking about the things you have to do and focus on being present with your family and yourself. You may be surprised at the results!

Practice Self Care:

This is another task that oftentimes seems impossible. Self care doesn’t always have to mean scheduling a massage or a night out with friends. Start small and take a relaxing bath with essential oils when the kids go to bed or pop in a movie with a glass of wine. Taking time for yourself is NOT selfish. It’s essential for happiness and wellbeing.

Have more Stress Management Tips?

Send us an email and we’ll post them on Facebook!

Teaching Our Little Ones The True Meaning Of The Holidays

The Holidays are fast approaching and the madness will soon begin. Hosting family, cooking, cleaning, wrapping, shopping – it can be completely overwhelming. This year, step back from the holiday craziness and take some time to teach your kids the true meaning of compassion and selflessness. This can be as simple as purchasing a gift for a family in need or donating to your local food bank. Helping kids learn that the holiday season is about giving – not just getting – will not only allow them engage in community service projects but also create new family traditions that focus on the true meaning of the holiday season.

Here are some great family projects that give back:

Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen: With all the extra cookies and sweets around, it’s easy to forget that people in your own town are going hungry. Sign up with your child to help serve a meal at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Some organizations will ask for volunteers to donate the meal ingredients as well as prepare it: Let your little one pick out one of their favorite recipes to make and serve for those less fortunate.

Click here to find shelters in the Dover, NH area.

Adopt a Family:  Adopt a family in need this year, and let your child help pick out presents and clothes for a less fortunate family in your area. Explain that not everyone can afford to celebrate the holidays, but you can make sure other kids have gifts to unwrap this year by sharing.

Visit New Generation for ways you can help.

Support Our Troops: Help your child prepare a holiday package for a service person who is spending the holidays away from home.

Visit Operation Give to learn how you can send a care package to a soldier.

Have more suggestions for us? Leave us a message below and we’ll post them to our Facebook page throughout the holiday season.

Sniffle Strategies: Tips To Stay Healthy Through This Year’s Cold And Flu Season

If you have kids, chances are you’ll have at least one sizeable cold this year. If you’re lucky, you’ll dodge the flu all together. University of Arizona scientists have found that when someone is sick in an office, it takes only four hours for surfaces like coffee pot handles, copy-machine buttons and the fridge door to show traces of infectious virus. EWW! Considering that the 2014-2015 flu season was one of the worst on record—it even reached epidemic status—it’s well worth arming yourself against aches, cough, fever and general misery.

Sometimes coming into contact with germs is unavoidable but there are always ways you can stay ahead of the game:

Get Your Flu Shot: Seems like a no brainer, right? The flu shot is your single best defence in contracting the flu. Most doctors offices and local clinics offer them throughout the year. Do it, or suffer the consequences. Salmon Falls Family Health is offering Adult Flu Clinics on Monday, October 12 & Thursday, October 15 for established patients.

Wash Your Hands: Another no brainer. It’s easy to forget this important defence against cold and flu virus but it’s also another simple and effective way for germs to die a quick death before reaching their target destination, aka: you.

Exercise: Maintaining a regular exercise routine is a great way to boost your immune-system, which can prevent cold bugs you do catch from making you sick.

Get your Zzz’s: Going to bed early to ensure you get your 8 hours, or more, will also keep your immune system in tip top shape.

Eat Healthy: We all slip and head for the junk food instead of the salad but making sure you get plenty of vitamins through a healthy diet is key to helping your immune system go strong. Try to avoid a sugar overload. Instead, snack on fruit and veggie sticks with peanut or almond butter.

Carry antibacterial wipes: You never know what’s lurking on shopping carts and gas handles. Better to give those a quick wipe down before getting your shopping on then regret it the next day. I don’t leave home without mine!

Visit Little Steps at Toddlerfest!

Little Steps is excited to be a part of Toddlerfest at the Children’s Museum of NH!

Girls_applesToddlerfest will take place from Saturday, Sept. 19th through Sunday, October 4th. The museum describes it as:

When the big kids go back to school, it’s time for young visitors to rule the roost and enjoy exciting activities geared just for them and their caregivers. Our annual Toddlerfest celebration offers guests ages 0–5 experiences with music and movement, science, art and storytelling while caregivers learn how these experiences relate to their child’s cognitive growth and development.

Little Steps will be at Toddlerfest on Friday, Sept. 25th from 10:15 am – 12:00 pm, offering valuable information about child development, as well as fun activities with apples for the kiddos. Giveaways as well! Hope to see you there!

Tips on Taming the Toddler Tantrum

To Jumperoo…Or Not To Jumperoo? That Is The Question.

Hazel playing happily in her Exersaucer.

Hazel playing happily in her Exersaucer.

If you have an infant, you have at least heard the words ‘Jumperoo’ and ‘Exersaucer,’ whether or not you know the difference between the two. Just like the Bumbo seat, and probably every other baby-related apparatus, there is controversy about their usefulness versus their detrimental effects on your child. Since many of the most commonly known pros and cons of the Exersaucer and the Jumperoo are the same or very similar, we’ll give them a once over simultaneously.

Need a visual? A Jumperoo is what Hazel is sitting in in the picture at the top. The brand of this particular one is ‘Exersaucer,’ which is a tad confusing. The Exersaucer is pictured to the right.

What makes them awesome:

Yes, both the Exersaucer and the Jumperoo are loads of fun for your baby thanks to all the gadgets on them and the jumping or bouncing they allow your baby to try on for size before they are able to walk. Just look at the picture of Hazel in her Jumperoo – have you ever seen a happier baby?

But the biggest plus, and perhaps the entire reason these things were invented – is they allow us as parents to get things done by keeping our children entertained and out of harm’s way. If you have ever gone a couple days without showering because you have a 5 month old attached to you constantly, and it’s just time to shower, you get where I’m coming from.

Why they might not actually be that awesome:

If you want an explanation in full detail as to why the Exersaucer in particular is not a great ergonomic or developmental choice for your little one, read this post from mamaot.com.

I’ll sum it up for you –

  • Both the Exersaucer and the Jumperoo situate the baby in a swayback position while leaning forward, compensating by tilting the head too far back. Poor posture = bad.
  • The baby ends up mostly balancing on his/her toes, which can overdevelop the calf muscles and possibly lead to toe walking later.
  • Both items can delay the baby’s development when it comes to balance control because they don’t need it when in one of these, and it has been argued that they can delay standing and walking instead of encouraging it.
  • The Exersaucer in particular places toys in front of baby, easily within reach, which removes the need to get around and explore the environment naturally…not that the baby can do that anyway while in this or the Jumperoo.

So really, is EVERYTHING bad for babies?

The general consensus is that this kind of equipment might not be optimal, but it’s convenient in a pinch and sometimes necessary when certain things can’t wait any longer (a.k.a. that shower). Your baby will not likely get hurt in one of these, but aim to not use it for more than 15-20 minutes per day, as a last resort. Playing hands-on with your baby, helping him or her reach those milestones in a more natural environment is best for your child’s development.

 

The Adventurous Eater: Preparing For Baby’s First Bites

tilly_foodHas your little one been eyeballing your breakfast? Maybe she is reaching out to grab your fork or spoon during dinner. If this sounds familiar, chances are they are ready to try solid foods. First bites are a big milestone in a baby’s life. Often parents begin with rice cereal or baby oatmeal. But today, the bland fare that has traditionally dominated the diet of American babies – cereal, plain pasta, and the like – may be creating a generation of picky eaters. In other words, branching out of the traditional norm and dressing up baby’s first foods with spices won’t hurt your baby. In fact, breastfed babies have already enjoyed this experience as breast milk takes on the flavors of the food the mother eats. If you dine at your favorite Indian restaurant and then nurse, your baby will also enjoy a flavorful Indian meal. Going from flavor to bland won’t seem like much fun to baby. Of course, mixing foods and spices together should only be done after food allergies are ruled out.

When choosing ingredients for preparing your baby’s first meal, one thing that is known is that the organic factor matters more for certain foods than others. For example, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and avocados tend to have relatively low levels of pesticide residue. On the other hand, conventional apples, lettuce, and strawberries have some of the highest levels. For guidance, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group ranks 53 fruits and vegetables from worst to best in terms of pesticide residue.

If you find yourself ready to add Baby Food Chef to your mom resume, consider tossing some some rosemary in with that squash, liven up that chicken with a dash of cumin, and give those mashed potatoes a kick with a blend of paprika and parsley. You may be surprised by your baby’s reaction.

>> Recipe: Simple Apples & Cinnamon

Ingredients:

3 organic apples

Teaspoon of Cinnamon

Directions:

Peel, core, and slice apples.

Add apples to steamer basket and allow them to become soft (8-10min).

Transfer steamed apples to a food processor and add cinnamon.

Blend apples to desired consistency.

Enjoy!

>> Recipe: Apples, Cinnamon & Strawberry Puree

5 or 6 medium sized organic strawberries (washed)

3 organic apples

Teaspoon of Cinnamon

Directions:

Slice strawberries in half.

Peel, core, and slice apples.

Add strawberries and apples to steamer basket and allow them to become soft (8-10min).

Transfer steamed strawberries, apples, and cinnamon to a food processor and blend to desired consistency.

Enjoy!

Learn About Our Programs:

littlestepsnh.com/infants
Littlestepsnh.com/toddlers
Littlestepsnh.com/Pre-K