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:

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.

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

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.


Before You Use the Bumbo Seat…

Hazel sitting in her Bumbo Seat for the first..and probably the last time.

Hazel sitting in her Bumbo Seat for the first..and probably the last time.

This one-piece, adorable little seat called the Bumbo Seat is made of foam, and has been popular among parents with infants for several years. Its popularity is no surprise – as soon as an infant can support his/her own head (usually by 4 months of age), he/she can sit upright, fully supported by the Bumbo and play with arms free while mom and dad finally get some stuff done.   It seems harmless enough, but in addition to its voluntary recall of 1 million Bumbo seats in 2007 to address the dangers of using the seat on raised surfaces, and its recall in 2012 to add a seatbelt after numerous babies fell out and suffered skull fractures, pediatric physical therapists believe it interferes with normal motor skill development.

Rebecca Talmud is a Pediatric Physical Therapist who published a blog about the Bumbo Seat as a guest on Mama OT. She describes the following as standard motor milestones in developing infants:

  • Between 6-9 months we expect typically developing children to begin to sit upright on the floor for short periods of time, first using support from hands and later independently.
  • Between 9-12 months, we expect children will begin to gain more control in seated position. When seated on the floor, they will begin to turn their trunk to reach and manipulate toys placed around them.

Rebecca states, “When children are placed in the Bumbo before they are developmentally ready for sitting it can interfere with the natural progression of skills.”

How exactly does it interfere? Rebecca explains that the seat claims to hold the child in a specific position that allows for the ‘active practice of the head and postural control,’ when in reality, there is no active control being achieved. The child is passively placed in position and then locked in.” There is a lack of muscle activation and joint mobility while in the Bumbo, and no natural weightbearing occuring, which robs the child of the sensory input needed for development.

Talmud’s post goes on to mention other inconsistencies between what the Bumbo claims to accomplish and what actually happens during use in regards to posture, noted in the Chicago Tribune by Mary Weck, Clinical Coordinator of Physical Therapy at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Seems a no-brainer to toss your Bumbo Seat so it can join the ranks of other failed and unsafe baby equipment. Instead of a Bumbo, help your baby practice sitting by physically sitting with your baby. If you need to get stuff done, make use of a Moby wrap or Ergo.

Check back later for the lowdown on the ExerSaucer!


Dog Week in the Mango Room

At Little Steps, we are encouraging our toddlers to find their inner impressionists. Our Mango’s came up with some abstract puppy paintings that are sure to catch your eye!

Mango Dog Week1

As we all know, not only painting, but arts and crafts in general, can be a ton of fun! One thing we must remember is, aside from fun, the importance of craft and ingenuity. Simple creative activities are some of the building blocks of child development. The motions that come with painting or scribbling with a crayon are essential to the development of fine motor skills within toddlers. Along with fine motor skills, crafting with kids gives them an opportunity to learn new words, shapes and colors, in turn aiding in your child’s language development. According to a report by Americans for the Arts, art education strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating art carries over into other parts of life. “If they are exploring and thinking and experimenting and trying new ideas, then creativity has a chance to blossom,” says MaryAnn Kohl, an arts educator and author of numerous books about children’s art education.  As well as problem-solving, language, and cognitive development, art plays a role in children’s inventiveness and visual learning. These skills are more important now than ever! “Parents need to be aware that children learn a lot more from graphic sources now than in the past,” says Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University. “Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it.”  PBSKids states that “knowledge about the visual arts, such as graphic symbolism, is especially important in helping kids become smart consumers and navigate a world filled with marketing logos.

Here is a book the Mango’s read to wrap up Dog Week!Mango Dog Week3

The Latest Blueberry Project

“Every child is a different kind of flower, and all together, they make this world a beautiful garden.” -Unknown

July garden1We take pride in our creative learning curriculum as well as making sure your active little ones have an awesome time here at Little Steps. Although these precious tikes may be young, it is still vital for their development to learn who they are as people through imitation and imaginativeness. This month our theme is Garden; we practiced these developmental techniques by painting and making abstract pictures with our hands, feet and reading fun books about bugs. Here are some photos of July’s Garden theme crafts.

In the piece of art above: each flower represents a Blueberry and the teachers are listed in the clouds.

In the piece of art below: the Blueberries had fun getting messy in the paint with their hands, feet, knees and elbows!

July garden3

Stay Cool in the Summer Heat

Tips for Keeping Kids Safe This Summer

Warm weather is here and the heat continues to get more intense! Summer is the season for fun times, great friends and getting outside; but it’s also a time to take extra precaution when it comes to protecting your infants and toddlers.

Follow these simple tips to keep your kids safe in the sun:

  • Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight with shade, an umbrella or the canopy of the stroller.
  • Your car can reach 120 degrees on hot July days; never leave your child in the car, even if you’re going in the store for ONE minute! Kids in Cars put into effect a Lock Before You Walk campaign to help parents keep their children safe.
  • Make good choices when it comes to choosing your kids’ ‘outfit of the day.’ Loose, tight-woven pants and long-sleeve shirts are good barriers to keep between your kids and the sun.
  • Have your child wear a hat or cap to protect his/her face.
  • Limit sun exposure to times to before 10am and after 4pm, since hours in between are the when the sun is at its most intense and can cause the most damage.
  • Find yourself and your child sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection.
  • USE SUNSCREEN! Always choose the sunscreen that says “broad Spectrum” – it will shelter your skin from UVA and UVB rays. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. For more sensitive areas of the skin such as the face, use sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Although these sometimes leave the white on your skin, they now come in fun colors that kids love! For babies younger than 6 months, protect with clothing and apply sunscreen on small areas such as the face and backs of the hands.For children older than 6 months, apply sunscreen to all areas of the body. Be careful to avoid the eyes. If the sunscreen irritates their skin, try a different brand, a sunscreen stick, or sunblock with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. It is recommended that sunscreen be reapplied every two hours. Read more HERE.
  • Last, but definitely not least: Lead by example! Teach your children and family good sun protection techniques by screening yourself from the sun the right way.

Here at Little Steps your child’s safety is our top priority! We keep your child’s safety in mind when going outside by applying sunscreen and dressing them in hats provided by parents, as well as by finding the shadiest spot for your little one to play in (Blueberries, especially).

Learn more HERE!