November 14, 2013 10:01 am

YWCA Child Center's school readiness cirriculum and licensed, loving childcare have been positively changing the lives of children and families for more than 30 years.

YWCA Child Care Center Offers
• Licensed facility with degreed, certified nurturing teachers
• Curriculum focused on social skills and school readiness
• Delightful outdoor play park
• Gym and activity room for indoor play with large variety of educational toys and activities
• Breakfast, lunch and snack provided each day
• Classrooms for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years


School Readiness
YWCA Billings in one of the only organizations in Yellowstone County that provides a school readiness curriculum and the only one providing a program for children as young at 6 months. Other programs focus primarily on Pre-K (4-5 year olds). YWCA Billings is proud to aid children across diverse socio-economic strata, meaning that those who need this support the most can turn to us for assistance. The first five to six years of live are crucial to a child's lifelong development. During this time, young children's experiences and environments set the stage for their future development and success in school and life by establishing the neural connections that provide the foundation for language, reasoning, problem solving, social skills, behavior and emotional health. Early childhood education improves school readiness in young children which ensures their transitions into kindergarten are smooth and that they are quipped for success in grades 1 through 12 and are ultimately on target at the end of grade 12 with the Graduation Matters initiative.

Managing Emotional Mayhem: Coaching Children in the Five-Step Process
We teach children how to self-regulate their behavior when they have emotional upsets. Once teachers and parents have self-regulated their own behavior, they can help children in the journey from unconscious emotions to consciously managing their feelings in a similar five step process as adults must do.

Step 1: I Am - The Triggers
Children are triggered by an event that can lead to a tantrum that continues a few seconds or several minutes. Teachers and parents must also get to know children well enough to identify their individual triggers and ways that they attempt to self-calm so we can help them do the same for themselves. Once a child is aware of his triggers, he can choose to go to the Safe Place to begin his own self-regulatory process with additional coaching and assistance.

Step 2: I Calm
The goal is to help the child create a momentary pause between becoming lost in emotion and acting out. This pause makes it possible to make a more conscious response. To help the child create a pause, we encourage him to take three deep breaths to help shut off the fight or flight response in the body. We notice the child’s nonverbal emotional signals and bring awareness to the child, thus beginning the process of separating her identity from the emotion. This process also promotes eye contact which fosters connection and helps the calming process.

Step 3: I Feel
Our job in this step is to coach children to discover their feeling while in an upset state. This helps the child separate the feeling from his identity. The journey from “I am angry” to “I feel angry” is the essential step that allows for self-regulation to occur.

Step 4: I Choose
In this step we help the child accept the feeling in order to change it. With acceptance, the child becomes willing to change the feeling state and learn from the original trigger. Changing a feeling state from upset to calm is essential for rejoining the group. In a healthy, respectful way, we also help the child shift emotional states.

Step 5: I Solve
The child has now created the pause between impulse and action and is at an optimal learning state. We can now teach the new skill or a new perception to the original trigger. Our job is to coach the child to handle the trigger differently in order to solve the problems when it occurs again. We will prompt and encourage solutions that may involve environmental changes or new social skills. Five categories of solutions to facilitate are conflict resolution; accepting and responding to feelings; leaning a new skill; structuring the environment visually for success; and establishing stronger connection.

From Managing Emotional Mayhem: The Five Steps for Self-regulation by Becky Bailey, published by Loving Guidance, 2011, pg. 117-120

A wait list for Winter & Spring, 2014 is being formed for openings we may have in the Child Center. These include:

• Infants from six weeks
• Walkers
• 2 year olds
• 3 year olds
• 4/5 year olds

YWCA Billings Child Center offers a $50 discount for any referral that results in an enrollment, so let your friends and family know about our future openings!

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