Button Law Firm February 2018

And the Benefits of Learning Early HOWYOUNG MINDS ABSORB A SECOND LANGUAGE

If you speak a second language, you have the unique ability to set your child up for a lifetime of advantages. Not only does a second language benefit your child in adulthood, but learning another language also strengthens multiple parts of their developing brain, according to Michigan State University. You may not want to overload your kids with two lexicons, but this is really not the case. Children quickly adapt to dual languages. The brain is a muscle, and like any other muscle in our body, the more it’s exercised, the stronger it becomes.

words, it increases their ability to focus on one thing or change their responses, a skill called cognitive flexibility. The more you can expose your little one to different sounds in their first year, the more they’ll pick up those sounds as their brain creates new neural circuits. If you speak a second language and have a child at home, now is a great time to share it with them. Your child is especially ready to pick up new sounds and words, with the added benefit of learning their heritage. If you’re ready to teach your child a second language, here are a few ways to incorporate new words. 1. Take time to talk with your child in a second language during playtime. Research shows babies need personal interaction to learn, so switching on the TV in another language won’t suffice. 2. Increase vocabulary by giving options in a second language. Try questions like “Do you want juice or milk?” or “Do you want to play on the swings or by the tree?” 3. Find a language exchange group or bilingual daycare to increase your child’s exposure to a second language. If you don’t know a second language but want to give your child a head start, you can begin by learning new words together. How fun would it be if you become bilingual as a family? WHO HAS TO BE REGISTERED? Home-based care facilities that provide care for four to six children, plus six additional school-aged children, must be registered. Facilities that have fewer children to look after usually fit the criteria for registration, while facilities that have higher numbers must apply for a license. A licensed facility will usually also undergo more state regulation, while registration relies on self-monitoring and parental monitoring. WHO HAS TO BE LISTED? Finally, some facilities will fit the requirement for being “listed.” A home-based provider that cares for three or fewer children at a time has to “list” themselves with the state of Texas and cannot have more than 12 children under their care total. They will not undergo regular inspections and are not required to have any specific education or training. The listed provider must be over 18 and will go through background checks. Make sure your children are safe by knowing these requirements. To quickly find a list of licensed day care centers, go to the Department of Family and Protective Services Licensing Division, where they have a quick search feature. If you have more questions, talk to The Button Law Firm. Let’s keep our kids safe together.

With all the research floating around about how beneficial it is to teach your child a second language, you might wonder why youngsters pick up languages so easily. According to NBC News, the answer lies in their flexible minds. Children’s brains develop in response to external stimulants. Did you know that babies are born with the ability to distinguish the sounds of all languages? As they get older, even before their first birthday, they lose that ability. Kids are able to take in sounds, intonation, and language structure more easily than adults who have to painstakingly memorize verb structures and grammar. Children under 8 are especially primed to pick up a new language thanks to flexible ear and speech muscles. As they take in new

KNOW WHAT TO ASK YOUR DAY CARE PROVIDER

Not far away in Fort Worth, an 8-month-old baby died in the hands of a day care provider. The mother had interviewed the provider, visited her home, and believed her child would be safe there — until her baby was found lifeless in its baby carrier, shut in a walk-in closet of the day care. It turned out the facility was not licensed, and it cost a child’s life. How could this happen? You’ve read before that some day care centers will claim they are licensed when, in reality, they are not. How can you determine which ones truly are? To answer this question, it’s important to know the difference between a licensed, registered, and listed day care facility and to know what Texas law says about these levels of certification. WHO HAS TO BE LICENSED? It may be shocking, but Texas does not require all day care facilities or individuals who care for children to be licensed. Any center-based care facility that provides care for seven or more children for less than 24 hours in a day at a location other than the caregiver’s home must be licensed.

For a home-based care facility, if it provides care for more than 12 children, including the caregiver’s own children, it must be licensed.

www.buttonlawfirm.com

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