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Early Childhood Literacy Matters

Posted by tinyfootstepspreschool on December 10, 2019 at 7:45 PM Comments comments ()

Early reading is more important than we might realize. If you’re a parent, chances are you spend a lot of time with your little ones loving them and playing with them. Most likely, you’re also teaching things they need to know, like how to look both ways before crossing the street, say their ABC’s, and to count to ten. You’re probably also teaching them brush their teeth. Why? Because we want our children to be safe and healthy and to develop good habits that will help them their entire lives. You probably read to them too, which is wonderful! In fact, reading to your kids is probably more important than you realize. Researchers are now" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">saying that reading aloud to our kids is just as important to them as regular tooth-brushing. As we read to our children and, in turn, help them to learn to read themselves, we are nurturing healthy minds and developing good, healthy habits that will benefit them their entire lives.

According to the" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">National Institute for Early Literacy, “Early literacy skills have a clear and consistently strong relationship with later conventional literacy skills, such as decoding, oral reading, fluency, reading comprehension, writing, and spelling. Even before children start school, they can become aware of systematic patterns of sounds in spoken language, manipulate sounds in words, recognize words and break them apart into smaller units, learn the relationship between sounds and letters, and build their oral language and vocabulary skills. These are all skills that the National Early Literacy Panel found to be precursors to children’s later growth in the ability to decode and comprehend text, to write, and to spell.”

What does this mean? It means that early childhood literacy can help our children succeed now as well as later in life.

We at Tiny Footsteps Preschool know you love your children. We want to help you in your efforts to prepare them for the competitive, globally connected world they will grow up in. In a 2005 study, it was shown that “children thrive when they are immersed in rich language, oral and written, morning, noon, and night. Play with language, recite nursery rhymes, sing songs, and engage children in daily conversations and book reading. It’s best to weave in literacy throughout the day because children learn best through repeated exposure to materials and experiences’” (Bennett-Armistead, Duke, & Moses, 2005). Enrolling your child in preschool like Tiny Footsteps enriches their early literacy experiences by providing quality education with a focus on literacy.

Lindsay A. Mack, in her article “" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">9 Benefits of Reading with Your Kid, According to Science” shared some fantastic benefits of early childhood literacy. Among them are enhanced math skills, stronger emotional and brain development, ability to recognize patters and phonetics, and more.

There are benefits to reading early that reach beyond academic, however. A good story can bring characters and people to life. Children can learn practice problem solving. They can also learn to empathize with those who have different experiences than they do. They can discover positive characteristics of their heroes they wish to emulate. Reading and being read to can nurture curiosity and wonder.

Bottom line: Early childhood literacy can open the minds and heart and doors of the little ones we love, thus opening up a world of opportunities ahead.

This is what we believe. This is our “why”—to help you help your child reach their potential. One letter, one book, one lesson at a time.

4 Benefits of Early Childhood Education for Your Child

Posted by tinyfootstepspreschool on December 3, 2019 at 8:30 AM Comments comments ()

Every good parent wants what’s best for their child. We make sure they eat, sleep, and play well—all tools in the healthy development of young children. But what if there was something else parents could do for their kids, something that could help them socially, intellectually, and emotionally? What if there was something we could offer our kids that would help them experience greater academic, social, and even financial success in their future?

The good news is there is; It is early childhood education.

A recent 2017 Harvard study analyzed 22 high-quality studies conducted over nearly 60 years and concluded that ”there is increasing evidence that social-emotional skills may play a role, as they support children’s ability to continuously engage in learning environments, manage their own behaviors, and get along well with others.”

In other words, quality education for our preschool learners can provide them with life-long benefits.


Four such benefits are:


  • Developing healthy socializing skills. When young children attend preschool, they are exposed to people off all personality types and ages. They can learn valuable social skills such as sharing, patience, kindness, and empathy that can help them develop and maintain healthy life-long social relationships. Through guided and varied play, children can gain valuable social skills, knowledge, and experience that enhance early learning. (Kaplan 1978; Bergen 1998; Johnson, Christie, & Yawkey 1999).

  • Closing the achievement gap. In education, the disparity between the academic performance of various groups of students is called the achievement gap. Laying a strong academic foundation can close that gap for your child, giving them the best chance to be successful academically and socially not only in elementary school, but in upper grades and even into adulthood." target="_blank" rel="nofollow">A 5-year study performed by Robert Slabey of San Jose State University corroborates this theory: “Children have the greatest chance of succeeding in school if they regularly attend a high quality preschool program.” In a child’s early years, millions of synapses are forming every day. Slabey’s believe is that the experiences in early childhood form the foundations of the brain. Active learning in early years not only encourages brain growth and levels the playing field in higher grades. “To bring academic equity to children at the beginning of their schooling is the first step in closing the achievement gap.”

  • Improve attention spans: Through daily schedules, teacher-guided and self-guided activities, interactive games, and engaging lessons, preschool students develop the ability to stay focused on a given task. This valuable skill also transfers to other areas of their lives, such as home, church, outings, or playdates.

  • Improve positive decision-making skills: Young children learn about choice and consequences in a safe environment such as a preschool class. As they experience cause and effect, they begin to learn what works and doesn’t work, how to think creatively, and practice making good decisions.



If these four benefits of early childhood education aren’t enough, here a few more:

Children learn to cooperate

They develop enthusiasm for life-long learning

They learn respect

Children gain confidence

Creativity is boosted

They are better prepared for kindergarten

They become better readers in elementary school and beyond


Here at Tiny Footsteps Preschool, we not only believe in the benefits of early childhood education, but we have seen them in the lives of the students we teach and care for. We would love to be a part of bringing these benefits into your child’s life too.


Want to know more? Click" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">HERE to contact us for more information.

Want to enroll your child for our next semester? Click" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">HERE to snag a spot on our priority enrollment list.

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Interview with Ms. Megan

Posted by tinyfootstepspreschool on November 23, 2019 at 1:10 PM Comments comments ()


Megan Bowden registered her son at Tiny Footsteps Preschool in 2011 in the hope it would offer him a valuable and even life-changing learning and growing opportunity. Little did she know Tiny Footsteps Preschool would be doing that for her as well.


When founder" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Heather Traeden was ready to hand the reigns of Tiny Footsteps over, she wanted someone who had the same vision and passion as she did. She had to look no further than Megan to find the right person to continue the legacy of quality learning and loving.


Read on as Megan tells you, in her own words, about herself, how she came to own Little Footsteps Preschool, and what we can look forward to in the coming years.



Tell us something interesting about yourself?

I grew up in Idaho but moved to Utah about 25 years ago. I have been married for nearly 20 years and have 4 beautiful children, whom have had the opportunity to all attend Tiny Footsteps.


What brought you to Tiny Footsteps?

I came to Tiny Footsteps Preschool in 2011, when my son was beginning preschool. I originally came in as a parent, but quickly took a part time position as a reading day helper.


What have been your responsibilities there?

I have done nearly everything within my comfort zone. I prefer to assist verses be the lead teacher, but if Jen is ever gone, I take over the lead teacher for the days. I have assisted in the MWF preschool class for most of my time at Tiny Footsteps, but just this year, I have also begun assisting in the TR class as well.


How has the transition of taking ownership of Tiny Footsteps been?

The transition overall went pretty smooth. [Our team] met with Heather, discussed what has worked, not worked, and the nitty gritty things several times, we were able to hash out what we know, don’t know and where we need to make some adjustments. There have been moments of stress, worry and overwhelm, but I feel we have the dream team and together have maintained the vision of Tiny Footsteps with the future in mind.


Who else is part of the Tiny Footsteps team?

I am the owner. Jen Munk is the lead teacher. I assist [Jean] teach each day. Alexis Swanson helps with marketing, back office, and “tech” stuff.


What is your future goal for TF?

I hope in the next couple of years to expand Tiny Footsteps [so we can] offer morning and afternoon classes. I really can’t picture my life without the preschool and look forward to working it until I cannot.


What else would you like to say about TF?

I feel absolutely blessed to continue the legacy of the Tiny Footsteps Preschool. It has blessed the lives of my children and I hope to continue to bless the lives of each and every child (and their family) that come to our preschool. I do my best to tailor to each child, and work on building up the whole child. I look forward to the many, many more children who become Tiny Footstep’ers.




Interview with Founder Ms. Heather

Posted by tinyfootstepspreschool on November 19, 2019 at 10:00 AM Comments comments ()


“Our goal is to build your child’s positive self-concept, sense of accomplishment and confidence, and to instill in your child a love of learning.” Heather Traeden, Tiny Footsteps founder


If you could predict any kind of future for your child, our guess it would be one filled with possibility and potential. We at Tiny Footsteps Preschool echo Abraham Lincoln when he said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”


We are dedicated to your child’s future, starting here and now. “Our goal is to build your child’s positive self-concept, sense of accomplishment and confidence, and to instill in your child a love of learning.” We do this by offering a wholistic learning environment with an emphasis on school-ready curriculum. In short, we help you prepare create the foundation of a great future for your child.


The following interview with Traeden will give you a glimpse of who we are, who we got here, and the “why” behind what we do here. Our program and curriculum are the frame and brain, but the people are the heart and soul.


Hi Heather. Tell us something interesting about yourself?

I have been certified as a Behavior Analyst for many years and work with Neurobehavioral Center for Growth providing administrative oversight, ABA therapy to children with ASD, and providing training to those who work with children.


That is fascinating! What is your educational background?

I have several degrees. MEd in Education, MS in Human Development and Social Policy, BA in Human Development and Family Studies as well as a certification and licensure in Applied Behavior Analysis. I have also completed a graduate program in Child Life in 2000. I have been trained in several therapies for children (play, art, imagery, stress reduction, etc.)


You have a lot of education and clinical experience working with children of all types. How did these play a role in opening a preschool?

I originally opened a preschool like most moms here in Utah do, [because] I needed one for my children and knew that I could provide an excellent foundation for the child’s educational future. It was also something that I could do while raising a family and finishing my own education. In 2003, I partnered with several families in formulating a charter school here in the area, Legacy Preparatory Academy. The charter school opened in the fall of 2006. Tiny Footsteps creates preschool friendly, but similar environment so that the transition, especially those who go to LPA, have a smoother transition.


What is your vision/mission statement?

At Tiny Footsteps we learn hard and play harder. Tiny Little Footsteps aims to prepare your child for kindergarten in all aspects, but is very curriculum-focused. 


You mention your school is very curriculum focused. Can you tell us more about this?

[Tiny Footsteps is a] challenging program [which] meets academic, physical, social and emotional needs. [Our] curriculum is based on kindergarten readiness materials from a classical education foundation.


What else would you like to say about Tiny Footsteps?

As a Tiny Footprint student, your child will not only learn to read and be prepared for grade-level math concepts, but will grow in social skills (sharing, taking turns, cooperation, empathy), fine motor skills essential for kindergarten (like cutting, gluing and handwriting), and other necessary skills (listening, following directions, participation, motivation, creativity) to ensure his/her success in kindergarten. Our goal is to build your child’s positive self-concept, sense of accomplishment, and confidence, and to instill in your child a love of learning.


Thanks, Heather, for that peek into the start and heart of Tiny Footsteps Preschool!


In the spring of 2019, Heather passed the reigns of Tiny Footprints to Megan Bowden. Megan shares the vision for and love of our school. We, and your children, are all in good hands.


Next week we will get to know Megan better as well as learn about her goals for the future of Tiny Footsteps Preschool—a future that we hope involves you and your children too.