The decisions parents make when their kids are the smallest can have big, resonant consequences. What type of preschool program is best? Why should we vaccinate against long-gone diseases?
Scary recent news definitively answers the latter. Anti-vax inclinations are somewhat understandable — no parent likes to see their child stuck with a needle. But as the Disneyland measles outbreak proves, you never know when a single immunization opt-out is going to affect your community. A vaccinated asthmatic child in my middle-schooler’s social studies class is currently struggling with a horrendous, lingering case of whooping cough, passed on by an unvaccinated peer. My son’s up to date on his shots (including flu and HPV), but every sniffle and snuffle he’s made since we learned about his friend’s illness has been nerve-wracking. In "Vaccinations: After the Disneyland Measles Outbreak," we list four facts aimed at quelling vaccine anxiety and shoring up immunity in all our kids.
Less dire but no less fraught, the process of picking a preschool or child-care center has long-term implications for academic success. The choice often comes down to a gut-check, which sounds about right to the early education experts we speak with in "How to Pick a Preschool." Read it, then click through to MetroKids.com/childcare to custom-search a quality fit in your area. Looking for an in-home arrangement? We’ve got tips from a former Main Line nanny to help you find — and keep — the best baby-sitter possible.
And if you want a day of family fun without making any decisions at all, hit one of the area’s fantastic art venues and follow our curator picks for the masterpieces that rank as kid must-sees. Their choices are vibrant, never boring and somewhat surprising — just like our kids. Go, and before to report back and comment on which ones resonated the most.