Discoveries for those caring for children…
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“The beginning is the most important part of the work”
Program Transitions Part 2: Autumn Anticipation… now “Hello”
By Roxie Nestlerode, Early Learning Specialist
Last month we focused on transitional activities for children and staff leaving or moving to new groups. This month we will look at ideas for welcoming new children and staff into your program and helping continuing staff and children adjust to changes. You've said “good-bye” to long-time friends, and now it's time to say “hello” to new friends!Top of Page
Are you aware that Penn State Better Kid Care provides comprehensive curricula in early childhood development? The curriculum follows the Pennsylvania Core Body of Knowledge and offers multiple course titles to choose from. Each course offers numerous Distance Education lessons, providing a well-rounded approach to meet your professional development needs. Two types of lessons are offered: on demand web lessons and lessons by mail. You can view the comprehensive list of professional development web lessons and lessons by mail. To access the entire Penn State Better Kid Care Distance Education curriculum on line, visit us at www.betterkidcare.psu.edu and choose your course of study today!
New On Demand Lessons:
Advocacy: Raising Awareness for the Early Childhood Professional [K6-C1, CDA 6] – This lesson is about exploring advocacy to deepen our understanding of the early childhood system and deepen our role as an early childhood professional. Find out about the variety of advocacy roles and multiple resources to prepare you for and help you learn about advocacy. (1 hour)
Professional Development Record (PDR) - A Valuable Tool for Providers [K6-C1, CDA 6] – This lesson provides assistance for completing the Professional Development Record (PDR) and developing annual professional development goals. (1 hour)
All By Myself: Self Help Skills in Child Care [K1-C1, CDA 8] – Children love to do things for themselves. It’s fun and helps them learn. This lesson will discuss the things that are age-appropriate for children to do by themselves, how you can help children develop self-help skills, and why these skills are so valuable to child development. (1 hour)
These are available as On Demand web lessons. To complete any of these lessons on your computer and receive credit and a certificate, you will need to register.
UPDATE: To assist practitioners in providing quality care, Penn State Better Kid Care strives to reflect up-to-date information in all of our materials. Periodically it is necessary for us to remove some older lessons that contain outdated child development information, program practices, or standards. A list of Discontinued Lessons that will no longer be accepted for professional development hours is available on our website.
The 2011 Kids Count Data Book
This national report, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, ranks all states on children’s well-being based on 10 indicators of health and safety. The annual essay “America’s Children, America’s Challenge: Promoting Opportunity for the Next Generation” looks at the effects of the recession on children and families and the importance of helping children reach their full potential to successfully meet future economic challenges. Read the report at the Kids Count Data Center.
Linking Home-Based Child Care and State-Funded Preschool: The Community Connections Preschool Program
Community Connections is an innovative mixed-model preschool program in Chicago created by Illinois Action for Children in 2005 for reaching children previously not served by pre-K programs and for providing professional development to home-based providers. Community Connections provides opportunities for three- to four-year-old children in home care settings to receive center-based pre-kindergarten programming. The program offers ongoing mentoring and resources to the home-based providers and opportunities for family engagement.
Child Trends and the National Center for Children in Poverty recently completed an evaluation of the program and found that participation in the program was associated with higher quality materials available in home-based settings as well as parent-reported gains in children's development.
Read the full report of the implementation evaluation for further details on this program.
As the new program year starts, it’s a good time to add new activities and start planning for the year. Do you know that Better Kid Care has a large collection of Caring Ideas? Our Tip Sheets cover topics from all of the Knowledge Areas to help you in understanding children and developing your program. Our Activity Pages have fun activity ideas for all seasons. Our Lunch & Snack Ideas have nutritious, easy-to-make recipes and food tips.
Here’s one of our Caring Ideas– Magic Pictures!
What you need:
What to do:
Check out our Caring Ideas as you begin planning for the new program year!
Turn the Page
Franklin Goes To School by Paulette Bourgeois, published by Scholastic Paperbacks. ISBN: 0590254677
I Am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child, published by Candlewick. ISBN: 0763628875
I Love You All Day Long by Francesca Rusackas, published by HarperCollins. ISBN: 0060502789
Kindergarten Rocks! By Katie Davis, published by Sandpiper. ISBN: 0152064680
Maisy Goes to Preschool by Lucy Cousins, published by Candlewick. ISB: 0763650862
My First Day at Nursery School by Becky Edwards, published by Bloomsbury. ISBN: 1582349096
Oh My Baby, Little One by Kathi Appeit, published by Sandpiper. ISBN: 0152060316
What to Expect at Preschool by Heidi Murkoff, published by HarperFestival. ISBN: 0060529202
Connecting with Families
Ideas and resources that you can use for involving families in your program, engaging families in early learning, and encouraging family time. This month our topic is… school readiness.
What does it mean to be ready for school? What can parents, families, and child care practitioners do to help children get ready? There are many everyday activities that children can do that will help them be ready to start school. Here are several resources that you can use with families to help them understand what school readiness is and how to support their children in developing skills for school success.
Gearing Up for Kindergarten – Some county extension offices are offering a program for parents and pre-kindergarten youth to help transition to kindergarten. Contact your county extension office for more information.
More resources for families:
Family Time/Work Time – Are you looking for articles to share with your families? Do you need information for your parent/family bulletin board? Family Time / Work Time shares easy-to-read articles for busy parents and caretakers with a focus on Building Strong Families. You are welcome to print and share these publications with your friends, family, and other child care providers. View archived Family Time/Work Time articles.
Para Su Familia – A newsletter for families in Spanish. August 2011 Para Su Familia newsletter.
Action ideas, and
Caring for children from military-connected families requires a comprehensive understanding of their unique needs and strengths. Each month, Great I.D.E.A.S for Children from Military-Connected Families features research-based information to support and increase the quality of caring for children from military-connected families. This month’s highlight is on …cultural understanding.
Cultural Understanding: Competent, Responsive, and Aware
Developed by Christine Belinda, Early Learning Specialist
A child’s first place of learning is home – it’s the place where children find meaning and develop a sense of self – who they are including their family imprint. When we intentionally plan to learn more about each child and family, we begin the journey of understanding and appreciating the whole child; how they learn, what they know, what is trusted, and what will help them succeed. Each child and family in our program has their own unique culture for us to become familiar with.
If you were to describe culture to someone what would you say?
Read the full article in the newest Great Ideas! resource page Cultural Understanding: Competent, Responsive, and Aware.
More for You:
Visit the CYTTAP website to find out even more information as well as access helpful resources.
School Age childcare
Lights on Afterschool 2011
The 12th annual Lights On Afterschool campaign will be held on October 20, 2011. A million people in more than 7,500 communities throughout the country and at United States military bases worldwide are expected to help celebrate the afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families. The event will kick off on October 2 in Washington, D.C. at the CapCrit, the bike racing championship on the National Mall. Read more about the Lights On Afterschool 2011 celebration and how your program can participate.
As part of this year's celebration, JC Penney is sponsoring the Light Up A Landmark contest. If your program can get a landmark lit up for the celebration, you could win up to $5,000. contest details
More School Age Resources
Produce for Kids.org wants classrooms to put their eating habits to the test. Afterschool programs will need to track their eating habits and incorporate fruits and vegetables into lesson plans for a week. Prizes: 1st - $1,000, 2nd - $750, 3rd - $500. Deadline: October 30.
School-Age Resources available from Better Kid Care
The Spanish Preschool Competency Standards books with updated Functional Areas are now available at the Council Bookstore.
CDA + Better Kid Care = Success!
As you start your CDA, read our Step-by-Step Help from Better Kid Care brochure that describes the 5 steps toward earning your CDA credential.
Penn State Better Kid Care and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Programs are teaming up to bring you "Go Green for Kids," a monthly tip to help you provide a healthier and safer environment for the children in your care. IPM works to promote healthy alternatives for pest management to lower children’s exposure to both pests and pesticides through a variety of educational programs. Resources for children, teachers, and parents are available on the IPM website. This month's focus is on… vinegar flies!
Contributed by Amber Brunskill, PA IPM Program, email@example.com, 814-865-7994
Vinegar flies, sometimes inaccurately called fruit flies, are small flies found hovering around over-ripened bananas left out on the counter. Besides bananas, overripe or rotting fruits and vegetables, unrinsed bottles and cans, as well as sludge found in garbage cans, garbage disposals, and drains provide excellent breeding sites for vinegar flies. These light yellowish brown to dark brown colored flies lay eggs in the fermenting materials. The complete life cycle of vinegar flies (egg, maggot, pupa, adult fly) can take place in as little as eight days if the conditions are right, which can quickly lead to large populations. While vinegar flies don’t bite humans, they are a nuisance to have inside a building and should be controlled using integrated pest management (IPM) tactics.
Step 1: Removal of attractants
Step 2: Sanitation
Step 3: Trapping
Step 4: Evaluation
For more information about IPM and steps you can take to prevent pests, check out the attached factsheet and visit the website of the Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management Program (www.paipm.org). You can now follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our blog through our website.
Professional Development Highlights
The following information highlights upcoming professional development opportunities available for early childhood practitioners:
PA Keys to Quality - Professional Development Training Calendar - Are you looking for training specifically in your area? Visit the PA Keys to Quality web site to locate and search the professional development training calendar. Go to PAKEYS.ORG and Log in, Click on Calendar, Search the Calendar, and Contact the Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality office with any questions at 800-284-6031.
Oct. 17-18 – School’s Out Washington - 9th Annual Bridge from School to Afterschool and Back Conference: Connect. Act. Transform., Seattle, WA. Bridge Conference 2011 conference information
Oct. 20-21 – PA-AIMH: Pennsylvania Infant Mental Health Conference, Harrisburg, PA. PA-AIMH Conference information
Oct. 21 – CPR Training & Certification, True United Church, Philadelphia, PA, contact 215-844-1132/1208, ext. 4, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is due by Oct. 3.
Nov. 2-5 – 2011 NAEYC Annual Conference & Expo, Orlando, FL. (Registration open July 1, 2011) NAEYC Annual Conference & Expo conference information
Nov. 6-8 – Parents as Teachers 2011 Conference – Early Childhood’s Role in the Education Continuum, St. Louis, MO. Parents as Teachers 2011 Conference registration information
Nov. 11-12, 2011 – 14th Annual Penn SACCA Conference, Harrisburg, PA.
Nov. 17-19 – DEC2011: The 2th Annual International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs & Their Families, National Harbor, MD. DEC2011 conference information
Nov. 18-20 – Preparing 21st Century Minds: Using Brain Research to Enhance Cognitive Skills for the Future, Boston, MA. Preparing 21st Century Minds conference information
Nov. 30 – Dec. 2 –2011 Early Childhood Education Summit: Keeping Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood Programs Strong!, State College, PA. conference information. Registration open September 15.
Dec. 9-11 – 26th Annual National Training Institute: Zero to Three Conference, Washington, DC. Zero to Three Conference information
Dec. 9-13 – Save the Date! 28th Annual Head Start Parent Conference, New Orleans, LA. (Registration open July 1, 2011) Head Start Parent Conference conference information
Feb. 16-18 (2012) – Teaching the Whole Child and Brain: Using Brain Research to Develop Smart, Social, Happy and Healthy Students, San Francisco, CA. Teaching the Whole Child and Brain conference information
March 6-10 (2012) – NACCRRA – The National Child Care Policy Symposium, Washington, DC. NACCRRA Symposium information
March 28 – 31 (2012) – ACEI 2012 – Annual International Conference: Global Summit on Childhood, Washington, DC. ACEI 2012 Annual Conference information
March 30 – April 2 (2012) – 9th Annual National Training Institute on Effective Practices/Supporting Young Children’s Social and Emotional Development: Addressing Challenging Behavior, Clearwater, FL. Addressing Challenging Behavior National Training Institute registration information (Registration is limited)
April 2-4 - 2012 NAA Annual Convention, Dallas, TX. 2012 NAA Convention information
April 18-19 (2012) – Save the Date! 2012 PA Council of Children, Youth and Family Services: Lighting The Way To A Brighter Future, Harrisburg, PA.
April 25-27 (2012) – Save the Date! 28th Annual NACCP National Conference: How Successful Directors Manage, San Antonio, TX. 2012 NACCP Conference information
April 26-29 (2012) – International Symposia for Contemplative Studies, Denver, CO. Symposia information
June 10-13 (2012) – Save the Date! NAEYC National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development, Indianapolis, IN. Institute information
June 18-20 (2012) – Save the Date! Head Start 11th National Research Conference: Effective Practices in an Age of Diversity and Change, Washington, DC. Registration to open in February 2012.
Zero To Three - A Professional’s Guide to Creating Activities for Strengthening Parent-Child Connections is a professional activity guide to help practitioners support parents in developing and maintaining a strong bond with their young children during separations. This guide can be especially helpful in working with military families, families in transitional living situations, or divorced parents.
Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) – CSEFEL recently released the What Works Brief #23, Understanding Temperaments in Infants and Toddlers, that includes a tool for comparing how your temperament matches the temperaments of the children in your group.
The Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) – The Infant Toddler Temperament Toolis an online survey tool that looks at the “goodness of fit” between the temperaments of a child and their caregiver or parent.
Spanish Resources –
C-SPAN.org: The Benefits of Early Education Debate – The Brookings Institution hosted a panel discussion on early education, focusing on pre-school and the Head Start program. The event centered around an article written by Dr. Steven Barnett, titled "Effectiveness of Early Educational Intervention," published in the journal Science. Dr. Barnett along with the head of the national Head Start Association and other education experts participated in the event. View the video of the panel discussion on early education.
NPR.org: Why Preschool Matter – James Heckman, economist, found that the soft skills needed for successful job training are a main part of preschool programming, leading him to conclude that preschool is one of the best job training programs. Listen to Alex Blumberg’s story "Preschool: The Best Job-Training Program"
McCormick Center Radio – Adam Bryant, editor for The New York Times, and Susan Offutt, executive director of CECL, discuss fundamental qualities of education leaders. Listen to host Holly Bruno’s conversation with them.
Comcast Internet Essentials Program – Comcast is launching a new program to offer discounted Internet service and computers to low-income families. The program, called Internet Essentials, will provide low-cost access to the Internet and affordable computers as well as digital literacy training to families with children who are eligible to receive free lunches under the National School Lunch Program. Also available are options to purchase a computer at a reduced rate, as well as access to free Internet training. For a listing of eligibility criteria and program enrollment, please visit the Comcast Internet Essentials webite.
Back-to-school information –
In Our World
10th Anniversary of September 11 – NASP (the National Association of School Psychologists) has materials that can be used for helping children understand the complexity and emotions of the 10th anniversary of September 1. Materials are in English, Spanish, and Arabic. Teaching Tolerance.org has made a guide of lessons that can be used to examine issues related to the September 11 attack.
USDA –Food-borne illness is very common. The risk of this type of illness increases in warm weather. Sending food from home and eating out-of-doors may allow perishable food to reach temperatures that foster bacterial growth. The September 2011 issue of Pediatrics reported a study of temperatures of lunches that families packed and sent with their preschool children. The researchers found only 1.6% of lunches with perishable items were at safe temperature. Even when sent with ice packs, most of the lunches were at unsafe temperatures over an hour before the food was ready to be served.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is distributing BAC Down! Refrigerate Promptly and Properly. The flier includes reminders about safe temperatures, how to thaw frozen foods, and how to keep food safe that must travel. In addition, it includes a reminder about throwing out any perishable food that has been out of refrigeration for 2 hours, including cooked food. You can reproduce the flier for distribution to staff and families.
Serve Outside September (S.O.S.) – This is a month long campaign sponsored by Children & Nature Network, the Sierra Club, REI, the North Face, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. S.O.S. information
Take it Outside Week – Head Start Body Start is hosting the 2nd annual Take it Outside Week, Oct. 16-22, 2011. Take it Outside! is a week-long celebration to encourage children to get young children to go outside and connect with the natural world. Take it Outside Week information
Discover the Forest – This website, sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, has many fun ideas for getting outdoors and enjoying nature! There are many fun ideas and resources for educators, children, and families that will make discovering the forest a wonderful adventure. Discovertheforest.org
LEGO Children/s Fund – Grants for programs with specific, identifiable needs primarily for early childhood education and development that is directly related to creativity and for technology and communication projects that advance learning opportunities. Grants are awarded on a quarterly basis. Deadline: October 15
Early Childhood Reading
We Give Books - A new digital initiative that provides access to award-winning children’s picture books for reading to young children online. The program was created by the Penguin Group and Pearson Foundation.
Reading Resource Project Free books for preK-2 literacy programs. Programs pay for shipping. Deadline: Rolling
Verizon Foundation – Grants for education and literacy programs. Grant applications available here: Deadline: Rolling
Field Trip Grants
Target Community Outreach – Educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, and classified staff of these institutions must be willing to plan and execute a field trip that will provide a demonstrable learning experience for students. Must have a curriculum component. Award: Grants are up to $700. Field trip grant applications are now available. Deadline: September 30.
Green Thumb Challenge – The Green Thumb Challenge from the Green Education Foundation (GEF) aims to connect children with nature and the healthy benefits of gardening. GEF provides schools and youth groups with beginner-friendly resources to plant gardens of any size, in addition to fun activities and standards-based lessons linking the classroom to the garden. Sign up to participate and start planting! Award: All participants have the opportunity to be awarded a $5,000 grant in recognition of their garden project. Deadline: September 30.
Feature article references:
Bowlby, John. Attachment, 2nd edition. New York, NY: Basic Books, 1983.
Erikson, Erik. Childhood and Society. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1986.
Maslow, Abraham. Motivation and Personality, 3rd edition. New York, NY: Addison-Wesley, 1987.
Gallagher, Kathleen Cranley and Kelley Mayer. “Enhancing Development and Learning through Teacher-Child Relationships.” Young Children 63, no. 6, (Nov. 2008): 80-87. DC pp- 80 -87. Nov.
Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten? Tips to Help Your Child Succeed
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