Discoveries for those caring for children…
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“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person. ”
— Fred Rogers
Provider Appreciation Day, May 11 – For ideas to celebrate early care and education providers, visit Provider Appreciation Day.org.
Celebrating Caring, Celebrating You!
By Roxie Nestlerode, Early Learning Specialist
Each April and May, we celebrate young children and early care and education practitioners during the Week of the Young Child and on Provider Appreciation Day. It gives us the chance to highlight the importance of quality early childhood education, and all early childhood professionals do to help young children develop into healthy, successful adults. As a caregiver you nurture, support, encourage, and promote others every day. You are focused on the children, and spend your day creating a fun, challenging, healthy, and safe early learning program. You probably don't take much time for yourself or even get a chance to think about your impact on the children in your program. So take this time to care for yourself and celebrate everything that you bring to your work with children!
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. Lessons can be sorted by Core Body of Knowledge area, CDA code, and School-age code. 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:
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.
Getting to Know Families with Infants [K5 C1, CDA 4]
Working with children means learning to work in partnership with their parents. The more you know about each family, the better you can work together to meet the needs of their growing baby. This lesson will help you learn more about how parents of babies think and feel. You’ll learn some common problems that come up between parents and childcare providers, and what a family provider can do to build good relationships with parents. (1 hour)
Getting to Know Families with Toddlers [K5 C1, CDA 4]
Working with children means learning to work in partnership with their parents. The more you know about each family, the better you can work together to meet the needs of their growing toddlers. This lesson will help you learn more about how parents of toddlers think and feel. You’ll learn some of the most common problems that come up between parents and child care providers, and what a family provider can do to develop a good relationship with parents. (1 hour)
The On Demand system may be unavailable on Sundays from 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. (EST) for system maintenance.
¡Mas Lecciones en Español!
Apoyando a las familias de los niños (Supporting Children’s Families) [K3C1, CDA4] (1 hour)
Esta lección es acerca de cómo usted puede comprender y apoyar las necesidades de los padres de los niños bajo su cuidado. Aprenda cómo puede responder a las necesidades de las familias de una manera útil y comprehensiva.
A través de los ojos de un bebé (Through the Eyes of an Infant) [K1C1, CDA8] (1 hour)
¿Cómo se ve la vida a través de los ojos de un bebé? Cuanto más usted sepa acerca de las necesidades de un bebé, mejor equipado va a estar para satisfacerlas. Esta unidad trata de la necesidad que tiene un bebé de contar con una relación de confianza y de cuidado sensible.
A través de los ojos de un niño pequeño (pinito) (Through the Eyes of a Toddler) [K1C1, CDA8] (1 hour)
Esta lección describe los sentimientos y pensamientos de los niños pequeños (pinitos) y les ayuda a los proveedores de cuidado infantil a aprender la mejor manera de responderle a los niños pequeños en su programa de cuidado infantil. ¿Cómo se ve la vida a través de los ojos de un niño pequeño?
A través de los ojos de un niño de tres años (Through the Eyes of a 3-Year Old) [K1C1, CDA8] (1 hour)
Esta lección describe los sentimientos y pensamientos de los niños de tres años de edad. Los proveedores de cuidado infantil aprenderán la mejor manera de fomentar el desarrollo de los niños de tres años que están bajo su tutela. ¿Cómo se ve la vida a través de los ojos de un niño de tres años?
Está usted listo para tomar una lección? Lecciones en Español (Information on lessons in Spanish)
Thank you to all who joined us for our first webinar!
The Impact of Quality Child Care
The nursery-school, if it became universal, could in one generation, remove the profound differences in education which at present divide the classes, could produce a population all enjoying the mental and physical development which is now confined to the most fortunate, and could remove the terrible dead-weight of disease and stupidity and malevolence which now makes progress so difficult.
– Bertrand Russell in Education and the Good Life, 1926
Adult Outcomes as a Function of an Early Childhood Educational Program: An Abecedarian Project follow-up – The Carolina Abecedarian Project from the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute has followed children for 30 years to determine the benefits of early childhood education for children of poverty and low-income families. Recent findings show that the children who attended quality child care as young children are still showing improved outcomes in education and employment.
Does Higher Quality Early Child Care Promote Low-Income Children’s Math and Reading Achievement in Middle Childhood? – This research study, published in Child Development, found that children from low-income families, who had attended quality child care programs, had higher math and reading scores in elementary school.
The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD): Findings for Children up to Age 4 ½ Years – This study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has looked at how quality, quantity, and type of child care affects a child's development. This study has followed the development of children from birth through 9th grade from ten study sites across the United States
Inspirations – New Caring Ideas!
Tip Pages –
Embrace, enhance, and recharge your knowledge in working with children
Observation – Delving Deeper
Be Vigilant for Children - Recognizing Signs of Abuse
Be Vigilant for Families – Recognizing Family Stressors
Touch – Why We Need It
Keeping the Caring Touch in Early Childhood
Teaching Children about Positive Touch
Activity Pages –
Meaningful activities to connect to children's development, interests, and curiosities
Lunch & Snack Ideas –
Nutritious, delicious, and good for you recipes & information
Our full collection of Caring Ideas is available on the Better Kid Care website.
Turn the Page
Classics for Childhood
May 23 is Margaret Wise Brown’s birthday. Many of her books, such as Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, are childhood classics, as popular with young children today as they were over 60 years ago when first published.
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown published by HarperFestival ISBN-10: 0060207507
Color Kittens by Margaret Brown published by Golden Books ISBN-10: 0307021416
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown published by HarperFestival ISBN-10: 0061119776
Home for a Bunny by Margaret Brown published by Golden Books ISBN-10: 0307105466
My World by Margaret Wise Brown published by HarperCollins ISBN-10: 0060247983
Sneakers, the Seaside Cat by Margaret Wise Brown published by HarperCollins ISBN-10: 0064436225
The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown published by HarperCollins ISBN-10: 0064433269
The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Brown published by Golden Books ISBN-10: 037582717X
The Moon Shines Down by Margaret Wise Brown published by Thomas Nelson ISBN-10: 140031299X
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown published by HarperCollins ISBN-10: 0060775823
Ideas and resources that you can use for involving families in your program, engaging families in early learning, encouraging family time, and supporting families in need. This month our topic is…home safety.
In your child care program you have to adhere to strict health and safety guidelines to protect young children from injuries. Families may not be aware of the many hazards for young children in their neighborhood and in their home. Sharing information about the guidelines you follow, and the purpose of the guidelines, is one step you can take for educating families about child safety. Another step is to keep families informed of safety risks by putting safety articles and brochures in your family resource files and including safety updates in your newsletter. Here are several resource sites that feature current safety information and resources that can be shared with families.
Safe Kids USA – The Safe Kids USA website is dedicated to providing information to families, educators, and safety professionals on injury prevention for children and families. They feature current information and have a wide selection of resources.
National Safety Council (NSC) – The NSC has a section on home safety covering a variety of topics and features home and community news updates.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – The EPA website has a page on poison risks in homes. It includes a list of common poisonous household products and tips for preventing accidental poisoning from pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
More resources for families:
Discovery Health – From the Discovery Channel, Healthy House, Child Safety is an interactive tool that gives tips for “child-proofing” a home.
My Safe Home – From Safe Kids USA, My Safe Home is an interactive tool that shows families common safety risks in homes and gives tips for creating a safe environment for the entire family.
Safe Kids USA YouTube Channel – A collection of videos on home and child safety.
Up and Away – From the CDC, this website outlines to promote safe storage of medicine to prevent children from getting into medicines and suffering accidentally poisoning.
Better Kid Care Resources:
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 … executive function, the cognitive processes that help us manage tasks, behavior, and emotions.
Executive Function: Under the broad umbrella of thinking and learning
Developed by Christine Belinda, Early Learning Specialist
A very important role for teachers of young children is to promote broad ways of thinking and learning. We can help children discover approaches to solving problems, focusing (attending), remembering, planning, gaining self-control, reflecting, and reacting appropriately – all critical skills. These types of skills are referred to as executive functions, or ‘tools of the mind’. We need these skills in communicating, learning, thinking, and in managing ourselves.
Growing research shares the importance of executive function skills as a predictor to school success and as a critical building block for early development in both cognitive and social capabilities (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University 2011).
Read the full article in the newest Great IDEAS! Resource page. Executive Function: Under the broad umbrella of thinking and learning
More for You:
Visit the CYTTAP website to access a variety of helpful resources, including Great Ideas, Parent Topics, Vodcasts, and more, for supporting military-connected families.
School Age Child Care
Supporting Children’s Learning
Families and Expanded Learning Opportunities: Working Together to Support Children’s Learning - This research brief from the Harvard Family Research Project looks at the role of families in out-of-school time programs, how to engage families in programs, and how to create partnerships with families.
Out-of-School Time Program Research and Evaluation Database- The Harvard Family Research Project has added several new studies and updated evaluations to their Out-of-School Time Program Research and Evaluation Database.
How Kids Learn YouTube Channel - Videos of presentations from the How Kids Learn Conference sponsored by the Learning in Afterschool and Summer Project are available for viewing on YouTube.
More School Age Resources –
The Scale of the Universe 2 - A manipulative website for exploring the universe, from atoms to galaxies!
Kids.gov - A video of the Space Shuttle Discover’s last flight.
University of Missouri Extension - The Youth MyPlate handout can be used as a teaching poster or as a placemat at meals to help school-age children become familiar with the MyPlate guidelines.Visit the Better Kid Care School Age link here http://www.betterkidcare.psu.edu/schoolage.html
News from the CDA Council:
CDA Exam on a Computer – An exciting and unique opportunity to help with the revision of the CDA credentialing process! CDA candidates, who are planning to apply for their credential by June 30, 2012, can participate in the pilot program for taking the Early Childhood Studies Review (CDA Exam) on a computer as part of their credentialing process. Candidates in the pilot program who take their exam online and complete a feedback survey will receive $50 for participating in the pilot program. Sign up for the pilot program. Deadline: June 30.
CDA + Better Kid Care = Success!
Check out our revised materials that reflect recent updates from the CDA Council!
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…yellowjackets!
Early observation = easier control…
As the weather begins to warm and the focus shifts to outdoor activities, yellowjackets are probably not the first thing on our minds. That is until they are pestering us or someone gets stung! Yellowjackets are actually a type of wasp but are often mistaken for bees. They can be quite aggressive, especially when their nest is disturbed, and they can sting more than once. Some individuals have a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction to the venom released during a sting, so it’s important to address yellowjacket populations that the public may come in contact with. Their populations don’t reach large numbers until later in the summer, but it’s during the spring when the queen goes in search of a nesting site. Depending on the species of yellowjacket, nests can be established in the ground, in trees, under the eaves of a building, in wall voids, and in the hollow spaces of children’s play equipment. Now is the time to begin regular inspections and monitoring for the signs of a yellowjacket nest and continue monitoring until after the first frost.
In general, yellowjackets are roughly ½ to 1 inch in length with smooth looking bodies that are black with bright yellow or white markings on the abdomen, depending on the species. These social insects live in colonies with thousands of individuals. Their seasonal nests are made of a papery material, which may not be visible if the nest is in the ground. Aerial nests are large and globular in shape with only one entrance and exit. Paper wasps also form papery nests under eaves or window ledges, but they are the shape of an inverted umbrella with individual cells pointing downward. Paper wasps can also be aggressive, although not to the extent of yellowjackets. Yellowjackets are especially a nuisance to humans because they scavenge in trash containers, on food and beverages eaten outside, and on ripe fruits and vegetables found in gardens and on trees.
Although yellowjackets can be a pest to humans, they are beneficial to have in the natural environment. They are predators and feed on other unwanted insects such as caterpillars. If a yellowjacket nest is discovered but isn’t bothering anyone or causing a potential hazard, it can be ignored. If the nest is in an area where people are in danger of being stung, use integrated pest management (IPM) methods to address the problem.
Because of the aggressive nature of yellowjackets, professional assistance is recommended for nest removal. If you are outside and yellowjackets are bothering you, don’t squash them. Many species will emit a chemical that alerts other yellowjackets to attack. Here are two fact sheets about yellowjackets and ideas for controlling them. For more information about integrated pest management (IPM) and steps you can take to prevent pests and keep your home, school, or child care healthy and safe, 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.
Contributed by Amber Brunskill, PA IPM Program, email@example.com, 814-865-7994
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.
May 11-12 – DVAEYC Annual Conference: Family Matters – Engaging Families Partnering for Success, Philadelphia, PA. DVAEYC Annual Conference information
May 14-16 – 2012 National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute: High Quality Inclusion: What Does it Look Like? How Do We Do It? Chapel Hill, NC. 2012 Inclusion Institute information
May 17-19 – McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership: 2012 Leadership Connections Conference, Chicago, IL. 2012 Leadership Connections information
June 10-13 – NAEYC National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development, Indianapolis, IN. Institute information
June 11-14 – 16th Annual Birth to Three Institute: Growing Minds and Hearts … Children, Families, and Communities, Washington, DC. Birth to Three Institute information
June 18-20 –Head Start 11th National Research Conference: Effective Practices in an Age of Diversity and Change, Washington, DC. National Research Conference information
June 19-21 –25th Annual Bank Street Infancy Institute: Infants, Toddlers and Families: Supporting Their Growth, New York, NY. Infancy Institute information
June 22-24 – 8th Annual North American Reggio Emilia Alliance Summer Conference: Dialogues for Quality in Education, Portland, OR. NAREA Summer Conference information
June 23 – CPR/AED & First Aid Training & Certification class, True United Church, Philadelphia, PA. To register, call 215-844-1132/(215) 844-1208, ext. 2, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline: June 9.
June 27-29 – Military Child Education Coalition 14th National Training Seminar – Military Kids: Shining from Sea to Sea, Grapevine, TX. Seminar information
June 27-29 – World Forum Foundation: International Working Forum of the Global Collaborative OnDesign for Children, Berkeley, CA. Forum information
July 15-18 – CAYL Institute 2012 National Conference for Principals and Child Care Directors: What Really Works? Impact and Innovation for Young Learners, Baltimore, MD. CAYL conference information
July 18-19 – PBIS Behavior Institute, Pittsburgh, PA. For more information: www.pattan.net
July 23-27 – National Institute on Out-of-School Time Summer Seminars 2012, Boston, MA. NIOST Summer Seminars information
July 24-25 – PBIS Behavior Institute, King of Prussia, PA. For more information: www.pattan.net
July 25-27 – 2012 National Association of Family Child Care Conference: The Magic of Family Child Care, Atlanta, GA. 2012 NAFCC Conference information
NAFCC’s Annual Sue Stevens 4 Star Accreditation Essay Contest – The Sue Stevens 4-Star Contest recognizes an accredited provider who has demonstrated passion for family child care and for quality care through an essay contest. This contest was created to honor Sue Stevens from Louisville, Colorado who was in the first group of providers to become accredited by NAFCC in 1988 and is the longest consecutive NAFCC accredited provider. The winner of this contest is honored and receives an award at the Annual Conference Accreditation Reception and VIP seating with Sue Stevens at the conference luncheon. 4-Star Essay Contest Application
Aug. 7-9 – Save the Date! Infant Toddler Symposium: Weaving the Tapestry of Quality Infant Toddler Care, California, PA. PA Infant Toddler Symposium information
Sept. 21-22 – Save the Date! PAEYC and Allegheny County Family Support Conference: PLAY! Transforming Children, Families, Communities and LIVES!, Pittsburgh, PA. PAEYC Annual Conference information
Nov. 4-7 – Save the Date! 20th International Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education Conference (RECE): Reconceptualizing the Field: Past, Present, and Future, State College, PA. RECE Conference information
Nov. 7-10 – Save the Date! 2012 NAEYC Annual Conference and Expo: Developmentally Appropriate Practice in the 21st Century, Atlanta, GA. NAEYC Conference & Expo information
Air Quality Index (AQI) - The AQI is the index used for reporting air quality and health effects associated with higher levels of air pollution. This guide explains the index rating and what health concerns to be aware of at higher levels.
BAM! Radio podcast - “Active Play in Many Languages” with Karen Nemeth discusses ideas for including dual-language learners in active play.
Choosing to Participate poster exhibit- This set of 11 posters to inspire positive social change is free to the first 10,000 educators who order. Sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), Facing History and Ourselves, and Teaching Tolerance.
Community Playthings - Gardening is a fun activity to do with young children. Check out these resources, ideas, and articles on gardening with children and get ready to dig in the dirt!
Early Learning Observation Rating Scale (ELORS)- From the National Center for Learning Disabilities in collaboration with the FPG Child Development Institute, UNC, the ELORS is a new screening tool that focuses on traits that could be signs of learning disabilities.
National Wildlife Federation - Spring time, mud time! Part of the fun of outdoor play is getting dirty and playing in the dirt! This article outlines some of the benefits of “playing dirty”.
World Forum International Mud Day 2012: June 29, 2012 - Celebrate nature, the outdoors, and getting muddy in the process!
Rachel Carson “A Sense of Wonder” Contest – An intergenerational poetry, essay, photography, and dance contest sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Environmental Protection Agency, Generations United, the Dance Exchange, Rachel Carson Council, and the National Center for Creative Aging. Deadline: June 10. Contest information
Backyard Game of the Year – (from Clifkid.com) This contest, designed for school-age children, encourages outdoor play by asking children to create a new outdoor game. Deadline: June 17.
Grants & Funding Opportunities
DoSomething.org – Seed grants for community action projects. One grant is awarded each week. Amount: $500. Deadline: Rolling.
The Wal-Mart Foundation – Grants for education projects and health and wellness projects. Amount: $1,000 - $5,000. Deadline: Rolling.
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. Amount: Award amounts vary. Deadline: July 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. Deadline: Rolling
Captain Planet Foundation – Seed grants are available to schools and non-profit environmental and educational organizations for hands-on projects that engage youth in improving the environment. Amount: Up to $500 Deadline: May 31
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.
Health and Wellness
The Rite Aid Foundation – Grants for health and wellness projects. Grants are awarded on a quarterly basis. Amount: Award amounts vary. Deadline: July 1
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We would love to hear from you! Email your ideas to email@example.com or call 814-867-4687.
Feature Article References
Campbell, F. A., E. P. Pungello, M. Burchinal, K. Kainz, Y. Pan, B. H. Wasik, O. A. Barbarin, J. J. Sparling, and C. T. Ramey. “Adult Outcomes as a Function of an Early Childhood Educational Program: An Abecedarian Project Follow-Up.” Developmental Psychology. (January 16, 2012). Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0026644
Dearing, E., K. McCartney, and B. A. Taylor. “Does Higher Quality Early Child Care Promote Low-Income Children’s Math and Reading Achievement in Middle Childhood?” Child Development 80, no. 5 (September/October 2009): 1329–1349.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Rockville, MD:NICHD Information Resource Center, 2006.
Disclaimer: Where trade names appear, no discrimination is intended, and no endorsement by Penn State Cooperative Extension is implied.