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For all new content beginning June 15, 2013, please click here!  We updated the blog and haven't gotten everything in one place yet.  New Posts.

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By Guardian Care on 6/3/2013 6:46 AM

We all know that we should encourage kids to drink plenty of water and milk and eat more fruits, veggies, and healthy grains, but do we do the same for ourselves? Set an example and learn more about nutrition at the same time by using a nutrition app such as My Fitness Pal or Lose it.

These tools can help you make sense of everything you consume and show you your excesses and deficiencies. With a few taps, you could find out that your sodium intake is off the charts or that you're only getting a fraction of the amount of iron or calcium you need.

How does this relate to the kids under your care? As you learn more and make smarter food decisions for yourself, the more likely you are to make better food choices for your daycare facility.

By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 5/22/2013 12:28 PM


I’ve always found it a fun and lovely spring activity to grow grass and beans in my classroom. It's very easy, inexpensive, and introduces the children to the wonders and science of growing plants.

You’ll need:

grass seed

beans (I just buy a bag of mixed dried beans at the grocery store)

flax seed

wild flower seeds

and other seed you would like to try.

milk cartons

egg cartons

plastic (rinsed out) containers like cream cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese etc.

potting soil

Prep the milk cartons by cutting the top off of them and poking a few holes in the bottom for water drainage. You need drainage holes for any type of container you decide to use. (You can...
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 5/7/2013 9:31 AM
Jodi from Massachusetts is our ChildCareInfo.com Star!  She is the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
Claims Director at Child Development Health and Nutrition.  Find out why Jodi thinks her agency does good work and her invaluable role in getting children healthy meals.  It's a role that one might not always think about but imperative to the CACFP success.

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 4/16/2013 7:38 AM
In the wake of a day full of terrible news, we find ourselves baffled.  We, as adults, have a hard time taking it all in, how are our children coping?  Do they notice?  Are they scared? They're asking questions, how much of the 'truth' should I tell them?  We've compiled resources from child care and parenting publications to help you with these questions and more.

PBSKids provides several different approaches for talking to your kids about the news through their main categories which are “Talking and Listening,” “Working it out through play,” “Age by Age Insights”...
By NEIS on 4/4/2013 6:05 PM
So often we are asked “How much Liability Insurance should I purchase?”



This is not a unique question, and the quick answer is: As much as you can afford.

The reason being is that some insurance is much better than no insurance, and hence, purchase as much as you can afford to purchase.

But, if you were to actually calculate your worth to establish your value, you may want to reflect on what you “MAKE”…..

By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 4/3/2013 6:44 AM
April is National Poetry Month!  "After these experiences with poetry and young children, I can tell you, no one is too young for poetry."  Get some ideas of what you can do with the kiddos and get inspired by seeing how the children reacted to these poetry experiences.
By Guardian Care on 4/2/2013 9:13 AM
While you may be aware of grants available to low-income families to help them afford day care, did you that grants are also available for child care providers (some in a roundabout manner)? Below are a few to check out:

 

·         Community Development Block Grants – These grants are funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and are awarded to local and state government agencies. The funds are intended for capital improvements (such as renovating public daycare facilities).

 

·         Childcare Development Block Grants – These grants are funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. They go directly to public agencies and nonprofit organizations and the funds are used to subsidize daycare costs for eligible families. In some cases, daycare providers may qualify for funds to update their facilities in order to meet state health and safety standards.

 

·         21st Century Community Learning Center Grants – These grants are funded by the...
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 3/7/2013 3:09 PM
As the leaders of the Child and Adult Care Food Program met this week, there were two common themes while we discussed CACFP’s Roadmap to a Healthy Future. 

ChangeThere is impending change, which can sometimes be synonymous with impending doom.  Not knowing can be the worst part. There is impending change, which can sometimes be synonymous with impending doom.  The CACFP community is waiting to hear about the proposed rule for the meal pattern requirements.  When is it coming? What will it contain?  

This change has been talked about since the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report aligning the CACFP...
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 3/7/2013 9:58 AM
I arrived home from the Anti-Hunger Policy Conference yesterday and I am still reeling from all of the people I have met and projects/programs I learned about.   I still feel completely wrapped in their passion about food.  When I say passion about food, I don’t mean it like my foodie friends checking out the latest restaurants in LA.  When I say passion about food I mean...
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 3/6/2013 5:18 PM
Sharing my notes with those of you who were not able to make it to the CACFP Leadership Conference.  It also includes a few notes from the main plenary sessions of the overall Anti-Hunger Leadership Conference.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 3/2/2013 7:14 PM
I was just at the casual pre-conference reception for the National Anti-Hunger Food Policy Conference and already appreciate the people passionate about keeping our children (and their parents) fed.  Not only do they make sure our nation is fed but they make sure nutrition is a key component of food provided through so many different federal, state, and grant funded programs.  There are a couple of highlights I want to share with you tonight.  Stay tuned for the next 2 days for more that we learn while being here at the Capitol Hilton among people who care so much about our nation as we face hunger and obesity problems. 
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 3/1/2013 7:41 AM
Celebrate Dr. Seuss's Birthday and Read Across America this month.  We have pulled together our resources throughout ChildCareInfo as well as some great blogs and linkys to outside resources.  If you need a song for your Dr. Seuss party, we have one for you.
By Substitute Blogger on 2/25/2013 4:29 PM

 
Songs we were learning in our toddler classes could be more than just a wonderful developmental song for my son – it could come in handy in other types of situations.  Read on to learn more about how music in my toddler's help with his development and get me through the grocery store without a tantrum.

Written by: Katina Synder, Mother of 2, BA in Public Relations

By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 2/25/2013 10:34 AM
Handmade books not only served as documentation of our projects but they gave each child representation that they belonged to the classroom environment. Seeing your own face in a book is a big deal to a child and I would often get large smiles and big, excited eyes when they would see themselves in these books for the first time. This is a simple way to include everyone in your child care environment and bring another type of print and literacy into their lives.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 2/15/2013 10:10 AM
We made it through the "Fiscal Cliff" without too many cuts and bruises.  The sequestration is coming up on March1.  If congress lets it get to that point there will be cuts across the board to "child care, head start, early intervention, schools, nutrition and other basic needs for children and families" (NAEYC 2013).  Associations focused on children are releasing statements and encouraging you to take action.  You'll find them here.
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 2/15/2013 7:33 AM
If your child care environment is anything like mine, you have a ton of extra art stored in piles all over the room. We would display some of the really nice pieces of art on the walls and try and send the rest of it home. But we still ended up with a plethora of children’s paintings and drawings with no home. Wanting to show my respect to this hard and creative work of the child and not wanting to waste all of this paper, I came up with other ways to display and use this extra art. 
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 2/6/2013 6:41 AM

I have gone from young child teacher to mom of a young child and looking back, I've realized it could have helped
my practice to have a better understanding of how parents choose to, well, parent.  Take a look at how some of these blogs can, not only introduce you to the internal dialogue of families but they may even contribute to some themes or activities you do with the children in your care.
By Guardian Care on 1/28/2013 9:29 AM

Do you have grumpy kids under your care? They may not be getting enough sleep. According to WebMD.com, one- to three-year-olds need 12 to 14 hours of sleep each night.

 

While you can't control when parents put their kids to bed and how long the little ones actually sleep, you can help educate them. For example, you could send kids home with a sleep diary. Have their parents record their sleep times for a week and then hold a one-week sleep challenge the following week where parents are encouraged to see that the kids get the recommended amount of sleep. At the end of the second week, did you or the parents notice any improvements in behavior?

By CACFP Community on 1/23/2013 2:09 PM
The Child Care Food Program Roundtable has unique group meetings every 2 months.  Why are they unique, you ask?  Aside from the attendees being super friendly and passionate about the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), they are made up of not only CACFP Sponsors in California but State representatives and additional food program stakeholders.  This knowledgeable group of people gathers around the proverbial table and talk child nutrition, policy, grants, and accomplishments.
By Guardian Care on 1/23/2013 6:55 AM

When parents search for a new child care provider for their children, they often come armed with questionnaires downloaded from parenting websites. This is a great conversation starter, but it is one-sided. While it's understandable that they want to know everything they can about you and your business, make sure you have a chance to learn more about them. After all, you have a say in whether or not to accept them as clients.

Here's an easy way to get started. Offer your own downloadable questionnaire on your website and ask prospects to fill it out and bring it with them to your interview.

By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 1/21/2013 8:44 AM
Cleaning Room!  Getting a fresh start to your year by cleaning out and reevaluating your child care classroom.  
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 1/18/2013 6:18 AM
It seems as though there are many child care conferences coming up in March!  I am going to share some of them here, as well as the rest of the year, that I know of so far.  Add your conference or one you are attending to the comments section.  
By NEIS on 1/16/2013 8:50 AM

Legal actions can arise many years after an event’s occurrence.  With the passage of time, you will likely forget the details.  Since the court
will use your records as evidence, the need for proper documentation becomes absolutely critical:  If it is not recorded, it didn’t happen.

Very often, records can be the only means available to determine exactly the circumstances.  You will need concise guidelines concerning the proper documentation; you cannot leave such documentation to chance.  What, then, is “proper” documentation?  Simply put, it is the written record that originated at the time and should include the following elements:  Who was involved, what happened, and where did it happen?

By CACFP Community on 1/10/2013 2:52 PM
Two exciting announcements!  USDA releases a Handbook that was developed with

Health and Human Services to assist child care providers in creating healthier environments for children in their care.  Even better than that, Food Action and Research Center is hosting a webinar with USDA to go over the handbook!  Find out more here.
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 1/10/2013 11:29 AM
Tinkerlab gets rave reviews.  "I really think this is one of those sites every teacher should have in her queue. It has so many great ideas and resources and simple to navigate through."  Find out more about Tinkerlab.

By Substitute Blogger on 1/8/2013 7:10 AM

I started feeding my 6 month old daughter non-cereal solids this week.  Before that first bite I w
ent through the gauntlet of trying to find the best foods to give her, how many times to give her those foods and how to make and store them.  Here are the resources I used and will continue to return to as well as a short synopsis of how our food making and first bites process went.  I hope this will give you all a place to start as you gather all of the information to make the decisions that are best for your family.

Written By: Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A., English and Mother of 1
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 1/7/2013 2:23 PM
Find out why the Con Agra Foods Foundation Community Impact Grants Program is perfect for Child and Adult Care
Food Program Sponsors.  

If you could use $35,000 to grow your program participation or create and disseminate nutrition education materials, you need to read this.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 1/7/2013 11:15 AM
After our previous posts about the “Fiscal Cliff” and how it can affect different aspects of child care we wanted to wrap it up with a link to a fantastic and easy-to-understand summary from Grace Reef and Capitol Connection.

The summary explains what taxes were raised and for who as well as bullet points of “Tax Preference Extensions” which were “…provisions [that] were schedule to expire but will now be retained permanently or extended through a sunset date.” (Child Care Aware of America, 2013).

You can also expect to find what was NOT included in the agreements struck by Congress as well as links to the White House Summery of the agreement.  Get access to this valuable and laymen's-termed federal budget information.

Capitol Connection: Breaking news – Budget Agreement Summary, January 2, 2013 Find the archived issues of the very informative “Capitol Connection” released weekly by Child Care Aware of America...
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 1/2/2013 4:41 PM

We have just released a new recipe section of ChildCareInfo.com.  We are trying to figure out if this is the direction we want to go with the entire recipe section.  Play with the section, watch the help videos to maximize the functionality and fill out the survey.  Can't wait to hear from you!
By Guardian Care on 12/31/2012 7:12 AM

Now that 2012 is largely behind us, it's time to look forward to 2013. While New Year's resolutions often center on personal goals, it's not a bad idea to set some resolutions for your child care business. Spend a few minutes reflecting on your business. What lessons have you learned? What could you have done better?

 

Next, look forward. What do you want to accomplish? What dreams do you have for your business? Now, write down at least three resolutions for your business for 2012. Make sure that they're specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely (SMART) and post them in a prominent location.

By Guardian Care on 12/17/2012 8:15 AM

Whether you look forward to tips or dread them, it's that time of year. According to Consumer Reports, 62 percent of its surveyed respondents reported giving child care providers tips averaging $40. While extra money around the holidays is always a welcome bonus, it's often awkward to accept a tip. If you feel awkward about accepting tips, consider this: tips are also known as "gratuities." Tips are a way to show gratitude for the service offered. Recognize tips as a sign of appreciation, and you'll likely feel less awkward with your response. Here's a simple way to respond: "Thank you. It's been a pleasure to care for your child this year."   

By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 12/13/2012 10:43 AM
Find out why Imaginationsoup.net gets 5 out of 5 stars!

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 12/13/2012 9:41 AM

Twitter and Facebook are a-buzz with “Fiscal Cliff” information.  Specifically for me it has to do with Education and Child Care.  As a follow up to the last post I wanted to share with you some additional information and resources that I have come across in social network posts regarding the "cliff" and our nation’s children.

By Constant Hine, M.A. on 12/11/2012 1:06 PM

Can you believe it?!  2012 is almost over.  I hope that your year has been as fulfilling as mine.  I wish you a happy and safe holiday, and all the best for the New Year!   There is a holiday treat for you in this month's video.  Have a look... Click here!

By Guardian Care on 12/10/2012 7:45 AM
Child care providers aren't immune to stress this time of year. After all, you have to juggle work with
 family like everyone else – and depending on your holiday schedule and payment policy, your income could suffer when parents keep their children home for a week or two at a time.on your holiday schedule and payment policy, your income could suffer when parents keep their children home for a week or two at a time.  
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 12/6/2012 1:18 PM
Creativewithkids.com is a simple-to-navigate and fun-filled site full of creative ideas and activities to connect with children. Alissa, the author of the blog, is a homeschooling mother of three.  Alissa has put together great articles and online resources for parents and caregivers about: engaging activities for children, managing emotions, reconnecting and so much more. A few of my favorites were her posts on:

Using things from the recycle bin to engage toddlers”, “Edible sensory activities for toddlers” and ...
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 12/6/2012 12:53 PM
Babied the Blog gets 3 out of 5 stars.  The blog has some relevant information but not updated regularly. 
Read the rest of the review here!
 



By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 12/6/2012 7:06 AM
We've updated our Pinterest Board again!  This morning we focused on Snowmen and Hannukah.  Check it out and see what we've found.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 12/5/2012 3:00 PM
Find out how your donation to feed the hungry can go further now as Feeding America and Bank of America partner up.  Also, find out a little bit about what I've learned about the food insecure in America.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 12/3/2012 7:18 AM
Updating our Pinterest board with Christmas activities today.  The focus was Christmas trees and Christmas themed sensory ideas.  Highlighting a few here but you can find all of them on ChildCareInfo.com's Pinterest board.




By Guardian Care on 12/3/2012 5:51 AM
Concerned about America's childhood obesity problem? Become part of the solution by adding physical activities to your day care program. Below are a few ideas to get the little ones moving:

·         Turn on some music and dance ·         Walk to a nearby park ·         Plan a mini-Olympics event ·         Hold a hula hoop contest ·         Have a jump rope contest ·         Invest in outdoor gear that encourages movement such as hop balls, trikes, jump ropes, Frisbees, and hula hoops ·         Designate a specific time each day for active play

 

What's worked for you so far? Share your thoughts below.

...
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 11/28/2012 9:08 AM
The “Fiscal Cliff”!  The “Fiscal Cliff!”  If you have been around any media at all, you've been hearing about this impending doom.  Sometimes it feels a bit alarmist, like Chicken Little running around telling everyone the sky is falling.  It is, however, a reality that needs to be handled by our leaders.  If it is a reality that needs to be dealt with by our leaders, it is a reality that needs to be addressed by those leaders’ constituents - YOU and ME!

MAKE THE CALLWe can’t let these cuts just happen to us.  We have a voice and we need to use it. If you are on any child care advocacy mailing lists, you are bound to have gotten an email that today is National Contact Congress Day.  So do it!   It feels like our one little phone call won’t be heard and that template email won’t be read but I recently learned something from Grace Reef at Child Care Aware of America....
By Guardian Care on 11/26/2012 8:17 AM

Kids 30 years ago walked or rode bikes to school; they played chase, jump rope, and other games after school; they ate just one snack a day; and portions were much smaller. Fast-forward to today where kids are driven to school; they play video games for fun; they eat three snacks each day (one in five kids eats up to six snacks a day); and portion sizes are huge. These facts from LetsMove.gov are just a few of the many reasons our kids are overweight.

 

So, what can we as child care providers do about it? Let's start the conversation and let's take action. Share your ideas below.

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 11/19/2012 8:44 AM

 You must subscribe to Child Care Aware of America’s Newsletter.  This newsletter is essential to staying abreast of:

  • the policy changes
  • federal and state budgets
  • what we need to do to effectuate positive change in child care
  • reports like cost of child care, state licensing policies, disaster preparedness
  • and more...
Find out what "More" is!
By Guardian Care on 11/19/2012 6:54 AM
The USDA's Child & Adult Care Food Program is available to home day care providers, child care centers, after school programs, and other institutions. If you follow the program's guidelines, you could qualify for reimbursement for the nutritious meals and snacks you provide. This program helps you pay for meals, teaches you how to meet nutritional standards, and gives parents peace of mind knowing that their kids are being served healthy meals while in your care. Learn more about the Child & Adult Care Food Program by visiting http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/care/.

 

Are you currently...
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 11/16/2012 1:11 PM
It is a season to reflect and be thankful.  It is also a season that has the cutest and most fun activities to do with the kiddos. 
There are free printables for coloring turkeys by number...

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 11/14/2012 11:31 AM
Animoto, a video creation service, helps non-profits by providing upgraded services for free.  Find out why should should apply for the service right now!
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 11/12/2012 10:23 AM

I want to share with you the final video for my 2012 Sustainable Change series.  We'll look a bit more at what really motivates change and how to impact change that lasts in individuals, and when we are working together as a team. We'll wrap up our conversations about what makes change sticky and sustainable. Have a look!  Click here.

By Constant Hine, M.A. on 11/12/2012 10:23 AM

I want to share with you the final video for my 2012 Sustainable Change series.  We'll look a bit more at what really motivates change and how to impact change that lasts in individuals, and when we are working together as a team. We'll wrap up our conversations about what makes change sticky and sustainable. Have a look!  Click here.

By Guardian Care on 11/12/2012 8:16 AM
Make everyday family appreciation day.

Try this: Work your way through your roster and hand write one thank you note on beautiful stationary to one family each business day. (If you have a larger facility, adjust the numbers as needed). Once the thank you notes are complete, work your way through the roster again. This time use email and send a special photo of the child enjoying an activity at your center. Continue working through your roster, one family at a time, with personal gestures of appreciation. Doing so will ensure that families feel noticed and appreciated.

By Guardian Care on 11/12/2012 8:16 AM
Make everyday family appreciation day.

Try this: Work your way through your roster and hand write one thank you note on beautiful stationary to one family each business day. (If you have a larger facility, adjust the numbers as needed). Once the thank you notes are complete, work your way through the roster again. This time use email and send a special photo of the child enjoying an activity at your center. Continue working through your roster, one family at a time, with personal gestures of appreciation. Doing so will ensure that families feel noticed and appreciated.

By CACFP Community on 11/6/2012 12:01 PM

ChildCareInfo.com gave away a $100.00 gift card for Williams-Sonoma to Samya from Angels Child Care Food Program!  Find out how Samya helps the Child and Adult Care Food Program and what her favorite meal is.  Congratulate Samya with me and learn a little bit more about who makes up the Food Program Community.
By CACFP Community on 11/6/2012 12:01 PM

ChildCareInfo.com gave away a $100.00 gift card for Williams-Sonoma to Samya from Angels Child Care Food Program!  Find out how Samya helps the Child and Adult Care Food Program and what her favorite meal is.  Congratulate Samya with me and learn a little bit more about who makes up the Food Program Community.
By CACFP Community on 11/6/2012 11:22 AM
Participants at the Child Care Food Program Roundtable received this book: So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips & Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years.  Find out more about what the book has to offer. 

Written by: Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A.
By CACFP Community on 11/6/2012 11:22 AM
Participants at the Child Care Food Program Roundtable received this book: So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips & Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years.  Find out more about what the book has to offer. 

Written by: Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A.
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 11/6/2012 9:17 AM
Find out why Summer gives this blog and the plethora of activities 5 stars!
star 5
By Guardian Care on 11/5/2012 9:00 AM

For several days you've reminded parents that their childcare payments would be due on a certain day. That day arrives, yet one 


parent "forgot my checkbook." Next thing you know, days pass followed by weeks. Suddenly, that parent's balance is unmanageable for both of you. But what if you could respond to "I forgot my checkbook" with a "No problem, I can accept your debit or credit card"?

PayPal, Intuit, and other payment processors now offer free credit card swipers that attach to a smartphone or tablet. Many of these services do not charge a monthly fee, making accepting credit cards more attractive than ever. You will pay the processor a small percentage of the transaction, but that's better than not getting paid at all.

By Guardian Care on 11/5/2012 9:00 AM

For several days you've reminded parents that their childcare payments would be due on a certain day. That day arrives, yet one 


parent "forgot my checkbook." Next thing you know, days pass followed by weeks. Suddenly, that parent's balance is unmanageable for both of you. But what if you could respond to "I forgot my checkbook" with a "No problem, I can accept your debit or credit card"?

PayPal, Intuit, and other payment processors now offer free credit card swipers that attach to a smartphone or tablet. Many of these services do not charge a monthly fee, making accepting credit cards more attractive than ever. You will pay the processor a small percentage of the transaction, but that's better than not getting paid at all.

By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 10/24/2012 8:58 PM
Playingtodiscover.com is a relatively small blog focusing on play based learning for young children. The author is an early childhood teacher wanting to put her activities out there for stay-at-home moms and childcare providers who need a little help coming up with fun and educational things for their children to do.

star 3
By CACFP Community on 10/24/2012 5:24 PM

Imagine your child or the children in your care sitting down for lunch.  All of the kids are gathered around the table and begin tasting, talking about and enjoying their Red Chile Braised Beef, Coriander Scented Brown Rice, Romaine Salad with Cilantro Ranch Dressing, a Pear and Milk for lunch. 

First of all, YES, children do like food that many of us think are reserved for a more mature pallet.  Second-of-all, YES, it tastes good.  It is fresh food, all of it prepared and cooked the same day at the Neighborhood House Association kitchen.  And third-of-all, it is a meal that meets and actually goes beyond the Child Care Food Program (CCFP) meal pattern requirements. 

Written by: Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A.

By CACFP Community on 10/24/2012 5:24 PM

Imagine your child or the children in your care sitting down for lunch.  All of the kids are gathered around the table and begin tasting, talking about and enjoying their Red Chile Braised Beef, Coriander Scented Brown Rice, Romaine Salad with Cilantro Ranch Dressing, a Pear and Milk for lunch. 

First of all, YES, children do like food that many of us think are reserved for a more mature pallet.  Second-of-all, YES, it tastes good.  It is fresh food, all of it prepared and cooked the same day at the Neighborhood House Association kitchen.  And third-of-all, it is a meal that meets and actually goes beyond the Child Care Food Program (CCFP) meal pattern requirements. 

Written by: Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A.

By CACFP Community on 10/24/2012 5:12 PM
Reflections, Part 1. Inspired by the industrious, full-of-heart, and committed Child and Adult Care Food Program community. The first of a series of posts about the food program and thoughts about different ways we might get the program, its participants, administrators and advocates some recognition.



Written by: Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A.

By CACFP Community on 10/24/2012 5:12 PM
Reflections, Part 1. Inspired by the industrious, full-of-heart, and committed Child and Adult Care Food Program community. The first of a series of posts about the food program and thoughts about different ways we might get the program, its participants, administrators and advocates some recognition.



Written by: Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A.

By Guardian Care on 10/23/2012 6:48 AM
Your day care business likely has a formal payment policy; it also likely has a few parents who are notoriously late payers. How can you turn those late payers into prompt ones? Here are a few tips to try.

·         Start by pre-screening parents using ProviderGuard reports. These reports can identify parents with good and bad        payment histories to childcare providers.



·         Add and enforce a late fee.



·         Offer a small discount for families that pay a full month's tuition in advance.



·         Remind parents a few days before payment is due that it's almost time to pay tuition.



·         Consider...
By Guardian Care on 10/23/2012 6:48 AM
Your day care business likely has a formal payment policy; it also likely has a few parents who are notoriously late payers. How can you turn those late payers into prompt ones? Here are a few tips to try.

·         Start by pre-screening parents using ProviderGuard reports. These reports can identify parents with good and bad        payment histories to childcare providers.



·         Add and enforce a late fee.



·         Offer a small discount for families that pay a full month's tuition in advance.



·         Remind parents a few days before payment is due that it's almost time to pay tuition.



·         Consider...
By Guardian Care on 10/15/2012 8:43 AM
As a home day care provider, your marketing budget may be small or even non-existent. However, you need to spread the word about your business. Here are a few low-cost marketing tips:

·         Approach the "welcome wagon" and ask if you could place your flyer, brochure, or business card in their goodie bags for new residents in your community.

·         Send press releases announcing your latest news to local newspapers, radio stations, and other media outlets. What's newsworthy? Receiving a grant, celebrating an anniversary, holding an open house, earning a degree, and more.

·         Ask for referrals. Your existing families likely have friends with children....
By Guardian Care on 10/15/2012 8:43 AM
As a home day care provider, your marketing budget may be small or even non-existent. However, you need to spread the word about your business. Here are a few low-cost marketing tips:

·         Approach the "welcome wagon" and ask if you could place your flyer, brochure, or business card in their goodie bags for new residents in your community.

·         Send press releases announcing your latest news to local newspapers, radio stations, and other media outlets. What's newsworthy? Receiving a grant, celebrating an anniversary, holding an open house, earning a degree, and more.

·         Ask for referrals. Your existing families likely have friends with children....
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 10/8/2012 8:35 AM

During 2012 in my video series we've been exploring what makes change stick.  How do we achieve sustained change for ourselves and our teams and organizations?  In my video this month we look at the relationship between power and sustainable change.  Is there a relationship between the power structures of our organization or team and our ability to truly sustain change?  What does it mean to "empower" other adults and children?  Have a look at the video and join the conversation!  Click here to view.

By Constant Hine, M.A. on 10/8/2012 8:35 AM

During 2012 in my video series we've been exploring what makes change stick.  How do we achieve sustained change for ourselves and our teams and organizations?  In my video this month we look at the relationship between power and sustainable change.  Is there a relationship between the power structures of our organization or team and our ability to truly sustain change?  What does it mean to "empower" other adults and children?  Have a look at the video and join the conversation!  Click here to view.

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 10/5/2012 12:07 PM

ChildCareInfo.com gave away a $100.00 gift card for Ruth's Chris to Mike from Child Nutrition Services!  Find out how Mike helps the Child and Adult Care Food Program and what his favorite sports team is.  Congratulate Mike with me!
By Guardian Care on 10/2/2012 9:13 AM
Between the morning drop-off rush and the desire to get home quickly after work, meaningful conversations with your childcare kids' parents are rare. However, communication is vital to your business. Here are a few tips for staying in touch:

Be approachable. A warm smile and approachable attitude can establish that you're available should a parent need to raise a concern. Use email. Send updates on progress, ask for input when needed, or send reminders about pending events or payments. Set up a private Facebook group for your families. Post real-time updates, reminders, tips, photos (you may need parental permission or media waivers before taking and posting...
By Guardian Care on 10/2/2012 9:13 AM
Between the morning drop-off rush and the desire to get home quickly after work, meaningful conversations with your childcare kids' parents are rare. However, communication is vital to your business. Here are a few tips for staying in touch:

Be approachable. A warm smile and approachable attitude can establish that you're available should a parent need to raise a concern. Use email. Send updates on progress, ask for input when needed, or send reminders about pending events or payments. Set up a private Facebook group for your families. Post real-time updates, reminders, tips, photos (you may need parental permission or media waivers before taking and posting...
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 9/26/2012 3:51 PM
Summer, M.A. in Early Childhood Education, gives the Living Montessori Now blog, 5 stars out of 5! Find out what it's all about and why here.



star 5
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 8/17/2012 2:15 PM
Continuing our theme of Sustainable Change, this month we acknowledge that making change requires taking risks.  What supports people to have the risk tolerance necessary to make important changes?  I really hope you will watch this month's video to hear my perspective on this question.  Then I would love to hear about your experiences and what you think about taking risks and support others to take risks and change.  Click here to watch the video.
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 8/17/2012 2:15 PM
Continuing our theme of Sustainable Change, this month we acknowledge that making change requires taking risks.  What supports people to have the risk tolerance necessary to make important changes?  I really hope you will watch this month's video to hear my perspective on this question.  Then I would love to hear about your experiences and what you think about taking risks and support others to take risks and change.  Click here to watch the video.
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 7/16/2012 11:19 AM

Hi, it's Constant.  I have a new video for you in my Sustainable Change series.  This month's video is titled Cultivate for Lasting Change. When our goal is lasting change, quick fixes usually are not the key to success.  Like with our vegetable garden, between planting and harvesting, there is a lot of cultivating to do!  In this video I talk about the importance of daily care and efforts so real learning occurs, new habits stick, and for success in achieving the sustainable change we strongly desire.  Click here to view.  Thanks for watching!

By Constant Hine, M.A. on 7/16/2012 11:19 AM

Hi, it's Constant.  I have a new video for you in my Sustainable Change series.  This month's video is titled Cultivate for Lasting Change. When our goal is lasting change, quick fixes usually are not the key to success.  Like with our vegetable garden, between planting and harvesting, there is a lot of cultivating to do!  In this video I talk about the importance of daily care and efforts so real learning occurs, new habits stick, and for success in achieving the sustainable change we strongly desire.  Click here to view.  Thanks for watching!

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 6/28/2012 10:42 AM
Toilet learning can be quite the challenge for everyone involved.  Children's Home Society of California provides so
me helpful tips!  Iwas recently given a set of pamphlets from the Children's Home Society of California from my pediatrician's office and one of the pamphlets covers this topic.  Here are some bits and pieces from the pamphlet and a link so you can download the entire thing yourself!  Could be a great handout for child care providers to share with parents as they join your program or just as a reminder.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 6/28/2012 9:50 AM
Looking for more tips about easing separation when dropping your child off with his or her caregiver?  I was recently given a set of pamphlets from the Children's Home Society of California from my pediatrician's office and one of the pamphlets covers this topic.   Here are some bits and pieces from the pamphlet and a link so you can download the entire thing yourself!  Could be a great handout for child care providers to share with parents as they join your program or just as a reminder.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 6/28/2012 8:54 AM
Another question I see often being asked throughout the parental and child care community is "When is my child too sick to
 go to child care?"  I was recently given a set of pamphlets from the Children's Home Society of California from my pediatrician's office and one of the pamphlets covers this topic.   Here are some bits and pieces from the pamphlet and a link so you can download the entire thing yourself!  Could be a great handout for child care providers to share with parents as they join your program or just as a reminder.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 6/26/2012 10:15 AM
I have noticed that biting and what to do when a child bites is a common concern among child care providers and parents.  

 I was 
recently given a set of pamphlets from the Children's Home Society of California from my pediatrician's office and one of the pamphlets covers biting.  

Here are some bits and pieces from the pamphlet and a link so you can download the entire thing yourself!
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 6/26/2012 7:22 AM
After a study in California it has been found that “Participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program is Associated with More Nutritious Foods and Beverages in Child Care.”  Did you know that 19.6 million children under the age of 5 participate in early childhood programs in which they “receive a considerable amount of their daily nutrition.” (Ritchie et al., 224).  This study shows the association of Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) participation with more nutritious meals, snacks and beverages served.  CACFP participation is a step in the right direction!

A bit about the study...
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 6/20/2012 10:55 AM
Thanks for traveling with me the last several months to take this deeper look in my videos at what it really takes to achieve Sustainable Change. This month I'm exploring two ways to address Change: Adaptive or Technical. Some changes are "technical", we know what to do or we can find out technically how to solve a problem and proceed; and we may just need support to follow through.  For other changes that we want and need to make, we know something needs to change but we really don't know what is needed. This is referred to as "adaptive" change by Ronald Heifetz. In this month's video I define the two ways to address change and describe the implications for how we help ourselves and others make significant changes.  If you are a coach, a manager, supervisor, director or parent, I think this perspective will be helpful for you. Click here to view video....
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 6/20/2012 10:55 AM
Thanks for traveling with me the last several months to take this deeper look in my videos at what it really takes to achieve Sustainable Change. This month I'm exploring two ways to address Change: Adaptive or Technical. Some changes are "technical", we know what to do or we can find out technically how to solve a problem and proceed; and we may just need support to follow through.  For other changes that we want and need to make, we know something needs to change but we really don't know what is needed. This is referred to as "adaptive" change by Ronald Heifetz. In this month's video I define the two ways to address change and describe the implications for how we help ourselves and others make significant changes.  If you are a coach, a manager, supervisor, director or parent, I think this perspective will be helpful for you. Click here to view video....
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 6/12/2012 10:39 AM

Have you ever thought about the kids come from low income families that go to school and are provided their meals by the school lunch program?  If not for the school lunch program, they would go hungry.    More than 21 million children receive free and reduced meals at school.  Have you ever thought of the food that these low income children do not have access to when school is out?  I never did, until now.
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 6/5/2012 10:39 AM
About Maurice Sendak, a tribute and some links to my favorite books of his.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 6/5/2012 9:58 AM

Tell the Department of Education that it is crucial that early learning is a requirement/absolute priority of the Race to the Top District
Competition Role.  This is that message that Child Care Aware of America (formerly National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies) is encouraging the nation to make known to the Department of Education. 

Deadline to comment is June 8th, 5pm Eastern Standard Time.



By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 6/4/2012 2:25 PM
Take action before the end of the week, June 8th!  Make sure you and the CACFP don't lose money.
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 5/15/2012 1:51 PM
Have you ever thought of yourself as a "meaning making machine"?   Transformative learning - the kind of learning that deeply affects us, and sustainable change - the kind that sticks, require us to have awareness of our frame of reference and how it can change.  In my video this month I talk about The Impact of Our Frame of ReferenceClick here to view.

I hope you enjoy the video and will leave a comment with your thoughts!
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 5/15/2012 1:51 PM
Have you ever thought of yourself as a "meaning making machine"?   Transformative learning - the kind of learning that deeply affects us, and sustainable change - the kind that sticks, require us to have awareness of our frame of reference and how it can change.  In my video this month I talk about The Impact of Our Frame of ReferenceClick here to view.

I hope you enjoy the video and will leave a comment with your thoughts!
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 5/9/2012 8:17 AM
Some of the many reasons we are grateful for our child care providers...
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 5/3/2012 10:25 AM

Let’s play a quick game.  I say “CACFP Federal Regulations” and then you think “____________.”  Did that blank space involve an eye-roll and maybe even a “#&$%?”  I think if you participate in the food program at some point the mere mention of “regulations” will bring about a flurry of a heartbeat and a negative thought.   I have a question for you though, did you know that you have a say in those final rules that you ultimately have to follow?  Well, you do!  Once a rule/regulation has been proposed there is a period of time in which public comment is encouraged and accepted



By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 4/30/2012 10:35 AM


Last week I had the pleasure of attending a free webinar presented by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) which is in the process of changing its name to Child Care Aware, America. The webinar was about the federal budget process and how it specifically affects the child care industry.  Grace Reef the Chief of Policy and Evaluation gave the webinar and explained, in an easy to understand way, how the federal budget process is directly affecting child care and what we might do to make a difference.

Prior to a brief overview of what she covered...
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 4/26/2012 9:05 AM
Margie Carter, Wendy Cividanes and Debbie Lebo of Harvest Resources Associates speak about coaching and fostering reflective practices
Please click the following link to listen to the Coaching Connections radio show hosted by Constant Hine at http://tobtr.com/s/3111929 .
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 4/26/2012 9:05 AM
Margie Carter, Wendy Cividanes and Debbie Lebo of Harvest Resources Associates speak about coaching and fostering reflective practices
Please click the following link to listen to the Coaching Connections radio show hosted by Constant Hine at http://tobtr.com/s/3111929 .
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 4/26/2012 8:56 AM
Margie Carter, Wendy Cividanes & Debbie Lebo of Harvest Resources Associaties talk about coaching & fostering reflective practices Please click the following link to listen to the Coaching Connections radio show hosted by Constant Hine at http://tobtr.com/s/3111929 .
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 4/26/2012 8:56 AM
Margie Carter, Wendy Cividanes & Debbie Lebo of Harvest Resources Associaties talk about coaching & fostering reflective practices Please click the following link to listen to the Coaching Connections radio show hosted by Constant Hine at http://tobtr.com/s/3111929 .
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 4/17/2012 12:46 PM

For Sustainable Change we need to focus on what we want to change.  Then for many of us the big question is about HOW.  What's the process?  How do we cause change and learning to happen and to sustain?  View this month's video for a discussion of 3 essential things to do as part of the change process. Click here to view!  Would love your comments with your thoughts and experiences.

By Constant Hine, M.A. on 4/17/2012 12:46 PM

For Sustainable Change we need to focus on what we want to change.  Then for many of us the big question is about HOW.  What's the process?  How do we cause change and learning to happen and to sustain?  View this month's video for a discussion of 3 essential things to do as part of the change process. Click here to view!  Would love your comments with your thoughts and experiences.

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 4/12/2012 8:54 AM
The Week of the Young Child™ begins April 22, 2012.  NAEYC has all the information you need to get started.  If it's too late to begin planning for this year, start for next year!  
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 4/11/2012 3:15 PM
Saying goodbye to children in those early mornings for parents can be quite a challenge, but saying goodbye to a child in your program or class for good can be a very upsetting task for many teachers.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 3/27/2012 4:50 PM
Learning opportunities directed toward the child care professional are not lacking, but sometimes it can be hard to find those perfect learning opportunities or maybe you just don’t have time to look.  ChildCareInfo.com has just made that process easier for you!  Find out how the Learning Center can help you!
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 3/16/2012 8:25 AM
Tips for parents saying goodbye to children at daycare such as: Parents ensuring they have extra time at drop-off, always saying goodbye and several tips for caregivers as they try to comfort the distressed little one.  Read on...
By Substitute Blogger on 3/16/2012 7:36 AM
Written by: Katina Synder, Mother of 2, BA in Public Relations
Ever made a Leprechaun Trap?  Here's a cute one that Shelby, Age 5, made (with a little help from her mom).
By Substitute Blogger on 3/16/2012 7:36 AM
Written by: Katina Synder, Mother of 2, BA in Public Relations
Ever made a Leprechaun Trap?  Here's a cute one that Shelby, Age 5, made (with a little help from her mom).
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 3/7/2012 4:28 PM
Heard of Picnik or Faceinhole.com?  Find out how you can use these two sites to set up projects for your classroom!
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 3/7/2012 2:29 PM
Recently there has been a big push toward marketing with social media, which I have been and will continue to be a big part of.  Last weekend, at the National Child Care Association (NCCA) conference, I was in a session with Kris Murray, which focused on a different kind of marketing: strengthening relationships with the parents of the children in your care.  Kris also encourages social media marketing but this particular session didn't address social media.  Kris defines marketing as the process of getting and keeping customers.

This workshop focused on retaining your current parents as part of your marketing strategy.  Strategically consider your retention rates, know why families leave your program, and realize how cost effective it is to keep your current families.

Kris mentioned that the lifetime value of one family could range from $20,000 to $60,000. ...
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 3/6/2012 8:52 AM

I attended the National Child Care Association conference (NCCA) this weekend and was struck by an accidental but consistent theme by many of the presenters.

The presenters’ successes were embedded in stories of:

Taking Risks
Facing Their Fear of Failure
Adjusting When they Did Fail
Honoring Failures
Being Resilient and Learning to Let Go

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 3/3/2012 8:59 AM
The National Child Care Association Leadership conference is in full swing.  Get a glimpse of some of the things these private sector child care centers are talking and learning about.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 3/3/2012 8:59 AM
The National Child Care Association Leadership conference is in full swing.  Get a glimpse of some of the things these private sector child care centers are talking and learning about.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 2/22/2012 7:57 AM
Grab your cowboy boots and hats, The Sponsor Association's (TSA) Conference is taking place in Austin, Texas in 2012!  To be exact, SAVE THE DATE for September 20-22, 2012.
By Jill Latham, MS Nutrition, Food Science and Dietetics on 2/20/2012 6:28 PM
I recently had the opportunity to attend a “Nutrition and Autism” seminar (what a hot topic in both communities!) presented by a Registered Dietitian and found that there are many misconceptions and misunderstandings about the cause and effect of Autism related to Nutrition.  It was amazing how much of the disease state is based around managing and trying to placate Gastrointestinal issues, sensory perception with food, rigidity at meal time, and providing a safe and comforting environment for the child to eat a healthy diet.  Whether you are a parent of an autistic child or have an autistic child in your child care setting, it is incredibly important to be dialed into their nutrition needs.  GI issues dont tend to be part of the diagnosis but they are very common.  Many children are unable to verbalize the pain they feel in their stomach and these issues can present as nutritional deficiencies, constipation, unexplained allergies, abdominal pain, diarrhea, irritability, anxiety and social withdrawal.  While the...
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 2/4/2012 12:24 PM
Hello!  I hope your 2012 is off to a great start!

What makes change stick??  This is one of the questions I’m going to be focusing on in my blogging and videos this year:  Sustainable Change.  What causes change to last?  What can we do to intentionally bring about sustained change over the long haul in our everyday work and personal life?  We'll be exploring and inquiring in the videos this year about what makes change stick.  This month we look at indicators of change, and offer some questions for beginning this inquiry together.   Click here to see the video.

What are your questions and experiences with sustaining change?

By Constant Hine, M.A. on 2/4/2012 12:24 PM
Hello!  I hope your 2012 is off to a great start!

What makes change stick??  This is one of the questions I’m going to be focusing on in my blogging and videos this year:  Sustainable Change.  What causes change to last?  What can we do to intentionally bring about sustained change over the long haul in our everyday work and personal life?  We'll be exploring and inquiring in the videos this year about what makes change stick.  This month we look at indicators of change, and offer some questions for beginning this inquiry together.   Click here to see the video.

What are your questions and experiences with sustaining change?

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 1/31/2012 12:38 PM
The National Head Start Association wants to share with the world the lives that Head Start has touched since it was founded.  This campaign is called “27 Million Windows,” to showcase the window of opportunity that Head Start provides to children raised within the walls of poverty.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 1/27/2012 3:42 PM
You can make a difference in the lives and well-being of the children in your care by participating in the Let's Move Child Care Initiative.
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 1/26/2012 12:43 PM
I always get asked about Kesang Marstrand’s, Hello Night when it is playing in my classroom. It’s a gentle, quiet, folksy/popish lullaby album that you really can play at any time of day. Use it to: 1) wind down the children before nap; 2) during nap; or 3) just something quiet at the end of the day. It's amazing to me at how many parents, teachers assistants and volunteers come to me asking about the album. Adults love it just as much as the children love to wind down to it. Marstrand’s lyrics are simple and dreamy. She gets into a child’s heart and tells these great little stories from their perspective. The acoustic melodies take you into the clouds and easily help you drift off into relaxation or for the children in your program - sleep. I highly recommend adding this indie children’s album to your school collection, but watch out, you may just bring it home for your own collection. *This c.d. can be found on the website www.cdbaby.com

...
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 1/17/2012 3:57 PM
ChildCareInfo.com is creating a Learning Center section.  We want to provide the child care profession with webinars, in-person trainings and other ways to continue development in the child care profession, this includes business management skills.

We are searching the web for different active webinar schedules, trainings, videos and podcasts but we won’t be able to find them all!

ChildCareInfo is asking for your assistance.  Either comment below or send in companies, individuals or entities that are providing trainings that you think are relevant to the child care industry.

We will need: Contact Name (if available) Website Link Training Specialization (topics) Type of Training (webinar, podcast, video, in-person) Regional or National If you would like to be featured within the Learning Center or on ChildCareInfo.com contact me here. This is what...
By Substitute Blogger on 1/17/2012 12:29 PM
Have you ever thought about doing Yoga with the children in your care?  How about combining that with literacy?  Renee Sherkness has written about her book Stories That Come Alive Through Yoga, for the childcareinfo.com community!  Find out why you would want to do yoga with your children and get a sneak peak into the book that helps you do it. 
By Substitute Blogger on 1/17/2012 12:29 PM
Have you ever thought about doing Yoga with the children in your care?  How about combining that with literacy?  Renee Sherkness has written about her book Stories That Come Alive Through Yoga, for the childcareinfo.com community!  Find out why you would want to do yoga with your children and get a sneak peak into the book that helps you do it. 
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 1/3/2012 12:52 PM

Did you have any New Year resolutions that had to do with health, activity and nutrition?  Was it for yourself or your child care program? 

If your healthy lifestyle resolution was for yourself why don’t you expand it to your child care environment?!

USE CHOICE to help you!

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 12/28/2011 1:16 PM

ConAgra Foods Foundation Community Impact Grants Program (CIG) intends to partner with “high quality organizations to close service gaps and increase children’s access to food and nutrition resources so they can live happy, healthful lives” (CIG Overview and 2012 Eligibility Guidelines). 

What are the grant awards? They’ll range from $10,000 to $75,000.  Average grant size will be around $25,000.

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 12/16/2011 10:54 AM
Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge has been in the news quite a bit since the challenge was announced and now the winners have been announced!  Nine states were awarded the funds today.

Find out what it's all about and get links to the states applications and reviews.
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 12/15/2011 2:36 PM

Last month my partner and I told you about the holiday season challenges we gave ourselves.  We're back on video to share what has happened for each of us from our personal stretch of the last 30 days.  We also want to share a little holiday cheer with you - a very short outtake from our video recording that we hope you will enjoy watching. 
"Holiday Challenge Outcome"  Click here.
"Outtake: Laugh with Us!"  Click here.

By Constant Hine, M.A. on 12/15/2011 2:36 PM

Last month my partner and I told you about the holiday season challenges we gave ourselves.  We're back on video to share what has happened for each of us from our personal stretch of the last 30 days.  We also want to share a little holiday cheer with you - a very short outtake from our video recording that we hope you will enjoy watching. 
"Holiday Challenge Outcome"  Click here.
"Outtake: Laugh with Us!"  Click here.

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 12/13/2011 12:06 PM

Child care providers – find some great activities, ideas for lessons, ideas for food and resources in general.

Not-for-profits – find people reading relevant books or posting  information about being non-profits and get the word out there about what you are up to.

By Constant Hine, M.A. on 11/21/2011 1:33 PM

How about taking on a personal stretch for the holiday season?!  My partner, Debra, and I have given ourselves challenges that we share with you in our latest video.   And we invite you to find your personal challenge that could bring more joy to this holiday season.  Have a look!  Click here.  Happy Holidays!

By Constant Hine, M.A. on 11/21/2011 1:33 PM

How about taking on a personal stretch for the holiday season?!  My partner, Debra, and I have given ourselves challenges that we share with you in our latest video.   And we invite you to find your personal challenge that could bring more joy to this holiday season.  Have a look!  Click here.  Happy Holidays!

By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 11/14/2011 10:02 AM
Potty Training Tips for the Early Childhood Environment.  Get some quick and thorough pointers on how to approach potty training in your your child care setting!  Including what to consider, how to encourage the child's interest and what to do during set backs!
By Substitute Blogger on 10/27/2011 11:36 AM
Get 10 useful tips about bottle feeding infants!

Although doctors recommend breastfeeding as the best option, there are many reasons a mother chooses to stop breastfeeding her baby and moves to a bottle. Medical conditions could be preventing her from breastfeeding, but most often the reason is the mother’s need to go back to work. When moving to a bottle, there are several things to keep in mind.

**10 Helpful Tips for Bottle Fed Babies has been republished with permission from Suzanne Cullen.  Original publication on October 20, 2011 on the AuPair.org Blog.
By Substitute Blogger on 10/27/2011 11:36 AM
Get 10 useful tips about bottle feeding infants!

Although doctors recommend breastfeeding as the best option, there are many reasons a mother chooses to stop breastfeeding her baby and moves to a bottle. Medical conditions could be preventing her from breastfeeding, but most often the reason is the mother’s need to go back to work. When moving to a bottle, there are several things to keep in mind.

**10 Helpful Tips for Bottle Fed Babies has been republished with permission from Suzanne Cullen.  Original publication on October 20, 2011 on the AuPair.org Blog.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 10/25/2011 9:19 AM

Looking through my notes from the CCFP Roundtable conference 2011 and feeling very lucky that I had the opportunity to attend.  One of my favorite workshops that I was able to attend was “A Taste of the World: Bringing Multicultural Foods and Activities to Your Children” given by 3 women from the Learning Care Group.  Donna Pomerson, Sherrie Gomez, and Staci Larsen provided great examples and materials to take home about bringing multicultural foods and activities into the child care environment.  They said I could share this with you and I am so excited to do so right now!

By Constant Hine, M.A. on 10/14/2011 1:28 PM
Take action to transform stress.  Change happens one response/one action at a time to transform stress and create ease in your day’s work.  Never give up!
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 10/14/2011 1:28 PM
Take action to transform stress.  Change happens one response/one action at a time to transform stress and create ease in your day’s work.  Never give up!
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 10/11/2011 2:34 PM

URL shorteners can help you understand the affect you are having with your social media!  Find out what they are and why the can help you.  Read more here.

By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 10/10/2011 11:29 AM
Sunny Day is just that, the perfect c.d. for s sunny, summer’s day. From the moment you turn it on its a lovely reminder of the simple joys of life.
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 10/10/2011 11:25 AM
Every winter season I bring out George Winston's Summer album and experience the same emotional release his solo piano accompanied with Margery Williams story brings. Read more about it here.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 10/5/2011 10:53 AM
Report says more and more parents are using alternative schedules for their children's vaccinations. Is this affecting your child care business or if you are a parent how you choose your child care setting?
By Jill Latham, MS Nutrition, Food Science and Dietetics on 10/5/2011 5:43 AM
I came across this awesome video challenge on the USDA's MyPlate website and wanted to get the entire Child Care Info community participating! Here is the challenge: Create short videos (about 30 seconds) demonstrating how you are adding fruits and veggies to your diet without breaking the bank.  Get really creative...the judges are looking for videos that are inspiring, educational, fun, easy, and cost-effective ways that will motivate others to add more fruits and veggies to their diet too.   There are three categories to choose from: Tips for kids Tips for eating at home Tips for eating away from home The goal of this challenge is to bring more awareness to USDA's MyPlate and their mission to help Americans understand the importance of making half their plate abundant in healthy fruits and vegetables. Timeline: Submit your videos: September 26, 2011 - November 15, 2011 Judging: November 21, 2011 - December 12, 2011...
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 9/22/2011 9:18 AM

In my last post I talked about how to simplify in your physical environment.  Now let’s take on the challenge of how to eliminate nonessentials in your thoughts, actions and habits.  This for me is a bit harder than working on my physical environment, but well worth the effort.  Keep your attention in the present moment.  Develop self control of your mind and thoughts.

By Constant Hine, M.A. on 9/22/2011 9:18 AM

In my last post I talked about how to simplify in your physical environment.  Now let’s take on the challenge of how to eliminate nonessentials in your thoughts, actions and habits.  This for me is a bit harder than working on my physical environment, but well worth the effort.  Keep your attention in the present moment.  Develop self control of your mind and thoughts.

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 9/21/2011 1:05 PM
In the past few weeks there has been a lot of media coverage on unionizing family child care homes.  The nature of this topic is quite contentious and I wanted to open up the room to different ideas.  Please be respectful of each other’s views and opinions and recognize we are all humans with feelings.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 9/21/2011 10:10 AM
I just returned home from The Sponsor Association (TSA) conference with a new sense of needs from our sponsors about social media.  I did two workshops about social media and thought I would have to do some convincing as to why social media is important and how it can be used to their benefit.  Well, Surprise! I didn’t have to do any convincing. 

After reflecting on the desire to use and “do” social media and the readiness to hunker down and get it started I am going to dedicate a blog to social media.  Thoughts or news going on in social media, how you can use social media and what you might want to do with it. 

All of these posts will be written for the novice to average user and many times focused on the child care profession.

I want to show you that you can do this, all of it.  Is worth your while and I will provide you additional tools to help you make that possible!

Tell me what you would like to see on the blog and I would like to try and give you answers.  You aren’t alone. ...
By Jill Latham, MS Nutrition, Food Science and Dietetics on 9/19/2011 9:07 PM
Have you been confused about whether or not to spend the extra cash on organic products?  What about the information you have been hearing that purchasing organic products can help protect you from consuming highly toxic pesticides?  This is something that I get asked quite frequently and wanted to share my thoughts and what being "organic" really means.  

Click on the link and take a read.  I think it will help clear up some misconceptions.

TO BE, OR NOT TO BE ORGANIC
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 9/8/2011 8:27 AM
I believe its very important to help children learn and understand where food comes from. With all the fast food in the world, I have come to find that children really have no real idea where food begins and some have no concept of how its grown. A simple activity or invitation for exploration is providing pictures of your local farmers markets for the children to explore.
By Jill Latham, MS Nutrition, Food Science and Dietetics on 9/2/2011 4:56 PM
Every week it’s seems to be the same old dilemma.  Like an unexpected curve ball being thrown at you every night (even though we all know that’s not the case).  What should I make for dinner?  And besides that, you dream of having it be a healthy, nutrient dense meal that everyone in the family will love.  Sometimes this seems to be an insurmountable task. 

So let’s make it simple and break it down into smaller pieces so the whole puzzle doesn’t seem so overwhelming.  Oh yeah…we will also make sure it’s healthy AND tasty!



1.     WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE NIGHT?  First things first…what is your favorite night of the week to get settled and plan for the week ahead?  Most people will say Sunday night, which seems the most logical.  The family is settling down from the high-energy weekend and getting ready for the work and school week ahead.  But maybe Friday is your night.  Whatever night it is, use this time to plan your family’s meals for the week ahead.  Browse through your cookbooks, magazines, the Internet, or wherever you gather recipes and begin to feel inspired!

...
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 8/30/2011 10:41 AM
Whether you feel the need to clean up your classroom or office, get better organized, reduce stress, become more efficient or make a big move, here are some tips to help you create time and space for things you really care about. You can also watch my "Tips & Talks" video, "Simplify Nonessentials", to hear more about specific actions you can take right now to start to simplify your environment.  Click here.  Here are 3 tips for simplifying your environment: Keep it simple.  Simple doesn't need to be sparse, it just needs to be intentional.  Visual simplicity creates calm.  Because there is space available doesn't mean it should be filled.  Whenever possible, store things out of sight - in a drawer or behind a cabinet door.  Order reduces stress.  Create order by using containers that are uniform size, stackable or nesting. Have no excess, have no lack.  Reducing your belongings will simplify your life.  Let go of items you no longer use, are the wrong size, or you simply don't need anymore.  Also, don't settle.  Don't acquire or by things that aren't quite right.  Have what you truly need....
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 8/30/2011 10:41 AM
Whether you feel the need to clean up your classroom or office, get better organized, reduce stress, become more efficient or make a big move, here are some tips to help you create time and space for things you really care about. You can also watch my "Tips & Talks" video, "Simplify Nonessentials", to hear more about specific actions you can take right now to start to simplify your environment.  Click here.  Here are 3 tips for simplifying your environment: Keep it simple.  Simple doesn't need to be sparse, it just needs to be intentional.  Visual simplicity creates calm.  Because there is space available doesn't mean it should be filled.  Whenever possible, store things out of sight - in a drawer or behind a cabinet door.  Order reduces stress.  Create order by using containers that are uniform size, stackable or nesting. Have no excess, have no lack.  Reducing your belongings will simplify your life.  Let go of items you no longer use, are the wrong size, or you simply don't need anymore.  Also, don't settle.  Don't acquire or by things that aren't quite right.  Have what you truly need....
By Tom Copeland on 8/30/2011 8:43 AM
Learn the expectations of parents, the reality and why child care regulations are important.

**Originally published on 7/08/2011 Tom Copeland's Taking Care of Business
By Tom Copeland on 8/30/2011 8:43 AM
Learn the expectations of parents, the reality and why child care regulations are important.

**Originally published on 7/08/2011 Tom Copeland's Taking Care of Business
By Tom Copeland on 8/30/2011 8:35 AM

When a family child care provider starts caring for children in her home, she takes on additional risks: children and parents can get injured, property can become damaged, lawsuits can be filed.

These risks are real.

**Originally published on 7/08/2011 Tom Copeland's Taking Care of Business

By Tom Copeland on 8/30/2011 8:35 AM

When a family child care provider starts caring for children in her home, she takes on additional risks: children and parents can get injured, property can become damaged, lawsuits can be filed.

These risks are real.

**Originally published on 7/08/2011 Tom Copeland's Taking Care of Business

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 8/25/2011 8:35 AM
What do you know about the Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge?  Find out a little bit more about the final application here!
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 8/15/2011 9:04 AM
I was at the Food Research and Action Center conference in February this year and was impressed by the things different organizations and states were doing to encourage healthy eating and exercise.  I was similarly disappointed that I didn't know these resources were being created until I had the advantage of hearing them spoken about.  I am happy to say Team Nutrition has added to their resources section an area where you can view each state's resources that include contact information, funded resources created and MORE!

What is the Team Nutrition Training Grant?  The grant is for state agencies to put together different ways to train and communicate guidance about the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) guidelines and regulations as well as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in regard to schools and child care settings.

What kind of actions are taken with this grant?   Here are a just a few bullet points from the Team Nutrition Grants home...
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 8/12/2011 2:44 PM
One way many of us try to accomplish more is by multitasking.  You know, cooking dinner, talking on the phone and answering your child's question seemingly all at the same time.  Well, I want to share a video with you where I describe how multitasking is a myth! There is research coming out now that is helping us to see what's really going on when we think we are doing several things at the same time. And what about the mistakes and problems that can occur from trying to focus on many things at once?  What's the alternative for increasing our ability to respond to all those demands that constantly come our way?  Slow down and accomplish more!  You probably don't believe me when I say that.  But watch the video and hear how it can be true for all of us.  Click here to watch the video.  I'd love to hear what you think about all this after you watch the video.

By Constant Hine, M.A. on 8/12/2011 2:44 PM
One way many of us try to accomplish more is by multitasking.  You know, cooking dinner, talking on the phone and answering your child's question seemingly all at the same time.  Well, I want to share a video with you where I describe how multitasking is a myth! There is research coming out now that is helping us to see what's really going on when we think we are doing several things at the same time. And what about the mistakes and problems that can occur from trying to focus on many things at once?  What's the alternative for increasing our ability to respond to all those demands that constantly come our way?  Slow down and accomplish more!  You probably don't believe me when I say that.  But watch the video and hear how it can be true for all of us.  Click here to watch the video.  I'd love to hear what you think about all this after you watch the video.

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 8/8/2011 12:07 PM
A recent study has been released regarding safe and unsafe temperatures of preschool children's sack lunches.  MSNBC and the Today show have provided some information about this today. 

Here are some take-away bullet points:

Where did the study take place?  Texas Child Care Centers How many lunches were tested? 705 Were there icepacks in the lunches?  45 percent  had at least one ice pack What is the "unsafe" range?  "Unsafe,  as the researchers defined it, was anything that sat for more than two hours between 39 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit" (Carroll, 9 out of 10 preschoolers' lunches reach unsafe temperatures) How many were in the "safe" range after testing?  Refrigerated: 1 percent, Room Temperature: 2 percent What does this mean?  When food gets into the "unsafe" range foods are more perceptible to bacteria which creates foodborne illnesses.  Do we know what the consequences are and what kind of diseases the preschoolers are at risk for?  No, the gap in the study is determining the actual risk of foodborne illness and what that illness might be that the children are being exposed to....
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 8/7/2011 11:25 AM
Let's talk a bit more about transforming stress and creating ease in our daily work.  If you are like me (and everyone else) you probably have a lot of demands that come from inside of you.  They may have been around for so long you don't even notice them much of the time.  But if you listen inside, do you hear things like: "I should get everything done on my to do list everyday."  "I have to do this thing right."  "I'm just not good enough."  Or whatever your version is, listen for a moment.  Do you hear it?  One way to stay focused on what we do want is to create what I call mental billboards to remind ourselves of what we do want.  Watch this video where I explain more about mental billboard signs to help us take the pressure off from these demands we put on ourselves.  Click here to watch the video. What negative self talk do you hear inside yourself?  What mental...
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 8/7/2011 11:25 AM
Let's talk a bit more about transforming stress and creating ease in our daily work.  If you are like me (and everyone else) you probably have a lot of demands that come from inside of you.  They may have been around for so long you don't even notice them much of the time.  But if you listen inside, do you hear things like: "I should get everything done on my to do list everyday."  "I have to do this thing right."  "I'm just not good enough."  Or whatever your version is, listen for a moment.  Do you hear it?  One way to stay focused on what we do want is to create what I call mental billboards to remind ourselves of what we do want.  Watch this video where I explain more about mental billboard signs to help us take the pressure off from these demands we put on ourselves.  Click here to watch the video. What negative self talk do you hear inside yourself?  What mental...
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 8/3/2011 11:13 AM
Child Care Centers, Family Child Care, In-Home Care, and Family, Friend, Neighbor Care.  What are these different types of care all about?  Read on to learn more.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 8/2/2011 12:40 PM
The office of the Inspector General's Office released the report "Most Early Head Start Teachers Have the Required Credentials, But Challenges Exist."
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 8/1/2011 9:15 AM

Getting pediatricians involved in literacy.  Brilliant.

Reach Out and Read is an "evidence-based nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud."  Reading aloud practically becomes a prescription from physician to patient.

By Constant Hine, M.A. on 7/29/2011 9:45 AM
Thank you, Sherie, for your comment.  What you describe is a very demanding role in caring for children and working with parents.  Sometimes it’s hard to accept that the behaviors and habits of other people are not in our control.  There are ways to handle it “without burning ourselves out”.   I want to share with you another of my videos where I talk about dealing with external demands.  What’s an external demand?  All other living human beings, traffic, weather conditions, everything outside of us.  We don’t have any control over the demand coming up.  BUT we can choose what to do when it does come up so we have less stress about it.  And when we are calmer, more ideas for what to do about a situation can come into our mind.  You sound like you have tried many things.  Good for you.  I encourage you to not give up.  Watch this video, “Start Where You Have Choice” and see if you can take any or all of the strategies for dealing with the demands that come at us to find calm for yourself and to keep going with...
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 7/29/2011 9:45 AM
Thank you, Sherie, for your comment.  What you describe is a very demanding role in caring for children and working with parents.  Sometimes it’s hard to accept that the behaviors and habits of other people are not in our control.  There are ways to handle it “without burning ourselves out”.   I want to share with you another of my videos where I talk about dealing with external demands.  What’s an external demand?  All other living human beings, traffic, weather conditions, everything outside of us.  We don’t have any control over the demand coming up.  BUT we can choose what to do when it does come up so we have less stress about it.  And when we are calmer, more ideas for what to do about a situation can come into our mind.  You sound like you have tried many things.  Good for you.  I encourage you to not give up.  Watch this video, “Start Where You Have Choice” and see if you can take any or all of the strategies for dealing with the demands that come at us to find calm for yourself and to keep going with...
By Tom Copeland on 7/27/2011 12:23 PM
Learn how the Social Security program works for you as Family Child Care Providers!

**Originally published on 7/14/2011 Tom Copeland's Taking Care of Business  

By Tom Copeland on 7/27/2011 12:23 PM
Learn how the Social Security program works for you as Family Child Care Providers!

**Originally published on 7/14/2011 Tom Copeland's Taking Care of Business  

By Tom Copeland on 7/27/2011 12:10 PM
Find out how you are liable and how to protect yourself if you suspect a parent is drunk when they pick up their child.

**Originally published on 7/11/2011 on
Tom Copeland's Taking Care of Business
By Tom Copeland on 7/27/2011 12:10 PM
Find out how you are liable and how to protect yourself if you suspect a parent is drunk when they pick up their child.

**Originally published on 7/11/2011 on
Tom Copeland's Taking Care of Business
By Constant Hine, M.A. on 7/27/2011 10:26 AM

In my work with childcare directors, supervisors, coaches and teachers, I find that many people are feeling overwhelmed, “can’t get it all done”.  Many of us are feeling stressed from difficult interactions with adults and children.  I’ve developed a program for transforming stress to create more ease in your day’s work.  I want to share with you a short video I made about what I call Becoming Response-Abled.  In the video I’ll introduce a menu of choices for making positive, intentional responses.  Take a peek!     

Click here to view the video.

Over the next weeks, I’ll share more videos with you from the Transforming Stress program.  What are the kinds of stressful situations you experience?  What helps you respond positively and intentionally?  I’d love to hear your comments.

By Constant Hine, M.A. on 7/27/2011 10:26 AM

In my work with childcare directors, supervisors, coaches and teachers, I find that many people are feeling overwhelmed, “can’t get it all done”.  Many of us are feeling stressed from difficult interactions with adults and children.  I’ve developed a program for transforming stress to create more ease in your day’s work.  I want to share with you a short video I made about what I call Becoming Response-Abled.  In the video I’ll introduce a menu of choices for making positive, intentional responses.  Take a peek!     

Click here to view the video.

Over the next weeks, I’ll share more videos with you from the Transforming Stress program.  What are the kinds of stressful situations you experience?  What helps you respond positively and intentionally?  I’d love to hear your comments.

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 7/21/2011 12:49 PM
I see family child care providers all over this resort learning in pre-conference sessions or gearing up for 2 full days of workshops to better affect our children's lives.  It is fun and inspirational and I am really excited to get to chat with them. We are setting up our Minute Menu booth with fliers about not just our products but fliers educating providers about the Child and Adult Care Food Program, if they don't already know about it.  We also have really fun stuff to give away like nail files, mirrors, M&M's packaged in a very creative way and some stress balls for lucky individuals. We will also be doing demonstrations of Kids Pro and ChildCareInfo.com, listening to suggestions and getting to hear how we can provide a better service to people providing a service so great to our society. The big reception and grand opening is tonight and I must get on to finish setting up our booth! Hope to see you around if you are here, make sure you say hi!...
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 6/21/2011 7:19 AM
Businesses and Early Childhood Education
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 6/15/2011 3:19 PM
Children with challenging behaviors can be very difficult for the teacher and hard on the other children in the program. These ten tips will hopefully help in reducing some behaviors, keep the teachers from pulling their hair out and benefit the continuity between home and child care. 
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 6/13/2011 10:40 AM

The National Association for Family Child Care Providers (NAFCC) does a lot of work to help providers reach the ultimate goal of quality child care and excellence in professionalism.  Their latest venture was has been to put together a great business tool kit for your child care business.  A box of essentials that will help you be organized and if you are new to the industry gives you and idea of paperwork to expect!

By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 6/9/2011 4:22 PM

Let's Move has created a new site and information directed to child care providers!  Let's Move is meant to help address the nation's obesity issues for children.  Previously it was focused more on schools and school age children so very exciting they have developed resources and gotten commitment from centers  such as Bright Horizons to take part!  Read on to learn more.

By Jill Latham, MS Nutrition, Food Science and Dietetics on 6/7/2011 11:42 AM
Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama presented the government's new version of the slightly archaic design, MyPyramid. Fittingly, this new design is called MyPlate. Instead of the 2 dimensional pyramid with a heavy focus on grains, dairy, and protein, the new design is in the shape of a plate.  Divided into three sections (looks similar to a circle graph), one half represents fruits and/or vegetables, one quarter whole grains, and one quarter lean protein.  Attached to the plate is a small side of dairy (fat-free or low-fat).  One of the main goals the government set out to achieve with MyPlate is to teach Americans proper portion sizes, by demonstrating that you can enjoy your favorite indulgences but in small quantities.  Furthermore, the USDA also stresses serving small portions at every meal.  Most importantly, the change in design addresses high sodium and high sugar intake.  On the USDA website, they advise...
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 5/11/2011 11:24 AM
I am curious how providers might or might not be using interactive books.  I have recently found a couple of interesting initiatives in this area and wanted to share with you and hear from you.  Do you use any of these?  Do you find them useful?  Do the children like them?  If you haven't done it yet, is it something you are interested in exploring?  Keep these questions in mind while we go over these two different books and ideas and COMMENT!
By Jill Latham, MS Nutrition, Food Science and Dietetics on 5/9/2011 11:32 AM
I found this article last week and I had to share it.  Please take the time to read it, especially if you are the parent of a young girl.  This article is extremely well-written, informative, and concise on how food choices GREATLY impact our young girls' growing bodies. 

Why Girl's Are Hitting Puberty Earlier Than Ever

Thank you!
By Jill Latham, MS Nutrition, Food Science and Dietetics on 4/26/2011 4:39 PM
Packing your child’s lunch box on a daily basis can be a dreaded task.  Whether it’s the lack of creativity in the early morning (or late at night) and/or the restrictions from your picky little eater, it can make you want to give them a couple dollars and shoo them out the door.  You also don’t want to find out your child traded your well-thought out, nutritious sack lunch for a sugary soda and chicken fingers.  So to keep your little one loving what’s in their lunch box day after day, how about thinking out of the “lunch” box and get creative! 

 

LUNCH BOX CREATIVITY 101



The Sandwich

I’m know every kid gets really tired of the same old peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  They see their friends eating pizza and know they got the short end of the stick.  But it doesn't have to be that way.  Here are some tips on sprucing up the sometimes tried and true version of a sandwich!

Make it a Wrap!  Instead of bread, use a whole wheat tortilla for the base and include...
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 4/25/2011 3:00 PM
Brief overview of the importance of Art in the Young Child's Life
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 4/19/2011 12:41 PM
Cartoon from the perspective of a girl with Down Syndrome, meant for the preschool audience.
By Jill Latham, MS Nutrition, Food Science and Dietetics on 4/12/2011 2:01 PM




Food Dyes are in the news right now in a major way.  Since this site is dedicated to children, parents, and child care providers, I wanted to make sure you had this very important information about food dyes and hyperactivity in children. I most recently wrote a blog about it for Nutrition Concierge but it wanted to make sure that everyone in the ChildCareInfo.com community had a chance to read it and become educated about the potential dangers of food dyes.  While the FDA did not determine that food dyes had a direct correlation to hyperactivity in children, it is up to you as the parent or child care provider to make HEALTHY food choices for your child.  Please read on! ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ About two weeks ago, the FDA brought together an expert panel of doctors, scientists, and consumer specialists in Washington to discuss the potential dangers of food dyes. This panel was to determine if there was enough evidence to require food makers to put warning labels on their products, advising consumers that food dyes cause hyperactivity in children. Interestingly, the research was inconclusive in determining whether or not food dyes were causing or perpetuating hyperactivity in children, therefore, they warning label did not pass.  But they did say that eliminating food dyes have shown positive results in children with hyperactivity. The FDA concluded that there needs to be more research done to find this causal association. ...
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 4/11/2011 5:53 PM
National Library Week started in the 1950’s when research showed families were buying more media materials than reading materials.
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 4/8/2011 2:20 PM
April is National Poetry Month!  Find out how poetry can positively affect our children and get some great ideas about poetry with the young child.
By Jill Latham, MS Nutrition, Food Science and Dietetics on 3/4/2011 1:40 PM
Children love to snack!  And adults do too, for that matter!  That said, the food industry has also realized this and spent a great deal of time capitalizing on a variety of snacks for every picky palate - healthy and unhealthy.  I am sure you have noticed that during your trips to the supermarket, there is a new type of snack food packing every aisle of the store.  Whether it’s the allure of a colorful box with a intriguing health claim or a yummy looking cookie, these snacks are tempting us, and our children, at every turn.

Unfortunately, snacks may come in all shapes and sizes, but most choices that clog the supermarket shelves are lacking lots of delicious nutrients that your child needs to thrive.  However, there are many snacks that are healthier versions of the "not so healthy" and I think you can entice your picky little eater to enjoy some of these nutritious options. 

Here is my list of some wonderful, healthy snacks that YOU and your child will enjoy!

Hummus and Raw Veggies...
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 3/1/2011 6:19 PM
Nature Tables from Setting Up The Environment (bits and pieces on how to create interesting, exploratory, comfortable, beautiful places in yor child care environment.

Quick outline of the info, tips, examples and books you can find in Children's Place about setting up the learning environment and Nature Tables.
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 2/15/2011 7:52 AM
Besides the social emotional development that happens to a child when reading fairy tales, it’s also very fun to find all the different versions of the popular tales. In my own class, we started reading The Three Little Pigs. This spiraled into a full project where we collected and read as many versions of The Three Little Pigs we could find. We had parents who spoke Chinese and French bring in their home versions and read them aloud to the children. The children acted out their own versions of the story with flannels and toy versions of the pigs and the wolf. We eventually ended the project by building all three houses and acting out the story in our daily play. The complete project took us almost 2 months! This just shows the joy, the learning and the importance fairy tales play in a child’s life. 

As with play-based curriculum, some parents have a bias when it comes to fairy tales and their validity as proper reading material for their young child. Some may think - fairy tales are too fantastical and do not provide those intellectual qualities other storybooks do. Some may find fairy tales, especially the older ones like Grimm’s collections, well, a little too grim. After much research and personal practice reading fairy tales aloud to children, I can tell you, fairy tales are incredibly important to include in your children's lives. Bruno Bettleheim, author of The Uses of Enchantment, states matter of factly, “In all these and many other aspects of the entire children’s literature - with rare exceptions- nothing can be as enriching and satisfying to a child and adult alike as the folk fairy tale.”  Fairy tales provide so much for young children at a level in which they can understand and make sense of the world.

...
By Jill Latham, MS Nutrition, Food Science and Dietetics on 2/7/2011 11:43 AM
This blog is dedicated to all the picky little eaters out there and their patient, yet frustrated, parents that deal with this on a daily basis.  Whether it’s trying to get your little one to eat some veggies like tomatoes or cucumbers at dinner, or a few slices of apple in the afternoon, more times than not you will get the shake of the head and the vehement disgust coming from their little mouths.  Sometimes you relent and give your little one a handful of jellybeans or an Oreo.  Other times, it’s “no snack or dessert” if they don’t eat their healthy meal items.  Regardless, feeding your picky little eater can be a daily struggle.  For this blog, I have employed the incredible first-hand knowledge of some of my Mommy friends who truly understand what it’s like to barter, cajole, beg, plead, convince, and negotiate with their picky little eaters on a regular basis.  Here, they offer some wonderful tips and tricks that may benefit you and your family.  Read on!

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...
By Jill Latham, MS Nutrition, Food Science and Dietetics on 1/12/2011 2:36 PM
Proper portion sizes have become very skewed in today’s society.  It seems as though American’s have become insatiable.  We are more interested in “the bigger, the better” and have veered away from what we really need to be satisfied.  With the “Supersize” upgrades tempting us at every turn (for a deal, mind you) and restaurants increasing their portion sizes at each visit, it seems as though we have lost our footing in navigating this world of food.  While adults are in complete control of what and how much they consume, our children are not.  WE are in charge of what they are given and how much is put in front of them.  Picky palates may be a huge issue in your home but let’s hold off on that topic and first address the proper portioning for your child.  Whether it’s macaroni and cheese and a hot dog or steamed broccoli and turkey, let’s educate ourselves on the right amount of food to provide our children.

 

Below are some easy tips and guidelines (including ideas from the American Dietetic Association)...
By Jill Latham, MS Nutrition, Food Science and Dietetics on 1/12/2011 2:31 PM
Welcome to the ChildCareInfo.com Nutrition blog!  Here, we are going to be discussing a variety of topics focused on child nutrition, as well as addressing nutrition for the entire family, child care providers, and of course, nutrition & health topics for the parents.  Our children are the key to our future and we must take the time to keep them safe and more importantly, keep them HEALTHY!  And this must happen immediately.  According to the Center for Disease Control, childhood obesity has TRIPLED in the past 30 years!  19.6% of children 6-11 years old and 18.1% of adolescents’ 12-18 years old are considered obese.  These are frightening statistics and we need to take measures to prevent these numbers from continuing to rise.  Let’s use this amazing forum as a way to teach and learn from each other on how to keep our young healthy and strong.

 

Please email us with any questions, comments or suggestions!

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By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 1/5/2011 10:13 AM
Providers are teachers.  Getting word out to Jo-Ann Fabrics.  Take these strategies and apply them to other companies you think are discriminating against you and your profession.
By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 12/21/2010 8:19 PM
These are my favorite resources ranging from activity ideas, curriculum programs, engaging children in early education and more!  They are for Teachers, Parents and Caregivers!
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 12/20/2010 12:12 PM

In November the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released their recommendation for some changes to the Child and Adult Care Food Program's meal requirements.  See what the recommendations were here.

By Summer Langille, MA Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 years on 12/15/2010 10:04 AM
Examples of what quality toys are and links to some recommended places your can find the quality toys.
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 12/6/2010 3:14 PM

These days people throw around the term without thinking twice.  I blogged this, she is a habitual blogger, I read on this blog....But like many other things and terms we use, we aren't exactly what defines a blog and why it might be important to you or useful to you, to either read a blog or to create one yourself.  Check out this posting for some quick information you'll find useful.