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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.

Child Care Professional Blog
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.

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