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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 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 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 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 11/5/2012 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 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 10/2/2012 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 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 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 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 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! 



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 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 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 Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 10/29/2010 12:23 PM
Until we have our child care initiatives page set up and running, I thought I would blog about a teacher's award that came across a twitter feed. It is sponsored by Tylenol and part of The Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation.

The award is meant to encourage and recognize early child care teachers for "providing quality care and education." The award goes to fifty teachers that applied for it and of the top ten, one is awarded the Helen Marks Award as National Child Care Teacher of the Year.

Check out the application process, there is a project required as part of the process in which you will be asked to design an enhancement project for the children in your classroom. Sounds like a great and fun challenge to me!

Award ranges from $500 - $1,000 dollars for the teachers personal use and an additional $500 to put toward the project in your application. They even fly you out and pay for hotel accommodations so you can attend the ceremony that is held in Pennsylvania....
By Samantha Daleiden Marshall, M.A. on 10/28/2010 10:31 AM
Synopsis of the webinar “Children’s Museum Experience: Learning Through Play” brought you by the Child Care Aware, Parents Network which is a part of the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies.  It was geared toward parents but centered on how children interact in a museum and how the adult with them can enhance that experience.
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