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Using Nature as a Learning Lab for Children

Fall is a wonderful time of year to go outside and explore nature.  Going on a nature walk with children is an excellent way to inspire love and appreciation for the natural world. Nature provides more stimulation than indoor play. It activates the senses – you can see, hear, smell, and touch outdoor environments. Taking a nature walk with children doesn’t have to include a specific activity. Just take a walk and let learning find you! Allow children lots of unstructured time to explore and discover. What you can help your students understand is that the discoveries they made while […]

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The Importance of Goal Setting for Children

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins Why Goal Setting is Important As teachers and parents, we are always encouraging children to make and reach goals; whether it’s a child taking his tentative first steps to a preschooler’s success at tying his shoes.  Teaching children to reflect and set goals is an important lesson that needs to be taught starting at a young age. Preschool and early childhood education teaches young children the core social skills that prepare them for kindergarten and beyond. These skills boost children’s confidence, increase their ability […]

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Celebrate National CACFP Week March 17-23, 2019!

CACFP Week is a national education and information campaign sponsored annually by the National CACFP Sponsors Association. The campaign is designed to raise awareness of how the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program works to combat hunger and bring healthy foods to the table for adults in adult care centers and children in child care homes, centers, and in afterschool and summer feeding programs across the country. The purpose of the National CACFP Week is: 1. To educate parents and the community about how the CACFP helps child care providers serve well balanced, nutritious meals, 2. To promote proper […]

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Professional Development in Early Childhood: The Case for Life-Long Learning

What makes a professional stand apart from others in his or her field? The educational skills and hands-on experience make these professionals well informed and widely respected in their field. But true professionals don’t stop there. In fact, they never stop – especially when it comes to learning. After all, research is always discovering new things, and trends are always changing. Any good professional will be anticipating and responding to these changes. In the field of early childhood education, continuing your professional development is even more important. As teachers, we all want to grow — that’s why we like to […]

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Use the Holidays to Help Children Celebrate Diversity

Talking and thinking about how to help children celebrate diversity during the holidays in early childhood programs can be challenging to adults. There is an increasing diversity of children, families, and staff who make up our programs. Each may have different ideas of how to celebrate holidays. We have the responsibility to meet both the intellectual and social needs of the children with whom we work. How we meet those needs also applies to how we include holidays in our curriculum. Even for adults, the concept of holidays may not be as simple as it seemed when we were young. Working […]

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Enhance Early Learning Through Technology

Computers, tablets, smartphones, apps, and other digital tools are part of our everyday lives. When used appropriately, technology can help children explore their world, express and make sense of what they know, and interact with other children. Technology tools can also assist families as they support their children’s at-home learning. We are no longer living in a world where it’s practical to disregard or avoid ‘screen time.’ Children of today are being born into the digital era, and they need to be prepared for the digital life that lies ahead for them – whether that be web-based study, online shopping, […]

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Life Lessons: Teaching Children to Be Grateful

Thanksgiving is an ideal time to help preschoolers learn about gratitude. Though young children may not be able to express gratitude in the same way as adults, teaching them how to be thankful will offer them many long-term benefits. Research has shown that thankful children and teenagers are more optimistic, more satisfied with their surroundings, give more emotional support to others – and even have higher grades. Gratitude and thankfulness are ACTIVE terms that require kids to participate in some manner. Young children that have adults around them that model good manners, common courtesy, the ability to wait for the […]

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The CACFP is an Indicator of Quality Child Care: Does Your Center Participate?

Every day, thousands of people are making sure preschool children in America are getting access to healthy foods on a regular basis. Yet many have never heard of it! That’s the mission of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) – to raise awareness and to learn and acknowledge the ways that everyone benefits from the hard work and dedication of CACFP professionals and the program itself. Research shows that well-nourished children are healthier, more attentive, and have better mental performance than children who are under-nourished. Findings also indicate that children served by the CACFP eat healthier food than […]

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Family Engagement: A Partnership Between Childcare Centers and Families

“What did you do today?” is a normal everyday question that parents ask their children when they pick them up from childcare at the end of the day. And a child’s typical response is “stuff”. What on earth does that mean? Parents feel a disconnect, as they would love to know what makes a day good for their child. For parents, it is incredibly hard to miss out on key moments of their child’s day while they are at work. We want to know what happened during the day so that we can have a meaningful conversation and remain connected […]

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Head Start: Celebrating Children With Incredible Promise

In 1965, our nation made a commitment to open a window of opportunity for at-risk children through “Project Head Start.” Head Start was launched by President Lyndon B. Johnson to provide comprehensive health, nutrition, and education services to children living in poverty. Over the last 53 years, more than 33 million children have benefited from Head Start’s unique approach, which is built on the premise that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, can reach their full potential. Today, Head Start serves more than one million children, families and pregnant women each year on their path to success.  Those persons […]

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