Opportunities for Growth: How One Center is Rethinking Professional Development

Posted: August 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers | No Comments »

“This was the best professional development that I have ever been to!” said Tamekia, a teacher good garbage 3at St Benedict’s Child Development Center. What made it the best for Tamekia and her co-workers were a couple of key ideas. One, the training provided opportunities teachers to collaborate, plan and create invitations for learning together. Knowing how valuable time out of the classroom is for her teaching staff, St Benedict’s director Alissa closed the center for two days at the start of the school year to not only discuss new ideas with her teachers but to provide them the opportunity to transform their classrooms so that children felt at home and welcomed. What also made this professional development different than others they had attended was a focus on  shared values for teaching. It helped create a unified vision for the center’s environment and experiences they offer children.

good garbage 5 Third, the professional development was hands-on. After learning about the importance of providing loose parts (rocks, leaves, buttons, cardboard tubes, etc) in the classroom and creating invitations for play, the teachers took a field trip to Good Garbage: Center for Creative Reuse in Portland to collect materials. Teachers gathered fabric for curtains, pictures frames for displaying children’s artworks, colorful glass bottles to display in classroom windows, cardboard tubes, buttons, tiles, corks, yarn, and zippers.  When they returned to the center, each classroom team collaborated to create their first attempt of an invitation to play and add home like touches to their rooms for the children to walk into the next day.

This was more than just a training to attend for annual hours. It was a chance to treat early childhood teachers as the professionals that they are. Professionals who know their children, who are thoughtful about environment, who can see what the children might be interested in and who are intentional about open ended materials and providing experiences that are child-directed and teacher-supported.

To see more photographs from this day, check out our facebook photo album.

Excellence Academy Master Teacher Spotlight

Posted: August 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: News | No Comments »

EA Logo - Updated (1)

 angiedaily 035

Angie Kinser

Center Name: Goodwill of Southern Indiana Children’s Learning Center
Classroom Age Group: Preschool (4 years old)
Years of Teaching Experience: 13 years
Years in the Excellence Academy:     2 years
Highest Education Level Achieved: Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education



What is one of your favorite things about teaching young children?

I teach for all of the “little” reasons…hugs, excitement, reading books, imagination, curiosity, listening to four year old stories, aha moments, smiles, laughter and many more. I love inspiring a lifelong love of learning and knowing I am making a difference in the lives of children.

How has the Excellence Academy changed you, your classroom environment, your knowledge of early childhood development and your teaching practices and strategies?

The Excellence Academy has changed my way of thinking from a teacher directed approach to a child led approach. It has helped me to understand the importance of social and emotional development. The children are learning to express their emotions and problem solve. Also my classroom is continuing to change from a commercial product, plastic and primary color filled room to a more homelike setting with natural elements.

What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?

On the weekends, I love spending time with my husband Chris and our 6 year old daughter Annabelle.

What would be impossible for you to give up?

It would be impossible for me to give up reading. I love to read!!!

How do you want to be remembered?

I would like to be remembered as a loving wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter and teacher.



2-19-14 angie daily 016

IMG_7385  IMG_6721
IMG_6724  150

6 Ways to Activate Your Block Area

Posted: August 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, News | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »


Providing nontraditional materials for the block area invites children to test out new ways of balancing, stacking, building and creating structures. It can spark the interest of children who might not normally spend a lot of time with blocks or create opportunities for cooperative play as children explore a new material.

One classroom at Goodwill of Southern Indiana (an Excellence Academy center) provided a variety of colors and sizes of cups.  The children built elaborate walls, pyramids, arches and towers. They incorporated unit blocks to make doorways and roads. Every day they came up with new ways to use the cups, and the play continued for weeks as the children collaborated, tested and built.


Want to get building in your classroom? Here is a list of 6 nontraditional materials to get you going:

1. Cups: Paper, plastic, foam or other, cups are versatile, accessible and cheap.

2. Paper Towel Rolls: Leave them whole to make tunnels and columns or cut them down the sides to make ramps.

3. Flat Rocks: Stacking rocks provides a great challenge of balance. Add some sticks and they can be used to turn a block structure into a nature scene.

4. Boxes: Small ones, large ones, leave them blank or decorate them to look like buildings. Just put a pile of boxes out and the children will know what to do!

5. Plastic Lids: Another great challenge in balancing, a variety of sizes of lids makes for interesting towers. They are also a great way to add circles to block designs.

6. Masking Tape: Place lengths of tape on the floor to make roads. Better yet, hand the tape over to the children and see what they create!

EA Logo - Updated (1)


JCPS Back-to-School Checklist

Posted: August 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »


300 Feet of Aluminum Foil

Posted: July 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »


What would happen if you gave a room full of children 300 feet of aluminum foil? In a recent classroom experiment, we did just that. Excitement and ideas flowed around the room. Children had the freedom to create what they wanted and use the foil in as many ways as they could imagine. They made boots, hats and masks. One child decided to make a mermaid tail. Although the activity level was high, so was the concentration and involvement.

When the time came to go outside to the playground, the foil came with them. They wore their costumes, created bags for collecting seed pods and wrapped their bikes in foil. The foil became so precious to them that many children collected scraps and stowed them away in their cubbies for future use.

With all of the planning that goes into curriculum and all of the ideas on Pinterest, blogs and other websites, sometimes the best activity is the one most open ended where children have freedom and can express their creativity with no agenda.

 IMG_0831  IMG_0835  IMG_0787

Excellence Academy Master Teacher Spotlight

Posted: June 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: News | No Comments »

EA Logo - Updated (1)


Amanda Perry

Amanda Perry

Center Name: Dorman Preschool Center
Classroom Age Group: 3-5 years old
Years of Teaching Experience: 8 years
Years in the Excellence Academy:     2 years
Highest Education Level Achieved: Bachelor of Fine Arts
Special Certification: CDA


What is one of your favorite things about teaching young children?
One of my favorite things about teaching young children is seeing the children of my class coming to school expressing happiness and and eagerness to learn each and every day. 
How has the Excellence Academy changed you, your classroom environment, your knowledge of early childhood development and your teaching practices and strategies?
The Excellence Academy has improved all aspects of my teaching and my classroom. It has enabled me to enhance our classroom environment into a comforting and peaceful learning space. I now approach each day with the intention of making learning active, hands-on, and exciting while still focusing on promoting progress in the developmental areas of each individual child. 
Tell us about your family.
I live with my boyfriend, Shawn, and our two dogs, Layla and Rhett. I have one sister, April; she is an ER doctor and is married to Iraj. My mom, Meg, still lives in Pleasureville in the house I grew up in. I am very close to both my mom and my sister. 
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can read extremely fast and I usually finish a book in about 2 days. I am also a painter, drawer, and print-maker. 
What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?
My favorite way to spend a weekend is hanging out at Kamp Kessa to go horseback riding and to relax and enjoy being outdoors. I also enjoy playing games like Quiddler, Scrabble, and Uno. 
What would be impossible for you to give up?
Books and twirling my hair 
How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as someone who was creative, funny, and always strived to improve.




IMG_1472  IMG_1463


Happy Child Care Provider Appreciation Day!

Posted: May 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, Event, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

4-C and friends made you a digital quilt to show our love and appreciation. May this quilt of thank you notes and testimonials provide as much warmth and comfort as you give our children each and every day.

Click here to read the full length testimonials or add one of your own.



Give Local Louisville – May 6, 2014

Posted: May 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: News | No Comments »

Valuing Play in Adults

Posted: April 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: News | No Comments »


IMG_1378Teachers and directors need opportunities to play. As early childhood professionals, we advocate all the time about the value of play for children and the learning and development that happens through it. Children can socialize, test out new physical skills, use their imagination and creativity, and have the space and freedom to discover. Fred Rogers once said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

Play is also serious work for adults. In our profession, we often see play as something we do with and for children, but taking the time to really play with a material before it is introduced in the classroom is incredibly valuable for planning.  Playing increases the teacher’s ability to identify how certain students will react to the materials and be intentional about what tools to offer to extend the learning. Allowing time for play and reflection can reignite the sense of wonder and awe by experiencing something new or seeing the everyday with new eyes. It provides opportunities for joy and delight. When teachers play together, they socialize, laugh together and build community.

Community Thank You Card to Child Care Providers

Posted: April 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, Event | 4 Comments »

Thank You

Keystone Learning Academy
Keystone Staff
Thanks for all the great work you do for the families and children at Keystone Learning Academy! I’m so excited and proud about the progress we are making. You guys rock!!
Sharon Hemingway
 Highland Community Ministries
 Many years ago, as a young mother with a new 3-month old baby girl, I returned to work and left my daughter with the great folks (Gigi was in the infant room) at HCM (Cherokee Road). Eighteen months later I entrusted my second daughter to their care. The caring folks at HCM allowed me to relax and concentrate on my work, knowing that my daughters were in the hands of loving, competent, and caring professionals who understood their needs during the varying stages of early childhood. I remember that 5 years later when the girls left HCM for kindergarten, I felt like we were losing an extension of our family. Thanks so much to all early childhood educators who provide care, nurturing, learning, and so much more to the children (and parents) in their care.
 Cecelia Price
 All Child Care Professionals
 Happy Child Care Provider Appreciation day to all of those who care for our precious children. What a blessing you are to the community. Thank you for your hard work & dedication!
 Tammi Geftos
To all the Child Care Providers who help our refugee families every day.
A special thank you to our child care providers who work with our refugee families and their children. I know that it can be challenging to help these families adjust to new routines and ways of life in their new country but please know that we are grateful for the love and care you provide every day. Just like every family, refugee families see their children as their most precious possession and as a valuable investment in the future of their new country. Your work is so valuable! Thank you!
Staci Kottkamp- Kentucky Refugee Ministries
 Our Lady Of Lourdes Day Care
All of My Staff
I have a dedicated staff that have been with me for a long time. One of my staff has been here for 30 yrs, another for 22, myself 17yrs. We have loved, nurtured, nourished, taught, potty trained, refereed, consoled, and got them kindergarten ready each and every year. My staff help with fundraisers that they don’t get paid for to help buy the extra things that day cares need. Our parents treat all of us with love and respect as we do to them. We treat their children as our own and that is the security parents need to go about their day without worry.
Our center has an outstanding reputation and through our hard work and love for children we are able to keep that strong reputation.
We don’t get paid a lot of money but my staff gives 100% each and every day.
Fabyan Bridgmon
 Kid’s Academy
 I am more than grateful to have help provided to me and my children. Without you I could not work and provide for my babies. You are mothers and friends to my kids and we thank you for being there.
 Cassie Feldman
 Cherish Forever Child Development Center
 Staff of CFCDC
 I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of Cherish Forever CDC for all the hard work, all the team work, and all the patience you have shown in the course of building this phenomenal center. A clean, safe enviroment where a child can grow and become well rounded. A place conducive for learning. To you I salute. Thank you so much!
 Marsha Bingham, Director
 Brightside Childcare and Learning Center
 My wife has owned Brightside for 7 years and she amazes me each day with her contributions to “her kids.” She had dedicated her life to her center and she does whatever she can to help out families in need. She is always donating food to the soup kitchen. She always gives a little bit of her day to each and every child in the center. The employees will first hand say she is the best person to work for. My wife takes pride in her business and the care with give the children. Brandy is an amazing provider, teacher and mother figure to the kids.
 Jonathan Cook
 Discovery Time II
 Discovery Time has been awesome for my family. It is the BEST most OUTSTANDING child care in the Louisville area. Best infant classrooms I have ever seen. Staff ratios and turnover is low. My children are still there after 7 years…now involved in a great school age program. They helped me raise my babies into smart, curious, respectful and responsible kids.
 Krista Campisano
 Today’s kids
Alisha and Lisa
 My experience with today’s kids has been amazing. My oldest who is now 7 started there when he was 2. Ms Alisha was his teacher who is absolutely amazing with the 2 year olds. She is like the toddler whisperer or something because i have never seen a teacher get two year olds in line like she does and the best part. All those babies LOVE her!!
My second child is in the 3 year old room with ms Lisa and she has been with that age since we started there in 2009 she is great with that age and I couldn’t ask for a better teacher for my girl to get her prepared for preschool and moving up is ms iris who is the best teacher and prepares those kids so well for kindergarten that the first year of big kid school is just a review!! My oldest started kindergarten with all the knowledge he needed to work on first grade work. Now in first grade his teacher says he very well may be gifted… I don’t think it’s that as much as it’s the awesome preparation he had in preschool at today’s kids!!
 Amanda arms
 Thank You Neighborhood House Child Development Center for all you do for our Families, Children, Community and myself
 All Neighborhood House Staff
 When I walk into the classrooms and see the children engaged and excited I know that our staff is making it happen. They go above and beyond the call of duty. You are not only teachers but Jacks of all Trades. I know the children at Neighborhood House are truly happy to be there with you. We have excellent parents who want the best for their children and you guys make that happen everyday. I am so grateful to have a wonderful staff.
For all the teachers who work with children good for you. Keep up the good work and be proud of your selves. This is the hardest job you will ever do. If done right it is the most fulfilling
 Melinda Dennis, Assistant Director of CDC
 Carl Nussbaum, Jr. Child Development Center
 All faculty of the Nussbaum Center
 As a former director of the Nussbaum Center, I want to express my admiration for the ability of the current director and her faculty to perform well in their direct interactions with the children in their care. It is a challenging responsibility with the potential to help children develop the cognitive, physical, and social skills needed for successful outcomes in their subsequent educational experiences.
 R. C. Webber
 Academy of Learning- Radcliff center
 We love our daycare! They always take care of us and teach us how to help out and respect others. When our mom comes to pick us up we always want to stay. Our teachers are kind and patient. They know all the kids names and everyone’s favorite things. They are a par of our “friend family”!
 Piper and Fiona Burke
 Wesley Kids Childcare
 This Childcare is great. They are down to earth. They love children you can tell. They all treat my child great. Not only my child but I see the interaction with other children as well. My Son loves going there. I have know moved still drive out of my way to take him there. I’m leaving teacher Blank because they are all great in their own way. This is the Center in Shilvey @ Garrs Ln Church.
 Brittney Stamper
 Germantown child care
 3mily is great she is so loving and patient .its a lot to ask for a childcare worker to love your kids but I feel like she’s part of my family and my kids love her she has the hardest and most underappreciated job in the industry
 Sarah loper
 Today’s Kids Childcare
 I’ve had my 2 year old in this daycare for a couple months now. I feel so comfortable with the staff and love his teacher Dawn! I also feel like my child is very safe through out the day due to the codes on all the doors. I also LOVE how they post pictures on their facebook page! Brightens my day just to see my kid coloring with other kids while I’m at work… Overall I am very pleased with Today’s Kids and recommend to everyone who needs a safe environment for their kids while at work! :) Thank you! :)
 Children’s Learning Center at Goodwill Southern Indiana
 All Childcare Employees
As the Assistant Director of the CLC, I get a chance to work with a fabulous group of caring, loving, giving teachers every day. With in the past month we have gone through every audit we can go through-state visit, fire marshal visit, Paths to Quality rating visit, and NECPA visit. I am proud to say the staff passed everything with flying colors! We are now Level 4 Paths to Quality rated, we have 3 Master Level teachers through the Metro United Way Excellence Academy, and continue to be accredited through NECPA. Add to that the love and care they show to each child who comes through our doors on a daily basis and it is easy to see why I think we are the best. Thank you all for all you do each and every day. You are my favorites!
Stacy McCorkle
 Little Hands Child Care
 Kathy Pait
 Ms. Kathy does an excellent job of providing child care for one to six children under six five days a week. She provides lunch and learning in a variety of ways. She helps get her kids a start in school by teaching them colors, numbers, animals and a variety of other subjects. Kathy rocks youngsters when they just don’t feel good and provides hugs and kisses to every child in her care all through the day. She celebrates birthdays and holidays with zeal. And all of this care comes back to her every night as kids are picked up by parents and she gets hugs and kisses from her kids. I’m just an occasional helper and I don’t know how child care providers do this job every day….CHILD CARE PROVIDERS…YOU ROCK!!
 Rhonda Paithelps
 Learning Tree Childcare
 I want to thank all the caregivers at Learning Tree! You are always friendly & sweet. I can see other children are happy to be there too. Keep up the great work of loving & caring for children.
 A. R.
 Helen’s Day Care
 To all my fellow Day Care Providers, I want to say Thank You for all the things that you do, as said on the web site, we are not only teachers, but also many other titles can be added to our occupation. As of June 2014 I have been at Helen’s for 30 years. I have so enjoyed the years that I have been a part of so many children’s lives, sure there have been those trying times ( ;, but over all the children have really blessed my life and I hope that in some small way I have done the same for them.
 Sharon Ray
 John Paul II Academy Early Childhood Program
 Ms. Tina Meredith, Director and Ms. Susie Smith
 On behalf of the community of John Paul II Academy we commend both Ms. Meredith and Ms. Smith for their dedication to our Early Childhood Program. Their commitment to our vision to guide each child in their care to develop to their fullest potential is visible every day. They bring creativity, enthusiasm, and love to their classrooms. From science experiments to play circles, the students are given the opportunity to experience activites that teach them skills at their unique learning abilities. Their warm smiles greet their students each morning making the children feel both welcomed and successful from the moment their day begins at JPIIA. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful and caring teachers like Ms. Meredith and MS. Smith
 Lynn M. Wilt, Principal
 Maple Grove Baptist Child Care
 all my teachers
We have had a year of transition, most all of my staff have been supportive of all the changes that we have undergone. I would like to thank everyone of my staff for the understanding and for the loved shown to Jaimie and myself.
I send wishes to all my staff for another year of loving the children and showing all the compassion that comes with the job. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
Ms. Lynn
Lynn Simpson
 All my Children childcare
Mrs. Wilma(director- teacher mrs. mekia
I have experience working in childcare and I have personally witnessed neglect and abuse of children due to lack of training, respect, and indecency of caring for children in many of these settings. so naturally, when I had my first born child at 29 I was more than terrified about putting my son in daycare. My mother was his sole provider onLy until she passed away ninety days after his birth. It was the hardest thing ever to trust anyone other than she with my most prized possession. upon moving downtown to Old Louisville I enrolled my son into Mrs. wilmas facility. there she treated not only the children but, her staff with the utmost respect, loyalty and love. My son has a developmental delay and does not verbalize so words cannot express my gratitude in knowing that my son was safe and in grreat hands while at her center. the building was always very clean, well kept and organized. theres was never a doubt or feeling of my son being neglected. Unfortunately the center is now closed due to her physical inability to continue to run such a astounding establishment and it was time for her to retire. We need more centers that are for the well of the child and not about the money. A place where your children are taught and treated with respect and dignity.
Danyetta Hayes
 TLC Creative Learning Center
 all my teachers
 Thank you for a great year we have just started our 4th year open thank you all for your hard work and making our daycare so great. Thank you to all our kids and their families for your support. We are looking for a fun and exciting summer with your children. God Bless
Cheryl director
From all of us here at 4-C, we send our utmost gratitude to all who are opening the world to children everyday.
Child care is one of the most important but least respected jobs in our country.
You introduce children to so many concepts and situations. You are the beginning of a love of learning that builds the foundation for each child’s success in school and in life.
Thank you for choosing to dedicate your life to supporting our children and families.
Susan Vessels
Executive Director
 Highland community ministries eastern star
Too many to name – lanita, ms kassie, sonda, Anita
There are no words to express the gratitude a mama feels for good quality childcare. They love my girl, give her tools to navigate the world, words to work out challenges, and people skills to navigate friends, family, foes and folks who foil your good time.
Everyday when I hand off my precious cargo, I know that I have the gift of comfort and confidence that she will be well taken care of, have plenty of play, and actually gain rather than just get through the day. I wish this for All mamas and count my lucky stars that I can afford a quality center. There is no greater comfort.
And our teachers are the shining light of my little girls life. When she names the people she loves, among them are the teachers and caregivers at HCM, genuine affection and respect is evident.
Thank you HCM and your wonderful teachers! We appreciate you.
Mary Grissom
 Eastern Star
 Ms Tamara, Ms Mary, & Ms Mida
I’d like to thank these three ladies for making the transition from at home care to daycare a pleasant one!
My son is happy to be greeted by Ms Tamara every morning and that makes my day go by so much easier knowing that my son is enjoying the people he is spending his day with.
Janelle Smith
 Keystone Academy (Formerly California Area Family Development Center)
 Phyllis Parker
 Ms Phyllis Parker was the finest teacher I ever knew. She was loved and respected by the hundreds of children and families she taught over the more than 30 years she devoted to early childhood education. Every child was important to her and she always made time for each one. No task was too hard for Phyllis, no challenge too great. She welcomed change and constantly sought ways to improve herself and to help others. Not only was she the best teacher I ever knew, she was one of the finest people I ever met.
Phyllis Parker passed away suddenly last Fall. No one got a chance to tell her they loved her or to say goodbye. So on behalf of her co-workers, friends, students, and everyone who knew her, I’d like to say, “We miss you Ms. Phyllis and wish you were here so we could all thank you for everything you’ve given us and done for us, and so I could get another one of your big hugs. We will Never forget you. You will live in our hearts forever.”
 Connie Willoughby
 Happy Daze Daycare Home
 As the owner of Happy Daze Daycare Home I am proud to say thank you 4C’s for providing me with great reources and wonderful parents who have given me the opportunity to care for their children. I have been a provider for almost thirteen years coming up in December. I have enjoyed teaching and giving love to the children in my community. The motivtion has been wonderful and it has given me the opportunity to futher my studies in the field of education this year I will graduate with a major in Early Chiildhood Education Administration. The purpose of going above and beyond is we as provider’s need to learn all the aspects of the education environment and in return it will make us a voice in our communities. Thanks Community Coordinate Child Care and parents for allowing me be a leader as an small entrepreneur for my community.
 Lisa Carey
 Holy Spirit Preschool
 Amy Hammer,Sheila Rainey,Diane Kunz & Laura Eddins
 I am so thankful that God brought such fine, caring, and incredible employees to help teach the students here at Holy Spirit. You all come in everyday and give 150% to the children and their families. Thank you for all the work you put in during school hours and at home. I hope that all of you know that it does not go unnoticed. Each child is blessed to have you all as teachers. Happy Child Care Provider Apprectiation Day! :)
 Jenny Jackson -Director
 Mini-Versity’s DOWNTOWN and WEST
 I would like to thank all the staff at both Centers for their great work with our children and families.
 Margaret L. Evans, Pam Johnson
 Today’s Kids
We would like to take this opportunity to THANK all of our wonderful teachers at the center! Thank you Ms. Connie, Ms. Starr, Ms. Maranda, Ms. Amanda J., Ms. Kara, Ms. Alisha, Ms. Dawn, Ms. Ashley, Ms. Lexi, Ms. Julie, Ms. Lauren, Ms. Mary, Ms. Lisa, Ms. Iris, Ms. Amanda N., Ms. Cindy, and Ms.Miranda. Thank you for that extra mile you go everyday to make sure the children are cared for and loved. God has blessed us with amazing kids and loving families!
Jennifer Beavers & Tisha Coleman






To submit a testimonial click here






Website Designed by: Hatch Creative, LLC