Gardening Grants for Child Care Programs

Posted: September 27th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

National Gardening Association: Youth Garden Grants
The National Gardening Association (NGA), awards Youth Garden Grants to schools and community organizations throughout the U.S. with child-centered garden programs. Applicant schools and organizations must plan to garden with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18. Twenty programs will receive a $500 gift certificate to the Gardening with Kids online store. Each program will also receive a tool package from Ames, plant starts from Bonnie Plants, and a seed donation from High Mowing Seeds. The selection of winners is based on the demonstrated relationship between the garden program and education related to the environment, health and nutrition issues, character education, and entrepreneurship in the United States. The application deadline is December 6, 2013. Application guidelines and forms are available on the NGA website.  Click here for more information.

Can you snap your fingers?

Posted: July 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Children begin processing new skills at early ages.

The Top 5 Reasons Cutting Child Care in KY is Such a Bad Idea

Posted: February 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, News, Susan's Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

5. It’s hard to improve quality if child care programs can’t afford to stay open. 

4. Thousands of child care staff will lose their jobs. 
3. Good child care is all about school readiness. 
2. 62% of parents with children under 5 are in the work force and need child care 
1. KY kids deserve better
Susan A. Vessels
Executive Director
Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C)

Kentucky Alliance for Shared Services

Posted: May 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Fabulous Fine Motor Play

Posted: April 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, News, Susan's Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

If given half a chance kids take care of their need to move their bodies and develop those gross motor skills needed to walk, run, jump, etc. But the fine motor skills are often lacking when kids get to school. As a result, holding a pencil, buttoning their coat, tying shoes can be difficult for them.

That’s why I was happy to see the terrific list of fine motor skill builders at . All of the activities use common household items to encourage little ones to use those fingers, hands, and eyes in a coordinated manner. Check it out.

Susan A. Vessels
Executive Director


Posted: April 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

It’s here and Child Care Providers are Going to Love It!

Ever since we heard about the Shared Service concept we’ve been working on making it a reality for child care providers in Kentucky.

So what is it?

 It is a user friendly website that has all of the things you need to make your job easier and your program better.

 Want to lower your food bills? It does that.

 Want a video that shows staff how important hand washing is and how to do it? It does that.

 Need some help writing or updating your parent handbook? It’s here.

 Kentucky regulations? How to talk to a parent about lice? What questions to ask in an interview of a new staff? Check. Check. And Check.

 Sample personnel policies, Program Marketing, Budgeting, Developmental Check Lists…….. It’s all here and ready to go.

How do you access this jewel? Easy.  Click Here to purchase your annual subscription now!

Wonderful Worms

Posted: June 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: News, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Earthworms don’t have eyes, ears or noses, and instead of lungs, they breathe through their skin. But more than just learning some fascinating facts, bringing live earthworms into the classroom gives children an up close encounter with a gentle, harmless animal.

I recently brought earthworms to Yvonne Fisher’s classroom at Dawson Orman Education Center. After reading a story and practicing moving like earthworms during circle time, we spread out some newspaper and let them crawl across the table. The children squealed with delight as they watched the earthworms stretch and squeeze their bodies. Almost every child was willing to pet an earthworm, and most also picked one up and laughed as it tickled their hands.

Earthworms are everywhere and are very beneficial to plants. In one yard of earth, there can be thousands of earthworms!  Go for a walk and hunt for them. Try digging in the dirt or lifting up rocks and leaf litter. Look on the sidewalk after a heavy rain and model good stewardship by returning them to some dirt where they can dig back underground. Most of all, let children know that they don’t have to be afraid of something just because it moves!

 A word about earthworm care:

Remember that they breathe through their skin and need a damp environment; so keep a spray bottle handy, but avoid letting them “swim” in water. They can drown too! They eat dirt and decaying leaves, so if you plan on keeping them a few days, be sure to provide them with food.

 Literature connections:

  • Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser
  • Garden Wigglers by Nancy Loewen
  • An Earthworm’s Life by John Himmelman
  • Earthworms by Claire Llewellyn and Barrie Watts

Noticing the Details

Posted: July 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: News, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I don’t know about your life, but mine seems to get busier and busier every day juggling work, home, family and friends. There always seems to be reasons to do things faster, just to get them done, to have time to do more things in the limited hours of the day. But the issue with faster and more is that there is little time to appreciate the details in life. Noticing details is a hallmark of a good scientist. Up close is where the discoveries are waiting, the ones that spark curiosity, make you wonder why or how or what and invite you to take another look, examine closer, or read more.  

Life can be full of these moments of wonder, but you have to slow down to find them. Have you ever noticed that drops of water cling to your fingers before falling off or examined salt to that see each individual crystal is a cube? Have you ever wondered why little rays of light seem to dance on the table when shining through a glass of water or why cream swirls in a cup of coffee? These are the types of observations that invite your mind to question and ponder how the world works, which is exactly what we want our children to be doing. What do you notice? How does it feel? How does it smell? Does it remind you of anything? What do you think would happen if…? The right question at the right time can help children focus on details, make connections and lead them to deeper learning.

One thing you should know about me is that I carry a pocket microscope in my purse, and I use it all the time. Just today I was showing my coworker, Brenda, an insect I found outside our door. It was some type of beetle I had never seen before, but the colors were amazing; lines of emerald green running down its wing edged with magenta, iridescent blues, purples and copper on its back, silver eyes made of hundreds of tiny lenses. Noticing these things myself makes me a curious person, but sharing what I am curious about with others is when the magic happens; when Brenda gets curious and calls to another coworker inviting her to look closer. We wondered together what kind of insect it might be, why its eyes have so many lenses and what the world must look like through them. You don’t have to wait for rainbows to feel the wonder of living, and the more you can model wonder for children, the more children will appreciate the world around them and want to know more about it.

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