Posted on April 25, 2012 by 4cforchildren
I have always suffered from the kind of allergies that warrant allergy shots, and left me dreading a bi-weekly trip to the allergy doctor. As I aged, I outgrew the allergies, and also the shots (yay!). Last fall I was retested and found a whole new set of allergies and sensitivities to certain foods. Recently, when I wasn’t feeling well, I scheduled a doctor’s appointment for a good once over. She found my blood pressure to be higher than normal and asked how I was doing in managing the new allergies. Not so well. After a good discussion about what I should cut out of my diet, a course of vitamins, and a few other recommendations, I was given my marching orders. No wheat, gluten, peas, blueberries or soda pop. She wanted to see me back in three weeks. See you later pasta and bread!
I took this challenge one day at a time. I planned meals and grocery shopped. I took the recommended vitamins. I bypassed the coke machine in favor of water. I walked and did strength training several times a week. I felt better. I lost ten pounds. I feel good about the results, but even better because I think I can stick with it by taking it one day at a time.
This concept is also the focus for the Sixth Annual 4C Northern Kentucky Leadership Conference which will be held on May 4. Big things can become small things if taken one step at a time. What project or task have you been avoiding because it just seems “too big”?
Filed under: Early Childhood, Professional Development, STARS for KIDS NOW | Tagged: children, early childhood, leadership, teachers | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 27, 2011 by 4cforchildren
Every few months I get together with a great group of girlfriends who have been through it all together – from first jobs and first dates to babies’ first steps and first days of school. Some of us have known each other since the preschool sandbox. One thing is for certain, we have supported each other over the years with advice and friendship that has withstood the test of time.
We got together this past Saturday night, and I had a chance to catch up with a friend who is a mother of two, a two year-old and a six month-old. She is a working mom and we have talked often about what she was looking for in a child care center. She made a change recently to a new child care center. I should tell you that my friends know about my work work in the field of early childhood education, and ask for my advice often, but I try not to overwhelm them with my philosophy or knowledge of child development and child care. I equip them with the best information available and then support them as they make their own choices.
I was delighted as my friend described what she noticed about the new child care center. She has noticed that there is ample room on the floor for her infant to crawl and use his developing muscles. She noticed that the teachers are on the floor playing and cuddling with the babies, showing the babies that they are important and loved. In her previous center, children were often in bouncy seats and high chairs, which limited their movement and interactions with their teachers. She is also very pleased that there is a primary caregiver for her children, meaning that within the larger group her baby has one teacher who is responsible for him all day. She knows that her children are learning because the teachers explain how her children learn through their everyday play experiences. She feels connected to that learning, because the teachers take the time to communicate the activities of the day. It feels good to my friend that her two year-old runs up to her primary caregiver each day and is welcomed with a hug and a smile. These are some of the big differences she notices between the old center and the new.
I am happy for my friend. I am delighted that she followed her instincts and used some of the information I have shared about what quality child care looks and feels like. The center she chose has earned the highest quality rating in the state, an indicator which has been linked to readiness for kindergarten and beyond.
I believe that all parents want what is best for their children, intending to give them the best start in life. In this case, a parent observed a true difference between the level of care and learning that is available at an un-rated center, and one that has earned the quality rating. Quality rating systems were devised to help parents chose the best child care for their child. I hope that someday all parents will use these easy to follow systems to chose quality rather than basing a choice on cost or location alone.
To show parents how to select a quality-rated child care program, visit 4C’s Web site.
Filed under: Early Childhood, STARS for KIDS NOW, Step Up To Quality | Tagged: children, choosing quality child care, early childhood education, families | Leave a Comment »