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WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD
April 24-28 is Week of the Young Child. This is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation's largest organization of early childhood professionals with more than 100,000 members and a network of 450 local, state and regional affiliates.
 
The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs/services that meet those needs.
 
NAEYC first established the Week of the Young Child in 1971, recognizing that the early childhood years (birth through age 8) lay the foundation for children's success in school and later life.
 
We will celebrate the week with a fun theme each day; Music Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Work Together Wednesday, Artsy Thursday, and Family Friday!


CENTER HAPPENINGS
TEACHER APPRECIATION LUNCHEON
We would like to honor our fantastic teachers with a special luncheon on Thursday, April 27. There will be sign-up sheets located at the front desk if you would like to contribute food for this event. Feel free to drop off your food item in the morning. The teachers look forward to this yearly event and greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness.

CELEBRATING EARTH DAY
Please bring in a white t-shirt by Monday, April 17. We will be painting these shirts throughout the week to celebrate Earth Day on Friday. As part of our celebration we will be getting out our recycling bins and talking with the children about the different things that we recycle at the center and how recycling helps our Earth.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
BIKE AND PARK DAYS
Starting in April, we will have random bike and park days (good-bye to winter sleds)! The dates are listed on your calendar. Bikes are optional, but if you bring them, please include a helmet. Bikes can be dropped off out back at the playground. On the park days, please have your child at the center by 10 a.m. to join in on the walk to the park

PARENT REMINDERS
OUTDOOR CLOTHING
If you haven't already, please take home all outdoor winter clothing. We are hoping that there will be no more snow! We would prefer that your child come to school wearing some type of athletic shoes. We do many walks and sports activities beginning in the spring. Also, our playground consists of woodchips and sand, which tend to collect inside of sandals.

SPRING INTO OUR NEW STAFF
Check out our classroom parent boards for information on all our staff working in each classroom! Bios and pictures about staff members are posted here. Our new staff are excited to get to know you and your children!

LOOKING AHEAD
Spring Conferences are coming up in May. Please watch for sign-up sheets next month at the front desk.
 
Just a reminder, our center will be closed on Friday, May 26, for staff in-service training and planning opportunities for our staff. We will be closed on Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day.

ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
ANNUAL PARENT SURVEY FOLLOW-UP

Many thanks to all of you who provided feedback on our annual parent survey. It is so valuable for us to hear about your experiences and how your children are doing at Especially for Children. We were pleased to see positive feedback in many areas, especially regarding communication and how your child's teachers care for and meet the individual needs of your child.
 
DeeAnn Besch, VP of Operations, and Alli Zomer, Director of Operations, have read every survey and continue to reach out to many individual families for follow-up on specific questions. In addition, DeeAnn and Alli have met with each director to review the (anonymous) survey results, celebrating the areas of success and making an action plan for any areas of improvement.
 
Kindergarten Readiness
One question on our survey asked about kindergarten readiness, and we'd like to provide you with resources on what that means. In Minnesota, kindergarten readiness is assessed by considering each child's progress in social/emotional skills, language and communication, physical health and understanding of age-appropriate art, math and science concepts. There are several tools school districts can use to assess kindergarten readiness, including Desired Results, which we use at Especially for Children. Another tool comes from the Minnesota Work Sampling System; they provide a helpful Kindergarten Readiness Checklist, which is available on our website. 

You can learn more about each tool on the Minnesota Department of Education's website: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/dse/kind/KEP/res/MDE060071. 

In addition to these resources, we will be collecting specific information from each center's local school district and sharing it with you in a future newsletter and on our website.   

Open Communication
As always, we hope that you feel comfortable communicating with your center director(s) and the management team at the administrative office about your experience with Especially for Children. We encourage you to reach out to us at any time.
 
This year, all of our centers are going through the re-accreditation process with NAEYC as well as our re-application with Parent Aware. As part of these processes, you will receive additional short parent surveys before the end of the year. We appreciate in advance your time and participation in these surveys.
 
We thank you for choosing Especially for Children and hope that you feel part of the EFC family. We know that this time of life can be busy, hectic and even exhausting, but also full of joy and happiness as you watch your child(ren) learn and grow in amazing ways. Please know we are here to support you and your family.
 
Sincerely,
EFC Administrative Management Team
 
Priscilla Williams 
President
                                     
DeeAnn Besch
VP of Operations
 
Angie Williams
Director of Marketing and Finance
Steve Williams
Vice President
 
Alli Zomer
Director of Operations
 


TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS
Now-4/30  Farm Babies , MN Zoo, Apple Valley
4/9   Goldy's Gallop Kids Run , TCF Bank Stadium
4/15 Harlem Globetrotters, Target Center
4/18-6/18 A Year with Frog and Toad, Children's Theatre Company
4/21-5/20 Stone Soup, Stages Theatre, Hopkins
4/22  Earth Day Clean Up , multiple locations throughout Minneapolis

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

~ Native American Proverb

April 22 is Earth Day. It is a great time to talk with your child about taking care of our earth. We've gathered a few Earth Day resources on our blog.
 
Especially for Children
2 H South Pine Dr.
Circle Pines MN 55014
(763) 786-9410

Center Director:
Linda Burck
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