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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 80,000 members and a network of 300 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.
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
FUN DAYS IN APRIL
Because April is such a fun month to celebrate children and early childhood professionals, we thought it would be fun to have some special days mixed in throughout the month. Here they are...
 
Monday, April 3 - MN Twins Day
Friday, April 7 - Favorite Color Day
Friday, April 14 - Pajama Day
Tuesday, April 18 - Crazy Socks Day
Wednesday, April 26 - Hat Day

TEACHER APPRECIATION LUNCHEON
We would like to honor your child's teachers with a special potluck lunch on Thursday, April 27. This is a special lunch where we ask parents to contribute a food item. There will be a sign- up sheet on the parent table if you would like to participate. Feel free to drop off your food in the morning. The teachers look forward to this event and greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness. 

PARENT REMINDERS
SPRING
Spring is finally here! As the warmer weather continues please bring home all the snow pants, boots, mittens and scarves. Make sure to replace your child's winter clothing with clothing for warmer days. Also, be sure to send your child in closed-toed shoes every day. We
bring the children outside as much as possible to run and play, and proper footwear is important to ensure safety! Thank you for your help with this.

LOOKING AHEAD AT EFC
Spring conferences will be coming up in May. Sign-up sheets and more information will be posted as we get closer to May.

EFC will be closed Friday, May 26 for our staff development day and Monday, May 29 for Memorial Day.

IN THE COMMUNITY
UPCOMING EVENTS AROUND TOWN
  • Wells Fargo Farm Babies exhibit will and will go through April 30. You can enjoy the sights and sounds of spring at the Wells Fargo Family Fun Farm! There will be baby chicks, piglets, lambs, calves, goat kids and bunnies. There are also several children's activities. 
     
  • The MN Twins play their home opener on April 3. Go Twins!
  •  Celebration of Beauty and the Beast - Saturday, April 1 11:00am at Barnes and Noble in Edina. They will be celebrating the release of the new movie with special storytime and songs from the movie soundtrack. Attendees will receive a mini-poster and bookmark while supplies last!
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
5133 W. 98th St.
Bloomington, MN 55437 
(952) 831-1435

Center Director:
Kathy Hane
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