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The entire EFC staff wishes you good health and happiness throughout 2018. Thank you for your continued support and allowing us to be part of your child's life. We also want to thank everyone who thought of us this holiday season. The holiday cards, gifts, and good wishes were very much appreciated! Also take a minute to view all of the awesome family Christmas cards displayed on the office window. The cards get more creative and unique each year.

A big thank you to everyone who donated pajamas and/or books to the Pajama Program. We collected many books and pajamas! It was a wonderful experience for the children to learn about the importance of giving!
We are now using our Daily Connect app in our preschool program! This is an exciting way for you to see what is happening in our preschool classrooms each day. You can also use the app to message the staff during the day. Be sure to check it every day for information about your child's day here at EFC. Your child's daily information can also be emailed to you if you prefer.

We are hoping to plan a field trip to Eagle's Nest for this month. Watch for more information on this at the front desk.
If Especially for Children cannot open due to inclement weather, the center's closing will be announced on WCCO (830 AM radio, Channel 4 television, and If conditions during the day (weather or emergency) make it necessary to close before our regularly scheduled time, we will need to reach each of you at your work places. If at any time you are aware of changes that should be made on your child's emergency card, please request a new card. This also includes changes with your emergency contacts and authorized to pick up persons.
In December, each family received a letter stating their new tuition rates for 2018. Please make sure to save the statement you receive that reflects the previous year's payments for your 2017 taxes. It also has our tax identification number on it for tax purposes.

  • Be Realistic
  • Outline Your Plan
  • Make a Pro and Con List
  • Talk About Your Resolutions With a Friend
  • Reward Yourself
  • Track Your Progress in a Journal
  • Don't Beat Yourself Up if You Mess Up!
  • Stick to It
  • Keep trying, and remember any new activity needs to be done for a month before it becomes a habit.
The U.S. has become a nation of "non-tinkerers" and it has harmed the way we live and work. In a poll of 1,000 U.S. adults, nearly 6 in 10 said they had never made or built a toy. The majority said they avoid doing household repairs themselves. The problem is that tinkering is the process that leads to discovery and innovation - brainstorming with your hands. We want to encourage tinkering in our children!
A further concern is that girls are encouraged to tinker even less often than are boys; and when it comes to higher education, women are vastly underrepresented in many STEM fields. Though male and female students perform equally well in mathematics and science on standardized tests in high school, by the time they reach college, disparities begin to emerge. Women receive only 17.9% of computer science degrees, 19.3% of engineering degrees, 39% of physical science degrees, and 43.1% of mathematics degrees. (National Science Board, Science and Engineering Indicators, 2016.)
For the past decade, there has been a concerted effort to change this. Many of you have heard of STEM curriculum, which has been changed to STEAM. Science Technology Engineering Art Math Schools across the nation are creating STEAM curriculums. Early Childhood Education has long been focused on hands-on learning. On a daily basis, children are given opportunities to experiment in science, art, and math. In recent years at Especially for Children, we are consciously working to give children more experiences in tinkering, which develops skills needed for both engineering and technology. We want our students to be prepared for the challenges of the future.
We let children touch things, make things, and solve problems on their own. We know that by allowing children time to tinker and struggle with answering questions, we are showing them that we have high expectations for them. We pose age-appropriate challenges and then send the message, "I know you can get it if I give you the chance."
At home, you can help your child understand the value of hands-on skills. Let them see you handle a necessary household repair or tackle a hobby for pleasure. Show them your pride when you fix or create something.  Let them help you when you are tinkering. Have a set of tools your child can "use" when you are repairing a faucet or tightening a loose screw. Even a set of plastic tools will help your son or daughter understand the concept of taking things apart and putting them back together again.

Over the New Year's weekend, we will be with all of our grandchildren. I think I will throw in my suitcase some items that encourage tinkering. I hope your 2018 is wonderful - tinkering times with your child may provide some special joy!
1/1  Polar Dash , Minneapolis
Now-1/5  Tinkertoy, Build Your Imagination, Children's Museum, Saint Paul
Now-1/7  How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Children's Theatre, Minneapolis
Now-1/7 Gingerbread Wonderland, Houses of Norway, Minneapolis
Now-2/11   Wells Fargo Winter Skate, St. Paul
Now-mid-February  Centennial Lakes Ice Skating, Edina
1/14 Winter Ice Festival , Edina
1/19-2/19 Leo Lionni's Frederick, Stages Theatre, Hopkins
1/23-3/18 The Wiz, Children's Theatre Company, Mpls
1/25-2/10 Winter Carnival , Saint Paul

After the busyness of the holiday season, it can be a transition for both parents and children to get back to the regular routine. As parents, we may need to re-establish certain boundaries and expectations that were eased over the last month. But this can be challenging work, and according to child development expert Dr. David Walsh, many of us fall into some common pitfalls when it comes to limits and consequences.

Especially for Children
2 H South Pine Dr.
Circle Pines MN 55014
(763) 786-9410

Center Director:
Linda Burck

Center Assistant Director:
Kris Steffens
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