A big thank you to all of our Polar Bear & Grizzly Bear families for joining us at our annual Thanksgiving Luncheon in November. We had a great turn out and enjoyed celebrating all that we are thankful for together--which includes all of you!
On Thursday, December 20 , we will host a family event from 4-5:30pm. Please stop by to decorate a gingerbread house with your child and enjoy light snacks & refreshments!
On Wednesday, December 12 , the Kid Dancers will have their annual holiday recital hosted in the Edinborough Theatre starting at 5:30pm. We hope to see you there! They will also perform for the Brookdale Seniors the following week on Wednesday, December 19 , at 9am. More information will come about costumes, etc.
Santa will stop by our center on Tuesday, December 19 , and tell us stories about the North Pole & his reindeer. Please wear your best holiday outfit this day!
Please mark your calendars in preparation for the holiday season. EFC will be closed the following days:

  • Closing at 5pm on Friday, 12/7 for our company wide holiday party
  • Christmas Eve: Monday, 12/24
  • Christmas Day: Tuesday, 12/25
  • New Year’s Day: Tuesday, 1/1

We understand many families have plans to travel during the holiday weeks. Please let us know your child’s attendance by signing the sheets on the classroom doors no later than Tuesday, December 11 . This will help us staff our classrooms correctly, and also be able to give our staff some well-deserved time off! Thank you!

*Please also be sure to let the office know at least 1 day prior if your child’s regularly scheduled hours are changing. This is especially important if he/she will be here between 6:30 and 7am.
If Especially for Children cannot open due to inclement weather or other emergency conditions, the center closing will be announced on WCCO radio, TV and website in the morning. If weather conditions during the day make it necessary to close before our regularly scheduled time, we will reach each of you at your work places.
During the month of December, our teachers will introduce and talk about several different December holidays and celebrations.

We also welcome and encourage families to share special traditions or holidays with your child’s class. Please feel free to talk to your child’s teacher to arrange a time.

St. Barbara's Day-Dec. 4:  In this Syrian Legend, St. Barbara's miserly father didn't approve of her giving to the poor. However, she still made sacrifices to help those in need.  

St. Nicholas Day-Dec. 6: In Germany, children put shoes out as a sign to St. Nicholas that they are safe in bed. They awake on St. Nicholas Day to see if sweets or toys have been placed in their shoes. At EFC, children will place their shoes outside their classrooms on Wednesday, December 6.

Hanukkah-Sundown Dec. 2-Dec 10: Jewish people celebrate this eight-day "Festival of Lights." A very special part of the celebration is the lighting of candles in a holder called a Menorah. 

St. Lucia's Day-Dec. 13: In Sweden, young children dress in long white dresses with red sashes and place a crown of evergreens adorned with glowing candles on their head. Lucia’s task is to serve coffee and special twisted buns with raisins, called lussekatter, at daybreak. This celebration is for the return of light after the darkest time of the year, and the beginning of the Christmas season.  At EFC, the PreK classes bake lussekatter to share with their families. They will dress up as Lucia and her attendants, and sing traditional Swedish songs for the younger classrooms.

Las Posadas-Dec. 16: Las Posadas (literally lodging) is celebrated by Spanish-Mexican Americans. It is the re-enactment of Joseph & Mary's trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem to find shelter before the birth of the child.

Christmas-Dec. 24-25: Christians around the world commemorate the birth of Jesus. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, Christmas music  and  caroling, and the display of various  Christmas decorations , including  Christmas trees Christmas lights garlands , and wreaths

Kwanzaa-Dec. 26-Jan. 1: Kwanzaa means "First fruits." The 7 principles reflected upon are unity, self-determination, collective work & responsibility, cooperative purpose, creativity and faith.
In the spring of 2017 our team of managers and administrators began a process of reflection and goal setting. What has come to be called Our Commitment Project is an effort to reinforce our dedication to what we believe makes EFC such a special place for children, families and staff.
As a team we gathered, reflected and brainstormed. Together we came up with one line that summarizes our overall goal:
Our commitment is that children will thrive in classrooms led by engaged and passionate teachers.
From there we had discussions about what that sentence means to us. What did we need to do to be assured that all our children are thriving? How can we support our teachers so that they feel engaged in their classrooms and passionate about their work?
We divided into three teams and have been working together to support this commitment.
The three teams are:
  • Mentoring
  • Training
  • Strong Leadership
The Mentoring Team has launched a program where each newly hired teacher-qualified employee is teamed with a Coach for the first three months he/she is employed. While we know our veteran teachers have always served as informal mentors for new staff, this program has allowed us to solidify and enhance that relationship. It not only makes the newly hired employee feel more supported, but it also provides leadership opportunities for the staff who have been trained to be Coaches and can share their immense experience with new colleagues.
Our Training Team has come up with several ways to improve our training. We have launched a Staff Intranet where teaching staff can share ideas and access resources to help them in their classrooms. We are offering more regular staff trainings on topics that the staff have requested. We have increased the number of classroom observations we are doing each year to be able to give teachers more specific feedback and support. These have been great opportunities to assure that teaching staff know how much we appreciate what they are doing.
Our Strong Leadership Team has spent time assessing our job review tools and feedback systems. They are looking at our current staff recognition opportunities and proposing new ways to have staff acknowledged for the exceptional work they do. The team is evaluating communication systems and offering new ways that teaching staff can take on leadership roles.
We feel very pleased with the way Our Commitment project has given us new opportunities to support what Especially for Children has always believed in—that engaged and passionate teachers help children thrive.

Now-12/23  Holidazzle , Minneapolis
Now-12/27  Mary Poppins Jr. , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
Now-1/6  XOXO, An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness , Children's Museum, Saint Paul
Now-1/6  How the Grinch Stole Christmas , Children's Theatre, Minneapolis
Now-1/7 Gingerbread Wonderland , Houses of Norway, Minneapolis
Now-2/3   Wells Fargo Winter Skate , St. Paul
Now-2/23 Night Trains , Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St. Paul
12/1  Reindeer Day , Linden Hills, Mpls
12/1-12/2 Holly Trolley , Lake Harriet, Mpls
12/8  Reindeer Run , Lake Harriet, Mpls
12/22 Beauty and the Beast in Concert , Minneapolis
12/25   Joyful 5k , Maple Grove

Our 2018 Photo Album highlights some of the many wonderful moments that took place at Especially for Children this year! It is amazing to stop and think about how much your child has changed and grown in just one year. We are thankful that you have chosen Especially for Children to be a part of your child's journey!
Especially for Children
3300 Edinborough Way 
Edina MN 55435 
(952) 835-0505 

Center Directors:
Anna Wilson 
Samantha Baker