The holiday season is upon us once again, and we are looking forward to the excitement of the coming weeks. We will be celebrating several holidays in December and have included a list of them. If you have a tradition that you would like to share with the children, please let the teachers know.

EFC’s Annual Holiday Program
Please join us for our annual
Holiday Program 
on Tuesday, December 11, 6:30pm

All ages participate in the program—join us for this festive event. Your immediate family is welcome. However, due to limited space, we’re sorry we won’t have room for other relatives.

Frequently Asked Questions about the program:

1) What ages participate in the program?
a. All age groups have a part in the program—even the infant group has a special role at the beginning of the show. After their performance, infants are handed back to their parents😊

2) What time do the doors open?
a. We open the doors at 6:15 pm

3) Where is the program held and where do I drop my child off?
a. The program is held in the Monkey (older preschool classroom).
b. The children are dropped off in the following classrooms when you arrive that evening:

Infants —drop off in the young infant classroom
Young/Old Toddler s—drop off in the older toddler side (Chipmunk side).
Dolphins/Monkeys —all preschoolers drop off in the Dolphin classroom.

4) What should my child wear?
a.   There isn’t a dress code for the show, however, many children wear their
“party” clothes or “fancy” attire for the program.

5) Can I video tape the program?
a. Parents are welcome to video the program –take photos, etc.

6) Will the parking lot be crowded?
a. Yes—we recognize that our parking lot can get very crowded—some
families do park on neighboring streets. 

7)   How long does it last?
a. The entire show lasts between 45 minutes to one hour.
Santa Claus will be here on Friday, December 14 , at 9:30 am. Santa’s visits every classroom and enlightens us with stories and songs. He will even spend time with our youngest babies, shaking rattles and building with blocks. We do our best to capture a photo with Santa and your child.
The Dolphin and Monkey classes will be attending “Winnie the Pooh” at Old Log Theater on Tuesday, December 18 . The show starts at 10:00 am and we will be leaving at 9:15 am. The cost will be $11.00 per child. Please contact the office if you are interested in volunteering as the tickets are limited.
We understand many families have plans to travel during the holiday weeks. Please mark an “X” on dates your child(ren) will not be attending in the attendance log in the front entrance. 

EFC will close at 5:00 pm on Friday, December 7, for EFC Staff Company Party.

EFC will be CLOSED on the following days:
                 Monday, December 24, 2018
                 Tuesday, December 25, 2018
                 Tuesday, January 1, 2019
To appropriately staff for these weeks, we are asking parents to confirm days off by Friday, December 14 .

* Vacation credit reminder:  When you have been enrolled at Especially for Children 6 months or more- you will receive a half weeks’ tuition credit if your child is absent five consecutive days. It does include the days that we are closed over the holidays. 
Here are some helpful tips that we hope will make your holiday season more enjoyable, fun and memorable for everyone in your family:
  1. Remember to keep a normal sleeping schedule to ensure that your child doesn’t get overly tired.
  2. Keep a regular diet. Limit the amount of sweets and rich foods.
  3. Don’t be surprised or disappointed if your child does not want to sit on Santa’s lap. Children have been taught to be aware of strangers.
  4. Don’t expect a young child to participate in all the rituals during the holiday season. His/her short attention span may only be able handle a few minutes of tree decorating or cookie making.
  5. Make gift giving simple. When so many gifts are opened at once, so much is lost in the excitement of new toys.

Remember to have fun! You are making memories that last a lifetime and traditions that will be passed down from generation to generation.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!
From all of us at Especially for Children
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
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346 
(952) 934-1119 

Center Director:
Cathie Underwood 
Center Assistant Director:
Jamie Rocheford