“You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout, I’m telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town.”

Santa Claus will be coming to visit our good little boys and girls on Friday, December 5. He might even have a few surprises up his sleeve. Santa will be here at 10am. If you would like to come and take pictures of your child with Santa, please feel free.
Please mark your calendars in preparation for the holiday season. EFC will be closed the following days:
     Christmas Eve: Monday, 12/24       
    Christmas Day: Tuesday 12/25
    New Year’s Day: Tuesday, 1/1 
Please make sure your child has the appropriate winter gear to explore outdoors each day. This includes a warm jacket, snow pants, boots, hat and waterproof mittens. Thank you! 
star wellness
Colorful, Warm Quinoa Salad - Serves 4
1 cup – quinoa, uncooked
1 cup – vegetable broth
1 cup – water
1 medium – mango
1/ 2 medium – bell pepper, green
1/ 2 medium – pomegranate

1 tablespoon – orange juice
1/ 2 tablespoon – maple syrup, pure
1/ 2 teaspoon – cinnamon
¼ teaspoon – sea salt

Dressing Instructions:
Place all ingredients in a small glass bowl and stir with a spoon until combined.

Bowl Instructions:
Prepare quinoa according to package directions using the ratio 50/50 (water to vegetable broth). Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork.
The holidays are a fun and joyous time, but also very busy, and holiday stress and anxiety in children is a common occurrence. Here are some tips to help ease any degree of holiday stress;

Set a calm example: To minimize anxiety in children, take steps to handle your own stress. The way parents handle an issue sets the tone for how their kids will behave.

Set up conditions for good behavior: Avoid taking children to the mall or holiday gatherings when they are hungry or tired. It’s hard even for grown ups to deal with noise and lots of stimulation when not feeling the best. Understandably, children have a tough time being on their best behavior when they are exhausted or hungry.      

Remember the importance of routines: Try to get routines back on track once an event or party is over. If a school activity or family gathering runs late, try to stick to quiet, calm activities the next day and get your child to bed on time the next night. 

Get your child moving: Fresh air and exercise are essential for boosting mood and re-setting the spirit. Make sure to schedule some time to get your child outside to run and play!
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 spent time assessing our job review tools and feedback systems. They have introduced new staff recognition opportunities and ways to acknowledge teaching staff for the exceptional work they do. The team improved internal communication systems, created tools and systems to support classroom observations, and implemented 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
6125 Cahill Ave.  
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076 
(651) 450-1994  

Center Directors:
Fle Jensen, Kristine Berg, and Roxie King