We have two special holiday gatherings this month. On Tuesday, December 18 , the preschool class will perform their favorite winter songs starting at 4:30pm. We will also make gingerbread houses after the performance.

On Wednesday, December 19 , the infant and toddler classes invite families to join us in welcoming winter with some fun activities in the classroom, followed by a sing-a-long together.
We will be having our annual holiday book exchange on Monday, December 17. The children can bring a book to exchange with their friends. Please bring in a wrapped book with your child’s name on it if they would like to participate. All ages will participate in the exchange!
This year we will be participating in a food drive for the Centennial Food Shelf. Please bring in non-perishable foods from December 10 through December 20 . The preschool children will be delivering the food to the food shelf on the afternoon of December 20 . We will have a collection box in the front lobby.
The preschool children will be having an indoor picnic lunch to celebrate the first day of winter on Friday, December 21. Please pack your child a healthy nut free lunch to bring for our celebration.
Our center will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, December 24 and 25 and on Tuesday, January 1 . Please sign the sheet on the parent table to let us know if your child will be absent on other days around the holidays.
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.
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
2 H South Pine Dr. 
Circle Pines MN 55014 
(763) 786-9410 

Center Director:
Linda Burck
Center Assistant Director:
Kris Steffens