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 
Tuesday, December 10
Program starts at 6:30 pm

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 Toddlers: 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.   T he entire show lasts between 45 minutes to one hour.
The Dolphin and Monkey classes will be attending “The Emperor’s New Clothes” at Old Log Theater on Tuesday, December 17. 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.
Santa Claus will be here on Wednesday, December 18, 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.
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 3:00 pm on Tuesday, December 24 .

EFC Will Be CLOSED on the following days:
                 Wednesday, December 25, 2019
                 Wednesday, January 1, 2020
EFC will close at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, December 31 . To appropriately staff for these weeks, we are asking parents to confirm days off by Friday, December 13

*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
by Angie Williams

I grew up watching Mister Rogers. Perhaps some of you did, too. But I have not reflected on the lessons of his television show until recently. Ahead of the movie,   A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood , there have been several excellent profiles about the man who touched millions of children’s lives with his kind demeanor and profound grasp of humanity. He spoke directly to children about the joys and the challenges of their experiences. He gently but consistently emphasized the importance of children acknowledging and talking about their feelings in order to understand themselves and the world around them.

There is a new, 10-episode podcast called  Finding Fred , which explores the themes and methods of his show. I listened to the first episode last night entitled, A Genius of Empathy. The host and guests discussed how Fred Rogers was able to teach children about empathy—a pretty tricky emotional concept even for adults—by, again, recognizing the feelings children have, helping them understand that feelings are universal, and giving them words and ideas to help them manage their feelings. (If you haven’t listened to his song, “What do you do with the mad you feel?”, it’s a great example of this.)

We know—and Fred Rogers knew—that the social and emotional development of children is paramount to their overall wellbeing as well as their ability to be a “good neighbor,” which is what we hope all of our children will be.

The depth of his thinking is something that I can appreciate only now as an adult. The following paragraph of an article stood out to me:

“L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” That was Fred’s favorite quote. He had it framed and hanging on a wall in his office. “What is essential is invisible to the eyes,” from Saint-Exupéry’s “The Little Prince.” “It’s not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life which ultimately nourish our souls,” he once said, expounding on the idea in a speech. “It’s the knowing that we can be trusted, that we never have to fear the truth, that the bedrock of our very being is good stuff. … What is essential about you that is invisible to the eyes?”

These are deep thoughts for both adults and children, and I love that Mister Rogers reminded children that there  is  something essential within them that they can love and share. When I reflect on the message within those words, I think of what an amazing privilege it is to engage in the life of a child as a parent, and for our teaching staff, as caregivers and educators. It is such an honor (and a responsibility!) to help children discover the essential parts of themselves—those interests and traits that make them who they are and connect them to life and the world in a positive way. Once again, as Fred notes, “the bedrock of our very being is good stuff.” How lucky we are to share that lesson with children and watch it grow within them.

Angie Williams
EFC Marketing and Finance Director

Now-12/22   Holidazzle , Minneapolis
Now-12/28 Elf the Musical , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
Now-1/5 Cinderella , Children's Theatre, Minneapolis
Now-1/5 Winter in Bloom , Mn Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen
Now-1/5 Gingerbread Wonderland , Houses of Norway, Minneapolis
12/7 Reindeer Day , Linden Hills, Minneapolis
12/7-12/8 Holly Trolley , Lake Harriet, Minneapolis
12/14 Reindeer Run , Lake Harriet, Minneapolis
12/25 Joyful 5k , Maple Grove
12/31 New Year's Eve in the Wild , Lebanon Hills Park, Eagan
Especially for Children
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346 
(952) 934-1119 

Center Director:
Cathie Underwood 
Center Assistant Director:
Jamie Rocheford