JANUARY 2019
Greetings!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
We had an exciting and very busy December. The enthusiasm of the staff, children, and parents made the month fly by. We hope each of you had a safe and happy holiday season. We wish to express a special thank you to all families here at EFC for making the holiday season so special for us. The gift cards, treats, and holiday greeting cards are very thoughtful.
THANK YOU TO KRISTEN MENARD
We would like to offer a special “Thank You” to Kristen Menard for organizing the holiday gift card fund for the teachers. It has been a long tradition for the staff and is greatly appreciated!
CENTER HAPPENINGS
FROSTY THE SNOWMAN'S BIRTHDAY PARTY
You are invited to Frosty the Snowman’s Birthday Party on Thursday, January 24, 3:30pm snack in classrooms and 4:00pm Magic Show by Robert and Lynn Halbrook. Parents are welcome to join their child(ren) for this fun celebration.
CLASSIC GYMNASTICS FIELD TRIP
We will be heading to Classic Gymnastics in Chanhassen in January. Details on the field trip date and time will be emailed in January. Please be watching for a waiver to be signed before this field trip. Children will be “working out” barefoot in the gym—please send kiddos in “gymnastic” clothing (no dresses please).
FEBRUARY FIELD TRIP TO MN CHILDREN'S MUSEUM
February’s field trip will be at the MN Children’s Museum in St. Paul, MN. The bus will leave at 9:00 am and return after lunch. (We will be eating a picnic lunch at the museum.) The field trip will be on Thursday, February 21, and parent volunteers are welcome to attend. We are excited to see the newly remodeled museum! 
PARENT REMINDERS
JANUARY TUITION INFO
Your new tuition rates are in effect January 1.   Make sure to watch for your 2018 tax statement which will be distributed as well. We will be emailing copies of the year end taxes to your inbox and will also post a note in classroom daily emails when it is being sent out.
SNOW EMERGENCIES
If Especially for Children cannot open due to inclement weather or other emergency conditions, the centers closing will be announced on WCCO radio in the morning. If conditions during the day (weather or emergency) make it necessary to close before our regularly scheduled time, we will need to reach each of you at your work places. If at any time you are aware of changes that should be made on your child’s emergency card, please request a new set of cards. This also includes changes with your emergency contacts and authorized to pick up persons.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
SR. MARY DOLEZAL
We have had the pleasure of working with Sr. Mary at Especially for Children since August 12, 1991. She has been a breath of fresh air each and every day that she has worked here.

Sr. Mary has decided to retire from her position with us, and although it was a difficult decision for her to make, we feel fortunate for all the time that we were able to spend with her. Mary started here working in infants and that has remained her main position during her career here. She has a special touch with our little ones and has had many great “conversations” with the little babies. We know that she will truly be missed by all that have met her and worked with her.

We do hope that she will take time to visit us when she is able! We will be planning a special celebration in honor of Sr. Mary in January and will keep families posted on our plans.  
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
KEEP CHILDREN MOVING
You may have noticed that our newsletter for EFC teaching staff accidentally hit your Inbox recently—oops! Within the newsletter was an article from Community Playthings entitled, “In Defense of Active Learning”. The article described how physical movement supports learning in all areas of development. Children are better able to understand new vocabulary words that they can act out through movement. They learn scientific and mathematical concepts by using their bodies to balance, jump, add, and subtract. It’s important to note that studies show children learn more effectively as physically active learners because they are able to put these concepts into a meaningful context. 

Another area being studied is the correlation between movement and mental health in young children. With academic learning being pushed into the early elementary years of schooling and less time dedicated to play and physical activity, teachers are seeing more incidents of behavioral disorders. At EFC, we believe that policymakers need to rethink how the daily schedule is affecting young children and ensure that physical activity is still an important component of the learning experience. As a recent article in ChildCareExchange notes, 

“The best results occur when physical activity takes place every day in an outdoor environment, as these have the strongest correlations with positive mental health outcomes.”

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement in November regarding children ages 3-5, recommending that they should be “active throughout the day.”

And while adult-directed physical activities are beneficial, “unscripted or solo free-play is also important. When they’re not responding to outward stimuli and instructions from their coaches or friends, kids are better able to tune in to their own imaginations. And according to recent studies , daydreaming is both a marker of intelligence and a conduit to greater creativity.” ( How the Outdoors Makes Your Kids Smarter, Outside Magazine).

It is clear that children require and benefit from physical movement for their growth and development in all areas. As caregivers and parents, we need to consider how we make room within the structure of our lives and environments for extended periods during which children can run, jump, roll, climb, spin, and move. 
Angie Williams
Director of Finance and Marketing

Additional Resources:

Mental Health Benefits of Exercise in Children, Psychiatric Times
http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/child-adolescent-psychiatry/mental-health-benefits-exercise-children

In Defense of Active Learning
( http://www.communityplaythings.com/resources/articles/2018/in-defense-of-active-learning ).
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS

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-1/27 Skate the Star at MOA , Mall of America
Now-2/3   Wells Fargo Winter Skate , St. Paul
Now-2/23 Night Trains , Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St. Paul
1/5 Polar Dash , Saint Paul
1/13 Winter Ice Festival , Centennial Lakes, Edina
1/15-2/24 Mr. Popper’s Penguins , Children’s Theatre Company, Mpls
1/18-2/18 The Three Snow Bears , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
1/19-1/27 Winter Fete , Bloomington
1/24-2/3   Winter Carnival , Saint Paul

CENTER CONTACT INFO

With the new year upon us, we thought it would be a good time to remind you of the center's contact information so that you can save it in your device.
 
Phone:
(952) 934-1119
 
Address:
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346
 
Email:
 
In addition to Baby/Daily Connect, your child's classroom also has an email address that you can use to reach the teachers. Please inquire with your child's classroom if you do not have that email address. Thank you!

Especially for Children
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346 
(952) 934-1119 

Center Director:
Cathie Underwood 
Center Assistant Director:
Jamie Rocheford
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