HAPPY 2021!
I think it is safe to say that we are all welcoming 2021 with open arms! We hope everyone was able to relax and enjoy some family time over the holidays. Even though this has been a very different type of season—the children continue to show enthusiasm and joy for the holidays. Hopefully, this season was a time to start new traditions or perhaps modify old traditions and reflect on the positive. Happy 2021!

We also want to thank everyone who thought of us this holiday season. The holiday cards, gift cards and presents were very much appreciated. We hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family!! 
Your new tuition rates are in effect January 1stMake sure to watch for your 2020 tax statement which will be distributed as well. I will be emailing copies of the year end taxes to your inbox and will also post a note in Baby/Daily Connect when I send them out.
If Especially for Children cannot open due to inclement weather, the center’s closing will be announced on WCCO (830 AM radio, Channel 4 television, and WCCO.com.) If conditions during the day (weather or emergency) make it necessary to close before our regularly scheduled time, we will reach out to you by email or Baby Connect. If at any time you are aware of changes that should be made on your child’s emergency card, please request a new card. This also includes changes with emergency contacts and authorized to pick up persons.
During the winter, we all tend to hunker down and hibernate. Here is a list of fun activities to get you and your children out to enjoy some winter fun:
  • Build a snowman!
  • Build a snow fort!
  • Have a snowball fight!
  • Go ice skating
  • Go sledding
  • Go on a nature hike (Woodlake or Richardson Nature Center)
by Angie Williams
One of the important lessons of the pandemic is that we are all interconnected. We have each learned to sacrifice for one another, for our communities, and especially for those most vulnerable in our society. And while individualism is a hallmark of American culture, for the past nine months we have been reminded that “we all do better when we all do better.”

It is a lesson that many of us, as parents, as educators, hope to pass along to our children. And not merely at certain times of the year or under certain circumstances, but in a way that becomes ingrained in how our children look at and express themselves in the world. I think about the character in the fabulous children’s book, Sofia Valdez, Future Prez, who has an inner drive to help others and make the world around her a better place. She sees the needs of the people in her community and uses her own time and talents to help meet those needs. How do we raise children with those values?
We have written in the past about cultivating empathy in children. First and foremost, we can help children learn empathy by acting as role models. We can talk with children about the choices we make to help others, treat them with kindness, and understand their perspectives. Stories and books are a great, age-appropriate way to dive into how characters relate to one another and to ask your child questions about characters’ motivations and actions.

In our family, we are thinking about how to not only introduce ideas and conversation around empathy but also consistently and intentionally practice empathy and caring for others in meaningful ways so that it becomes a habitual part of our family life.

The Making Caring Common Project from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education continues to publish a variety of activities for families to use as they practice taking care. These include:

  • Story Reflections
  • Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
  • Capturing Caring Moments
  • And many more

Check out all the resources from this project here: https://mcc.gse.harvard.edu/resources-for-families

Finally, we would like to thank you once again for taking care of the EFC community this year. We wish you all a happy and healthy new year and look forward to 2021 with hope and possibility.
Angie Williams
EFC Marketing Director
Especially for Children
5133 W. 98th St. 
Bloomington, MN 55437  
(952) 831-1435 

Center Director:
Kathy Hane