JULY 2019

We will be closed on Thursday, July 4, and Friday, July 5, in honor of Independence Day. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday weekend!
We hope you are able to take some time to slow down and enjoy the summer with your family.  

Here at EFC we have planned field trips and visitors throughout the summer to expose your children to a variety of experiences. Field trips and visitors are just two of the learning components in our program which give children and opportunity to learn about the world around them, and their potential place in it, by meeting people and finding out what they do.

Field Trips:
  • are planned around weekly themes to reinforce things learned in the classroom
  • provide hands-on experiences
  • teach children cooperation and enhance listening skills
  • teach children the responsibility of sticking together with their classmates.

We love volunteers!! Summer field trips are a fun and easy opportunity for parents/grandparents to participate. Let us know if you’d like to join us!! Some field trips have limited space available so feel free to ask.
We understand that summer is great time to have different schedules for you and your child. Please keep in mind that you should contact the center if your child is going to be absent for the day or if they are arriving later than usual. Teachers will contact parents if children have not arrived by 10:00 am to check in. 

Tuition is based up to a 10-hour day. Please contact the office if you have schedule changes for the summer that will change your typical drop off/pickup times.  
Please let your child’s teacher know about any vacation time you plan on taking this summer. You can also mark an “X” in the attendance logs in the entryway on dates that you will not be in attendance. If you are gone on vacation for an entire week and have been with us for more than 6 months, you are eligible for a half-week tuition credit.  
EFC is closed Friday, August 30, for Staff Inservice Training Day and Monday, September 2, for Labor Day.
In the world of early childhood, one gets used to clever wordplay when it comes to books and resources: The ABC’s of Love, Eye See You, or 1-2-3 Magic. But when I recently picked up the book The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism, the title left me feeling far from playful. The book’s author, sociologist Debra VanAusdale, spent one year observing a preschool classroom. She listened to stories, watched children build and topple towers, and attended field trips. But mostly, she observed. Her goal was to explore what young children know and understand about race. Do they notice it? Do they talk about it? Do they respond to it? And if so, how?

For many parents and teachers, these can be scary questions to even ask. A common assumption is that children are happily colorblind – that they don’t see or understand race and view all people as the same. Many parents and educators worry that talking about race could be harmful – that it could introduce ideas about difference or somehow “teach” children racism when otherwise they would be free from it. But VanAusdale’s observations show that children as young as 3, 4 and 5 very much understand race. They observe how people are different from one another: VanAusdale’s preschoolers frequently compared their skin tones or identified book characters based on their race. They know about their own family’s racial backgrounds, as well as those of their peers: when a mixed-race child was picked up by her Black mother and White father, other children were direct and inquisitive, trying to piece together the puzzle of race and families. VanAusdale’s preschoolers were like all children, they ask questions as they try to figure out what these differences mean. And in the absence of explicit conversation from adults, children pick up implicit (and too often negative) messages from the world around them.

In recognition of this early racial awareness, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), through which Especially for Children obtains accreditation, encourages early childhood educators to get comfortable with a topic that for many is anything but comfortable. A 2018 NAEYC article on the issue was titled “Becoming Upended,” and that seems like a very apt name; while on the one hand race is everywhere in our society, on the other hand there is a very real social stigma against talking about it openly. But just as we help children navigate everything else, we have an opportunity to help them navigate race in a way that recognizes and celebrates our similarities as well as our differences.

The leadership team at EFC (directors and administrators) have been participating in a series of trainings aimed at better understanding race: its history, its impact, and how to help young children make sense of it in a positive way. Our goal in this work, as with all of the continuing education we engage in, is to grow and learn so that we can continue to help all children (and adults!) thrive in an environment that honors the myriad of backgrounds, experiences, languages and cultures that combine to make our EFC community vibrant.      

Alli Zomer
Director of Operations

Now-8/4 Roald Dahl’s Willie Wonka , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
Now-9/2 Llama Trek , MN Zoo, Apple Valley
Now-9/8 Rube Goldberg The World of Hilarious Invention , MN Children’s Museum, St. Paul
7/4  Red, White and Boom , Minneapolis
7/4  Edina Parade , Edina
7/11-7/14  Whiz Bang Days , Robbinsdale
7/24-7/27  Minneapolis Aquatennial , Downtown Minneapolis
7/27  ArtCar & ArtBike Parade , Lake Harriet, Mpls
All Summer -  Music and Movies in the Park  - Various Minneapolis Parks  
Especially for Children
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346 
(952) 934-1119 

Center Director:
Cathie Underwood 
Center Assistant Director:
Jamie Rocheford