News from the Rhode Island Child Care and Early Learning Facilities Fund

June eNEWS
DCYF Child Care Regulations -
Proposed Adoption and Repeals 

There will be a public hearing to consider DCYF’s proposed changes to the child care regulations on June 21, 2017. The hearing will be located in the community room at the DaVinci Center for Community Progress at 470 Charles St., Providence, RI 02904. If you wish to testify, you may do so by signing up at the hearing or by submitting written testimony to Veronica Davis, Chief of Licensing and Regulation, at veronica.davis@dcyf.ri.gov. The hearing will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will conclude when the last speaker finishes testimony or at 8:00 p.m., whichever occurs first. For more information, or to obtain a copy of the draft regulations, please visit the DCYF website.

Center Spotlight – The Lineham School

The Lineham School, an integrated pre-school program housed in the Exeter-West Greenwich Regional School District, has grown in many ways over the past five years, including undergoing an intensive program self-assessment where the school identified and set important health and safety, and quality improvement goals. 

One proposed area for improvement included the outdoor play space. An Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale report (ECERS) identified specific weaknesses in playground safety. This assessment allowed administrators to successfully apply to LISC for a Race to the Top - Early Learning Facility Planning Grant that enabled them to conduct a playground safety audit and receive a conceptual plan for addressing hazards. One major concern was that the play space was only accessible by crossing a driveway and climbing up a set of concrete stairs. Another issue was that some of the previously existing play equipment was not age appropriate for the 3-5 year olds. The space also lacked a variety of play opportunities for children with special needs.

Identifying these issues early on allowed the school district to allocate and apply for other sources of funding in addition to the LISC funded facility grants, such as the RIDE School Business Authority grant for safety-related work. Since the goal of improving the playground had been well-established as part of a larger improvement initiative, pieces of this project also were included in the district’s previously developed 2016 Capital Improvement Plan. Improvements to the space include: re-locating the play space closer to the facility and installing a new gate and fencing, allowing children to have direct access from their building; constructing ADA-compliant pathways to and around the whole playground; and adding a variety of new play elements including an area and path for ride-on toys, an art and music space, sand and water play, age-appropriate climbing opportunities, and natural elements (which also will increase shade in the area).

With a total project cost of $200,000, the school successfully utilized multiple streams of funding, including $65,000 of Race to the Top Early Learning Facility Planning and Capital Grant funds awarded through LISC, to re-create their outdoor environment to be safe and stimulating for all early learners.Congratulations to the Mildred E. Lineham School who recently held their celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony! We were thrilled to play a role in this project!

What’s New in Health and Safety –
Reducing Your Exposure Lead

There is no level of lead exposure that is safe, especially for children because of their fragile nervous system. Any exposure can have a significant impact on a child’s development. Children who come into contact with lead can experience headaches, abdominal pain, constipation, hearing problems, delayed growth, decreased IQ, behavioral and learning problems, as well as damage to the brain and nervous system.

Regulations require that your facility be maintained as lead-free or lead-safe – and there are many things that can be done to ensure your children are safe. If you would like to learn more about how you can reduce exposure to lead, take a moment to read this quick guide from Eco-Healthy Child Care and Children’s Environmental Health Network.

Recycling and Garbage Storage

Keeping green at child-care facilities is something that can be part of the daily routine. Of course garbage should be removed from child care spaces every day to ensure proper sanitation and protection of health, as well as the prevention of odors and injuries, as well as infestations by rodents, insects, and other pests. But recycling and composting can be considered whenever possible, and even incorporated into the curriculum. For tips and best practices for recycling, composting and garbage removal, click the read more button. 

Don’t Forget to Check Out Our First
Online Learning Module –
Creating Quality School Age Child Care Space! 

Our first online workshop, Creating Quality School Age Child Care Space, is officially ready! You can register to participate in this virtual learning opportunity on your own schedule and at your own pace. In order to access this learning module, you first need to register by clicking the button below.

This workshop is the first in a series of online modules we will be releasing. These sessions allow for self-guided and self-paced learning opportunities. If there are particular topics you would like to see covered, or if you need assistance registering please let us know! You can contact us at riccelff@lisc.org

And don’t forget to visit our Tutorial Training on the home page of our Online Learning Portal for more information about navigating the workshop.

Follow Us on Twitter

Did you know that your favorite Child Care and Early Learning Facilities Fund is on Twitter? Follow us here, and feel free to tweet at us @LISC_Childcare!

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About RICCELFF

The Rhode Island Child Care and Early Learning Facilities Fund (RICCELFF) is an innovative public-private partnership dedicated to expanding access to quality child care and early education opportunities throughout Rhode Island. The RICCELFF provides the capital and technical expertise that child care and early learning centers need to improve the quality and capacity of their physical space. The RICCELFF provides a combination of training, technical assistance, grant funding and flexible, affordable financing for a wide range of indoor and outdoor projects including minor renovations or construction of new, state-of-the art facilities and playground spaces. Click here to learn more about what the RICCELFF can offer your program.

LISC Rhode Island Child Care & Early Learning Facilities Fund  |  146 Clifford Street
Providence, RI 02903
riccelff@lisc.org | riccelff.org