July 2020
Fun activities, aligned with the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards, to help prepare children for school success!
We're Learning While Doing Laundry!
Do you have clothes hanging on the line to dry? Use this time to play peek-a-boo with your baby using the hanging laundry. Point out to them the moving laundry as the wind blows and the shadows created by the clothes and the sun. Carry your baby in your arms or on your shoulders, or push them in a stroller or wheelchair. Encourage them to reach and stretch and touch the fabrics and feel and see the sun and shadows.   Read more!

Have your toddler help separate by same and different (color, types of clothing, your clothes/their clothes, etc.) and then offer two boxes or baskets of different sizes. Tell them, "Put this in the big basket/little basket." Encourage fine motor skills by using a clothes pin and asking them to match a pair of socks, then clip them together. If they have motor difficulties, have them direct you where to put the items. If they are unable to provide verbal directions, ask them, "Does it go in the big/little basket?" and encourage them respond with a head shake or nod for yes or no.   Read more!

Help your preschooler develop their language skills by using possessives ("Here is Mommy's shirt"), possessive pronouns ("Here is my shirt, this is your shirt. Where is your shirt?"), and prepositions ("The sock is under the shirt!"). Ask them, "Who's shirt is this?" "It's Mommy's shirt!" Feel free to sing these phrases as well.   Read more!

Ask your kindergartner why we wash our clothes. Where does the water come from that fills the washer? Do they know why laundry detergent is needed? Help to read the simple words on appliance, like ON and OFF. Listen to the washer agitate the clothes and spin the water out of the drum. Ask them to mimic those sounds. When the clothes are clean, transfer them to the dryer together. Ask how the clothes feel. Once in the dryer, listen together as the dryer tumbles the clothes and describe that sound. Listen for the buzzer to signal the completion of the cycle. Remove the clothes from the dryer with their assistance. Ask how the clothes feel, how they smell, and what temperature they are now.   Read more!
10 Books About Doing Laundry
Wanda’s Washing Machine   by Anna McQuinn
Llamas in the Laundry   by W. H. New
Stinky Clothes   by Joanna Emery
Knuffle Bunny   by Mo Willems
Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash   by Sarah Weeks
Henry Helps with Laundry   by Beth Bracken
Dirty Laundry Pile   by Paul B. Janeczko
The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash   by Trinka Hakes Noble
Laundry Day   by Maurie J. Manning
Smelling Sunshine   by Constance Anderson

Featured Article: Drive-Up Immunizations: Just a Fad or Here to Stay?
During challenging times like these, what are families to do about keeping young children up-to-date on their immunizations? All children still need to have well checks. Families do not want to put their child’s health in jeopardy out of fear. Preventive care is key to children’s success in school. Also, keeping kids healthy and on track with their well-care visits and immunizations protects the health and wellbeing of all family members, such as grandparents, loved ones who may still be getting cancer-care, and brothers or sisters with asthma or disabilities.

What article was featured this time last year?
Summer Camp and Recreation Guidance in Pennsylvania
With an understanding of the need for Pennsylvania families to secure child care options this summer, the Wolf Administration has issued frequently asked questions to provide guidance to parents, summer camp operators, public bathing places, part-day school-age programs, and other entities that provide necessary child care and enrichment and recreational activities for children and youth during the summer months.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health issued the FAQs that include guidance on the types of summer programs for children and youth permitted to operate during Gov. Wolf’s phased-in reopening plan; Additional requirements for summer programs operating in counties in yellow and green phases beyond what is required by the CDC guidance for youth programs and camps; and more.  Get more information.
Your Child Care Provider's Emergency Plan
Did you know all regulated child care centers, group child care homes, and family child care homes in Pennsylvania are required to have an emergency plan to keep your child safe? An article from Child Care Aware  states that 38% of parents are unsure of their child care provider's emergency plan. 

You can be sure your child's regulated early learning facility has an emergency plan that covers things like:

  • How you will be contacted in case of an emergency
  • How and where your child may be evacuated in case of emergency
  • You should also receive a letter, explaining the emergency procedures at your child's early learning facility. If you don't, or need a new copy, ask the Director or owner. 

Are you looking for a safe learning program for your child? Use Pennsylvania's www.findchildcare.pa.gov to locate an early learning program that is a good fit for you and your child.

Get   information on the regulations  for child care centers, group child care homes, and family child care homes in Pennsylvania.
Reading Aloud With Your Child
Grab a book and start reading to your child! Read Aloud 15 Minutes, a non-profit organization recognizes the benefits of reading aloud to children and encourages families and caregivers to read aloud every day for at least 15 minutes.  

At  readaloud.org  materials and resources are ready for you to share with others to inspire reading every day. Be sure to look at the parent handouts "Where Will Books Take You?" available for various ages and in both English and Spanish:

Use these resources to share with others to help promote reading aloud every day!
July is International Group B Strep Awareness Month
Approximately 1 in 4 pregnant women carry Group B Strep (GBS), the leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. GBS can also infect babies during pregnancy and the first few months of life. Not all babies exposed to GBS become infected, but for those who do, the results can be devastating. Fortunately there are many ways to help protect babies from Group B Strep.   These resources  can help you learn more about GBS and prevent its devastating effects.
Online Vaccine Quiz to Keep Your Child Healthy
An   online quiz  from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has brief questions to help you identify needed vaccines to keep your child healthy. Take the quiz and get a list of vaccines based on your responses. Then discuss the vaccines on the list with your child's doctor or health care professional.
Choose Healthy. Choose WIC.
Did you know the special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has helped Pennsylvania families since 1974! WIC helps pregnant women, mothers and caregivers of infants and young children learn about good nutrition to keep themselves and their families healthy. 

WIC provides nutrition services, breastfeeding support, health care and social service referrals and healthy foods to eligible participants. You might qualify for WIC if you are a women who is pregnant or had a baby in the past six months or twelve months if breastfeeding; have an infant and/or children under age five; or if you are a father, grandparent or foster parent, who is the legal guardian of a child under age five. Visit the   PA Department of Health   to learn more. 
Summer Food Service Program
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) from the USDA provides free meals to children from low income families so they may receive the same high quality nutrition throughout the summer that they eat in school cafeterias during the school year. To find a SFSP site in your community: 

Our Favorite Pinterest Pins
Starting Kindergarten in the Fall?
Will your preschooler enter Kindergarten in the fall of 2020?   Sign up for the FREE monthly Kindergarten, Here I Am eNews !  Each month get activities, tips and resources you can use to help your kindergartner prepare for and have a successful Kindergarten year.
The PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) provides families access to high quality services to prepare children for school and life success. 
Find more information about Quality Early Learning in Pennsylvania
We are where you are.