As we begin our fall program, we welcome you! We appreciate your decision to choose our center and we take seriously the responsibility you have given us. Whether you are new with us this fall, or whether you have been at the center for years, we are excited to watch this year unfold. Our staff looks forward to forming special relationships with you and your child. Have a great fall!

We will work hard to:

  • Keep your child safe.
  • Maintain our environments to promote good health and sanitation.
  • Love and nurture your child.
  • Provide challenges that stimulate your child’s development.
  • Keep improving as a team to meet our NAEYC accreditation goals for the children, parents, and teaching staff.

We’re excited to watch this year unfold. Our teaching staff looks forward to forming special relationships with you and your child. Ask any questions you have about our classroom procedures or activities. Visit anytime!!
When you put your child into a child care program, you are, in fact, entering in to a new interpersonal relationship with another adult(s). Someone else important and influential is becoming a part of your child’s life. As staff, we strive to communicate with you and listen to your input. We hope that by talking openly with one another we will team up to develop the best possible plans for your child’s growth and development. When a child senses that his teachers and his parents are comfortable with one another, (s)he will be able to relax, have fun, and get the most out of the experience. Please feel free to take the time to talk with your child’s teacher, even about fun and exciting things that may be happening at home! 
The Dolphin and Monkey classes will be heading to Minnetonka Orchards on Tuesday, September 11. We will tour the orchard, have a special snack and pick an apple. Please sign the field trip log for your child to attend and the bus will leave at 9:00 am. Parents are welcome to attend the field trip—just add your name to the field trip log.
Especially for Children will be closed on Friday, August 31, for Staff In-service Training and Monday, September 3, for Labor Day. We hope everyone has a great holiday weekend.
Jean Kretzschmar—“Music with Mrs. Jean”
“Mrs. Jean” is how the children address our music teacher, who teaches classes every other Tuesday morning to the toddlers, 3’s and 4’s. Jean has her degree in music/music therapy from the University of Iowa. The classes combine singing songs, playing instruments, listening, moving, building confidence, and learning about music.

Sarah Weston—Jr. Jazzercise
Every Monday morning, she will perform movements to music, keeping in mind the age level of the child and allowing children the opportunity to keep fit. Jr. Jazzercise is held weekly for all toddlers and preschoolers. There is an extra charge of $1. Sarah also teaches adult Jr. Jazzercise classes and lives in Minnetonka with her daughter. She loves teaching this class!!

Jackie Eimers with Gitssmart Computers
Computer classes are held on Wednesday mornings for ages 3-5 years old. We will have a “Demo Day” for your child to experience computer class on Wednesday, September 5 . We will have information available on-site if you have questions. Class will typically be held on Wednesday mornings each week. Payments are made separate to Jackie Eimers.

Karen Laughlin—Sign Language
We are fortunate to have Karen teach basic sign language to our toddlers, 3’s, and 4’s each week. Karen has a degree in Early Childhood Education from U-W Madison. Karen offers an interactive class based around themes that we are studying here at EFC. The charge of the class is a $1.50 per child. Our classes are held on Fridays with the first class being held on Friday, September 7 .

Kyle Witherow—Play, Tap, and Go!
Kyle is a former public school music teacher who now introduces young children to music concepts. His course is a pre-piano course where children learn about high/low notes, variations in sounds, as well as being introduced to many instruments. His class is Thursday afternoon’s at 2:45 pm beginning Thursday, Sept. 13 . He will have a “Demo Day” on Thursday, September 6 . This class is for older toddlers (Chipmunks) and all preschoolers and payment is made separately to Kyle.

Spanish for Preschoolers
Every Wednesday morning, we offer Spanish for our preschoolers taught by one of the staff here at Especially for Children. The children enjoy learning the new language and have done very well with the program.

Many people say that they can feel what a program is like on their first visit. But for others it is a difficult thing to know exactly what their child will experience in a center by simply taking a tour and meeting with the director. However, whatever your decision-making process was, we are so happy that you are a part of the EFC family.

As you continue to participate in our program, we want to make sure that you are aware of the three main vehicles to assess quality in center-based child care in Minnesota. Here is a quick snapshot.

Licensing – A process overseen by the Minnesota Department of Human Resources (DHS) that regulates centers. Centers are required to be licensed which is an extensive process. After initial licensing, centers are routinely inspected. Requirements cover health and safety, equipment, space needs, staff qualifications and staff/child ratios as some of the key components. Minnesota has among the highest standards in the nation which contributes to the quality, as well as the cost of providing care in our state.

Accreditation – There are several organizations that accredit centers in the U.S. At Especially for Children we have chosen to seek accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the largest accrediting body. Under the NAEYC system centers voluntarily apply to be assessed on over 400 criteria.
After months of work preparing classroom portfolios, administrative portfolios, collecting parent and staff surveys, and assuring that each classroom reflects quality standards, an outside evaluator visits to assess all aspects of the center’s operations. Centers go through the accreditation process every five years.

We are extremely proud to announce that all eight of our centers are NAEYC accredited. Seven of our locations have recently received letters that they have been reaccredited as a result of outstanding performances at their validation visits this year. The Edina center will have its visit by the end of the year and we anticipate that it will be reaccredited with outstanding scores as well. We are so proud of our directors and teaching teams who have worked together to make this happen!! With their commitment to quality our staff is determined to continuously live up to the accreditation standards.

Parent Aware – A Minnesota Quality Rating System that centers in Minnesota can apply to for an assessment of their quality on a variety of criteria. Parent Aware holds NAEYC accreditation in high esteem so as NAEYC accredited centers we become Parent Aware centers after having our staff complete significant additional training beyond the requirements of NAEYC and licensing. All of our eight centers are 4 Star Parent Aware rated which is the highest designation of quality.

Please remember that it is our commitment to be continually challenged to maintain these high standards. And your feedback is always welcome. Here’s to a great year!

Now-9/3  Minnesota State Fair , Saint Paul
Now-9/3   Kangaroo Crossing , MN Zoo, Apple Valley
Now-9/9 Dinosaur Train , MN Children’s Museum, Saint Paul
Now-10/21 Origami in the Garden , MN Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassan
Now-10/30  Minnesota Renaissance Festival , Shakopee
9/7-9/9   Taste of Greece , St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church, Minneapolis
9/8   City of Ramsey Happy Days , Ramsey
9/16 Red Barn Pizza Farm , Northfield, MN
9/22   Excelsior Apple Day , Excelsior
9/22-9/23   Lone Oak Hill Days , Eagan
10/13 BT5K Run/Walk, Saint Paul

Apple Orchards
Aamodt's , Stillwater
Applewood , Lakeville
Deer Lake , Buffalo
Emma Krumbee's , Belle Plain
Minnetonka , Minnetrista

As noted in the Especially for Parents article, Especially for Children seeks accreditation through NAEYC. The organization has resources for families as well.
Check out their blog for articles on child development as well as developmentally appropriate activities you can do at home!
Especially for Children
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346 
(952) 934-1119 

Center Director:
Cathie Underwood 
Center Assistant Director:
Jamie Rocheford