Author Archives: Child Care Answers

Help for Local “Front Line” Child Care Professionals

Updated as of July 22, 2020.

There’s been so much talk about the “front line” during the COVID-19 pandemic: medical professionals, emergency personnel, grocery workers. But, we know that there are so many child care programs who are still open and still providing quality care for the children of those going in to work every day. We strongly believe you are front line and essential too!

These are unusual times and create unusual circumstances. Your needs are different from what they were a month ago. Or, the unfulfilled needs you had before are now amplified to a critical point. There are so many businesses and agencies looking for a way to help – connect with some of these Central Indiana resources below! Are you a business or service that can help? Let us know!

Supplies and materials

ACA Cleaning Supply Vendors: A good comprehensive list of where you might start to find cleaning supplies.

Indiana Diaper Bank Partners: If you have a family in need of diapers, you can refer them to one of Indiana Diaper Bank’s distributing partners.

Health and sanitation procedures

COVID-19 Testing through Optum: If you have symptoms, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or in a high risk group, many options are available across Central Indiana for FREE testing.

Indiana State Department of Health: Answers to FAQs about COVID-19, specifically related to child care programs.

CDC Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open: Information on preparedness and planning, social distancing, cleaning, interactions with families, and more.

Financial and business support

Indy Chamber Rapid Response Hub: Information on local resources for loans, finding employees, legal support, and more.

SCORE Business Mentoring: Get FREE guidance from an experienced business professional in how to move forward with your program in these trying times.

KHWPRW: Resource bank for Central Indiana, including links to a number of grants and loans.

General support

Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning: The state of Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration has all hands on deck to ensure you have the resources you need for your child care program and to support your familes and children.

Child Care Aware of America: National resource for business supports, how to connect with families, policies affecting your program, and more.

Afterschool Alliance: Answers to FAQs for those providing care to school agers, including guidance on precautions, meals, staff, family support, and more.

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COVID-19: Your resource for resources

Updated July 22, 2020

You may feel like the world we’re living in has gone wild- it’s definitely not the same Central Indiana we were living in during February. It can be overwhelming to digest all of the ever-changing news about COVID-19, whether you’re a parent, a teacher, a child care administrator, a business owner, or a supporter of early care and education.

We may not have all the answers, but we know a lot of smart people and caring organizations who do.  As you’re navigating these new changes, we recommend consulting some of these resources.

FOR EVERYONE

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Get the latest recommendations for prevention and resources if you think you are sick.

Anthem Community Resource Link: Type in your zip code and get hundreds of resources, based on your needs. Categories include food, housing, health, work, legal, money, and more!

Child Care Aware of America: The latest Coronavirus news and resources for Child Care Professionals, Families and Policymakers.

FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN

Your Child – Tips for Parents: We’re continually updating our resources for parents, including Transitioning Back to School in the “New Normal”, eLearning Success Tips, and at-home activity ideas.

WFYI At-Home: Guides and links for helping your little one continue their educational journey from home.

Marion County Commission on Youth (MCCOY): Making Connections During Social Distancing: This page offers resources such as how to keep your kids busy and informed, food and employment assistance resources, and mental health resources.

Family Promise of Hendricks County: Contact Family Promise if you are a Hendricks County resident and need emergency assistance with items such as utilities, food, phones, or internet.

Good Samaritan Network: Hamilton County’s collaborative/network of non-profits.

FOR CHILD CARE PROVIDERS AND TEACHERS

Help for Local “Front Line” Child Care Professionals: Check out our recent blog post, specifically for child care programs currently in operation.

Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL): The state of Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration has all hands on deck to ensure you have the resources you need for your child care program and to support your familes and children.

FOR BUSINESSES

IndyChamber: Rapid Response Hub – Resources and FAQs for small business owners, including child care programs.

Indiana Small Business Development Center – Resources for funding, counseling, and advising on your small business or child care.

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Changes are coming to Child Care Answers!

As a child care provider, we hope that you’ve been hearing about the statewide changes in your support set forth by the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning. Starting October 1, things will look different in Indiana’s child care resource & referral agencies, which means the support you’ve been receiving from Child Care Answers will change.

You probably have many questions, which is understandable. We hope to answer as many questions for you as possible, but please ask anything else you want to know in the comments below. We will continually update this post with answers as we get them.

After October 1, can I still go to Child Care Answers with questions or support requests?

As of October 1, all counties will now be served by one of five local child care resource and referral agencies. You’ll still have support. If your program is in Hamilton, Hendricks, or Marion counties, you will continue to come to us here at Child Care Answers. Brown, Bartholomew, and Johnson counties should go to their new agency, Chances and Services for Youth (CASY) for ongoing support. Visit in.gov to learn about your new agency.

Will you continue to offer professional development and trainings?

Child Care Answers will no longer create and facilitate trainings for child care providers in-house; however, that doesn’t mean that professional development is going away! You can continue to find and register for professional development in I-LEAD through Indiana Learning Paths.

What about Paths to QUALITY (PTQ)? Will I still be able to keep my coach?

You will begin to see a transition of coaching supports starting October 1. Child Care Answers will no longer offer coaching and PTQ supports. From October 1st through June 30th, Indiana AEYC will provide support as needed to providers. Contact Indiana AEYC at 1-855-484-2392 ex. 3546 or ptq@inaeyc.org.

Starting July 1, 2020, Paths To Quality coaching will be implemented by SPARK Learning Lab; look for additional communication about your specific situation in the coming weeks.

Will the support I receive from a SPARK Learning Lab coach stay the same?

You will receive additional information in the coming months about how to participate in a self-assessment to determine the level of support needed for your program. Based on the results, your support may look like one of the following:

    • You’ll receive a plan of action and tools such as digital professional development, resource libraries, and help desk support. You’ll also be able to connect with other Early Childhood professionals at monthly virtual events and quarterly in-person events. (Tier 1)
    • In addition to Tier 1 support, you may be eligible for video coaching, small-group sessions, or enhanced professional development to assist you in implementing a program development plan. (Tier 2)
    • A subset of providers will work with coaches to focus on both development plans and quality improvement plans. (Tier 3)
    All three tiers include opportunities to work in person with coaches in order to receive face-to-face professional development.

What about Safe Sleep, Child Abuse & Neglect, and other mandated trainings?

After October 1, SPARK Learning Lab will be hosting all state-mandated trainings. Face-to-face safe sleep sessions will be offered twice monthly in the Indianapolis area. Face-to-face sessions will cover both Safe Sleep Module 1 (general) and Safe Sleep Module 2 (specific for child care providers).  View SPARK’s Training Calendar.

In addition to the face-to-face safe sleep sessions, SPARK will offer an online option through Indiana Learning Paths beginning in October. You will register separate for Safe Sleep 1 and Safe Sleep 2; you must take both modules to fulfill the requirement. As always, the refresher course does not count toward the requirement.

You will continue to register for both face-to-face and online sessions through I-LEAD and Indiana Learning Paths. Learn more about how to register.

I’m considering opening a child care business. Is Child Care Answers still the right place to start?

Yes! Our dedication continues to support professionals on the road to success to get licensed; will continue this as a focus into 2020 and beyond. See our Learn How to Become a Provider page or contact us for more information on next steps. Remember – if you’re in Bartholomew, Brown, or Johnson counties, you should contact new agency, Chances and Services for Youth (CASY), after October 1.

Can I still come to Child Care Answers until September 30th?

Absolutely! Our coaches and specialists are still available to chat with you about your program and to offer technical assistance. We also have state-mandated trainings, such as Safe Sleep, that we will be offering through September 30.

Do you have additional questions? Please comment below!

Last Day Q&A: Kristin Kahl

Knowledge Manager Kristin Kahl generally works behind the scenes to get the word out about what we do here at Child Care Answers. Now it’s her turn to step into the spotlight!

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Well-rounded, kind, funny

What is your personal philosophy?

What goes around comes around; it may take a while for the good (or bad) you to do make it back to you, but it’ll get there!

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

My family, of course. But I would also find it pretty hard to not have some method of learning new things (TV, movies, books, internet – I would need at least one of these outlets).

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

I am in a constant struggle with my perfectionism; trying to maintain a balance between being the best mom/wife/daughter/sister/friend and being the best employee/parishioner/volunteer I can be.

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Cheesy personality tests

What is your greatest fear?

Drowning

Where is your favorite place to be?

At my parents’ house on Lake Erie

What is your favorite thing to do?

Girls’ day of shopping and pedis with my mom and sister

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

The west coast of Ireland is the first place I went where I truly understood the meaning of the word “breathtaking”. Part of that was because of the scenery – the other was because my husband was driving a stick shift on the wrong side of the road, on a cliff with no guard rails!

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

Subway Sandwich Artist

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

Robot housekeepers – hands down!

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

In a dream world? Writer for Saturday Night Live. In real life? Travel agent

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

Great but happy is way better than perfect.

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

“Sweet”, “good times”, “Because I said so”

What is the best book you have ever read?

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I was registered as a stock broker for 15 years – but never placed a trade for anyone but myself!

Ask Kristin additional questions in the comments below!

I-LEAD: What You Need to Know

We hope you’ve been hearing all about I-LEAD, the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning’s new online tool, designed for child care providers just like you. I-LEAD, short for the Indiana Licensing & Education Access Depot, is designed to make licensing, background checks and professional development easier to access and update.

We here at Child Care Answers have been learning more about it since it launched July 9,  just like you have. We want to make sure you have the best and most up-to-date information…and this post is a great place to start! As time goes on, we’ll continue to refine our knowledge and get answers to your questions. Keep checking back!

I’M A NEWBIE TO I-LEAD. WHERE DO I START?

Want an overview of creating an I-LEAD account, adding staff as a provider admin, and/or registering for professional development in Indiana Learning Paths? Check out these resources!

Webinar: Creating an Account, Provider Admin, Indiana Learning Paths

Quick Start Guide: Registering for professional development
Want a brief how-to on the steps you need to take to register for your professional development? See our How to register webpage, which walks you through each step.

I-LEAD Help Support Website
Watch video snippets and read how-to articles based on your needs at ileadhelp.org. You can also contact the Solution Center through this site to get one-on-one support.

 

I’M A PROVIDER ADMIN. CAN I TRACK WHICH OF MY EDUCATORS RECEIVED AN INVITE?

Provider Admins can track the educator invites they trigger in I-LEAD by following these steps:

  • Find the educator you want to track in your listing of educators.
  • Click View Details next to his/her name.
  • Find the Invite Status option.  This shows both the status of the invite and how many times it’s been sent.

You can also resend the invite from this screen; the email can be updated when that option is used.

 

WHERE DO EDUCATORS ACCESS THEIR CONSENT FORMS?

The consent form is visible in the upper right hand corner – only AFTER a provider admin adds the educator to the Associated Educator list. If you don’t see your consent form, connect with your program’s admin to ensure you’re correctly associated with your program.

You’ll also notice in the screenshot above that provider admins can switch views to see the educators they manage and the providers they work for.

 

I CREATED MY ACCOUNT AND PASSWORD. IS IT GOING TO EXPIRE AFTER A CERTAIN NUMBER OF DAYS?

No. As of now, you can keep your same password until you want to change it again.

 

I HAVE A SPECIFIC QUESTION OR PROBLEM. I’M NOT FINDING THE ANSWER IN ONE OF THE RESOURCES ABOVE. NOW WHAT?

Contact the I-LEAD Solution Center! You can reach them through:

  • ileadhelp.org website: Submit a ticket with details on your problem.;
  • Email: Send the Solution Center the details of your problem to SolutionCenter@earlylearningindiana.org; OR
  • Phone: Prefer to talk with a helpful solution center agent? Call 800-299-1627, Monday-Thursday 8 am-7 pm or Friday 8 am- 5 pm.

DOES SOMEONE SPEAK SPANISH IN THE SOLUTION CENTER? Hay alguien que hable español en el centro de llamadas?

Yes! If you leave a voicemail, email, or ticket in Spanish, one of our bilingual team members will get back to you. Si, si usted deja un mensaje de voz o un email en español, una de nuestras especialistas bilingüe le devolverá la llamada.

Last Day Q&A: Tikila Welch

Coach Coordinator Tikila Welch is all about relationships – with her family, her coworkers, and the child care providers she serves. Get to know Tikila a little better by reading her responses below!

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Loyal, Giving and Loud

What is your personal philosophy?

Adapted from Steve Harvey – When you can’t go anymore, go a little bit farther!

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Being a family person, it would be hard for me to live without a phone with FaceTime. This technology has allowed me to connect with my younger niece and nephew in North Carolina. They know who TeTe is when we see each other because of our many FaceTime calls.

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

So far my biggest challenge was moving 12 hours away from most of my family and starting a new life in Indiana.

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

The one thing I can’t resist is a great clearance sale. One day, I bought a baby monitor because it was 80% off, not knowing who needed it. Later I was able to bless my godsister with it for her new baby.

What is your greatest fear?

Being slightly claustrophobic and horrible with directions, it’s getting locked inside a small space or getting lost in a small town with no GPS reception.

Where is your favorite place to be?

My favorite place to be is anywhere warm with a beachfront view with my close family and friends.

What is your favorite thing to do?

My favorite thing to do is plan and host social events for family and friends.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

The best place I ever traveled was Germany; not so much for the country, but for the experience. My sister gifted me a high school graduation gift to visit her there. It was my first time flying. I flew from North Carolina to Germany on my own, making all connecting flights – all before I had a cell phone!

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

The weirdest job I ever had was during my stint as home health aide! I did overnights with older lady who was afraid to stay alone, and she blew her nose for eight hours straight while I tried to rest.

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

I would want a robot housekeeper. That sounds more feasible; I am not ready to embrace the others yet.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

I would be family therapist.

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

I would tell my 13 year old self to enjoy the journey. Take time to make friends and know that nothing coming your way is too big for you to handle. God’s got you!

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

My most over used phrases are “ma’am”, “no sir” and “Shut up Shannon.”

What is the best book you have ever read?

I can’t say that there is one book that stands out above all. One of the last books I read was Embracing Myself Now by Shawneda Marks; it was a great page turner!

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I have a great since of humor and love to talk once I know a person. I talk a lot in crowds but will sit in silence if I am one-on-one with a person.

Ask Tikila additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Kristin Cofield

Paths to QUALITY Coach Kristin Cofield not only has a passion for improving child care quality for programs and children, but she also has a zen-like focus on improving herself. Read more below to get a deeper insight into what makes Krissy tick.

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Compassionate, trustworthy, honest

What is your personal philosophy?

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

My faith in God

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

Believing in myself. Sometimes you have to encourage yourself and silence the negative voice inside. Tell yourself you can do it and get it done!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

I have a serious sweet tooth. My favorite candy is Kit Kats and Reese’s cups.

What is your greatest fear?

Large dogs

Where is your favorite place to be?

My prayer room in my house

What is your favorite thing to do?

Volunteer and listen to spoken-word poetry

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

New York is one of my favorites, because I like the cultural diversity the city has to offer.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

My first job was folding tee shirts at a retail store. Yes, there is a proper way to fold shirts!

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

Robot housekeeper

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Child Psychologist

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

You’re going to be okay, and you will survive.

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

Any word with four letters“Are you kidding me?” “Seriously?” “That does not make sense.”

What is the best book you have ever read?

The Shack by William Paul Young

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’ve collected Cabbage Patch Kid dolls since I was four years old. I currently have 200 dolls!

Ask Krissy additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Ann Aull

There’s no one in the world quite like our Early Childhood Adult Educator, Ann Aull. She’s impacted hundreds of lives through her CDA courses, and she impacts us everyday here at Child Care Answers too!

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Compassion, Strength, Humor

What is your personal philosophy?

Do something to make the world a better place, even if it is hard.

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Meaningful work

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

Not turning into a bitter person

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Netflix binge

What is your greatest fear?

The next two years

Where is your favorite place to be?

At home

What is your favorite thing to do?

Hiking and Crossfit

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

Galapagos Islands – that trip was so full of adventure and a dream come true for me.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

Cleaning bathrooms at a construction company

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

Flying cars

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Work at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

You will survive this

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

Any word with four letters

What is the best book you have ever read?

Mutiny on the Bounty

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I am really quite shy

Ask Ann additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Lauren George

Lauren George is one of our fantastic Infant Toddler Specialists. Bonus fun fact: Her infant daughter, Claire, is also a celebrity in Lauren’s how-to videos on our Facebook page!

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Passionate, Funny, and Loyal

What is your personal philosophy?

You do you. (Do what makes you happy. Who am I to judge?!)

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Coffee and reality television

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

Becoming a mother. Becoming a parent has been far more challenging than caring for 10 toddlers at the same time!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

French Fries

What is your greatest fear?

Snakes

Where is your favorite place to be?

Home with my family and in comfy clothes…or the mall!

What is your favorite thing to do?

Sit back and watch my kids play together. They have such an imagination, and it is so fun to watch!

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

I spent the summer nannying for my nephew in London when I was 18. We traveled all over the continent and I saw, experienced, and ate so many amazing things. It was a trip I will never forget.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

I wouldn’t say I have had a weird job. But, I have worked in child care since I was 10, and I am not sure that would fly these days!

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

Robot housekeeper for sure! Between two kids and a dog, my house is a mess.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

If I did it all over again, I would go to school for nursing and be a labor and delivery nurse.

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

Be nice to your mom. You will appreciate her so much when you get older.

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

YOLO, Living my best life, and OMG

What is the best book you have ever read?

Harry Potter

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

My mom has never made me a birthday cake. I always have pumpkin pie instead. Yum!

Ask Lauren additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Michelle Terry

Outreach Specialist Michelle Terry brings so much energy and laughter to our team – the perfect combination to get families and providers excited about quality child care!

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Humorous, personable, and loyal

What is your personal philosophy?

If you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready!

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Music

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

Being content with just me, myself and I. Some days, we don’t get along!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

A fly high-heel!

What is your greatest fear?

Dying in a car accident

Where is your favorite place to be?

The dance floor

What is your favorite thing to do?

Dance, preferably stepping and line-dancing

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

New Orleans with my best friend. Our only plans were to eat and drink….a true vacation!!

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

Top Flight traffic guard in college….writing tickets and taking names! Oh yeah…reflector vest and all!

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

Robot housekeeper!

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Cosmetologist

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

Don’t let those C’s in conduct get you down. You will get PAID for talking!

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

Intentional, “See….it’s two-fold”, “In 2.3 seconds….”

What is the best book you have ever read?

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (I believe the wolf!)

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I absolutely LOVE the Medieval Period and Greek Mythology.

Ask Michelle additional questions in the comments below!