Author Archives: Child Care Answers

Last Day Q&A: Marla Segal

Our Pre-K Project Manager, Marla Segal, helps families and providers learn all there is to know about On My Way Pre-K. Now it’s time to learn more about her! Read about Marla below, and keeping coming back on the last day of each month to find out more about our other staff. You can also click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Kind, positive, and easy-going

What is your personal philosophy?

The glass is always half full.

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

My daughter’s laugh. No matter the mood I’m in, I hear her laugh, and I just can’t resist smiling.

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

I had a speech impediment growing up. My sisters were the only ones who could understand me. I had speech therapy until 7th grade, and I was the happiest child when they told me I did not have to attend in 8th grade!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Donuts! I love them so much.

What is your greatest fear?

Failing as a parent

Where is your favorite place to be?

On a beach reading, preferably in Jamaica

What is your favorite thing to do?

I love to bake.

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

Isla Mujeres. It is a small island off of Cancun, Mexico. It was the first big vacation that my whole family went on. I loved the island, but I also loved making amazing memories.

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

I wouldn’t say it was weird, but I worked at an ice cream store when I was in college. After working there for 3 years, Ice Cream is the one sweet that I CAN resist.

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

At the moment, a robot housekeeper or even just a regular housekeeper!

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

I would be an elementary school teacher. That is what my degree is in, but I started teaching 4-year-olds right out of college, fell in love with Early Childhood and never turned back!

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

Don’t be afraid to take risks and to travel as much as possible!

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

I say “sorry” way too much, “Let’s shake, rattle and roll”, and “no worries”

What is the best book you have ever read?

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I was on a jump roping team in 4th and 5th grade. We would perform routines at different schools around the city and also compete in competitions.

Ask Marla additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Cori Newland

Cori Newland is one of our newer staff members, and we’re so happy to have her as our Early Childhood Development Specialist. Read more about Cori below, and keeping coming back on the last day of each month to find out more about our other staff. You can also click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Patient, Stubborn (although some say passionate), Silly

What is your personal philosophy?

I try to listen to what I tell the children and follow my own advice, “Take a deep breath and relax. Now think about what is the best thing to do and what I can do better next time.”

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

I should say my family and friends, but I think I am going to say coffee!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

I cannot resist fresh, homemade brownie right out of the oven!

What is your greatest fear?

Not trying hard enough to make a difference for the field and my family.

Where is your favorite place to be?

My favorite place to be is at home with my husband and son, sitting under a blanket and reading books together. I also enjoying my trips to Florida beaches with my family to visit my dad.

What is your favorite thing to do?

I love to bake and cook for friends and family.

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

My favorite place I have traveled to is New Zealand. I spent a semester student teaching in New Zealand and stayed with the best family. I learned so much about teaching while getting to traveling around a beautiful country.

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

Never really had a weird job, but I did work for Babies R Us for a summer which was probably my least favorite job I have ever had, because pregnant women would get mad at me for their credit cards declining.

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

Definitely a robot housekeeper; it would save so much time with all the animal hair we have to sweep up every day!

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

Either a veterinarian, owner of a children’s book store, or workout instructor for children and adults!

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

Everything will be just fine. Just enjoy the experiences in the moment.

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

“So true”, “Don’t put that in your mouth” (I have a two-year old), “Things are happening”

What is the best book you have ever read?

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury or The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I do love to workout which a lot of people do know about me, however, my ultimate goal is to complete one full Ironman distance triathlon in my lifetime. Crazy, but I love running, biking and swimming, so it will be done one day!

Ask Cori additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Ashley Warren

Today we’re learning more about our Enhanced Coaching Specialist, Ashley Warren.  Come back on the last day of each month to find out more about another staff member or click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Loyal, Committed, and Meticulous

What is your personal philosophy?

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

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

Music! No matter the mood or situation, there’s a song to go along!

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

Well, I’m still working on this challenge, but parenting was a big shift for me. I had to learn early on that it’s ok not to know all the answers and he will still love me at the end of the day. Nine years later, and that’s holding true!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Rice Crispy treats…man, it’s bad! My mom makes the best ones I’ve ever had, but for those of you who enjoy a good one, try Noodles and Company.

What is your greatest fear?

Failing

Where is your favorite place to be?

Quiet places with water nearby

What is your favorite thing to do?

Sing

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

Grand Cayman. Beautiful sites and big adventures (for me anyway!). I went for a wedding, so having all my high school friends there was great!

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

This isn’t really weird, but I worked at Ritter’s Frozen Custard when I was younger. It was a lot of fun, but things got so messy around there! I was constantly trying to clean up things.

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

Robot housekeepers!

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

Probably something with organization or event planning OR a famous singer!

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

You got this. Stay prayerful and focused. Love yourself.

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

Wow, Listen!, Guess what…

What is the best book you have ever read?

Who Moved my Cheese?

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I started playing the viola in elementary school and stopped in high school. I loved it!

Ask Ashley additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Emily Barrow

This month’s featured staff member is Emily Barrow, our CACFP Monitor. We hope you enjoy learning more about Emily and why she fits like a puzzle piece among the rest of our great staff here at Child Care Answers. Come back on the last day of each month to find out more about another staff member or click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Funny, organized, adventurous

What is your personal philosophy?

I try to live by the mindset that some things just don’t need to be a battle. Enjoy the little things in life, love the people in it, and never say no to a new adventure.

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

I have a horrible coffee addiction, but it has to be good coffee. Even when we go camping, I drag my French press with us.

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

I didn’t go to college until after I had children. Juggling kids, work, and college was a long, hard battle to overcome.

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

The pound cake my mom made for the holidays when I was a child. It is my favorite special treat.

What is your greatest fear?

Failing at something

Where is your favorite place to be?

I love the beach, but anywhere that has friends or family and good food – I am all in.

What is your favorite thing to do?

Go to a concert. I’m currently working on a concert bucket list. I just went to see Garth Brooks, and it was amazing.

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

A few years ago I went out to Arizona to visit my brother. We went up through northern Arizona to the Grand Canyon and did some back trails in a Jeep. It was so beautiful out there, and the time with my brother was priceless. Standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon, you realize how small you are in this world.

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

I’ve not really had a weird job, but I do work at a local winery in my spare time. I love being able to just have fun there and meet new people.

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

Flying cars – I drive all over for my job. It would make life so much easier.

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

I actually went to school for political science and wanted to work with legislators. If I weren’t doing this, I would pursue that love a little more.

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

Slow down and enjoy being young. You have all the time in the world to grow up.

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

You know what I mean?, LOL, I’m over it

What is the best book you have ever read?

I’m still in love with The Grapes of Wrath. It was a book we had to read for a college class. Half of the class hated it, but I fell in love with the story.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

As a child I wanted to be a ballerina and took years of dance classes. Sometimes you might still catch me twirling around.

Feel free to ask Emily additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Bri Dimit

Meet Bri Dimit, our Enhanced Ministry Coach. The Last Day Q&A Series is our way of sharing our fantastic staff with you. On the last day of each month, a different staff member answers a series of fun and thought-provoking questions.

What three traits define you?

Energetic, Positive, and Compassionate. (I am funny too. If you ever need a good knock knock joke, I am your gal.)

What is your personal philosophy?

Always see the good, and if you cannot see it, than be it.

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

My faith

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

Epilepsy and the passing of my mother when I was thirteen

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

A good laugh

What is your greatest fear?

Dying young

Where is your favorite place to be?

With friends and family (preferably at a beach)

What is your favorite thing to do?

Traveling and anything outside (walks, runs, bike rides, hiking)

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

The Dominican because the people there were like family. They welcome you with open arms!

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

I worked at the South Bend Cubs Minor League Stadium as the broccoli mascot who did the “vegetable race” in between innings.

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

Moon cities, hands down!

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

Famous singer or a “Positive Life” Spokesperson. Someone who travels the world speaking to groups of people on how to cope through hardships and live a positive life.

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

You’ve got this.

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

Life’s too short, God don’t make no junk, I don’t know Fred

What is the best book you have ever read?

Dr. Seuss anything

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I have flat lined before.

 

Feel free to ask Bri additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Lucy Intriago

Our Bilingual Support Manager, Lucy Intriago is the next up to share more about herself in our Last Day Q&A Series. We hope you enjoy learning about Lucy as much as we enjoy having her as a member of our staff!

What three traits define you?

Adventurous, Patient, Courageous

What is your personal philosophy?

Every action has a consequence.

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

Internet, taking a shower

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

Finding a job in a new country and learning the language and everything else

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Salty and fried things

What is your greatest fear?

Cockroaches and mice

Where is your favorite place to be?

At the beach

What is your favorite thing to do?

Travel

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

England – beautiful landscapes and rich in history

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

At a store, stocking items and products

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

Moon cities

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

Wedding planner or gymnastic coach

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

Choose good friends

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

Really, Ok, Oh no

What is the best book you have ever read?

Dracula

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I learned English as a third language at the age of 28. I love to do crochet.

 

Feel free to ask Lucy additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Stephanie Ries

In the next post in our new Last Day Q&A series, Stephanie Ries shares answers to our version of “20 Questions”. Stephanie is our newest Paths to QUALITY™ coach and started with Child Care Answers last month.

What three traits define you?

Passionate, Creative, Honest

What is your personal philosophy?

Always be open to learn. It’s okay to fail. Never think too highly of yourself.

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

My personal relationship with God

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

The death of my mother

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Most things fried 🙂

What is your greatest fear?

Riding roller coasters

Where is your favorite place to be?

In the forest walking alongside a creek

What is your favorite thing to do?

Travel, reading, and going to museums. Couldn’t pick one.

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

Greece. Beautiful country, fresh food!

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

Office supply store manager

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

Moon cities

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

A Chef

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

It’s okay to be different

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

Okay, Awesome, Wow

What is the best book you have ever read?

The Four Agreements

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’ve climbed a telephone pole, walked a tight rope, then bungee jumped!

Feel free to ask Stephanie additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Janice Salpietro

This post begins our new Last Day Q&A series, where we will pose questions to a member of our staff on the last day of each month. We hope by learning a bit more about us, you’ll see the core of who we are, which is truly the core of our organization. 

This month, our new Administrative Assistant, Janice Salpietro, shares more about herself. 

What three traits define you?

Joyfulness, Integrity,  and Creativity

What is your personal philosophy?

Strive to fulfill Paul’s teachings in Galatians Chapter 5:  to “Love my neighbor as myself” and live by the fruits of the Spirit

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

Amazon. I wonder how I ever did live without it.

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

Moving to Hawaii at the young age of 26 with a kindergartner, toddler, and infant in tow. . . and they all survived!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Ice cream, any flavor, slightly melting

What is your greatest fear?

Losing those I love

Where is your favorite place to be?

Shark’s Cove on the Northshore of Oahu, which is not possible anymore because I live in Indy. So, I would have to say any place in the fresh air enjoying creation.

What is your favorite thing to do?

At this point in my life, sway in a big hammock swing hanging from a tree or sitting on a beach with my toes in the sand

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

Hawaii, because the beaches are all very unique and beautiful

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

The weirdest job that I ever had was actually a responsibility that was part of a position that I held at Camp Atterbury. I was responsible for keeping the geese population down in the recreational ponds on post. Every spring, I would patrol the ponds and try to disrupt any early nest building attempts, monitor any successful nests,  and ‘addle’ the eggs at the precise time between the laying and incubating period. And I’ll tell you…expectant daddy geese are quite ferocious.

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

This was a no brainer for me…a flying car just for me to fly over all the traffic jams on my home each day

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

If money weren’t an issue, I would run a traveling preschool program that could go to the young learners that don’t have the means to get to any early learning programs

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

I would tell my 13-year old self to not worry so much about being accepted by the ‘popular crowd’ and just be the person God created me to be

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

“I’m sorry”, even when it is not necessary

What is the best book you have ever read?

I am not able to pick a best book I have ever read, but the most influential book I ever read and continue to read is the Holy Bible.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I was excruciatingly shy as a little girl.

Feel free to ask Janice additional questions in the comments below!

October is SIDS Awareness Month!

October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness month. About 3,500 infants die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in the U.S.* Although sometimes the cause is unknown, there are several actions that parents and caregivers can take to lessen the risk for babies.

Our Infant/Toddler Specialists, Lauren George and Katherine Coleman, are passionate about educating parents and caregivers on safe sleep. They work with providers every day to help make sure their environments are safe.  Some of the practices they often see but must be avoided are:

  • Loose sheets – Loose fitting sheets are one of the biggest violations Lauren and Katherine see.  When looking for sheets, it is always best to try one before purchasing for the entire facility. In general, avoid jersey fabric sheets.  Good-fitting full-size crib sheets are typically easy to find, but sheets that are tight fitting and don’t roll the mattress can be difficult to find for pack-and-plays and porta-cribs. . Pack-and-play sheets should be the “Pack-and-Play” brand quilted sheet. Recommended brands for porta-crib sheet include Koala (Walmart), Babies-R-Us, and American Baby (Amazon).
  • Sleeping in devices like swings, bouncers, and car seats – Infants should always placed to sleep on a firm sleep surface, such as a safety-approved crib mattress, in a safety-approved crib, porta-crib, or play yard. If the infant falls asleep in another surface (carrier, car seat, swing) immediately remove him/her and place in a safety approved crib, porta-crib, or pack-and-play.
  • Sleeping with bibs, pacifier cords, or wubanubs – These devices may cover the face or present a strangulation hazard.  Crib gyms, crib toys, mobiles, mirrors, and all objects/toys are prohibited in or attached to an infant’s crib. You should not clip or attach pacifiers to the infant or the crib.
  • Blankets in the crib – Keep all blankets, pillows, quilts, and bumpers out of the infant’s sleep area. Instead of a blanket, place the infant to sleep in sleep clothing such as a one-piece sleeper. Do not swaddle infants using blankets – swaddling is not recommended in child care.
  • Stomach sleeping – Infants under one year of age are always placed on theirbacks  to sleep, for naps and at night. Although common myths may lead people to believe stomach sleeping avoids choking, studies show that babies may actually clear secretions better when placed on their backs.
  • Medical device used without Medical Waiver Form – Unless a doctor specifies the need for a positioning device that restricts movement within the child’s crib, do not use these devices. This must be written on the Medical Waiver and completed/signed from the physician.

For more information about SIDS and safe sleep, see our Safe Sleep Handout Packet. Lauren and Katherine also offer Safe Sleep trainings throughout the year. See our Training Calendar for details. Also watch our Facebook page for SIDS awareness posts throughout October!

 

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/features/sidsawarenessmonth/

September is National Preparedness Month

aap_disasterAlthough September is almost over, it’s not too late to prepare for emergencies and disasters as a part of National Preparedness Month!

Recent studies and surveys show that:

  • 39% of parents say their child’s Head Start/child care center or preschool had experienced an emergency in the past two years.
  • Only modest improvement had been made in household preparedness (23% in 2003 to 35% in 2015);
  • A lack of confidence remains in local governments to respond to disasters; and
  • Families remain unfamiliar with school or child care disaster plans.

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) outlines tips and additional resources to help you get better prepared on its website. Once of those resources is the AAP Family Readiness Kit, which assists families in getting disaster-ready.

Preparedness experts, parents, and child care providers contributed to this kit, which includes general guidelines for readiness that can be used in most situations, including how to:

  • Build a kit
  • Make a plan
  • Be informed
  • Get involved