Author Archives: Child Care Answers

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

Thanks, AmeriCorps members!

Last week’s National AmeriCorps Week highlighted the services of current and alumni AmeriCorps members who served our country in various settings including education, economic opportunity, disaster services, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, and veteran/military family assistance.

At Child Care Answers, we celebrated with our AmeriCorps members in Indianapolis and across the state who are serving in child care programs by offering family engagement. They serve as a bridge between home and school, and they assist with school readiness for pre-K children and their families. These members are truly living out the AmeriCorps motto of “Getting Things Done!”

For more information about serving with the Early Learning Indiana AmeriCorps family engagement program, contact Courtney Penn at courtneyp@childcareanswers.com.

New Laws on CCDF Provider Eligibilty

The time is just around the corner, on July 1, 2015 all providers in Indiana accepting CCDF but not licensed must follow new health and safety laws. Letters have been sent out to providers notifying them of the new standards.

If you are an unlicensed child care program accepting CCDF vouchers you must meet these additional standards effective July 1, 2015 in order to continue to receive CCDF funding.

  1. Safe Conditions: You must have and maintain a written policy describing how you maintain safe conditions in your child care facility or home and safety of motor vehicles used to transport children.
    • These written policies and any changes to this policy must;
    • Be submitted to the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (formerly the Bureau of Child Care)
    • Posted in a public location in the facility or home.
    • Provided to the parent or guardian of each child in your care.
  2. Daily Activities: you must make available daily activities appropriate to the age, developmental needs, interests, and number of children in your care, including the following:
    • Both active and quiet play. The provider may include the use of safe, age-appropriate toys, games, and equipment for indoor and outdoor play.
    • Daily outdoor play, unless one (1) of the following applies:
    • Severity of the weather poses a safety or health hazard.
    • A health related reason for a child to remain indoors is documented by the child’s parent, guardian, or physician.
  3. Nutrition: you must make available to each child in your care:
    • Appropriately timed, nutritious meals and snacks in a quantity sufficient to meet the needs of the child.
    • This does not eliminate sack lunches brought from home.
    • Drinking water at all times.

    You may be eligible to receive reimbursement for the cost of meals and snacks through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

  4. Group Size and Ratios: As a provider operating a child care program in a facility or home you must follow ratios and group sizes as follows:
    • If you will be caring for no more than sixteen (16) children at a facility/home you must maintain:
    • a ratio of children to caregivers in the same proportions as specified in the child to staff ratio requirements; and
    • the same group sizes as specified in the group size requirements that apply to a child care home under IC 12-17.2-5.
    • If you will be caring for more than sixteen (16) children at a facility/home you must maintain:
      • a ratio of children to caregivers in the same proportions as specified in the child to staff ratio requirements; and
      • the same group sizes as specified in the group size requirements; that apply to a child care center under IC 12-17.2-4.
  5. Continuing Education: unless the provider is a parent, stepparent, guardian, custodian, or other relative to each child in the care of the provider, the individual annually must receive:
    • at least twelve (12) hours of continuing education approved by the Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning (OECOSL) and related to the age appropriate educational development, care, and safety of children.

    The hours of continuing education required may include:

    • child abuse detection and prevention
    • first aid
    • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
    • safe sleeping practices
    • education received during the year as part of the non-formal CDA process or through higher education such as an Associates or Bachelors degree program.
    • Not more than three (3) months after the individual begins employment or volunteer duties, the individual must receive training approved by OECOSL concerning child abuse detection and prevention. This training is available for free at your local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency.
    • You must:
      • maintain at the facility/home where you operate a child care program documentation of all training and completion of continuing education required; and
      • make the documentation available to the OECOSL upon request.

Cover image by Flickr user Herald PostCreative Commons license.

Dealing with a picky eater

Do you have a child in your care that refuses to try something new? Many providers comment that they have children that just won’t eat anything but chicken nuggets and french fries. Or,  they say they would like to try new foods but don’t think their children will eat them. Don’t let the fear of new foods stop you from introducing them. Children need multiple exposures to new foods to develop a taste for them.

Make trying new foods a learning experience. Let the children touch it, smell it, and taste it. Talk about how it looks. Is it smooth? Does it have bumps? What color is it? Does it smell sweet? Try just a small tasting to start with. You might find that cooking it different ways will help a picky eater find a way they like it. Take apples for example: a child may not like a raw apple slice but if you take the apple slices, add a little cinnamon and microwave it till its soft they may like it. You could create a food tasting chart for each child. Give them a sticker to add to the chart when they try a new food.

You, as the provider, have the ability to help the children in your care create healthy eating habits for the rest of their life. 

Cover image by Flickr user Aikawa KeCreative Commons license.

CACFP Approved Fish Sticks

Child Care Answers CACFP program has been working with providers this contract year on learning about Child Nutrition labels on processed foods and it has been very eye opening. According to the child nutrition label for some prepackaged fish sticks products a 3 year old would need 12 fish sticks to get 1 1/2 ounces of meat. Here is a fantastic way to make your own fish sticks for the kids. Try making a couple batches and freezing them for another day.

Cover image by Flickr user DamonCreative Commons license.