Early childhood education and child care are not synonymous
By Chloe Learey, Executive Director
The COVID 19 pandemic has magnified many issues that were already a challenge in our everyday lives and child care is no exception. Children of all ages and their families are struggling to deal with a world full of uncertainty related to in-person education and care, making it difficult to juggle the demands of work and home.
The move to hybrid or remote learning for grades K through 12 has thrown the issue of care vs. education into the forefront. I hear families ask, “How can I go to work if my kid can’t go to school?” and teachers say “We aren’t babysitters, this is education, not care!” The structure of our economic system makes it impossible to make this distinction fully, and it can be helpful to understand how education and care are important to consider together across the age continuum as we strive to create high-quality learning environments.
Early childhood education and child care are not synonymous although we use the words interchangeably. They are connected, however. Continue reading
Prouty team updates
Welcome – new faces and new roles!
Please help spread the word that we are hiring for two positions on our Community Based Services team: Child Care Referral and Food Program Specialist & Maternal Child Health Nurse. Learn more about those job openings HERE.
Farm to School
This summer, seven Winston Prouty staff committed to cultivating a Farm to School component at the Winston Prouty Center. Through participation in the 2020-2021 virtual Northeast Farm to School Institute hosted by Shelburne Farms, and with experienced coaching from Sheila Humphreys of Food Connects, our Farm to School team is breaking ground towards meaningful change.
Learn more about the team HERE. And they are curious to know… what’s your child’s favorite fruit to snack on? What’s their favorite veggie to snack on? Please fill out their short FAMILY FOOD FAVORITES survey.
Early Learning Center News
School Picture Day
School picture day is scheduled for Thursday, October 15th with a rain date/make-up day of Friday, October 16th. This year, pictures will be taken in-house by our Communications Coordinator, Sarah DiNicola. Each family will receive two 5×7 prints as well as an electronic file so that they may order additional copies on their own.
Free Flu Shots at Winston Prouty – Tuesday, October 13
It has been a wonderful start to the year for the Acorn room! We have been exploring pumpkins, big and small. We have been touching them, drumming on them, picking them up and dropping them, and feeling the different textures. Jess painted the smaller pumpkins and it is interesting to see how the babies are interacting with them differently. One of our friends picked up a small pumpkin and balanced it on top of the large pumpkin! We are hoping to paint our large pumpkin with the babies soon!
We are exploring different fabrics that Jess has crotched for us and sensory bottles with glitter, water, gel, and beads. We are going outside for beautiful walks and enjoying these last days of summer. We have been playing under the trees by the Sun Bridge (at the entrance to campus) more often. Although the leaves are falling, all of our friends seem to be in bloom– moving in new ways– rolling, crawling, and communicating with more sign and verbalizations. It is amazing to watch the babies grow!
We are off to a wonderful start here in the Willow Room. This month was all about getting to know each other and finding our rhythm together. We were lucky enough to have Nancy help with the transition while we searched for our third teacher. This presented the opportunity for the former Acorn children to build trust and confidence with their new teachers and environment.
Many interests have emerged over the last month. Some of the children have been actively exploring different ways to use balls. They’ve been tossing them up into nets, pushing them through tubes, and carrying them around in containers. They are all very interested in books and spend lots of time in the mornings picking their favorites to read. Another theme we’ve seen emerge is friendship. It’s been so touching to watch pairs of children buddy up together and spend more time playing alongside each other. We’ve seen some new bonds forming and some old ones being strengthened.
We are also very happy to announce that we have welcomed our third teacher to the team. Ashley Dierks joins us with experience working with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. She is also working toward a degree in the field. The children took a real liking to her from her very first day!
The month of September was busy for the Elm Room! We enjoyed the outdoors as we explored our new favorite area the apple tree. The children all love eating the yummy apples and running up and down the hill. We also visited the pond and found crayfish and frogs. We did a lot of fun art activities, too. In October, we are going to be exploring pumpkins and exploring the fall changes!
September was an exciting month in the Birch Room! At the start of the school year we welcomed some new friends to our room – Fern, Jane, Solveig, Tadhg, Aiden, Madelyn, and Aiylah. They have adjusted well and are jumping right in! At the beginning of the month we focused on getting to know the classroom rules and routine as well as learning more about each other’s families. We asked questions at circle time such as “What activities do you like to do with your family?” as well as “Do you have a Mom, Dad, siblings, pets, etc.” We also made pictures of our families using different shapes such as circles, triangles, and squares. We also continued our weekly woods excursions, trips to the pond, and we incorporated the playground back into our Wednesday schedule which the children loved!
Towards the end of the month we welcomed the Fall season into the classroom. We read books about apples, acorns, and the new fall leaves. We also set up a new fun and exciting Science area for the children to explore with objects such as sensory bottles, sunflower seeds, and petals, and acorns. We will continue to focus on this theme in the room for the next few weeks. We also introduced the Second Step cards into our circle once a week. Second Step provides instruction cards for social/emotional learning with skills such as friendship skills, emotion management, and problem-solving skills. In the month of October, we will continue to discuss our Fall theme as well as incorporate some Halloween activities into our weekly curriculum. Lastly, a parent was kind enough to donate a monarch caterpillar to our classroom at the beginning of September. It went into a cocoon about 3 days later and we are still anxiously awaiting its arrival! When it hatches we will let it free at Harry’s house (our resident butterfly friend!). Update: it hatched!
It has been a busy September in the Oak Room! We have been getting to know our new students from the Birch Room and working on learning the classroom expectations and schedule. We have explored the campus, spending time in the garden, at the rock wall, at the cabins and the sun bridge and the playground. We have been exploring classroom materials while outside and playing games with the parachute and balls. We have been discussing fall and apples and we will be making some apple crisp.
In October we will be talking about other fall concepts such as leaves and pumpkins and start focusing on learning activities such as numbers and letters. We are looking forward to a great year in the Oak Room!
Dates to Remember
- We will close THIS Friday, October 9 at Noon (pick up is between 11:30-12:00)
- The ELC will be CLOSED on Monday and Tuesday, October 12 and 13 for Parent Teacher Conferences
- Free flu shot clinic for ELC families: Tuesday, October 13
- School Picture Day: Thursday, October 15 (Rain date/make-up day: Friday, October 16)
- The ELC will close at noon on Friday, November 13
- The ELC will be closed from Monday, November 23 – Friday, November 27 for Thanksgiving holiday