October News and Notes

With September coming to a close we look forward to October and all the “Fall Fun” it brings. As the weather changes please be sure your child is prepared for outside play with a light jacket or sweater. Also be sure your child’s cubby is stocked with a change of clothes appropriate to the weather and the right size as we all know they do grow quickly.

With fall comes lots of observable changes for the children to notice and discuss. We will be taking advantage of these changes to delve into the topic of seasons and how we and animals adapt to these changes. We start to dress differently as temperatures get cooler. Animals as well start to grow thicker fur to stay warm in the colder weather. Squirrels start collecting food to store for the long winter months when food is scarce. We will encourage the children to look around them to see signs that fall is approaching especially the changing colors of the trees and other plants. We will observe closely the differences and similarities of leaves that can be found in our yard or on walks. Please encourage your child to do the same at home and bring in any cool leaves they find to show the group.

As in years past we have once again been invited to bring the children to the adjacent Sunnen Business park to Trick or Treat to some of the businesses.

This is scheduled for Friday October 27 and family members are welcome to join us. We plan to leave school by 9:15 and return no later than 11:30.

We hope you can join us for the fun. The children will be practicing their performing skills in the form of some short Halloween songs. They will be singing a short song at each stop.

A FEW REMINDERS FOR PARENTS

*The tuition increase begins the week of October 2-6. Invoices have been sent out. If you have any questions feel free to check with Ann.

*MO state licensing requires that every child has a blanket and that it be laundered weekly.

* Attached are the new Scholastic Book Club forms please return/ submit orders no later than Wednesday, October 11th.

Here at school the children have been faced with several changes lately with some staff and friends moving on as well as new friends starting. As the children adapt to a new group dynamic and our veterans help our new friends adjust we will be focusing our lesson planning on “ Getting to Know Each Other”. We will be talking about how we are alike and different, how our families are alike and different, and where we live and what kinds of things are in our neighborhoods that we like to do with our families. During the coming weeks each child will have the opportunity to be “ Star Of The Day”. On their day they will create an all about me poster to take home. We would like to add pictures of family members and friends, pets, or other things that are important to the individual child. Please bring in any pictures that can be added to your child’s poster. They will be glued on a poster board and can be printed on regular paper if that is easier for you. On their scheduled day they are also asked to bring something that is special to them. This can be a special book, toy, or small snack to “Show and Share” with the group and talk about. This is always a favorite for children. It helps to encourage language as the children have an opportunity to address the group. The children will also be encouraged to ask questions of the child that is presenting. Please see the calendar and make note of your child’s scheduled day.

Much has been in the news lately that causes concern on a daily basis. Between civil unrest and threats from overseas it all has a possibility to make us feel uncomfortable and unsure of what the future holds for us and our families. I was recently asked by a parent if we have an emergency/disaster plan in place here at Home Away From Home. Rest assured we are prepared to do our best to keep your child safe under any circumstance. There is a copy of our emergency/disaster plan by our sign in sheet for parents to review at anytime. If you would like a copy emailed to you please drop a note in the tuition box with a good email to send it to and I will do so. We also ask parents to make sure we have current and accurate contact information in your child’s file should we need to contact you for any reason.

The July 2017 News and Notes

Please join me in welcoming Mr Sam Oliphant to our staff. Sam is a 2017 graduate of Webster Groves High School where he also worked at their Preschool his senior year. He also assists at another preschool program in Webster that his mother directs so he comes to us with lots of enthusiasm and some great experience. Sam will begin his college education this August at St Louis Community College where he will begins his journey towards his Elementary Teaching Certification. Also joining us is Ms Jessica Harris. Ms Jessica currently works at MO Baptist Hospital as a patient care tech but has always had a passion for children and is really excited to join us and learn more about caring for children and operating a childcare program.

It sounds like everyone had a fun and safe holiday. The kids had a great time creating their patriotic art work including their firework pictures using wild flowers ( Queen Anne’s Lace) dipped in paint and creating their own giant flag on cardboard.

We have now begun our study of FRUIT. The kids are having a great time using their senses to learn about fruit. We are able to talk about how they look as we play “What’s Missing” with the plastic fruit, We are able to talk about how they feel as we try to identify them just by feeling them in a pillow case, and we have been smelling fruit as well every time we have it at meals and snacks. We will also be using our taste buds to tryout some different dried fruits as we talk about how they are different from their fresh counterparts. Next week we would like to make “Friendship Fruit Salad” as. a group. Please have you child bring a piece or small bag of their favorite fruit to contribute to our salad on Thursday. Some other yummy recipes the children will be helping to prepare are Apple Cinnamon Muffins, Mini Cherry Pies, and Fruit Pizza.

A FEW REMINDERS

Per Policy:

*Tuition is due on Friday for the following week is is charged by the week. So if you pay for more than a week at a time be sure it is in the drop box before Tuesday at closing to avoid late fees being charged. Late fees are charged per child.

*We close at 6 pm to allow staff time to have dinner with their families or attend classes & workshops and for the children to be home in time for a family dinner. This is an important part of quality family time. Please arrive at school in time to gather your child, their belongings and have that quick but important conversation about your child’s day and still be out the door so the staff on duty can lock up by 6pm. Late fees will be charged at $1 per minute ,per child not signed out and out the door by 6 pm.

  • Thanks for your understanding and cooperation

Spring to Summer Changes all around Us

Lately we’ve been having lots of fun noticing all the springtime changes happening around us. As the weather gets warmer bugs, animals and people are more active outdoors. With this in mind, if you haven’t brought in mosquito spray and sunscreen and would like it applied to your child for outside play please do so ASAP. Also please check your child’s cubbie to be sure it is stocked with a change of clothes that are size and weather appropriate. State Licensing requires that all children have a blanket that is washed weekly please be sure they bring one from home labeled with their name and that it gets washed every weekend. With the days getting warmer we aim to have “water days” once a week,  weather pemitting. If at all possible, please be sure that your child has a swimsuit or change of clothes that they can get wet and messy , including shoes, in their cubbie. They will also need a towel. Please label all items so we can return them to the proper owner when they get separated.

Any day now the eggs may start to hatch. The children are bursting with anticipation and have been heard taking to each other about what will hatch from the eggs. They have predicted everything from chickens to dinosaurs.

This week and next week’s activities will be planned around the theme Farm to tie into the eggs hatching. The children are already excited to see the barn and farm animals added to the block area.

February 2017- Note to Parents

 

As I’m sure you have noticed we recently wrapped up our focus on kings, queens, castles and dragons. The children thoroughly enjoyed creating dragons, putting on puppet shows, and dressing up in the princess dresses.

We’ve now moved on to “friendship and love”, a great topic with Valentines Day quickly approaching. The kids have come up with some great ideas for how we can show kindness and caring to others. They really enjoyed role playing with a friend at group time showing ways to be a good friend. Some of the ideas they had were: “giving them flowers” , “Giving them a hug”,” asking them to play puzzles” together, and “giving them a train”. The kids have been very busy decorating boxes for Valentine exchange here at school. Please send 16 Valentine cards with your child’s name on them but DO NOT ADDRESS THEM. This way each child can pass them out much faster without having to match names. These will be needed on Tuesday.

Another activity that we’ve recently tried is “Ice Skating” indoors. The children have mastered standing on paper plates and sliding their feet as if they are skating. They really enjoy showing off their awesome moves like spins and backwards skating.

Winter 2017

Winter is Here? No it’s not , Yes! Winters here, No it’s not?

With the up and down in temperatures it’s easy to appreciate the mild winter and the many chances to get outdoors. Likewise many would say that a lack of cold temperatures also allows germs to flourish. It has to make us wonder is that what we have been seeing this week. Please know that we are doing all we can to keep everyone healthy and safe everyday. We make every effort possible to get some fresh air daily. You as parents can help us by making sure your child comes prepared for outside play everyday. This means clothing appropriate to the weather including warm coats, gloves, coats, and snow pants and boots if there is snow on the ground.

Also of great importance is proper hand washing. The children and staff routinely wash their hands after toileting or diaper changes, after they wipe noses, sneeze or cough in their hands and before eating or handling food. We’ve also made extra effort to wash and sanitize toys more frequently to minimize the spread of germs. As Parents we ask that you help us observe the following guidelines and regulations to help keep your children as healthy as possible. These are taken directly from Missouri state child care licensing regulations and can also be found in the HAFHCCC Parent Handbook.

The parent(s) or his/her designee shall be contacted when signs of illness are observed. Unless determined otherwise by the parent(s) or provider, a child with no more than one (1) of the following symptoms may remain in care: 1. A child with a temperature of up to one hundred degrees Fahrenheit (100°F) by mouth or ninety-nine degrees Fahrenheit (99°F) under the arm; 2. After an illness has been evaluated by a physician, medication has been prescribed and any period of contagion has passed as determined by a licensed physician; 3. When it has been determined that a child has a common cold unless the director and the parent(s) agree that isolation precautions should be taken; 4. When a child has vomited once with no further vomiting episodes, other symptoms, or both; or 5. When a child has experienced loose stools only one (1) time with no further problems or symptoms.

(E) If children exhibit any of the following symptoms, they must be sent/kept home: 1. Diarrhea—more than one (1) abnormally loose stool. If a child has one (1) loose stool, s/he shall be observed for additional loose stools or other symptoms; 2. Severe coughing—if the child gets red or blue in the face or makes high-pitched croupy or whooping sounds after coughing; 3. Difficult or rapid breathing (especially important in infants under six (6) months); 4. Yellowish skin or eyes; 5. Pinkeye—tears, redness of eyelid lining, irritation, followed by swelling or discharge of pus; 6. Unusual spots or rashes; 7. Sore throat or trouble swallowing; 8. An infected skin patch(es)—crusty, bright yellow, dry or gummy areas of the skin; 9. Unusually dark, tea-colored urine; 10. Grey or white stool; 11. Fever over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit (100°F) by mouth or ninety-nine degrees Fahrenheit (99°F) under the arm; 12. Headache and stiff neck; 13. Vomiting more than once; and 14. Severe itching of the body or scalp, or scratching of the scalp. These may be symptoms of lice or scabies.

Unfortunately sometimes children start out their day feeling fine only to quickly decline. In the event that this should happen while a child is in our care you will be called to pick them up ASAP. Since symptoms and fever may sometimes temporarily diminish only to return hours later (in the meantime the child is still contagious) HAFH asks that parents keep their children home till fever and symptom free for 24 hours. Thanks for your assistance. We do appreciate and respect the inconvenience this can cause for families. By doing our best to keep everyone healthy we can hopefully minimize the inconvenience to families.

December 2016 News and Notes

December is here already and with it colder temperatures. As we think about all the ways we prepare for the colder temperatures we also discuss what animals do in colder climates to stay warm. Some animals will migrate to warmer places while others hibernate. Some grow thicker coats while we wear warmer clothes. Please be sure your child has a weather and size appropriate change of clothes in their cubbies. Outside playtime is not only required by Missouri State Child Care Licensing but it is also a proven component of healthy living habits. Please be sure your child comes to school prepared for outside play every day. If there is snow on the ground, boots and a change of dry shoes or slippers for inside play are strongly encouraged. Warm hats and gloves also help to keep the children comfortable while playing outdoors in chilly weather. Please label them with your child’s name so we know who to return lost items to.
Some animals live in cold climates year around, such as Polar bears, Penguins and Moose. These are just a few of the animals that we will be focusing on through December 9th. We will be talking about how each of the animals live, what they eat and what they do to stay warm. We also have some real fur scraps from Alaska as well as a real moose antler that the children will have the opportunity to touch, talk about, and compare the textures of .
On Monday December 12th we will begin our preparations for the holidays. Some of us celebrate Christmas while some of our families celebrate Hanukkah. This year Hanukkah begins on December 24th and goes through January 1st. On Thursday December 29th and Friday 30th we will be reading some Hanukkah books and making Latkes (potato pancakes) for lunch. Tuesday and Wednesday Dec 27 & 28 will be “Show & Share”/ Pajama party days. Please encourage your child to bring a new toy, book or movie that they received for Christmas that they can tell us about and are willing to share with their friends. The children also love having Pajama party days. Staff and kids are encouraged to wear their comfy Pjs on these days.
When school resumes after the New Year Holiday on Tuesday January 3rd we will be focusing on Favorite Fairy Tales. If your child has any movies or books related to this theme feel free to bring them in.
One of our favorite fairy tales is always the Gingerbread man. we will be using all of our senses to explore this story through Gingerbread playdo, Gingerbread puffy paint and creating our own Gingerbread man that will magically escape from the oven during nap time leaving us on a fun game of hide and seek so we can gobble him up for afternoon snack.
HAFH will be closed Monday 12/26 & Monday 1/2

October 2016 News and Notes

Fall is officially here and with it comes cooler temperatures, leaves changing colors, and wardrobe changes. There are many ways that the children can observe the seasonal changes. They will have many opportunities to compare and contrast leaves as they begin to change. Some of our friends have already been apple picking with their families and have enjoyed telling their friends about their experience. If your family goes apple picking or to a pumpkin patch please let them bring a picture to show their friends and talk about their experience. This past week we’ve spent our days discussing the changes around us and how we prepare for them.
Next we will be moving on to one of our favorite fruit, the apple. We will be comparing the ways that apples look and taste, helping us to decide what we like best about apples and which is our favorite. We will talk about how they grow and talk about our own personal experiences recently at apple orchards. We will also be trying our hands at a recipe for Apple Pizzas. This has proven to be a favorite with the children in the past. A copy of the recipe will come home.
Another favorite fall crop is Pumpkins. Many of us look forward to fall just to be able to taste many of the great pumpkin recipes that we associate with fall. Here at school we will be making pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pies and pumpkin cookies. We will also be studying pumpkins through books, art and science activities. We are asking for your assistance – Please send a small pumpkin to school with your child to decorate for Halloween.
HALLOWEEN will be our focus the week of October 24-28. we will be reading lots of fun Halloween books and learning some fun Halloween songs. We have also accumulated a great variety of costumes to try out in our dramatic play area for the week. On Friday October 28th we have been invited to bring the children Trick or Treating to some of the businesses in the adjacent Sunnen Business Park. If your time allows and you would like to join us you are more than welcome!! We will need to leave promptly by 9:15 in order to make our rounds and be back in time for lunch by 11:30.

A few reminders for Parents
*Scholastic orders are attached please return them or place your orders online by next Wednesday October 19th.
*Please check your child’s cubbie and make sure they have a change of clothes that is appropriate size and season.
*Please remember that State Licensing requires every child to have a blanket for nap that get laundered weekly.
*Your budding artists often accumulate a lot of work in their cubbies for you to admire. Please check their cubbies daily for priceless works of art and important notes.

September 2016 News

As summer comes to a close we are reminded that “one constant in life is CHANGE”. Some of our friends have moved on, new friends have joined us and a new staff member as joined our “family”.  Change can be hard and unsettling and yet exciting at the same time for children. Even though we understand that consistency is important for children it can be hard to maintain it sometimes. It’s important that as adults we recognize the stress that change can cause for children and give them the additional support they need.

As our group changes the children are working to figure out where they fit in to the new group. As we get to know our new friends we also learn more about ourselves and our old friends. This week we will be talking about what it means to be a friend. Kindness is something that children learn by watching people around them. It’s important that the important people in a child’s life model kindness and respect for others every day. Through stories, songs, discussions, games, and cooperative art projects we will be learning about the many ways we can be good friends to others.

A FEW REMINDERS FOR PARENTS

*MO state Licensing requires that all children have a blanket for nap and that it be laundered weekly.

*Tuition is due on Friday for the following week. If received after closing on Tuesday a $25 late fee will be charged to your account.

*In order for staff to participate in college courses , attend continuing education workshops, and spend time with their own families we close promptly at 6:00 pm daily. Please arrive to pick up your child early enough to gather their belongings, talk with staff, etc and still be on your way before 6:00pm. Late pick ups will be charged $1 a minute late pick up fee. Thanks for your cooperation.

Winter weather

As usual St Louis has some crazy and unpredictable winter weather conditions. So far this winter we have seen everything from cold wind chills and snow to warm weather and excessive amounts of rain. with the potential of inclement weather  looming over us it is important that everyone is aware of our policies that are meant to insure the safety of everyone, families and staff alike.

Inclement Weather: In preparation of winter weather, we have reviewed our snow watch information and policy. It has always been the policy of  HAFH to close only in extreme weather conditions, in order to assure the safety of families and staff.

 

 

In the event that it would be necessary to close the Center, we will do so in a timely manner so that you may make other necessary arrangements. Announcements will be made on KSDK-Channel 5. Should morning conditions prove hazardous, there may be an announcement of SNOW SCHEDULE means the Center will open at 9:30 amrather than 6:30 am.

 

We will watch closely the decision of the Maplewood/Richmond Heights School District. If the District, and other local districts, feel the streets in the area are hazardous for children and staff, then we generally follow their decision.

 

If a storm occurs during the day, the Center will not close unless necessary, but we encourage parents to listen to weather updates and come early if at all possible to insure everyone gets home safely.

 

We appreciate your support in our effort to do our best for children and families!