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October 2019 News

Even though Fall officially started 2 weeks ago it sure hasn’t felt like it. Thank goodness that seems to have changed. Cooler days certainly make outdoor time much more enjoyable. Please be sure your child comes to school each day dressed appropriately for outdoor play. Layers that can be added or removed as needed work best.

Lately outdoor time has offered many opportunities for practicing gross motor skills and coordination. The children have been excitedly practicing balancing, jumping, catching and throwing, kicking, crawling, climbing, and hanging upside down by their knees.  The look of pride on their face when they master a new skill is priceless.

So far, we have been spending or time focused on learning about ourselves and others in our lives. We’ve talked about what it means to be a friend and how we can show kindness every day. We’ve compared how we are the same and how we have many differences to cherish. We’ve investigated all the things we can do to stay healthy from good food choices, exercise and proper sleep.

This week we will be move on to Feelings and Emotions. As adults we have learned to manage our emotions. Children are still learning to recognize and manage their feelings in an acceptable way. One way we help them do this is to acknowledge the way the feel in words. By telling a child, ”Your face is telling me you are feeling sad, what can I do to help you?” They start to learn what it means to be sad and what they can do about it. It’s important for children to know that emotions are not a thing to be ashamed of and we all have them.

Next week we will focus on” Manners”. Good manners start with learning to say “Please and Thank You” but there is so much more. It is important that adults model good manners for children. As we all know with any skill,  practice makes perfect and manners are a skill that children need to practice in order for them to become a natural habit.

Next we will move onto a week of “Fun with Monsters”. There are some great children’s books that take the scary out of monsters for children. We will have fun enjoying “Where the Wild Things are.” ,” There’s a Monster at the End of the Book” and more. The kids will even have opportunities to create Monster masks and Monster toast for snack. We will wrap up the week on 10/25 with our annual Trick Or Treating in the adjacent Sunnen business park. We welcome all parents to join us for all or part of the morning. Please let us know if you will be attending. We will need to leave school no later than 9:00 am so please have your child here and ready to go, in costume, by 8:45. They will each need a container or bag for the goodies that they will collect. The next week we will move on to other Halloween fun. Pumpkins, Ghosts and Witches oh my! The kids will have a blast making Halloween decorations and snacks as well as decorating their own pumpkin.

Fall 2019 News

With a new school year upon us many of us, adults and children alike, are facing many changes. From schedule changes, to new schools, new friends, new babies, and new jobs all of these and more can cause stress for everyone. Here at HAFH we understand the importance of consistency for children and the security that it gives them. With that in mind we plan our days to be as predictable as possible while still being flexible to the ever-changing moods and needs of the children. Transitions can be hard for some children and switching gears when asked to clean up to move on to a different activity can be a stressful time for some. To ease the stress related to transitions we always give the children a 2-5 minute “warning” which gives them time to process what is being expected. For example, “at about 8:30 every morning the children are told, in 5 minutes we will need to clean up for breakfast.” Once it is time to clean up, positive reinforcement is used by encouraging the children to clean up by recognizing verbally who is doing a good job. It’s always amazing how praising one child for working hard gets the attention of even the most resistant.

As we plan ahead for this Fall, we have some themes laid out as well as a special Letter, shape and color to focus on each week. We know that children learn best when topics are of interest to them and are presented through play. Flexibility in planning will be observed if the children show an interest in a topic not planned. All areas of development from science to math and language can be reinforced no matter what the theme. Please see the attached calendar for the September themes.

MO State child care licensing requires that all licensed programs have an emergency plan in place in case of an emergency situation where we would need to lock down in place, evacuate the building or children would be separated from their families for an extended period of time due to a catastrophic event. With this in mind, they recommend that every child have an emergency pack at school consisting of a change of clothes, a comfort item, and a family picture in a large zip lock bag. This should be checked in fall and spring to insure it is up to date for the seasons and size of the child. We always have an ample supply of water, food, blankets and first aid supplies if needed. If interested parents can access the emergency plan for review next to the sign in book. It is also of utmost importance that your child’s file be kept up to date with emergency contact information as well as family information.

June 2019 News

This week and next we are exploring the world of Bugs and spiders. Butterflies are always a favorite and offer lots to talk about from the many different varieties to their amazing life cycle. The kids love singing songs about bugs including “the Itsy Bitsy Spider”, The Ants Go Marching” and I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee”.

With June upon us we look forward to week-long celebration of Dads and all the great things we love about our dad’s. If your child has any special pictures of them doing something special with dad or grandpa please send them in to show and share at group time.

We will then be finishing off the month of June with a focus of “At The Beach and Under the Sea”. There is so many wonderful sea creatures to talk about from anemones to Sharks and Whales. No doubt, we will be singing “Baby Shark”. We will also be sorting sea shells and practicing our fishing skills with magnets.

With warmer weather comes WATER DAYS!!! The kids love the chance to play in the sprinkler, play with bubbles, have a car wash (with our little tykes riding toys), and whatever other messy activities we can think of. Our aim is to have a ”water day” once a week on rotating days so even our part time friends get the chance. Of course, it is weather permitting which can sometimes make it hard to schedule in advance. Please be sure your child has a swimsuit or change of clothes and shoes that can get wet and a towel, as well as an ample supply of extra summer clothes. Please label all items with your child’s name to help avoid confusion. One of the children’s favorite hot weather treats is Ice Pops. Any donations would be greatly appreciated!!!

Spring is officially here!!

 Luckily the warmer temperatures have allowed us to get outside and get some, much needed, fresh air and sunshine. Hopefully this will help to ward off the runny noses and upper respiratory germs which seem to have affected a lot of people this past winter. As frustrating as it can be, please understand that we do not take the decision of sending children home lightly. We understand this can be a burden on families but we must consider the health and safety of the whole group as well as we must follow Missouri child care licensing regulations. If in doubt about if your child is well enough to attend please reference the HAFH Parent handbook where licensing regulation are outlined regarding when a child is too ill to participate in care.

Licensing regulations also require that children have a blanket for nap and that it be laundered weekly. Please be sure that your child has a blanket and that it is taken home and washed every week. With the changes in weather please be sure your child also has an ample supply of extra clothes that are the right size and style for the current weather.

The children as always enjoyed the time we spent focused on dinosaurs. They have an uncanny ability to remember dinosaur names and love comparing their different characteristics. We also had a lot of fun creating some dinosaur art work and reading some great dinosaur stories. Thanks to all our families who brought in books to share.

St. Patrick’s Day’s week-long celebration was a fun week of everything green. We read some Irish folktales and had fun talking about Leprechauns. We even had a hunt for “Leprechaun Gold” and strung green necklaces.

Our next focus was dragons. There is a great variety of dragon books for kids. Some of their favorites are “Dragons Love Tacos” , “ There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon” and “the Muffin Muncher”. Of course, if you talk about dragons the conversation leads to castles and everything Medieval. The children had a blast with our Princess dress ups and dragon costume. As expected, they never get tired of Princess Stories.

We’ve now moved on to birds which we have an abundance of to observe first hand as they search for worms and build their nests. We have also been talking about the different calls they make and the many different ways they look even though they all have feathers and lay eggs. “Eggs” what a great way to lead into Easter. Of course, when the children were asked were eggs come from their first response was “Bunnies”. They were also surprised to find out that not all eggs are white. We hope to do some comparing of eggs in the coming weeks to see first hand that even chicken eggs can vary in size and color.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS:      HAFH will be closed Friday 4/19 in observance of Good Friday/Easter.

Book order forms are attached. Please see attached calendar for due date, Wednesday 5/1.

November 2018 News

November is here along with cooler weather. Please remember to send your children prepared for outside play. Heavy coats, hats and gloves make for a much more pleasurable outdoor experience as well as boots, if there is snow on the ground. Also, please make sure that your child has a size and weather appropriate change of clothes just in case of a bathroom accident, food spills or they get wet outside.
Thanks to everyone who joined us for our Trick or Treating walk to the Sunnen Business park. It seemed like everyone had fun inspite of the damp day.
After Halloween we spent some time talking about nocturnal animals. Bats, raccoons, skunks, owls, Foxes and frogs were all fun topics of conversation this week. The children had fun creating the animals and hearing stories about them.
After a long search we now have a new part time staff member joining us. Her name is Ms. Donna and she has experience working with babies in the NICU as a respiratory therapist and is excited to join us and get to know everyone. Please join me in welcoming her.
Thanks to all our previous stars of the week for the awesome books that everyone brought in. The “stars” have been eager to share their books as the rest of the class asked questions and had fun looking at all the great pictures. If your child hasn’t had a turn yet be sure to check the calendar to see if their assigned week is approaching.
We have been having a lot of illness these past few weeks. Please be sure to observe your children closely for any possible signs of contagion to minimize the spread of illness through our group. If their temperature is over 99 degrees when taken under their arm (axillary) Missouri Childcare Licensing requires that they be excluded from care. Are they well enough to be at school? If in doubt, please review the symptoms listed in the parent handbook that can be found on our website. All Symptoms that require exclusion from care are listed there and taken straight from the licensing handbook. Please remember that they also need to fever and symptom free for 24 hours, without Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen before returning. Many viruses cause fevers that rise and fall to normal only to rise again in a few hours. We, here at HAFH , are also being extra careful to encourage thorough handwashing as well as cleaning and sanitizing toys and surfaces regularly.
Don’t forget we will be closed Thanksgiving Day and the Friday following. Have a safe and enjoyable Holiday weekend.
With the Holiday season just around the corner please remember that we will be open on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve but will close at 1:00 pm both days. HAFH will be closed Christmas Day and New Years Day. If your child will be out any days over the holidays advanced notice is greatly appreciated. This helps to insure appropriate staffing while also allowing staff to spend time with their families

Summer 2018 News

Summer is flying by. Soon we will be saying farewell to some of our friends as they move on to other programs or all the way to Alabama. Please keep in mind that tuition deposits are refunded or credited back to your account when notice is given at least 2 weeks prior to their last day of attendance or change in schedule. If your child is currently attending less than five days a week and you would like to add any days be sure to tell Ann as soon as possible in order reserve the days needed before they are given away.

Since summer started the children were immersed in ‘“At the Beach and Under the Sea” activities that are always popular. They always love talking about the many different types of sea life. Sharks and orcas were of course their favorites. We then followed with a week focused on, an all time favorite, “Ice Cream”. The kids really enjoyed making and tasting a few different frozen treats. It was really amazing how many different books are written for kids on the subject. Our older friends especially liked working on color by number ice cream pictures

This week we are having fun with Zoo Animals. Today we had some lively discussion about our favorite zoo animals and why they are our favorite. We also played “Guess the Animal”. The children would be given a characteristic of an animal and they would name an animal that matched. They came up with some great answers.
Starting next week, we will take a journey through the alphabet. Everyday we will focus on a different letter starting at the beginning. Please encourage your child to bring an item to show and share with the group everyday that starts with the letter of the day. It can be anything from a small toy or book to a small snack to share, or a picture from a magazine. Don’t be afraid to BE CREATIVE !! Each day’s activities will revolve around the Letter of the Day including stories, songs, art, cooking activities, math and science activities and games.This is a great intro to beginning phonics as we focus on the letter sounds.

Please watch your child’s cubbie. In the next few weeks we will be sending home your child’s emergency supply pack to be checked and replenished with appropriate sized clothes if needed.

May 2018 News and notes

After what felt like a long dreary Winter and an extremely short Spring, it now feels like Summer is here with all its heat and humidity. Please be sure and check your child’s supply of extra clothes and make sure that they have a change that is size and season appropriate

Soon we will also be having some water/ messy play days. These will include sprinklers, sidewalk chalk, paint, bubbles and other messy fun outside. The children will need a swimsuit or change of clothes that can get wet and messy, shoes that can get wet, and a towel (all labeled with their name). If possible please leave these items in their cubbies or have them with them on the days, they attend. Since these activities are dependent on the weather it can be hard to schedule them ahead of time. When it is hot outside the children like to take a break in the shade and have an ice pop. Any donations would be appreciated. As we spend more time outside the need for sunscreen and bug repellent increases. For now, we are in pretty good shape on sunscreen but will be needing to replenish our supply of bug repellent.

We know that when activities are planned for the children that follow a topic they are currently interested in they are much more attentive. This week they are learning about “Bugs”. So far, they have created a bumble bee picture, a spider painting and paper plate ladybugs. They also had a lot of fun weaving ribbon in the play yard fence creating their own giant spider webs. We will be continuing with fireflies, caterpillars, butterflies and more. If you’ve never visited the Butterfly house in Faust Park now would be an ideal time to go. This would be a wonderful way for your family to expand on what the children are talking about at school. It would also give your child something to talk about with their friends when they return after their visit.


November is here with all the beautiful fall colors and cooler weather. It’s definitely time to dig out the sweaters and warmer clothes. Outside play is an important part of our day. We know that we all need fresh air and physical activity to stay healthy. Please send your child to school everyday prepared for outside play. Some days this may mean heavy coats, gloves, hats and even boots. Some days it may only mean a light jacket. This time of year layers are best. We can add or remove layers as needed, over the course of the day, as the weather changes. Please also update the extra clothes in your child’s cubbie if needed. Be sure they are the appropriate size and season.

As we start to prepare for the holiday season we have begun talking about what it was like to live long ago, before there were grocery stores, restaurants, televisions, and other modern conveniences. We’ve been talking about how the pilgrims and other early settlers provided for their families. Many of them were farmers, ranchers and hunters. This week we have been talking about life on a farm. If you had a farm what crops would you grow? What animals would you have? These questions have lead to some fun conversations. Next week we will be expanding our focus to include Thanksgiving, pilgrims and the early native Americans who greeted them when they landed at Plymouth Rock. Most of all we will be talking about the many things we have to be thankful for and what it means to be “thankful”.

On Tuesday, November 21 the children will help to prepare a Thanksgiving luncheon. We are inviting parents to join us but unfortunately, due to our limited space, we must limit it to 1 adult per child. Watch your child’s cubbie for an invitation with details.

Child Care licensing requires that all children have a blanket that is laundered weekly. Please remember to bring a blanket on Monday (or your child’s first day each week) and take it home every Friday ( last day of attendance each week). We supply the pillows and sheets and launder those weekly.

Please return or submit online any scholastic book orders by Wednesday November 22. this will guarantee delivery in time for Christmas.

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.


*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.