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Child Car Seat Recall

There has recently been a recall of some models of Graco child car seats. Please follow the link below for more information

February 2014


2014 has been a busy year so far here at school. We have explored many animals over the past several weeks including Arctic animals, Dinosaurs, and Pets. We talked about how animals in cold climates stay warm. Some hibernate while others Migrate to warmer climates and how many of them grow thick winter coats of fur.

It is always amazing how quickly the children learn and can recall the names of Dinosaurs. We also discussed the difference between herbivorous, omnivorous, and carnivorous. The children easily noticed that even though they were all dinosaurs they were not all the same. This opened up many discussions about likenesses and differences.

As we moved on to pets the children loved feeding, brushing, and taking the stuffed animals for walks. We read quite a variety of books about the many different kinds of animals that people have for pets. We also spent several group times talking about our family pets and how we take care of them.

We have started off this week with many books and discussions about Groundhog Day, shadows and light. The children have had a lot of fun using flashlights and the light box to discover “what does light shine through?” The rest of the week we will be observing other science concepts such as magnets and what happens when you mix baking soda and vinegar, always a favorite of kids. Thanks to the snow last night, we were able to paint the snow with spray bottles and watch the colors mix to make new colors.

Next week we will be taking about Valentines Day and Love. What do we do every day to show people we care about them? We will be making and mailing Valentines to our families as well as exchanging Valentines at school. Please send 16 valentines with your child’s name on the back on Friday. PLEASE do not address them to make the job of passing them out easier for the children. If you have any small boxes ( shoe box size or similar) please bring them in. the children will decorate them for their valentines.

Outside play and fresh air is important for health and development. Please be sure to send your child to school, daily, prepared for outside play with a heavy coat, gloves, hats, and boots.

Fall 2013 News and Notes



Fall is officially here! With the change in season comes cooler temperatures, and many changes in the world around us. Please be sure your child’s extra clothes supply are the correct size and weight for the current temperatures as well as labeled with their name.


We have been extremely busy lately. We have explored “Color in our World”, ‘Our Five Senses”, “Feelings and Emotions”, “Me and My Family”, and “Shapes all Around Us”. the children are still working on their own “All About Me “ books which will be coming home soon. Each book will have additional blank pages that can be completed as a family for a wonderful keepsake. We have also investigated the many jobs in our community as well as what our parents do at work. The children had some great ideas of what mom and dad do at work. You’ll be happy to know some of you play on your computer, some play with your friends, and others help people.


As we get closer to Halloween we will be learning about the animals that are awake while we sleep, “nocturnal animals”. We have some great stories about Owls, Raccoons and bats to guide us in our journey.


We will also begin our preparations for Halloween by practicing our Halloween songs, making Halloween decorations, and making some Halloween snacks. We have also once again been invited to Trick or Treat to some of the businesses in the adjacent Sunnen Business Park. Parents, grandparents or other family members are welcome to join us. See Ann for more details.


Inclement Weather: In preparation of winter weather, we have reviewed our snow watch information and policy. It has always been the policy of the Center 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, an announcement of SNOW SCHEDULE means the Center will open at 9:30 am rather 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!



April 2013 , News and Notes

We, kids and teachers alike, are so excited for the warmer weather and sunshine. Last week we were able to enjoy the outdoors everyday for the first time in months. With the warmer weather comes mosquitoes and sun exposure. Please complete the attached permission slips for Mosquito repellent, sunscreen and to go for neighborhood walks so we have an updated copy in everyone’s file. Any donations of spray on sunscreen and mosquito repellent would be greatly appreciated.

Last week we started investigating our alphabet. On Monday we made alligator “A”s. Tuesday we glued Blue, Black, and Brown Buttons on Blue “B”s. Wednesday we read a book about “Copy Cats” and glued cotton on “C”s. Thursday was “D” day so we read “ If You Give a Dog a Donut” and made donuts for breakfast followed by decorating “D”s as Dogs. Friday we finished off the week by painting “E”s at the easel and gluing eyes, ears and eggs to “E”s. The kids have been very excited every day to learn about the letter of the day. This week we move on to F through J. Each day our activities and stories revolve around the special letter. So be sure to check your child take home notes and ask them about their day. We will continue our journey through the Alphabet till May 10th.

We have lately seen some changes at Home Away From Home.

Ms Kathy has left us to have more time with her family. We certainly wish her the best. And Ms Molly after over 2 years at HAFH is moving on to a position with LaPetite. We wish her the best as she explores other options in education.

Ms Lauren Egbert has recently joined our staff working part time afternoons. She is currently enrolled in her second semester at St Louis Community College. Ms. Lauren is working towards a degree in education.

Romy Uelk who some of you know as “Lena’s mom” or “Ms. Ann’s oldest daughter” is helping out on Monday afternoons and Friday mornings. Romy worked at HAFH during her high school and college years and the children are familiar with her so her transition to staff has been easy for all.

I am currently seeking a part time assistant. If you know of someone that you would recommend please have them contact me ASAP for details.

January 2013 News


With winter upon us I have a few important reminders for parents.

Please remember one of our most important goals is keeping the children safe and healthy. In order for us to do this we need your help. Children need fresh air and sunshine. Missouri state licensing requires outside play time daily for the children unless there are heat or cold warnings, or rain. Please send your child prepared this time of year with warm coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and boots( if it is wet or snowy). Also please be sure they have an extra change of clothes ,that are appropriate size and season, and labeled with their name. Even children who have been potty trained for some time may need a change of clothes because of spills, illness or a surprise “accident”.


It is normal for children this age to get sick as they build their own immune systems. We do what we can here at school by sanitizing toys and equipment and by teaching the children proper hand washing skills. We remind the children often to cover when they cough and sneeze and to wipe and dispose of tissues properly. Please watch your children closely for signs of illness and keep them home until they are fever and symptom free for 24 hours without fever reducing medications ,such as tylenol and motrin. If their doctor feels they are well enough to participate at school but still need medication please be sure to fill out the appropriate authorization form so we can give it to them. If it is a prescription it needs to be in the original container from the pharmacy, with the label attached showing the child’s name and doctor recommended dosage schedule.


In the event of dangerous weather conditions that would cause HAFH to close it will be broadcast on News Channel 5 Storm watch in the morning starting at 4am. This information is also listed on their website


 Scholastic Book Club orders can be returned to school with a check made payable to scholastic or placed online with a credit card.


Last but not least Thanks for all the Christmas gifts, from candles to wine to home made goodies it is all deeply appreciated.



October 2012

It’s hard to believe September is already passed and we are moving full speed ahead into October. We have been reminded lately that fall is here as temperatures and leaves begin to fall. Please remember to dress your child in layers as the mornings have been quite chilly and yet afternoons can still get very warm. Outside play time is a very important part of our day. It provides needed fresh air and sunshine as well as it is great exercise. It also offers many opportunities to observe and discuss the changes in the weather and the world around us.


Lately we have been focusing on farm life including farm animals, fall harvest, and farm jobs. Many “Thanks” to Meg’s Mom, Brooke, for bringing one of their familie’s chickens for a visit. The children enjoyed following it around the playground, watching it eat, seeing some of her eggs and feeling her feathers. We then followed the visit with “Feather Painting” at the easel. Our paintings and pictures of the visit are posted by the back door. In the coming days we will be comparing, tasting and cooking with a variety of apples. We will even be trying our hands at some recipes using another fall favorite, Pumpkins.


The children have showed a growing interest in each others names. Many of them not only recognize their own written name but also some of the other children’s names as well. They have been singing a variety of “name songs” , created some beautiful “name art”, and searched for matching names in the sensory tub full of rice.


Halloween is always a favorite holiday for children. We have once again been invited to trick or treat to some of the neighboring businesses in the Sunnen business park. This event will be happening on Friday October 26 from 9am -11:30 am. And all family members are welcome to join us. The children will eagerly be practicing their songs to perform for everyone. (hopefully Ms Ann will still have a voice by the end of the day) If your child does not normally attend on Fridays but you would still like to join us please let us know so we can plan accordingly.


Home Away From Home is proud to say that we have not seen a tuition increase since February of 2009. Unfortunately due to rising expenses across the board we will need to increase tuition starting January 7, 2013 . The new rates will be as follows:

Under 2 years of age- $60 per day, $275 per week

Over 2 years of age- $38 per day, $170 per week


August 2012 News

Over the past several weeks the children have been actively exploring the topics of fruit and pets. They thoroughly enjoyed making their own blueberry pancakes, fruit salad, and watermelon popsicles. We had lengthy discussions about how different fruits grow, some on trees, some on bushes and some on vines. We also talked about how some have one seed while others have many seeds. We also learned some descriptive words like crunchy, sweet, tart, and juicy as we tasted many different fresh and dried fruits.

This week we had fun with pets we read many stories about dogs and cats but also talked about the less common pets like chickens and mice. They really enjoyed caring for our classroom pets (stuffed animals) and even danced with them.

The children have chosen the topic of Doctors and Dentists for our next theme. We will investigate the world of healthcare through stories and dramatic play.

*Attached you will find information about a great, reasonable resource for children’s books. Scholastic Book Clubs not only offers a large variety of materials but with every order we earn materials for our class. Parents can either return their order to school with a check made payable to Scholastic or can place their order online, using a credit card. Ordering online earns you a $5 book credit and the class a free book pick.

Below is a list of materials that we are currently in need of, any donations would be Greatly Appreciated!!

*Washable school glue

*Scotch (clear) tape

*Masking Tape

*Plastic child size scissors (for Playdough)

*Colored copier paper

*Washable markers

*Washable watercolor paints

*food coloring


Don’t throw that newspaper away we can use it for messy art projects

We can also use old magazines , yarn, and material scraps for collages.


Spring has sprung and in spite of the crazy up and down temperatures we have been able to enjoy the outdoors and the kids have been observing lots of seasonal changes in the world around us. They have been taking notice of the weather changes, the plants, trees, and flowers starting to grow again. The children were very excited to plant some flower seeds and are anxiously watching them grow. We also planted “egg heads” by decorating egg shells with faces then filling them with soil and planting grass seed. We’ve had lots of discussions about seeds, stems, leaves and flowers. They are also requesting that we plant some sunflowers. Which will be a project for next week.

The children also recently expressed an interest in talking about our bodies. Many of them chose to make “inside/out” t-shirts by sponge painting some of our internal organs on the front. They were fascinated with the jobs that they each do and we had some great discussions about the heart, lungs, stomach, intestine, kidneys, and bladder. One of our friends even went home and asked her mother, “If they don’t look like kids and they don’t have knees then why are they called Kidneys?” Comments like this one make us smile and remind us just how literal children are in their thinking.

With the warmer temperatures also comes bugs. Insects and spiders always hold lots of fascination for children. They have been noticing many bugs outside from bees and butterflies to ants and wasps. Some have them have even been showing off their new bug bites to their friends. We will be exploring the world of bugs more in the next couple weeks with stories, songs, art and science.


Since our new playground has little shade it is important that we take extra precaution that the children are not over exposed to the sun. If they have a light weight sunhat to wear outdoors please send it to school. Get in the habit of applying sunscreen when dressing each morning and we will be applying before exposure.


With the warmer weather upon us we are in need of some supplies any donations would be greatly appreciated!!

*Sunscreen ( spray type works best)

* bug repellant

*ice pops for special treats


*wet wipes for sticky faces


A copy of our Emergency/Disaster Plan is located in the front by  the “attendance binder” for parents to review. If you would like a copy emailed to you please email Ann at and it will be sent to you.

Staff recently completed CPR and First Aid Classes to better prepare everyone to handle all potential types of emergencies.


Beginning Steps Early Learning Center

Dear Families, We have noticed that everyone at school does not have extra clothes. Each child needs a change of clothes appropriate for the season in their cubbie labeled with their name.

Every child also needs a hat and gloves to go outside. State licensing rules state that we are required to go outside for an hour each day.

What’s new…

For the last two weeks we have been concentration on a book a week and tailoring our activities around what is happening in the book. This next week we will talk about Moon Shadow, By: Frank Asch.

Then we will talk about Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see? On Wednesday Feb. 8th Please bring in a teddy bear. We will be going on a bear hunt:).

During the week of Brown Bear Brown Bear ( Feb. 6-10 ) we will be sending home a literacy bag. In this bag there will be a book to read and and activity to do. If you do not wish to be responsible for bringing the bag back please let a teacher know that your family is not interested.

We will also be having a small Valentines party for our class. It will be at 10 am on Tuesday Feb. 14th. Please watch the door for a sign up

sheet. If you wish to you can also bring in valentines to pass out. You can either write them to a “friend” or we can provide you with a list .

New Year 2012

Sleep: Did you know that your child needs over 10 hours of sleep!

If your child is 4-12 months they need 14 to 15 hours of total sleep. If your child is 1 to 3 years old they need 12-14 hours of total sleep. If your child is 3 to 6 years old they need 10 to 12 hours of total sleep.

When your child does not get enough sleep their development suffers. They have a harder time concentrating and accomplishing tasks. Lack of sleep also makes bed time a struggle because they get over tired.

Please fill out the attached sheet on sleep habits so that we know more about your child and can help them reach their full potential.


Everyone needs a Blanket for Nap time!

Tuition is Due on Friday for the next week, if not paid by Monday at closing $10 is added if not paid by Tuesday at closing $15 is added. If any balance is carried over week to week then 10% is added weekly till paid in full.


accurate attendance is a must!

If you have any questions or concerns please let me know.


Ms. Abbie

January News and Notes,2011

Welcome to 2011..

It appears we have all survived the Holidays with minimal stress and hopefully a few smiles. Best wishes go to all for a Happy and Healthy New Year.

With winter in full swing…

Please remember to send your child to school every day prepared for outside play. They benefit greatly from the fresh air and sunshine but don’t enjoy it much if they are cold and uncomfortable. Missouri State child care licensing requires a minimum of 1 hour outside play daily unless there are extreme heat or cold warnings or rain. They will need hats, gloves, a warm coat, and boots in the event of snow. If they will be playing in the snow they will also need a change of clothes because they will most likely get wet. Please help us make outside time a positive learning time.

As we start off with a BOOM, BOOM, BOOM…

We are reminded that children really are fascinated by those large extinct monsters we know as dinosaurs. They love and seem to retain amazing information and vocabulary about them including their many long names and facts like some are carnivores while others are herbivores and other yet are omnivores. They also love talking about just how big they really were. How some could fly and some could swim, while others you could hear walking a mile away. What would our world be like today if these enormous creatures were still alive?

Excerpt from: For Parents Only: Teaching Your Child Through Play By Carolyn Tomlin, M.Ed.

Emotional and Social
Emotional and social benefits come when children in play situations are force to consider the viewpoints of their playmates. Although most parents are not trained as play therapists, they can be aware of how children explore different emotions (anger, sadness, and so on) and various social roles in play. Parents can help in the following ways:

If a stressful situation has occurred, talk about and help the child re-enact through play. For example, a tornado has touched down in your area. Replay, getting in a safe place when a siren is sounded. Use caution about over-reacting, but allow the child to talk about her fears and act out activities related to the event.
• Use “what-if” situations for teaching. Ask your child, “How would you feel is a bully took your lunch? What could you do? What would you say to a friend whose pet was lost?
• Provide one less toy than children. Allow the children to decide who gets the toys and who has to wait their turn. Observe children who need more practice in sharing.
• Provide ways to act out feelings through art, music, or dance. Provide paper and crayons and ask the child to draw how they feel, such as moving to a new community? Or, when they have a birthday?
• Play board games together as a family. Teach your child that in many games there are loses and winners. Also, look for games where the object is not “winning or losing” but simply the fun of playing.