Early Education Newsletter

September 2022


Take the time to explore your surroundings from a baby’s eye view. Crawl around on the floor and see what your baby sees.

Start Your Early Learning Marketplace Profile Today

Marketplace would like to encourage you to claim your child care program’s Marketplace profile to ensure families find you when they’re searching for care. Visit this page to claim your existing profile page and customize it with your program information.

Early Learning Marketplace has officially launched to modernize the way families find child care. Historically, families have relied on word of mouth and internet searches to locate programs, and then spend hours making phone calls to understand each program’s

offerings, hours, tuition and availability. That is, until now.

With a few clicks of a button, families will be able to search for programs within their

target geography, filter based on their needs and claim available seats in real time.

Early Learning Families will then be able to search for you, identify openings,

schedule tours and start the enrollment process, all online.

Once you’re finished, spread the word to other providers and families.

Quality Childcare Grant for Clay, Parke, Vigo, Sullivan, Vermillion

The United Way of the Wabash Valley’s Success By 6 Impact Council announced a grant opportunity to increase access to high-quality childcare in our community. Because of the past success, this will be the third round of the Quality Childcare Initiative Grant opportunity in the Wabash Valley. This investment is through the Success By 6 Impact Council which promotes healthy early childhood development to ensure children enter school ready to succeed.

Quality of childcare is evaluated in Indiana by the state-implemented Paths to QUALITY™ program. A comparable ExceleRate program exists in Illinois.

The United Way’s Success By 6 Impact Council announced it will make up to $150,000 in funding available through a request for proposal grant process. This two-year grant opportunity is available to childcare sites for up to $20,000 per year in funding and must meet at least one of the following objectives:

  • Increase regulated capacity in an existing Level 3 or 4 Paths to QUALITY or ExceleRate Illinois program; or
  • Attain Level 3 or 4 in Paths to QUALITY or ExceleRate Illinois for an existing program; or
  • For a new program, show progress toward enrolling in Paths to QUALITY or ExceleRate Illinois and attaining Level 3 or 4.

To apply for the grant, organizations are required to attend the Letter of Intent and Stewardship Package Meeting on September 27, 2022 at 5:30 pm ET. To attend, RSVP to Dorothy Chambers at 812- 235-6287 or dchambers@uwwv.org. Full grant eligibility and details are available at uwwv.org/funding.

Loan Forgiveness Waiver Ends This Fall

Early care and education (ECE) workers with public service loans have a chance to access loan forgiveness through a limited waiver that expires this fall. Following the financial hardship created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is partnering with the U.S. Department of Education to help ECE staff access loan forgiveness by raising awareness about a limited waiver to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that expires on October 31, 2022.

Borrowers who work for a qualified employer — including many Head Start, preschool, and child care programs — may now be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness for their important public service, even if they were not eligible before. Some borrowers will need to consolidate their federal loans and submit a PSLF form by October 31 to take advantage of this opportunity.

Learn More Here

New Laws That Affect Child Care Programming

Indiana General Assembly passed two new laws that affect child care programing.

These law changes took effect on July 1, 2022.

Read more about it here.

Wellness Program

Dear Child Care Professionals,

In the past couple of months, I have heard many of your struggles. I have also seen a handful of abrupt closings across our region. Please take this opportunity to learn more about supports available to you and your staff.

~Trisha Guinn


(812) 231-8919

Recognizing that the well-being of our early care and education professionals is critical to the quality of care they are able to provide children, the state is launching a new Build, Learn, Grow initiative that will give professionals and their employees access to critical wellness services at no cost.

The Build, Learn, Grow Building Wellness program offers free, short-term counseling, legal and financial consultation, work-life assistance and crisis intervention services. Individuals who are actively employed by a licensed, Indiana-based early childhood education or out-of-school care program, as well as their household family members and dependents, are all eligible for the services.

The program is strictly confidential. Information about an individual’s participation in the program will not be shared with the person’s employer or with the state of Indiana.

Services are available through September 2023.

Learn more.

Find Help with CASY's Navigators

Families, teachers and children are better together. That’s why the Child Care Resource and Referral Network is proud to serve as a navigator for families, expertly assisting them in finding high-quality child care and connecting them with additional opportunities to meet their needs.

Is your family struggling to make ends meet? Could you or someone you know use assistance with paying for utilities, accessing a food pantry, or connecting to job training or employment services? Call 800-886-3952, ext 2. or learn more here!

Professional Development

Attend SPARK's Regional Advisory Committee (RAC)

Wednesday, September 21, 6-8pm EST.

These meetings are open to the public. RACs provide vital feedback to ensure the success of Spark's technical assistance approach by allowing members to provide insight on the successes and pain points of providers in their area of the state.

Councils provide feedback and recommendations to SPARK on:

  • Format and methods of technical assistance support
  • Areas where programs need support
  • Soliciting feedback from other programs in their region
  • Program and policy development

I'm interested in attending!


  • 9/19 @6:30pm Writing and Implementing an Effective Policy- Live Webinar

  • 9/20 @6:30pm Paths to QUALITY Introduction - Live Webinar

  • 9/21 @1:00pm School-Age Bullying Behavior: Understanding what it is, what it isn't, and risk factors of why it happens

  • 9/21 @1:00pm Planning Your Physical Environment to Reduce Challenging Behaviors - Live Webinar

My Experience As A Male Early Childhood Educator [Podcast]

TJ Borile, RECE joins The Preschool Podcast to discuss his journey as a male entering the early childhood education field. TJ has been an educator for 8 years. Prior to that, in the corporate world, he felt like he was working with a group of adults acting similarly to children, managing a lot of interpersonal issues and because of this, he decided to make a career change to education. He wanted to make an impact and ensure that children grow up feeling, confident, healthy, and happy. The second he joined the field, he knew he had made the right decision.

As soon as he started college, everyone kept saying how nice it was to have a male presence. He always asked why and no one could articulate it. Over time he figured out the benefit is that there are families that do not have a male presence in their lives and it became apparent early on how that was desired by children. That is a huge benefit and reason as to why there should be more males in this field. As well, without even knowing it, his female room partners were modeling how to positively interact with different genders and letting children see this point of view.

Entering the field, TJ was aware of the stigma he would be attached to. He developed strategies so that it does not become an issue. Before parents had a chance to question it, he was counter-acting it by trying to build a relationship with them.

Click here to listen.

FREE CATCH Trainings

The Indiana Department of Health, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity is sponsoring three, FREE Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) professional development trainings to PE teachers, health educators, and before and afterschool professionals this September!

The Indiana Department of Health, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity (IDOH, DNPA) is providing one training focusing on grades 6th-8th and social emotional learning (SEL) activities and education, and two trainings focused on grades K-5th and SEL. All Indiana physical educators, health educators, and before and after school professionals that work with grades K-12 may attend! CATCH trainers will provide resources, hands-on activities, and information on inclusive and adapted play. This activity-based training will focus on easy ways to engage students and teach lessons that inspire movement and healthy lifestyle habits, as well as introducing SEL into your lessons. Each participant will be provided access to resources and tools to improve the health and well-being of their students.


  • South Region: Tuesday, September 20th from 8:30am-2:30pm ET at Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County, Bedford, IN.
    • Grades K-5th and SEL Training
    • Click here to register!

  • Central Location: Wednesday, September 21st from 9am-3pm ET at Broad Ripple High School, Indianapolis, IN.
    • Grades 6th-8th and SEL Training
    • Click here to register!

  • North Region: Thursday, September 22nd from 9am-2:30pm ET at Baker Youth Club, Warsaw, IN.
    • Grades K-5th and SEL Training
    • Click here to register!

*Due to a 35-person maximum for each training, please register for only one training.*

For more information on CATCH, please visit their website: https://catch.org

Are You New to the Child Care Field? Thinking About Opening Your Own Child Care?


Thursday, November 3rd, 2022

6 - 7 PM EDT

Join Program Engagement Specialist, Trisha Guinn, for an Informational Session where you can learn the process to licensure, meet your Workforce Coordinator, ask program specific questions and connect with other professionals. Know someone interested in the child care field, please ask them to join you!


National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time.

Disasters happen everywhere, and every member of the family can prepare. Preparedness for the future starts today.

Whether you’re a kid or teen yourself, a parent or loved one, or work with youth, Ready Kids has tools and information to help before, during and after disasters.

Sponge Cake

Thrifty Teacher’s Guide to Creative Learning Centers

by Shelley Nicholson & Jessica Martinez

Play food is a fantastic way for children to play and learn! By playing with toy food, children are able to emulate the adults in their life by “cooking” and “baking” while also developing motor skills, logic skills, sense of cause and effect—the list goes on! Unfortunately, play food can sometimes be expensive, and food sets might not have certain items that children are used to cooking and eating at home. Build play food out of things you have at home, like literal sponge cakes!

• Sponges
• Acrylic paint
• Paintbrushes
• Puffy paint
• Red pompom
• Hot-glue gun (adult use only)
• Scissors or craft knife (adult use only)

What to Do

1. Cut the sponge into a triangular or round shape
2. Paint the top with acrylic paint to create icing
3. Add sprinkles using puffy paint
4. Glue a red pompom cherry on top

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Family Engagement Webinars


Thu, Sep 22, 2022 12:30 PM EDT

Join CASY's Family Engagement Specialists while we will focus on defining positive guidance, replacing misbehavior and helping children be more cooperative. We will look at understanding the difference between discipline and punishment to assist with changing the negative patterns in children’s behavior. By focusing on the positive, you will find more joy as a parent.

Register Here

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