Early Education Newsletter

CASY will be CLOSED February 20th

Family Child Care Networks

Don't miss the next Family Child Care Network meeting for HOME child care businesses.

During these meetings you will...

  • Learn something new each time during the first 20 minutes
  • Meet other child care providers.
  • Have time to talk about topics that matter most to you.

At this time, we are meeting at Java Haute in Terre Haute.

The next meeting is scheduled for

Wednesday, March 1 at 6pm.

If you are interested in attending, OR

if you want to start a FCCN meeting closer to your location,

E-mail Trisha Guinn, CASY's Program Engagement Specialist.

IAN’s Summer Learning Professional Community

This virtual community is designed specifically for those responsible for planning summer learning programs and would be ideal for early childhood providers planning to serve school age youth this summer.

IAN Summer Learning Professional Community

First and Third Thursday of the month, 11:30am-12:30pm EST.

Registration Link

Meeting Link

  • February 2 and 16, 2023
  • March 2 and 16, 2023
  • April 6 and 20

Please invite anyone you think may benefit to register for the community: Participation in each community meeting is not required but the more you can connect the more you can grow! Upcoming dates and meeting link are below.

News Release: Federal Preschool Development Grant (PDG) is Awarded to Indiana

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning, in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education Office of Kindergarten Readiness, has been awarded a $42 million federal grant. These dollars will be used over three years to implement programmatic changes that will improve Indiana’s capacity to recruit early educators, increase access to early learning opportunities for students in unserved areas and ultimately, support families as they make important decisions regarding their child’s education.

Learn more about the awarded federal grant to FSSA, and what it means for Hoosier families and child care providers by accessing this news release.

Educators and Community Members Needed

In recognition of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)'s Week of the Young Child, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is organizing a public, visual display at the Indiana Statehouse reflective of the work of early learning educators and students across Indiana. As part of this display, your work in the classroom lunchroom, playground, etc., as well as samples of your children's artwork. will be highlighted.

Submission Due Date: Wednesday, February 15

Instructions and Guidelines

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The 2023 Indiana Summit on Out-of-School Learning will showcase and celebrate perspectives from out-of-school time providers across the state. The Summit brings together youth programs, community partners, and afterschool advocates to connect, access practical resources, and advance learning beyond the school day for Indiana’s youth. Join us to share your story and help elevate the quality and outcomes of out-of-school time in Indiana.

Dates: April 25 & 26, 2023
Location: Embassy Suites Conference Center | Noblesville, IN


Marketing Best Practices Guide

Up your marketing game. Hire more teachers.

Brighter Futures launched a new tool that will help providers recruit teachers and enroll families. Check out this video to view the Social Media and Online Presence sections of the Marketing Best Practices Guide.

Professional Development

Upcoming Webinar: Affordable Health Insurance Coverage for Child Care Providers

Join the Indiana Afterschool Network and Covering Kids & Families of Indiana to learn about an innovative opportunity for childcare providers to access low-cost health insurance coverage.

This webinar is for all childcare providers – administrators, directors, and leadership will learn how to create opportunities for their employees to access health coverage. Individual professionals will learn how to connect with a local expert to access health coverage for themselves and their families, whether they are full time or part time.

Join the webinar Thursday, February 9, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST.

Gain Strategies to Guide Positive Youth Behavior

If you’re looking for brain-based strategies to support positive youth behaviors during program settings and beyond, consider joining the three-part Trailblazer series hosted by the Indiana Afterschool Network. These virtual sessions empower afterschool professionals with resources and strategies to create impact in their programs and organizations. These sessions will cover how behaviors are learned and influenced, teaching and developing self-control and regulation, de-escalation strategies, and more.

The first session, “Understanding Youth Behavior,” is Wednesday, February 8, at 11:00 a.m. EST.

Training Calendar

  • 2/14 @ 10am Creating Welcoming Environments for Families Live Webinar - Live

  • 2/21 @ 1pm Helping Dual Language Learners Comprehend and Participate More

  • 2/23 @ 1:30pm Diminishing Mental Health Stigma

  • See the entire list including trainings in Spanish and the Lakeshore Learning sessions.

Regional Advisory Council Meeting

2/15 @ 12:30pm Register for Virtual or On-site Option
Donner Center - Columbus Parks & Recreation Department

739 22nd Street Columbus, IN 47201

All Regional Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public.

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Lakeshore Learning Offers Professional Development

SPARK Learning Lab has partnered with Lakeshore Learning to bring you hands-on, engaging, and invigorating in-person training sessions delivered throughout the state over the next several months. Gain strategies you can implement right away along with a material kit you can use with the children in your program.

Please note, these trainings are in person. Double-check the location for each session before registering. To register, you must first sign into Indiana Learning Paths through your I-LEAD account in another browser tab.

FREE "Science of Reading"

Join the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) Office of Kindergarten Readiness (OKR) for a free professional development series starting January 10 in the Indiana Learning Lab.

January to March 2023, learn about teaching using the principles of the science of reading through purposeful play.

Speakers will discuss the brain, reading comprehension, vocabulary, phonological awareness, phonics, read-alouds, writing, and reading environment. The topics will include all learners and their families.

You will need to sign up for a free account to join these learning sessions. Setting up an account in Indiana Learning Lab is free and easy.


All sessions will be recorded for viewing at a later time. A live schedule is available online


Sing & Sign: Supporting Emerging Language through Music, Sign Language, and Play

Join music therapist, early childhood consultant and author, Dr. Anne Meeker Watson for this engaging webinar. You can expect a rousing session that will be equal parts sign language instruction, music, play, and JOY.

In this interactive and informative presentation to learn:

  • Simple steps to get started signing with young children
  • Key benefits of signing with young children, including support of oral language, regulation, routines and transitions, pre-literacy, and child-directed experience
  • The benefits of combining sign and song for child development
  • Easy ways to incorporate signing across the environments and routines of your day with young children

Register Here

Loose Parts for Children with Diverse Abilities

By Miriam Beloglovsky

To create more inclusive ecosystems requires educators to explore Loose Parts and to take a risk by suspending their previous conceptions of how children learn. Educators must play with Loose Parts, explore them, and create with them until the materials feel less risky and their value becomes apparent. I invite you, the reader, to find yourself feeling inspired or curious about your unexpected discoveries. When we observe how children play with Loose Parts, we find that they not only relax but also become more open to new experiences and change.

Activities & Family

Family Resource Navigator

As a child care provider in Indiana, you have a lot to navigate to ensure children in your care are thriving and families feel supported. The CCRR Network launched the Family Resource Navigator as a way for families to connect to resources with ease. The Family Resource Navigator is an online resource bank where families can search for free and reduced-cost support in their area. Families can choose to connect directly with organizations or research early care and education-related topics. We encourage you to

share this resource with your families.

We are here to help too! If a family prefers to connect over the phone, they can call us at

Chances & Services for Youth (CASY), 812-232-3952.

Celebrate Black History Month

There are many ways to celebrate Black History Month - reading, arts and crafts, learning about the history. One easy way to incorporate it each day is to listen to a Black musical artist each morning. I encourage you to find music from different periods of time and genres.

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Dental Health Month

Brush, Floss, Smile!

‘Egg-Ceptional Smiles’

Ready to show how your students can have an ‘egg-ceptional’ smile? I’m sorry, an exceptional smile? Grab these items and let your students explore in this hands-on brushing and flossing activity.

  • Egg cartons
  • White paint
  • Toothbrush
  • Yarn (for floss)
  • Play-Dough

This hands-on activity for the kiddos teaches them about plaque hiding places and the importance of brushing well! Start by “brushing the teeth” using the white paint, toothbrush, and egg carton.

Once the paint is dry, it’s time to floss! Work with your students to place “plaque” (play-dough) in between each egg carton crack. Then use the yarn (floss) to remove the dough from each tooth.

Do You Know Someone Interested in Becoming a Child Care Provider?

Invite them to join

Program Engagement Specialist, Trisha Guinn

in a virtual child care informational session

Starting Your Child Care Business

Wednesday, February 22

Register for 8 am OR 6 pm

In this virtual event you will learn:

  • Is child care right for me?
  • The landscape of child care in Indiana
  • Types of child care opportunities in Indiana
  • Benefits to becoming licensed
  • The early childhood system in Indiana
  • Supports available to you
  • Paths to QUALITY
  • I-LEAD
  • Questions answered about your specific needs