Early Education Newsletter

January 2020

The CASY office will be closed:

January 1st, New Years Day

January 20th, Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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Need ILEAD help? Having trouble accepting your invitation? Need assistance learning to navigate ILEAD?

We can help! Reach out to our Program Support Specialist Kristi at 800-886-3952 ext. 38 or kburkhart@casyonline.org. If you have any questions about how to activate your account or if you are not receiving your invitations, we can help! We can assist you in getting your account started, understanding how to navigate I-LEAD, inviting staff, finding professional development, and more.
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Stay informed with SPARK

Did you know that in addition to the resources and updates provided within your CASY Newsletter, you can also sign up to receive information about SPARK through their newsletter?

Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up for the SPARK newsletter.

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Level 3:

Fuzzy Bear

Montgomery County

Clay Academy, LLC

Shelby County


ICAP Tri Head Start

Henry County

ICAP Milroy Head Start

Rush County

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Request for Services: Funding Opportunity Child Care and Development Fund Agreement Centers

Request for Services 20-047


On Behalf Of Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL)

Solicitation For: Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Agreement Centers

Response Due Date: January 23, 2020

The purpose of this RFS is to select respondents that can satisfy the State’s need for CCDF Agreement Centers. It is the intent of FSSA to contract with respondents that provide developmentally appropriate early care and education and related services that meet the federal and State regulations for children enrolled in the CCDF voucher program for OECOSL. Through this RFS, OECOSL seeks to increase access to high quality child care and education and On-My-Way Pre-K providers in communities with limited existing options.

For more information about this Request for Services click here.

Bridging the Gap Between Early Learning and Kindergarten:

Strong Start Community Grant

A smooth transition into kindergarten creates a foundation for children to build upon throughout the rest of their K-12 journey. Communities that strengthen the connective experience between early learning and the start of kindergarten set the stage for children to be successful in elementary school and beyond.

The Strong Start Community grant is supported by funding from the Federal Preschool Development Grant through Indiana FSSA’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning. For more information click here.

Serving the Families Who Serve Our Country

Child Care Aware® of America serves more than 10,000 military children every year. Select your branch of service for more information on eligible programs and assistance. Visit their Military Families Assistance page for information on how your military families can benefit from this program. Click here to learn more.
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Mandatory Training:

Visit SPARK Learning Lab to find upcoming face-to-face Safe Sleep training opportunities. Also visit your Indiana Learning Paths through your ILEAD account to sign up for Safe Sleep or find other mandatory training opportunities.

Other Training Opportunities

Children’s Lively Minds: Deb Curtis & Nadia Jaboneta Share Insights About Schema Theory

Sponsored by Redleaf Press. Jean Piaget described a schema as a thread of thought which is demonstrated by repeated patterns in children’s play and suggested that children’s play is a reflection of deeper, internal and specifically directed thoughts. When children explore schemas, they build understandings of abstract ideas, patterns, and concepts. For more information about this webinar and other opportunities, click here.

Building Better Block Play

This session looks at re-energizing your block play area with playful props, thoughtful polices, and appropriate support. We will also dig into the wide and deep learning block play promotes.

Click here to learn more or register.

Vigo County Public Library Presents: Workshop with Jim Gill

January 18th, 2020


Life Long Learning Center

Vigo County

In this energizing session Jim will share examples of his work – both books and

songs – that teachers and care providers can bring back to their classrooms,

playrooms and family rooms. Most importantly, Jim will discuss how his unique

creations in music play inspire young children not only to move, but to regulate their

movements….not only to sing, but to make connections between the words they sing

and the printed word and the world of numbers.

Click here to register


Contact the Vigo County Public Library at


The Indiana Afterschool Network Presents: The Afterschool Roadshow

We're bringing professional development to you

In partnership with 21st Century Community Learning Centers, the Indiana Afterschool Network will be hosting a series of trainings for afterschool program directors, site coordinators, and support staff called The Afterschool Roadshow.

The first roadshow series - Dive Into Quality - will focus on using IAN’s quality toolkit to address some of your program's biggest challenges. Administrators, site coordinators and support staff can all benefit from these interactive sessions that will cover best practices and strategies in self-assessment, using the online Indiana Academy for Out-of-School Learning for professional development and how our newest resource for the field, My Afterschool Locker, can support your organization. We hope you can join us and connect with other 21st Century Community Learning Centers and other fantastic afterschool programs in your region!

Join Us at a Location Near You:

  • Jan. 14 - Michigan City
  • Jan. 17 - Evansville
  • Jan. 20 - Lafayette
  • Jan. 23 - Gary

  • Jan. 29 - Terre Haute
  • Jan. 31 - Bloomington
  • Feb. 7 - Elkhart

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The Indiana Summit on Out-of-School Learning is Indiana’s premiere conference designed exclusively for out-of-school time program providers. The 9th annual Summit will bring together youth programs, schools, and community partners to connect, learn new ideas, access valuable resources, and transform learning beyond the school day for Indiana’s youth.

Join over 600 participants to experience:

  • Inspiring keynote speakers
  • Special evening Networking Reception
  • Spectacular Exhibit Hall
  • Champion Awards for outstanding programming

Click here to find out more or register!

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Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
J.M. Barrie

Having a variety of tools and techniques to use in the classroom helps the whole classroom environment. While they will not work for all children, having several tricks up your sleeve will increase positive behavior in the classroom. To read the 10 ways to increase positive behavior in early care and education programs click here.

Understanding Anti-Bias Education: Bringing the Four Core Goals to Every Facet of Your Curriculum

Anti-bias education is not just doing occasional activities about diversity and fairness topics (although that may be how new anti-bias educators begin). To be effective, anti-bias education works as an underpinning perspective, which permeates everything that happens in an early childhood program—including your interactions with children, families and coworkers—and shapes how you put curriculum together each day. Click here to continue reading.

DAP with Infants and Toddlers

The earliest years are all about relationships. Infants and toddlers crave and develop attachments to the special people in their lives. Depending on how parents, early childhood educators, and others treat them, babies also develop expectations about people and themselves.

  • Young infants (0 to 9 months) seek security.
  • Mobile infants (8 to 18 months) are eager to explore.
  • Toddlers (16 to 36 months) are working on their identity; they want to know who they are and who’s in charge.

In child care programs, relationships with families are critical. Caring teachers and caregivers learn from the experiences, knowledge, culture, and childrearing beliefs of family members.

Partnerships grow when teachers value the family as the primary source of information about the child and as the constant in the baby’s life, and when families value the knowledge and personal characteristics of their child’s teachers. Good communication is essential. To continue reading click here.

Volunteering with Children: 50 Kid-Focused (or Friendly) Volunteer Organizations

Whether you’re looking to serve children in your community or get your own kids involved in volunteering, it’s important to find the right organization. Not every charitable organization helps children directly nor does every charitable organization have volunteer opportunities available for kids. So, how do you find organizations that do? Don’t worry: We got you covered. Here are 50 organizations where you can volunteer to help kids yourself or where your kids can volunteer to help others in the community. Click here to view the list.

For Your Families:

CASY now offers a Family Newsletter! Share this information with the families you work with to help them access resources, get activity ideas, answer questions, and more. Programs and families can join this mailing list by clicking here to view our family newsletter or by contacting Heather at hcampbell@casyonline.org.