Early Education Newsletter


The CASY Office will be CLOSED FRIDAY, APRIL 15

in observance of Good Friday

Spring Clean = FREE Materials

All items are free to area child care providers to be utilized within their programs.

Items range from new to used.

There are craft materials, books, games, teacher resources,

and more!

Our closets are full and we need to make room! Over the years CASY has collected materials we have used for many different programs. We have also collected materials through donations to be able to share with child care programs in our area. So that means it is your chance to "shop" for items you can use in your programs.

Location: CASY Gymnasium, 1101 S 13th St, Terre Haute

Time: 9am-1pm Saturday, April 30th.

Items will be provided on a first come first serve basis. No holds. Bring your shopping bags. CASY will not have staff available to help carry or load items.

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DEADLINE QUICKLY APPROACHING: Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant Round 2

A second round of Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grants is available for Indiana child care and out-of-school-time providers. Check the Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant webpage for the latest information and details. Deadline to apply is Friday, April 15, 2022


Early childhood and school-age programs are eligible to apply if they were licensed and/or registered to operate by March 11, 2021, (if not CCDF eligible) or Jan. 14, 2022, if active in the CCDF program. Programs must be in good standing, open and serving children on the date of application, and meeting state and local health requirements. Head Start and Early Head Start grant recipients are not eligible.

Build, Learn, Grow Initiatives Update

Several Build, Learn, Grow initiatives will soon come to a close after being in place for a year. In order to provide all programs with ample time to plan and make necessary operational changes, here are more details on each change:

  • Waived CCDF Family Copays: Waived family copays will end April 30. Programs should resume payment collection the week of May 2. Read more in the full story below.
  • Onboarding Stipends & Waived Background Check Fees: Waived background check fees and onboarding stipends to help programs hire new staff will end April 30.
  • Build, Learn, Grow Scholarship Fund: Providers and families must sign up by March 31 to receive the scholarship through June 30. Read more in the full story below.

Join the Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning for an Upcoming Town Hall Event

As OECOSL looks ahead to the next round of Build, Learn, Grow investments, they would like to discuss these and gather your input at our upcoming provider town hall meetings. Organized by provider type, these town hall meetings will allow for meaningful discussion. View the days and times below, and please register for your program-specific event.

For Family Child Care Home Providers

For Child Care Center and Ministry Providers

For Out-of-School Learning Providers

NAAFC Accreditation Extension

Everything you need to know about NAAFC Accreditation Extension can be found here.
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Tom Copeland

Author, trainer and advocate for the business of family child care, is retiring after decades of incredible service to family child care programs nationwide. Early Childhood Investigations, Think Small Institute/Redleaf Press and the National Association for Family Child Care) would like to celebrate his commitment and achievements with a streaming send‐off celebration and lifetime achievement award ceremony on April 14, 2022, at 8 PM Eastern Time. During the event Tom will be honored with an award and selected guests will offer a few kind words.

You are invited to attend this ceremony! To be added, simply go to the Early Childhood Investigations Webinars Facebook Page . You may RSVP on Facebook now to receive reminder notifications.

Professional Development

Free Child Abuse Prevention Trainings

Stewards of Children® is a child sexual abuse prevention program developed by the national organization Darkness to Light. This training is open to everyone, but is vitally important for people who work around children. This program educates adults in preventing, recognizing and reacting responsibly to child sexual abuse. This training program is designed for parents and any adults who work with children or adolescents. Stewards of Children is the only program available to the public scientifically proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child-protective behaviors. Over 2 million adults across 76 countries have been trained in Stewards of Children, making it one of the most widely used child sexual abuse prevention training for adults.

Register for a virtual training through Indiana Learning Paths


Register for a Face-to-Face training in Hendricks, Clay, or Monroe Counties

Monday, April 4 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm at the Plainfield Public Library

Monday, April 18 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm at the YMCA

Wednesday, April 27 from 6:30 - 8:30pm at the MCCSC campus

View More Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Trainings

Register for Upcoming Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential Course

Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children and the Indiana Non Formal Child Development Associate® Project are pleased to announce a new Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential Course beginning this spring. Classes will take place virtually in the evening, beginning as soon as May. Scholarships for the program are also available.

Learn important information on course requirements, eligibility and expectations at a virtual informational meeting on April 11 at 7 p.m. ET. Program directors, owners and administrators are required to attend the informational meeting with their interested staff. Register to attend at the link below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Early Childhood Induction Project: Scholarships for Mentors & Mentees

This project bridges what you have learned in school and on the job. You will be linked to an early childhood mentor and higher education expert where you will participate in a community of practice and mentoring activities. This project is linked to the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® INDIANA Scholarship Program. A T.E.A.C.H. scholarship will be provided to both the Mentor and to the Mentee to advance their professional development.

For more information, how to apply and how to be linked to a higher education expert, contact

Mike Wiegmann, TEACH Advisor of Special Projects at mweigmann@inaeyc.org

Strengthening Business Practices

Register now for "Strengthening Business Practices Module 3: Marketing Your Program" sessions happening throughout April!

Assess your external environment to determine the best marketing strategies for your business. Develop a marketing plan and use marketing tools to communicate the benefit of your program to families and stakeholders. Learn strategies to help you ensure full enrollment for a sustainable child care business. Ultimately improving outcomes for children. This 3-hour training is offered in 2 sessions of 1.5 hours each. You must complete both sessions to earn a certificate.

SPARK! Strengthening Business Practices for Centers, Ministries, & Schools Module 3: Marketing Your Program (Virtual)
Session 1: Tuesday, April 5 @ 10:00am - 11:30am ET
Session 2: Tuesday, April 12 @ 10:00am - 11:30am ET

SPARK! Strengthening Business Practices for Family Child Care Homes Module 3: Marketing Your Program (Virtual)
Session 1: Monday, April 11 @ 3:00pm - 4:30pm ET
Session 2: Monday, April 25 @ 3:00pm - 4:30pm ET

To register, login or create an account at ilead.in.gov, click the green "Start Your Indiana Learning Path" button, choose "Courses" on the left-hand side, and search "Marketing" in the top search bar.

SPARK Learning Labs – SPARK (indianaspark.com)

Your Natural Playscape Makeover!—Designing for Outdoor Play on Any Budget, by Rusty Keeler

We all want to create beautiful outdoor natural play and learning environments for our children but isn’t it expensive? Difficult? Out of reach for the average caregiver and center? “No way!” says natural playscape designer and author Rusty Keeler, “You can do it!” Join Rusty as he shares his 30 years of design experience to inspire YOU to dream and plan your own natural playscape makeover “in any yard, on any budget”. You’ll see images of play spaces filled with trees, grass, hills, sand, water, boulders, loose parts, gardens, and more. Rusty’s fun ideas will inspire you to “Dream Big, Start Small, and Never Stop!” with your outdoor playscape journey. Join this webinar for fun tips and tools for supporting child-directed play with loose parts and natural spaces.

Diversity Meets Picture Books! What You Need to Know to Select Inclusive Materials, by Dr. Paula Jackson, Stefanie Paige Wieder, M.S.Ed, and Autumn Allen, EdM, MA

April 27, 2022

2:00 PM Eastern Time

Perhaps you already have a desire to include diverse and inclusive books in your learning environment. But how do you select these books? And how can you evaluate their impact on the children in your care? Join Early Childhood Investigations for a webinar that tackles these questions and provides you with practical tools for fostering children’s positive identity development and their understanding of others. Register here.

Save the Date: Indiana Summit on Out-of-School Learning

The Indiana Afterschool Network is excited to announce their 11th annual Indiana Summit on Out-of-School Learning - Indiana's premier conference designed specifically for out-of-school time providers and champions.

This year's summit will be taking place at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Noblesville Indianapolis Conference Center on May 24-25, 2022. Check out the SCHEDULE of events.

Follow Indiana Afterschool Network on social media to receive updates on this event and more.

The Summit is hosted in partnership between the Indiana Afterschool Network and the Indiana Department of Education


Big Conversations with Young Children: Discussing Questions, Worries, and Fears

In working with young children, we inevitably encounter unexpected—and hard-to-answer—questions. This edWebinar addresses the big adult questions children often ask, questions that may cause us to pause, silence the child, or deflect the concern. The session will guide you to be prepared to answer difficult questions respectfully and in ways that are developmentally appropriate with even the youngest children. We’ll explore how to respond to big topics such as miscarriage, domestic terror events, the death of a classmate, and other equally sensitive or unsettling issues.

Register to watch the recording or listen to the podcast.

Guiding Principles of Emergent Early Childhood Education

While a prescribed curriculum can add marketability to a program, it may fail to honor and nurture the true potential of both the children and their teachers.

One powerful alternative is an “emergent curriculum”. Using this approach, teachers steer the curriculum content by observing and reflecting on the interests and culture of the students in their care.

This may sound like opening the doors for a free-for-all, but there is a clear framework that ensures that the outcome is holistic and developmentally appropriate. Find out more here.

Cut Out the Pre-Cuts: The Trouble with Themes in Early Childhood Education

Every year early childhood programs are faced with the choice—to theme or not to theme? Themes are like worksheets, they represent a school model. I admit I used themes when I began my career in early childhood education. As an eager and ambitious teacher, I was anxious that the theme of the week that I had chosen was represented and visible. The easiest way to do that was the use of pre-cut shapes or as I referred to them, “cut outs”. I can remember sitting in the sleep room cutting out 30 turkeys for Thanksgiving, and how tedious it was to do! Fundamentally this practice was very short sighted on a number of levels. The greatest issue that I now see, in retrospect, is that themes are teacher directed and teacher owned. The trouble with cut outs is that they greatly restrict a child’s creativity and individuality. Read more.

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Breathe: Healthy Steps to Living Tobacco Free

Help parents understand the impact of secondhand smoke and the importance of smoke-free environments for their children. Breathe is offered FREE of charge to Head Start centers and other organizations working with low-income families. Complete the 2 hour Breathe training to receive Breathe kits for your organization as well as on-going support.

For more information or to schedule a training, contact Sarah Knoblock.


View flyer and video for more information

Week of the Young Child (WOYC)

April 2 - April 8

WOYC is a fun-filled week celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers, families, and communities with hands-on, collaborative activities encouraging movement and healthy lifestyles through music, food, and art. There is so much that children learn as they sing, cook together, build together, create art, and celebrate with their families.

Check out the 22 America for Early Ed + Week of the Young Child toolkit.

Resources for Families

FAMILY WEBINAR: Quality Child Care in Indiana

Register for Thursday, April 7th at 1pm

Join CASY's Family Engagement Specialists for this informational session on what quality child care looks like in Indiana. Learn the qualifications for providers, what a safe and healthy learning environment looks like, and explore Indiana's Quality Rating and Improvement System.

FAMILY WEBINAR: Oh Brother (or sister)! Dealing with Sibling Rivalry

Register for Thursday, April 28th at 1pm

Sibling rivalry can begin at a very early age and it can transform in many ways throughout childhood. Join CASY's Family Engagement Specialists as we discuss tips and tricks to help decrease sibling rivalry.

How Four Deep Breaths Can Help Kids Calm Down

It’s one of the first things parents and teachers tell a child who gets upset: “Take a deep breath.” But research into the effect of deep breathing on the body’s stress response has overwhelmingly ignored young children—and studies done with adults typically take place in a university lab, making them even less applicable to children’s actual lives. Read more.